Models of Social Policy

Model A: Residual Welfare Model of Social Policy

This formulation is closely related to the laissez-faire position. With concomitant social changes that have accompanied industrialization and urbanization, there emerged a grudging recognition that under rather exceptional circumstances, malfunctions of the market or of the family may necessitate some temporary supplement to social provisions. From the angle of policy, however, this approach perceives the family and the market as the only instruments for meeting human needs. There is an emphasis on “means-testing” and less eligibility”. Selectivity is inherent in such a policy frame and only the poor who qualify means test are selected for benefits.

Model B: Industrial Achievement- Performance Model of Social Policy

This incorporates a significant role for social welfare institutions. It holds that social needs should be met on the basis of merit, work performance, and productivity. It is derived from various economic and psychological theories concerned with incentives, efforts, rewards, and the formation of class and group loyalties.

Model C: Institutional Redistributive Model of Social Policy

This envisages built-in institutional social provision to overcome the stresses of modern complex industrial-urban life. This model sees social welfare as a major integrated institution in society, providing Universalist services outside the market on the principle of need. It is basically a model incorporating systems of redistribution in command-over-resources-through-time.

The modern concept of social policy is inextricably bound with social justice. Mere equalization of opportunities in an inequalitarian socio-economic system reduces social justice to absurdity. Thus, in the modern concept of social policy, concepts of positive discrimination and equity find a prominent place. India follows this model while envisaging social policies.

These three models are, of course, only very broad approximations of the theories and ideas of economists, philosophers, political scientists, and sociologists. Many variants could be developed of a more sophisticated kind.

Additional Notes

Social policy refers to the guidelines, principles, and strategies implemented by governments and other institutions to address social issues, promote social well-being, and reduce social inequalities. Various models of social policy have been developed over the years to guide the design and implementation of social programs. These models reflect different philosophical approaches and priorities. Here are some of the common models of social policy:

1.      Residual Model:

The residual model of social policy assumes that the primary responsibility for addressing social issues rests with individuals, families, and communities. Government intervention is minimal and only occurs when private efforts fail. This model is often associated with a “safety net” approach, providing assistance to those who are unable to meet their basic needs.

2.      Institutional Model:

The institutional model emphasizes the role of government and public institutions in providing a comprehensive range of social services, such as healthcare, education, and social welfare. It views social services as essential components of a well-functioning society and seeks to ensure universal access to these services.

3.      Developmental Model:

The developmental model focuses on policies that aim to foster economic growth and development as a means to improve social well-being. It emphasizes investments in education, infrastructure, and economic development as key tools for poverty reduction and social advancement.

4.      Resettlement Model:

The resettlement model addresses social issues by resettling individuals or groups who are experiencing social problems. It often involves relocation, rehabilitation, or reintegration efforts to improve the well-being of marginalized populations, such as refugees or people experiencing homelessness.

5.      Redistributive Model:

The redistributive model aims to reduce social inequalities by redistributing wealth and resources through taxation and social programs. It seeks to narrow the income gap and provide assistance to those in need through progressive taxation, welfare programs, and other wealth distribution mechanisms.

6.      Empowerment Model:

The empowerment model focuses on empowering individuals and communities to actively participate in their own well-being and development. It promotes policies and programs that encourage self-reliance, capacity building, and community engagement.

7.      Market-Based Model:

The market-based model relies on market forces and private sector involvement to address social issues. It encourages competition and private entrepreneurship in delivering social services and tends to emphasize efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

8.      Universalist Model:

The universalist model advocates for the provision of social services and benefits to all citizens as a matter of right, regardless of their income, wealth, or social status. It seeks to create a more inclusive and equitable society by ensuring that everyone has access to essential services.

9.      Targeted Model:

The targeted model focuses on providing social assistance to specific groups or individuals who are considered the most vulnerable or in need of support. This approach aims to concentrate resources on those with the greatest needs.

10.  Rights-Based Model:

The rights-based model views access to social services as a fundamental human right and places a strong emphasis on legal and ethical frameworks that protect these rights. It often draws from international human rights standards and seeks to ensure equal access to services for all.

It’s important to note that many countries use a combination of these models and adapt their social policies to their specific societal needs and political ideologies. Additionally, social policy models can evolve over time in response to changing economic, social, and political conditions.

Your Feedback