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Social Welfare, Social Services, and Social Work


I. Definition

 Organized concern of all peoples for all people (Gertrude Wilson)

 The organized system of social services and institutions, design to aid individuals and
groups to attain satisfying standards of life and health (Walter Friedlander)
 Includes those laws, programs, benefits and services which assure or strengthen
provisions for meeting social needs recognized as basic to well-being of the
population, and the better functioning of the social order (Elizabeth Wickenden)
 All the organized social arrangement which have as their direct and primary objective
the well-being of people in a social context(Pre-Conference Working Committee for
the 15th International Conference on Social Welfare)
 Encompasses the well-being of all the members of human society, including their
physical, mental, emotional, social, economic and spiritual well-being.

II. Society responds to unmet needs or problems through the ff. ways

 Individual and group efforts – systematic and voluntary efforts undertaken by

individuals and/or groups in response to unmet needs
 Major societal institutions which have their designated roles and responsibilities for
meeting human need – the family, the church, the government, cooperatives, and
labor unions
 Social Agency – major provision for helping people; integral part of a community’s
institutionalized network of services; professional social workers are usually employed
by a social agency
III. Two views or conceptions of social welfare
 Residual formulation – conceives of the social welfare as temporary offered during
emergency situations and withdrawn when the regular social system is working
 Institutional formulation – sees social welfare as a proper, legitimate function of
modern society
Our own Philippine Constitution (1987) reflects the institutional view

In the Philippines today, many institutions and agencies combine the two views because of
the nature of the people's needs and problems.

IV. Social welfare programs usually fall under the categories:

 Social security – set of compulsory measures instituted to protect the individual and his
family against the consequences of an unavoidable interruption
 Personal social services – service functions which have major bearing upon personal
problems, individual situations of stress, interpersonal helping or helping people in
need, and the provision of direct collaboration with workers from govt and voluntary
 Public Assistance – material/concrete aids/supports provided usually by govt
agencies to people who have no income or means of support for themselves and
their families


I. Definition
 Refers to programs, services and other activities provided under various auspices, to
concretely answer the needs and problems of the society.
II. Why is there a need for social services?
 There are people who have needs and problems beyond their own capacity for

Social welfare (and therefore, social services) has been accepted as a legitimate function of
modern industrial society in helping people fulfill themselves

Many of the problems people face todayare traceable to the rapid social change that has
been taking place (adverse effects of urbanization and industrialization; rural

Richard M. Titmus sees social problems as structural or basically located in the economy.He
considers social services as partial compensation for the “socially generated disservices” and
“socially-caused diswelfare”

III. Among the many legitimate and vitally important goals of social welfare are the ff.
 Humanitarian and Social Justice Goals
 rooted in the democratic ideal of social justice
 based on the belief that man has the potential to realize himself except factors
(physical, social, economic, psychological, etc) sometimes hinder or prevent
 This concept submits that it is right and just for man to help man, hence, social
 Involves identification of the most inflicted, the most dependent, the most
neglected and those least to help themselves and making them priority
 Social Control Goal
 Based on the recognition that needy, deprived, or disadvantaged groups may
strike out, individually and or/collectively against what they consider to be an
offending society
 Economic Development Goal
 Social services which directly contribute to increased productivity
 Social services which prevent or relieve the burden of dependence on adult
works of such dependents
 Social services which prevent or counteract the disruptive effects of
urbanization and industrialization


I. Definition
 Seeks to enhance the social functioning of individuals, singly and in groups, by
activities focused upon their social relationships which constitute the interaction
between man and his environment(The United States Council on Social Work

On June 27, 2001 International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International
Federation of Social Workers jointly announced a new international definition of social work
believed to be applicable in every region and country of the world –

“The social work promotes social change problem-solving in human relationships and the
empowerment and the liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of
human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people
interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are
fundamental to social work”
In general social functioning problems are caused by any of the ff.

 Personal inadequacies
 Situational inadequacies
 Both personal and situational inadequacies

All social worker efforts therefore focused on either helping a person adjust to or cope with
his environment or modifying or changing his environment/situation or both

Social work is not a hit-or-miss or trial and-error method but a professional service which
makes use of scientific knowledge and skills

Social Work, introduces in the 1930’s as a systematic method of helping people in the field of
public welfare in the Philippines, came to be officially recognized as a profession with the
passage of a law by Congress in 1965 elevating social work to a profession