The Story of Community Welfare
From “Kazenoko Letter” No.407 - December 2011

 Our country’s social welfare has developed rapidly since WWII. It was mainly the case that people who were not normal were put in institutions especially prepared for them.

 For example, elderly people are admitted into a nursing home. If people have disabilities, they are placed in a residential care institution. If a child’s parents divorce and can’t take care of the child, they are put in a nursing home. There are many institutions of this kind, and these are thought of as social welfare.

 Eventually, they were separated from their family and community, and protected by being kept away. Therefore, only healthy people can live in the community and people who have problems are moved away to live in other places. But most of them probably do not desire to live in an institution. They were probably separated from their kind family, left a familiar area, and went to live there in tears. Such situations still occur now.

 If we call forcing an individual to live with emotional difficulty social welfare, what on earth is social welfare?

 At present, the state of social welfare is being reconsidered, and it has been changing from living in an institution to living in the community. Such situations are already common in North Europe. It will be normal to live in the community in Japan too, eventually.

 Currently the necessity of community welfare is being shouted in all sorts of places, and many of these voices include these kinds of opinions. How we can build cooperative feelings within the family and the community will be called into question.

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