11 Social Welfare System


1. Forms of social care
Formal care
  • provided by government and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • provided by trained individuals
  • coordinated / supervised / guided by professionals
Informal care
  • provided by the carers who:
    • receive no official payment / the time spent on providing care is unpaid
    • provides care on a voluntary basis
2. Volunteer
As a form of demonstrating social concerns and responsibility
The role of social care:
  • learn reciprocity and mutual care and support
  • increase empathy to the disadvantaged and commitment to the community
  • gain personal confidence through the experience of social care and social support
  • develop communication and problem solving skills in the context of family, community and society
  • grow up as balanced and socially responsible individuals
Roles of volunteers in complementing to the private care
  • do not charge the clients for their services
  • extra manpower resources to the services
    • trained and organised to provide care services
  • autonomy
    • independence from the government and the market
3. Concepts of Social Security and Social Welfare
Social Security
  • Social protection established by government that provides individuals and households to ensure access to health care and to guarantee income security when faced with the contingencies such as sickness or unemployment
Social Welfare
  • In the narrow sense
    • social services provided to people in need such as elderly and disabled persons by the Social Welfare Department and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • In the broad sense
    • cover the other public services such as health care, education, housing and employment
4. Categorization of Welfare Services
Different Target Groups:
  • Examples :
    • Family and Child Welfare
    • Services for the Elderly
    • Rehabilitation Services
    • Services for Offenders
  • Booklets : 11 – Welfare Services in Hong Kong
Different Purposes of Intervention
  • Examples :
    • Preventive or Crisis Intervention
    • Center-based or Community-based
    • Integrated or Specialized Services
  • Booklets : 14 – Purposes of Intervention and Development of Services
Different Target Groups:
  • Examples :
    • Outreaching Social Work
    • Social Work in Integrated Family Service Centres
    • Medical Social Work
  • Booklets : 12 – Working in Different Professional Institutions
5. Concept of Social Security
Contributory Programmes
  • Old Age Protection
    • The Mandatory Provident Fund
    • Voluntary savings and insurance
Non-contributory Programmes
  • Provided by the Social Welfare Department
    • Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme
    • Social Security Allowance (SSA) Scheme
    • Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation (CLEIC) Scheme
    • Traffic Accident Victims Assistance (TAVA) Scheme
    • Emergency Relief
6. Development of Social Care in Hong Kong
Emergency Relief in a Community of Immigrants (Early Settlement to 1950s)
  • in the form of mutual help in the private sphere and was mostly taken up by voluntary agencies
Beginning of Social Assistance (1950s to 1960s)
  • Emergency Relief Fund Scheme
  • Overseas relief organisations
  • Social service was regarded as charity
Golden Decade of Welfare Development (1970s)
  • Means-tested public assistance scheme
  • Development of social services, especially the youth service
Challenges in the Development of Social Welfare (1980s’ to now)
  • Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme
  • Lump Sum Grant
7. Social Welfare Systems in Different Countries
Market-oriented countries
  • Rationale
    • Individual needs should be satisfied by the private market and family. Only when these break down should social welfare institutions come into play and then only temporarily.
  • Policy objectives
    • To minimize government intervention and dependence on welfare
  • Feature of service provision
    • The funding of social security is from the tax on the employers of enterprises and business
    • Company and private insurances are important parts
  • Example : USA
Welfare states
  • Rationale
    • Social welfare is an integrated institution in the society and the provision is based on individual needs
  • Policy objectives
    • To provide universal services for all people
    • To achieve resources reallocation
  • Feature of service provision
    • Universal coverage
    • Benefits from National insurance to protect an individual from birth to death
  • Example : UK

Latest Update: October 2019


Assessing my learning

  • What is social care?
  • How do the social security and social welfare in Hong Kong cater for the needs of vulnerable groups?
  • What should be the roles of government and individuals in the provision of social welfare?