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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The regional administration of public welfare in British Columbia Hill, Ernest David

Abstract

This thesis examines public welfare administration in British Columbia. An historical review reveals the beginnings of the present administration as a number of "bits and pieces" of welfare legislation which were gradually co-ordinated over a period of fifty years. The present operations of the administration are examined in general, but focus is taken particularly on headquarters relationships with field units or regions. These are discussed and evaluated in the light of current administrative principles and against the background of difficult terrain and isolated regions common to the province. Delegations of authority from headquarters to the field receive special attention. The greater part of the material for the thesis was obtained by direct interview with provincial officials. With considerable reference to theory the information was then subjected to critical analysis. It was found that the public welfare organization had achieved: (a) A unified administration of technically good design, (b) A plan for headquarters field-relationship suitable to provincial terrain, (c) A partial implementation of the plan. Several unsolved problems prevented fuller use of the plan: (a) Lack of agreement among all elements of the administration regarding the decentralization. (b) Scarcity of personnel professionally trained in social work. (c) Cumbersome provincial-municipal relationships in regard to public welfare. These problems point to still existing needs: (a) A redefinition of administrative objectives acceptable to all elements. (b) A greater supply of professionally trained personnel. (c) Increased standards of treatment and supervision in the field.

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