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The department of Social Welfare (1984-1996): experiments with 'participation' in the delivery of statutory social services

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dc.contributor.author Ferguson, Lesley Robyn
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-12T21:20:52Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-30T20:54:04Z
dc.date.available 2011-09-12T21:20:52Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-30T20:54:04Z
dc.date.copyright 1997
dc.date.issued 1997
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/26180
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this thesis is to look at the New Zealand Department of Social Welfare from 1984 to 1996, focusing on experiments with 'participation', particularly those undertaken by the Department in the delivery of statutory social services, during the mid to late 1980s, namely: - the Social Welfare Commission and its District Executive Committees (DECs); Community Organization Grants Scheme (COGS); Maatua Whangai (foster care); and Welfare and Justice Policy for Children and Young Persons (culminating in the passage of the Children & Young Person & Their Families Act 1989). While an overall perspective of the Department of Social Welfare is provided, emphasis is given to the Children & Young Persons & Their Families Service (CYPFS) and of course its functional predecessors. The Department of Social Welfare is considered within a conceptual framework, that is, the participatory critique. Alternative 'radical' democratic theories are reviewed, namely, Benjamin Barber's 'Strong Democracy'; Amitai Etzioni's 'Communitarianism'; and Iris Young's 'Communicative Democracy'. The participatory critique is placed within the broad parameters of democratic theory to illustrate the differing notions of 'participation' in any democratic society. A sketch of the relevant institutional changes, within the context of a changing New Zealand society and welfare system since the Royal Commission on Social Security (1972), is also provided. Another important aspect of this thesis is the 'Maori Renaissance' which had a very significant impact on social service delivery. The questions discussed, however, in this thesis are not confined to the delivery of social service to Maori - the thesis is concerned with much wider issues. Firstly, it considers the relationship between a government department and 'the public', whether that be construed in the form of citizens, consumers, clients, or indeed through forms of political representation. Secondly, from another perspective, this thesis is concerned with more than simply how services are delivered; it considers how policies are formed in this area and the extent to which citizens have a voice. The research is based on a study of the official documentation reinforced by interviews with key players and personal observation, and tests and subsequently provides support for the view of Cody (1990), that during the period under review 'devolution' (as a manifestation) of participation was replaced by 'disengagement' and 'control'. This thesis also draws the conclusions that the 'participation' initiatives taken by the Department of Social Welfare, particularly those of the Social Welfare Commission and District Executive Committees, while espousing 'participatory' notions of 'powersharing' and 'devolution', never amounted to any complex form of devolution or powersharing. Instead, rather than 'strong' democratic values underpinning these structures, the values of the bureaucracy appeared to dominate. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title The department of Social Welfare (1984-1996): experiments with 'participation' in the delivery of statutory social services en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ


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