QuestionOpen the above link to the Australian Government Department of Social Services website.
i) Critically analyse the theoretical and ideological underpinnings of the policy approach taken by the Australian Government in relation to one area of social responsibility.
ii) Develop a framework that would support the various points of intervention available to a human services worker for influencing the outcomes for the specific target group.
iii) Identify the theoretical underpinnings of your approach to influencing social policy as this relates to your profession and outcomes for disadvantaged populations.
The Department of Social Security has been established on 18 September 2013 through the Administrative Arrangement Order to replace the main services, which were taken care by the earlier Department of Families, Housing, Community services and Indigenous affair or FaHCSIA. Exception of this transformation was applicable to Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination, which was taken care by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The main purpose of this department is to ensure implementation of national policies, programs refer to delivering a strong and fair society for all inhabitants of Australia, and the department is instrumental to develop and implement social policies in different aspects. The head office of this department is at Australian Capital Territory at Suburb of Greenway. This department is acting under the supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Social Services, presently the portfolio holder as Finn Pratt, who is reporting to the Minister for Social Services and Minister for Major Projects, Territories, and the Local Government. Assistant Minster for Disability Services and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs assist those Ministers in charge of the department (Naa, 2013).
The vision of the department is to fulfill the dream to prove as pre-eminent social policy agency of Australia. The mission of the department is to ensure improvement of the lifetime wellbeing of the people of Australia with their families.
The values of the department is to provide efficient service through broad spectrum Australian Public Service or APS through the proper guidance of the authorities, colleagues and stakeholders though impartial deliverance, commitment to service, accountability, respectfulness, and ethical way of work for the target audience of disadvantageous people of Australia (Docreader, 2015).
The areas of activities of the department are appended below as per the domains of preference:
- Families and children
- Housing support
- Senior citizen
- Communities and vulnerable people
- Disability and cares
- Safety of women
- Mental health
- Welfare reforms
- Maintenance of Rational balance between rights and the responsibilities in society of individual and community;
- Relationship between male, female and the nature of the family;
- The positive and negative sides of the market economy;
- The importance of democracy through its process and participation by the people(Chenoweth, 2007).
- Inherent relationship between the nature and human civilization;
- The properties and the importance of cultural, religious, ethnic, and national identities and differences (Fenna 2004:42).
- Financial inabilities
- Physical inabilities
- Mental disabilities
Out of these areas I have to select one area on which I will continue my discussion. As Australia has high number of immigrants introduced in the population, multiculturalism is proving to be the area of much importance regarding social security. Immigrants come to Australia for different reasons like education, tourism, or employment. With their different cultural background and ethnicity, they are facing problems in their living at Australia. There are different issues arising out of this aspect like social living style, food habits, religion, and above all social value of the community, which comes in Australia for their purposes. These factors raise the question of social security for the immigrants. Hence, I would like to select multiculturalism as my core area of discussion regarding the identification of ideological and theoretical underpinning of the policy approach with the framework table development and the theoretical underpinning of this approach for the target audience of disadvantaged population (Dss, 2017).
Ideological and Theoretical underpinning of the policy- Multicultural affairs
Multicultural affair is such affair, which is getting importance with people of different culture living together in a society. Multiculturalism is generated through different ethnicity with different life style and culture and this has the possibility of creating conflict. This affair generates huge type of conflict with subsequent debates before related to welcoming the foreign immigrants in any country. As foreign immigrants generate good amount of foreign currency through their appearance with increased level of government revenue in different sectors of industries, multiculturalism is to be handled with delicate and proper care to ensure that foreign immigrants feel homely at Australia. Multicultural affair is generated through people of different culture, which normally happens when there is the chance of high level of immigration in such country with different culture of living style, religion, and social values. It is obvious that the majorities are not ready to accept those people who are intruding in their country with different ethnicity and culture. It is the duty of Australian government to provide highest level of social security through governmental policy so that they can feel at home with comfort zone for their livelihood. The Department of Social Securities or DSS has prioritized this affair as one of their key areas of prioritization to ensure that eh people from other countries coming as the immigrant should feel that Australia is a good place to stay with ensured level of social security as enhanced by the government (Dss, 2017).
