Family welfare programme

In old days, due to the joint family system and caste solidarity the need for seeking guidance in intimate family matter from people outside the family or caste group did not often arise. Even if such necessity arose, the people sought the advice of friends, priests or senior members of their community. The disintegration of the families was also not to the extent as it is today, particularly in the cities.

The individual in the family was used to merging his individuality in the family group to carry out the dictates of its head but with the breakup of the joint family system and various other factors which have increased conflicts in the families, the need of family welfare agencies has become imminent.

Family welfare service of the social agencies has the purpose of preserving healthy family life. The aim of family case worker is to assist the individuals in the family to develop their capacities to lead personally satisfying and socially useful lives in the family unit.

Family is by far the most important group in society. Family is the basic unit in which individuals receive most of their personal sati factions and in which personality of the child is formed. It is within the family that the spouses get regular sex satisfaction and children are nurtured. Family provides food, clothing, shelter and education to its member.

In illness or pregnancy, during child birth, the family renders care, it is the center of warm affection among its members as long as normal, healthy condition prevails but because of certain economic, social and political changes, the conflict in the modern family has increased.

There may be:

(1) Lack of harmony between husband and wife or there may be emotional instability of either.

(2)There may be economic problems caused by failure of good home management or small income. The economic problems may also arise due to unemployment, sickness, accidents, ill-health, lack of support or desertion of the bread – winner.

(3) Problems may be in relation to children, sometimes leading to neglect or cruelty, delinquency or their other maladjustment’s

(4) The problems of role conflict of the mother

(5) There may be housing problems etc.

These personal and family difficulties are usually caused due to combination of social, economic and emotional factors. Therefore the need of family welfare agency is required to improve the difficult family situations by enabling the members of the family to understand the reason for their difficulties and the need for changing their emotional reactions and behaviour. Changes in the environment or economic condition in which the family lives, may also help to improve relationships between its members.

The social worker with sound knowledge of case work has an important role in improving the relationship within the family. The progress in psychology psychiatry as well as natural sciences enables the case worker to recognize difficulties in family life and to find ways of solution. However social work is not the only source which attempts to help in such difficulties other professional aid by the psychiatrist the physician, the priest or the nurse might be effective but social case work of family welfare agency remains one of the most important ways of helping to straighten the family problems.

The workers of family welfare agency attempts to help in the solution of personal problems and the emotional maladjustment of family members by counselling in health, education and adjustment questions to overcome disturbance to normal, healthy family living.

Counselling may include advice on family budget and house management and on vocational opportunities by reference to employment services and occupational guidance centres, sometimes family case work includes premarital counselling to prevent marital disturbances helping, the couple to better mutual understanding satisfaction with of adjustment in different difficult situation. Family welfare agency can also refer cases to the public assistance agency for financial support if agency itself cannot render any assistance.

The person may come to the agency on their own initiative or reference by other social agencies. Although a majority of the family welfare agencies provide their services to the clients without charges and are supported entirely by public charities, some family service agencies offer their services on a graduated scale so that the client pays a fee according to his financial ability. In a few large cities, some individual social workers carry on such activities indecently without having any connection with a social agency, sometimes under the title of “personal relations counsellor”.

Family welfare agencies may provide special housing units or apartment projects equipped with easy housekeeping facilities and arrangements for collective use of kitchens, laundries, living rooms libraries or music room for old people besides, it also provide medical and nursing supervision and special recreational centres for older citizens.

Family welfare agencies also develop placement services in private families and supervise boarding homes for old people, who either pay the monthly board themselves or receive aid from relatives, public assistance or the family agency. The workers of family welfare agency assist older people in finding convalescent and nursing homes, sometimes supplementing private resources or old age assistance payments in order to secure the adequate medical and nursing care.

‘Home maker’ or ‘house keeper’ services are also provided by family welfare agencies to such families in which, due to the absence or sickness of the mother, no adult female member of the family nor any relatives nor friends are able to care for the children and working father. In such cases, the children have the advantage of remaining with their father in their own homes with little change in their rhythm of life. Homemaker are carefully selected and trained in advance by social agencies which provide this type of service.