Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Welfare reform broadly refers to the changes made to the funding and delivery of welfare services. Today, it usually refers to the reform of the welfare state. After World War II, the state became the dominant funder and provider of welfare services in places such as Britain. The experience of national collectivism during the war helped lay the foundation for an expansion of state intervention within welfare. State funding and provision was thought to be the best way of guaranteeing universal access to health and education, and this was embodied in institutions such as the National Health Service. Welfare reform is important because changes in the way that welfare is governed impact on individual well-being. Today, many observers believe that the welfare state is in need of reform. This arises for a variety of reasons. There are those who believe the welfare state is no longer feasible. For example, some ...