Ideology generally stands for a set of ideas or beliefs, which have the ability to underpin a social, political, and economic system of any country. An Ideology is a globally accepted view, which endorses the concept by any individual, or any group in order to interpret the same in the way matters are with the suggestion for betterment of the matter should be. Ideology is instrumental to guide political action, which can provide the ideology to be believed with the objectives to be accomplished and with the intention to fight for it (Adams 1990:6). Ideology mainly relates to and concerns with the constitution of justice in society with the micro impact on the individuals and the macro impact of the community by the role of the respective government and with the enforcement of legitimate collective action prioritizing the importance of public ownership. Different perspectives of ideology attract prescription of different policies on the main issues, which includes:
These aspects are debatable so far the role of the government of the state is considered with additional of legitimate dynamism in the field of policy studies over time while every main ideological perspective are discussed on the role of the state in respect of influence.
So far, the studies conclude on the ideologies, there are different types of ideologies playing vital role in the social security service of Australia in different areas. Multicultural affairs are also no exception. Current years are observing increased level of attention prioritized to the economic globalization issue with its impact on the policy of Australia. Although there are intensified disagreements over the exact meaning of the term globalization, but this term carries a good amount of importance in the economic aspect and that feature cannot be ignored and should be understood as one of the basic risks in contemporary public policy. These globalised economic forces are strengthening through different tools like technological change, neo-liberal ideology of economics, which forces to attain high level of profitability with bigger economic power. Economic integration is carrying high level of importance beyond the state boundaries and this can be instrumental for bringing a specific range of social and cultural integration even if it has variable type of impacts in different areas (Deeming & Smyth, 2015).
The ideologies underpinning the multicultural affair for social security are governed with globalised thoughts of making the world livable for one and for all irrespective of the nature of the individual so far their originality is concerned. The ideologies sponsor the thought to accommodate people from other country and make the country suitable for them so far their social security is concerned (Maddison, 2015).
Theories to make public policy are mainly depending upon the practical aspects of Australian policy practice. To prove one as an effective policy worker, one should possess both theoretical and practical knowledge and respective recognition of the diverse approaches towards formulation of policies with required analysis by other practitioners. The mode of approach will differ as per the role of the applicator. A worker from public sector policy will have different approach towards policy analysis, which will not match that of a researcher who is deploying for community service. Theoretical aspect can emphasize on the fundamental of any policy analysis as per the needs of the analyst. Theories are demanding different factors like- A) ontological assumptions, B) epistemological assumption, and C) methodological assumption (Horsell, 2006).
Normally the policy formation is depending upon the theory construction of deductive inductive method of analysis, which is depending upon Individual Rational choice theories, Sociological individualism or welfare economics, collectivity class analysis and others.
To consider the cause of theories of policy to be focused on group or the collective is endorsing the concept of social grouping with network and coalition across society. They are connected with the policy sector, which can determine the policy (John 2006: 12 and Rhodes 2006 for 4 models and theory for understanding policy 95 – an overview of the field of network analysis). It is often observed that groups and sub-groups are in the habit of developing shared policy preferences with the methods for safeguarding their interest with representation of the same throughout the process of the policy (Considine 1994: 104). Howlett and Ramesh had evolved typology which endorses the two most influential theories namely class analysis and pluralism. Class analysis is putting importance on the prioritization of influence and power within the esteem group or economic class of people. This social status is maintained through the process of holding political or bureaucratic chairs with the feature of dominance by that class to fetch the favor of interest (Tantivess & Walt, 2008).
For the theoretical underpinning of the social policy related to multicultural affair, globalization plays a vital role, which endorses the free world concept for the immigrants. As a responsible government, Australia is ready to the provide social security to the immigrants for their socials security to endorse the theory of pluralism. This is the underpinning factor for the social security service towards the multicultural affair as they immigrants of other ethnicity are forming a group, which deserves the social security by the government of Australia, and the government has specific plan to facilitate this service to them (Maddison, 2015).
Developmental framework for execution of social policy
For developing a framework for the selected field of social service, we have to identify the target audience for this service. This is the basic feature to prove anyone as professional to identify the influencing factors to facilitate the people of disadvantageous population to extend best possible solution for them when they need it. The normal target audiences are the immigrants who are coming to Australia for the purpose of high level of education or for the purpose of employment. Due to their different ethnicity, religious and cultural background, they often found themselves isolated with threat of social security. For some incidents happened in near last, the threat with subsequent feeling scared is obvious. To protect them from such threat, the Department of Social Services of Australia through their standard procedure of service extends social services.
To extend social service, first the identification of the nature of target audience is to be done. As it is not a general problem for all of the immigrants, the target audience are they who are facing threat of micro or meso category. Hence, the framework is to be developed in such way that the purpose of this service is rightly met (Flatau, Zaretzky, Adams, Horton, & Smith, 2015).
