Today the key elements of the "modern welfare state" are understood as being:.
private rented and local authority housing, problem estates, owner occupation).
-Education ( e. g. control of standards of education - Ofsted-, free education.).
-Personal social services (e. g. community care, child care.).
These elements, which are considered the pillars of social policy, were all part of a story of progress. It took a long time until the state was involved in what we nowadays call "welfare state". Many historic events and complex socio-historic backgrounds influenced Britain's social policy. This essay can only give a brief overview of the "major milestones" in the history of the welfare state and tries to highlight crucial developments and the most important reforms.
Welfare and ist early beginnings.
Before the 16th century welfare was delivered collectively and free of the state. For example, in medieval times welfare was completely church based. The poor, the sick, and the elderly found comfort in churches and cloisters -if they were lucky enough and if the monastries themselves were not poor and destitute.
With the decline of the monastries and their dissolution in 1536, together with the breakdown of the medieval social structure, charity for the poor gradually moved from its traditional voluntary framework to become a compulsory tax-administered at the parish level.
The first crucial step towards the welfare state were the so-called Poor Laws.
3. The Poor Laws.
3.1. The Old Poor Law:.
In 1598 Queen Elizabeth introduced "The Act For The Reliefe Of The Poore" and required every parish to appoint "Overseers of the Poor" whose responsibility it was to find work for the unemployed and to set up parish-houses for those incapable of supporting themselves. .
Three years later there was a refinement of the 1598 Act, which obliged every parish to relieve the aged and helpless, to bring up unprotected children in habits of industry, and to provide work for those capable of it but who were lacking their usual trade.