It is not your job to save everyone. Some people are not even ready to be helped. Focus on being of service to those who are, and be wise and humble enough to know when the best service you can offer is to guide them toward help in another direction.
Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare,[a] or refer specifically to social insurance programs, which provide support only to those who have previously contributed (e.g. most pension systems), as opposed to social assistance programs, which provide support on the basis of need alone (e.g. most disability benefits). The International Labour Organization defines social security as covering support for those in old age, support for the maintenance of children, medical treatment, parental and sick leave, unemployment and disability benefits, and support for sufferers of occupational injury.
In the Roman Empire, the first emperor Augustus provided the Cura Annonae or grain dole for citizens who could not afford to buy food every month. Social welfare was enlarged by the Emperor Trajan. Trajan's program brought acclaim from many, including Pliny the Younger. The Song dynasty government (960 CE) supported multiple programs which could be classified as social welfare, including the establishment of retirement homes, public clinics, and paupers' graveyards. According to economist Robert Henry Nelson, "The medieval Roman Catholic Church operated a far-reaching and comprehensive welfare system for the poor..."
In the Islamic world, Zakat (charity), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, have been collected by the government since the time of the Rashidun caliph Umar in the 7th century, and used to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled. According to the Islamic jurist Al-Ghazali (Algazel, 1058–111), the government was also expected to store up food supplies in every region in case a disaster or famine occurred. (See Bayt al-mal for further information.)
Likewise, in Jewish tradition, charity (represented by tzedakah) is a matter of religious obligation rather than benevolence. Contemporary charity is regarded as a continuation of the Biblical Maaser Ani, or poor-tithe, as well as Biblical practices, such as permitting the poor to glean the corners of a field and harvest during the Shmita (Sabbatical year).
There is relatively little statistical data on transfer payments before the High Middle Ages. In the medieval period and until the Industrial Revolution, the function of welfare payments in Europe was achieved through private giving or charity, through numerous confraternities and activities of different religious orders. Early welfare programs in Europe included the English Poor Law of 1601, which gave parishes the responsibility for providing welfare payments to the poor. This system was substantially modified by the 19th-century Poor Law Amendment Act, which introduced the system of workhouses.
It was predominantly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that an organized system of state welfare provision was introduced in many countries. Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany, introduced one of the first welfare systems for the working classes. In Great Britain the Liberal government of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and David Lloyd George introduced the National Insurance system in 1911, a system later expanded by Clement Attlee.
Modern welfare states include Germany, France, the Netherlands, as well as the Nordic countries, such as Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland which employ a system known as the Nordic model. Esping-Andersen classified the most developed welfare state systems into three categories; Social Democratic, Conservative, and Liberal.
A report published by the ILO in 2014 estimated that only 27% of the world's population has access to comprehensive social security. The World Bank's 2019 World Development Report argues that the traditional payroll-based model of many kinds of social insurance are "increasingly challenged by working arrangements outside standard employment contracts."
The welfare-to-work intervention programme is unlikely to have any impacts on the mental and physical health of lone parents and children. Even when the employment and income rates were higher in this group of people, the poverty rate was high which could lead to persistently high rates of depression whether they were in the programme or not.
Income transfers can be either conditional or unconditional. Conditionalities are sometimes criticized as being paternalistic and unnecessary.
A 2008 study by welfare economist and Brown University Professor Allan M. Feldman suggests that welfare can achieve both competitive equilibrium and Pareto efficiency in the market.
Some opponents of welfare argue that it affects work incentives.
According to a 2012 review study, whether a welfare program generates public support depends on:
whether the program is universal or targeted towards certain groups
the size of the social program benefits (larger benefits incentivize greater mobilization to defend a social program)
the visibility and traceability of the benefits (whether recipients know where the benefits come from)
the proximity and concentration of the beneficiaries (this affects the ease by which beneficiaries can organize to protect a social program)
the duration of the benefits (longer benefits incentivize greater mobilization to defend a social program)
the manner in which a program is administered (e.g. is the program inclusive, does it follow principles?)