Micro and meso target audience:
The required framework for the target audience under this category needs to be framed with the standard practice of social service. First part of this action is intervention of the practitioners. Australian Association of Social Worker or AASW has the panel of professional practitioners who extends their service in different level of social service needed with proper identification of affected individual. We have to find out the proper professional of social service from the available list of AASW. Then the process of advocating will start with proper quest for necessary level of help required for the target audience. The timing of the social service will be ongoing process as the happening of threat to multicultural affair happens often and when such happening will occur, the action should start immediately. Professional consideration of micro target audience affected through violence or threat to multicultural target audience is to be handled by the law enforced in Australia for which intervention of professional lawyer is needed on urgent basis. Requirement to support the justification against the unlawful happening against immigrants are to be supported by case laws of domestic and international references (Aasw, 2017). The framework for micro target audience is thus formed as:
Action of Practitioner=> Timing=> Professional consideration=> Practice intervention
With the above discussion about identification of influential factors and subsequent formation of proper framework, the system will enable the social service provider to proceed in systematic manner. The provision extended by Department of Social Service of Australia has strong infrastructural network with direct involvement of the government officials and respective commitment to provide social services for the vulnerable people related to multiculturalism and its odd effect coming upon them.
Theoretical underpinnings of approach to influence social policy
My professional as a social worker needs knowledge of theoretical underpinnings of approach to facilitate the disadvantageous population occurred from multiculturalism. Theoretical approach is mainly based on two different models- individualistic and collective. As my profession demands to look after the interest of the disadvantageous population, I have to honor the basic requirement of theoretical approach, which can highlight the requirement of the target audience. Theoretical underpinnings of the approaches would directly relate to the need of the target audience and to find the possible resources to meet their requirements with radical view of generalization. It is often found that the disadvantageous population is seeking help due to their inabilities to sustain in the standard life for various reasons. They are:
Different theoretical underpinnings of approach are essential for professional success in implementation of social policies to facilitate the target audience of disadvantageous population as per their inabilities.
Theoretical underpinnings of approach related to this segment are depending upon the collective model, which is based on pluralism. As the profession demands implementation of social policy for a specific group of people, it is the basic theoretical approach to identify the target audience of affected immigrant community. Identification is done through the survey and the statistical data analysis of the community, which can help finding out the real needy population with the specification of disadvantageous nature. Theoretical underpinnings are instrumental for this identification process through the benchmark set by the government. As it is collective group of people from overseas, critical analysis of the degree of disadvantage is to be identified by me to extend proper respective support to them. Social policy is made for the people in need and it is the duty of the executor to ensure that proper service should reach proper individual as per the merit of the case. As it is very sensitive issue regarding the population of foreign countries, any type of incident featured to hamper their identity are to be taken to the international level and in turn it can hamper the image of the country in global aspect.
Theoretical approach is also required to investigate about the level of disadvantage the population is suffering from. If it is financial disadvantage, then proper reason is to be identified to enhance the scope of service to the target audience. There is basic parameter of price index, which can help me for deriving that factor. Based on the benchmark set by the government for individual to sustain with their living, the identification of individual need with proper justification is required. This situation demands the need of theoretical approach. In case of physical inabilities, proper reason is to be identified with the level of assistance they require to overcome this problem, for this purpose theoretical underpinning of approach is determining the significance of the situation. Accordingly, the assistance is to be extended to the disadvantageous population in such form, which can provide them better life with sustainability. For mental inabilities, the theoretical underpinning of approach can influence the success of my profession by investigating about the level of mental disabilities with the theoretical approach to make them feel good with the level of treatments they need (Aasw, 2017).
The Department of Social Service of Australia is extending different level of services for different categories of identified target audience. In this article, I have emphasized on the field of multicultural affairs to find out the ideological and theoretical underpinnings of approach in order to ensure the success of this policy. Moreover, a framework table had been featured in the article to ensure how the execution of policy is being done in Australia with the different level of intervention for the success of that policy related to social service. In the ultimate part of the discussion, role of theoretical underpinning of approach for an individual is highlighted to influence the success of the policy for the disadvantageous population. The Australian government is working with their long and short-term objectives in the respective fields for social service by making appropriate policy under the overall supervision of the authority. The success of these policies are derived through the level of service extended to the needy population, as it is a continuous process and the success can be identified only after reasonable time frame, as fixed by the department for assessment.
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