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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2011): Social security - overseas

Professionals without a profession? Redesigning case management in Dutch local welfare agencies

R. van Berkel, P. van der Aa and N. van Gestel

European Journal of Social Work, vol.13, 2010, p. 447-463

Over the past decades the role of social security systems has changed from delivery of benefits to passive claimants to being 'stepping stones' to employment. This article explores the impact of the implementation of active labour market policies on the discretionary room available to frontline workers, focusing on local welfare agencies in the Netherlands, which are responsible for the administration of social assistance and the activation of recipients. It is argued that the discretion available to frontline workers involved in the activation of claimants has increased significantly. There is a shift from a bureaucratic towards a more professional treatment of frontline workers, combined with attempts to introduce a more performance-oriented style of management.

Protecting capability, eradicating poverty: Chile Solidario and the future of social protection

A. Barrientos

Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, vol. 11, 2010, p. 579-593

Social protection has emerged as a strong policy framework addressing poverty in developing countries. Research on social protection has focused on the relative efficiency of interventions, but has not paid sufficient attention to conceptual and ethical foundations. This paper aims to draw attention to the significance of these fundamentals, by arguing that the capability approach can provide a firm basis for social protection, and examining this argument in the context of Chile Solidario. Chile Solidario was introduced in 2002 with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty in Chile. It provides intensive support to the 225,000 poorest households in Chile along seven dimensions of well-being: education, health, income, employment, household dynamics, housing and registration.

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