Thursday, 12 December 2013

Functions and Scope of Social Welfare Administration

Functions and Scope of Social Welfare Administration
Social welfare Administration, like any other administration (Government / business) requires
clear objectives and policies and an efficient organizational structure with precise staff
organization, sound methods of selection, recruitment and promotion of personnel, decent
working conditions, and fiscal accounting and control to guarantee for responsible management.
Nevertheless, there are important differences between social service administration and other
types of government administration.
Social Welfare administration requires.
Ø Faith in the Philosophy and methods of Social Welfare
Ø Knowledge about social legislation
Ø Familiarity with social work practice.
Functions of Social welfare Administrators/Agencies.
Rosemary Sarri, Warham, and Kidneigh identified various functions to be performed by the
executives of Social Welfare agencies.
According to Warham, Social Welfare administrators are supposed to perform the following
1. Formulating the Agency’s objectives
2. The Provision of a Formal structure
3. The promotion of co-operative Efforts
4. Finding and Deploying Resources
5. Supervision and Evaluation
John Kidneigh classified the functions of Social Welfare administration under two headings, i.e.
Enterprise Determination and Enterprise Execution.
Enterprise Determination Enterprise Execution
Fact finding Setting up organizational
Analysis of social conditions and services to
meet human needs.
Staffing the Agency
Decisions on the best ways of reaching the
Supervising and controlling personnel and
Planning and allocating resources Recording and Accounting
Supplying financial resources.
Rose Mary Sarri listed out the following functions.
Institutional level (Higher level)
Ø Deciding about the problem to be addressed
Ø Establishment of the organizational domain
Ø Determination of organizational boundaries
Ø Management of organization-environment relations
Ø Reporting and interpretation to the community
Ø Development of a particular public image
Managerial level (Middle level)
Ø Mediation between clients and professionals
Ø Procurement and allocation of resources
Ø Direction and co-ordination of the staff.
Ø Overall recruitment, selection, training & supervision
Technical level (Lower level)
Ø Performing technical activities like counseling referral, teaching, provision of material
Ø Selecting/experimenting viable technologies to attain organizational goals
Ø Continuous staff development.
Technical level (Lower level)
* Performing technical activities like counselling
referral,teaching, provision of material resources
* Selecting/experimenting viable technologies to
attain organisational goals
*Continuous staff development.
Managerial level (Middle level)
* Mediation between clients and professionals
* Procurement and allocation of resources
* Direction and co-ordination of the staff.
* Overall recruitment, selection, training & supervision
Institutional level (Higher level)
*Deciding about the problem to be addressed
* Establishment of the organisational domain
* Determination of organisational boundaries
* Management of organisation-environment relations
* Reporting and interpretation to the community
* Development of a particular public image
Rosemary Sarri/Dunham listed out the following activities of Social Welfare Administration.
1. Translation of Social mandates into operational policies and goals to guide organizational
2. Design of organizational structures and processes through which the goals can be achieved.
3. Securing of resources in the form of materials staff, clients and social legitimation necessary
for goal attainment and organizational survival.
4. Selection and engineering of the necessary technology
5. Optimizing organizational behavior directed toward increased effectiveness and efficiency
6. Evaluation of organizational performance to facilitate systematic and continuous problem
Personality Requirements of a Social Welfare Executive
Personality means the distinguishing traits and characteristics behavior of a person; the sum total
of a person’s somatic, mental, emotional and social traits; An executives personality is the
outcome of his knowledge/understanding, his attitude his skills and actions
Skills All these four constitute personality
Attitudes are predispositions to act and are intertwined with the feelings of people, which are
essential to build satisfactory relationship with staff and community. Significant attitudes that
are necessary for an executive to be successful are given below (Skidmore)
Ø Genuine respect for each staff member as an unique individual
Ø Recognize that no person is perfect and accepts this premise regarding staff and self
Knowledge required for an executive:
Adequate knowledge of administration is essential for an executive to be effective. Following
are the brief descriptions of some of the salient areas of knowledge. (Trecker, Skidmore)
Ø Knowledge of self and meaning of being and executive feeling about authority and
Ø Adequate knowledge of the agency’s goals polices services and resources.
Ø Basic knowledge of the dynamics of human behavior
1. Understanding of the individuals who make up the agency, their needs, abilities and
2. Understanding of how the individual receives basic satisfaction from his work, how to
provide recognition for genuine accomplishment.
Ø Comprehensive knowledge of community resources especially those related to the agency.
Ø Knowledge of organizational theory/ Group dynamics
1. Understanding of groups, i.e. board, staff, constituency, how they define their function
and approach to their work.
2. Understanding of kinds of help the group need in doing its work; how group asks for
and accepts help
3. Understanding of how the group relates and work with other groups in the agency
and in the community
Ø Adequate understanding about the social work methods used in the agency.
Ø Acquaintance with the professional associations in social work/welfare.
Ø Adequate knowledge of evaluation process and techniques.
Ø Willingness to provide a physical setting and emotional climate that will help bring out the
best in each staff member
Ø Respect for values
Ø Being open and receptive to new ideas and facts
Ø Recognize that the welfare of the agency is of more importance than any worker, including
Skills required for an executive:
Skill means expertness or mastering over certain activities, which give a sense of
accomplishment, and lends color to the personality. An executive is expected to have the
following skills
Ø Skill in selection of the staff
Ø Skill in defining purposes and objectives of the agency
Ø Skill in helping the staff organize for effective work
Ø Skill in developing a work methodology
Ø Skill in helping individual members.
An executive’s knowledge, attitude and skills are automatically expressed in the form of
following activities.
Accepting, caring, creating, democratizing, trusting, approving, maintaining equilibrium,
planning, organizing, prioritizing, delegating, interacting with community and professional
persons, decision making, facilitating, communicating, building and motivating.