- no.16, pp.21-35, 2006-09-30
The focus of social welfare has recently shifted from welfare to workfare, and the term "independence" has become common in the social welfare field. More particularly, welfare policies for poor working people emphasized the achievement of independence through job programs. Job programs are not new to the social welfare field. Various methods are used to integrate job programs with welfare policies. This paper categorized adoption of job programs in welfare policies into three models: the substitution model, the addition model and the exclusion model. In the substitution model, job programs are seen as substitution to income supports and/or welfare services, while the addition model sees job programs as addition to income supports and/or welfare services as needed. The exclusion model assumes un-employability, thus, according to the model, a job program is not applied to those incapable to work, i.e. the elderly and the disabled, but income supports or social services are provided to them instead. In Japan before WW2, the Kyugo-ho (Poor Relief Law enforced between 1932 and 1946) was the typical implementation of the exclusion model. The Seikatuhogo-ho (Daily Life Security Law, 1950) first focused on balance between job programs and welfare benefits. The law became to exclude those capable to work and to target mainly the elderly and disabled, thus, job programs under the law hardly functioned. Since the late 1990s, some local governments have developed job programs for homeless people under the pretext of "independent living support". The national government enshrined these programs into 10-year provisional act, the Homeless Act based on efforts of local governments. The Homeless Act is to be applied before a person receives social assistance and is intended to first attempt to include the person in society through paid work. This program demonstrates substitution to the conventional model. Experiences in Tokyo suggest a number of difficulties in homeless policies associated with job programs (the substitute model). First, there is a limitation in the public sector to promote jobs as substitution of welfare. It should be noted that the job programs helped the homeless to return to the labor market by bridging employment with welfare. However, the public institutions can only encourage expansion of employment, but they can not expand employment itself. Second, the programs rates people according to their employability, and as a result, some people are excluded from the programs. Third, people excluded from the programs are stigmatized as people who have failed to become independent, and as a result of this stigmatization they may be undervalued. The contradictions of these programs led to the establishment of a new program in Tokyo known as "inclusion through housing". Yet this program also has its limitations; its services only include introduction of temporary jobs but exclude income supports. In 2005, new job programs were introduced to the Seikatsuhogo-ho and the childcare allowance to single-mother households. Unlike the job programs for the homeless, the introduction can be seen as the additional model (addition to income supports). Although this paper is not in the position to judge whether the additional model is successful, it should be noted that it is important to give job programs to cover all poor working people without reducing income supports to them.