Personal Social Services – 2001-2002
Author: Yaakov Kop Policy Research

Greater equity and justice in the allocation of services depends largely on two factors: first, comprehensive government involvement in shaping and allocating social services; and second, the existence of legislative infrastructure that defines clearly the extent and range of the services to be supplied and determines eligibility for them.

It was in the spirit of these principles that the Welfare State model emerged in many Western countries after World War II. It strove to provide a fitting solution to a broad spectrum of social problems and needs and to create a more egalitarian, socially just society. This model was based on two main principles that were perceived as essential: first, centralized planning, funding, and provision of social services; and second, broad social legislation. It was assumed that these elements would ensure the allocation and provision of essential social services to populations on a just and equitable basis.

This chapter surveys the range of personal social services provided and analyzes the degree of equality in these services, in light of the extent of centralization and decentralization of these services and their legal infrastructure. Section 2 surveys the main services provided to various populations by the public system of personal social services and their development in recent years. Section 3 analyzes the main features of the structure and service patterns of this system, decentralization, centralization and legislation. Section 4 focuses on equity in the allocation of personal social services to populations in need. The final section sums up the survey and presents the main conclusions to be drawn from the data.

This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2001-2002, Yaakov Kop (editor).

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