Introductionsocial welfare or public charity, organized provision of educational, cultural, medical, and financial assistance to the needy. Modern social welfare measures may include any of the following: the care of destitute adults; the treatment of the mentally ill; the rehabilitation of criminals; the care of destitute, neglected, and delinquent children; the care and relief of the sick or handicapped; the care and relief of needy families; and supervisory, educational, and constructive activity, especially for the young.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sociology: General Terms and Concepts