Drawing attention to the needs of disadvantaged groups, Premier Lin Chuan today said that developmental social work not only provides individuals with social welfare services, but also seeks to enhance their capabilities and protect rights through organizational and community resources. Expanding efforts from the individual to the organizational level will bring positive change to society, he added.
Speaking at the 2016 International Conference on Developmental Social Work, the premier said the Ministry of Health and Welfare is promoting a “10-year long-term care 2.0 plan” focused on community and neighborhood networks. The plan will build community-based long-term care systems that incorporate the concepts of public safety, education, mental health and job placement. Such systems are, in fact, a crucial part of development social work, Lin said.
Social welfare efforts currently face a multitude of challenges, including the social impact of globalization. The globalized economy may help narrow the gap between poor and rich countries, but within any individual country it inevitably widens the income gap and leaves more people disadvantaged. To address these issues, the government must have the right policies as well as the support and assistance of the private sector, the premier said.
Another challenge confronting Taiwan’s social structure and economic development is the advent of Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution. On one hand, intelligent technology will slash the need for workers and lead to unemployment issues, but on the other hand, it can provide smart services to help disadvantaged groups. The administration will come up with comprehensive solutions to meet needs at the individual level, Lin pledged.
The primary aims of social work are to safeguard fundamental human rights by fulfilling the individual’s basic living needs, and to maintain their dignity with equal rights for all, Lin said in closing. The government’s current task will be to work with social work experts and find ways to overcome each of these challenges.