Social welfare cannot really be bound by a solid definition. It has been used in varying ways by different people, depending on what it is that they want to cover.
According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), “social welfare generally denotes the full range of organized activities of voluntary and governmental agencies that seek to prevent, alleviate, or contribute to the solution of recognized social problems, or to improve the well-being of individuals, groups, or communities.”
At times, social welfare is used to refer to aspects of wellbeing material, like basic access to economic resources. Others use it to refer to less tangible conditions like happiness, contentment, the absence of any kind of threat, and confidence with regard to the future, more generally clubbed together under the term “quality of life”.
Social welfare can refer to individual welfare, but like its name implies, it is used on most occasions to refer to a collective form of wellbeing- like that of a community, or an entire nation.
Social policy researchers very often h…
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