The origins and development of social service positions in Mauritius

Lingayah, Siramloo (1995) The origins and development of social service positions in Mauritius. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This is a 'client-oriented' study, initiated for the first
time in Mauritius in the area of research in social welfare,
aiming specifically at outdoor relief or residential institutions, and health services. It is postulated that the service--users are
the best judge of their needs. Thus, departing from the colonially inherited research methodologies and techniques by applying a down-up approach, 225 respondents, 25 from each of the 9 Districts in the island. were interviewed. using a combination of open-ended interview schedules, audio-tape,
observational techniques for data collection. Also
interviewed were some key senior and junior members of staff
from the relevant government departments, politicians, and
the ordinary folks. Covert and observational processes were
used in relation to some residential establishments and
the psychiatric hospital because of the problems of access.
The findings have shown that 98% of the recipients
experience physical difficulties and 40% of this figure also
have one or another form of mental illness. Other problems
encountered by them include inadequate income, loneliness,
alienation, the stigma attached to disabilities, and abuses
and violence of all forms, bureaucratic, racist, physical,
mental, verbal, and emotional, inflicted, in some cases,
deliberately by the carers, relatives, staff, and, in others', unconsciously. It was not an uncommon sight during
fieldwork to witness recipients being strapped to cots or
beds, locked out during the day, kept in specially built
tin sheds, hidden inside the house, transferred to remote
corners at the back of the house beyond the public's view,
or administered overdose of medication to exercise control.
Welfare support is principally confined to a pension much
below subsistence level and some health care. 81% of the
respondents receive these two services, but 19% of the
sample population receive no welfare support at all in spite of their disabilities and inability to support themselves. No
less than an average of 86% of the respondents are dissatisfied with both the quantity and quality of services received, whilst, in the context of residential care, there is an impression of gratitude for the services. With the industrialization of the country, there is a corrosive impact on informal support in the family and in the community, which is resulting in a growing dependency culture and increasing reliance on the Welfare state across the socio-economic spectrum. 91% of the sample population believe that the government has a constitutional and moral duty to provide welfare assistance in time of need, thereby confronting the Mauritian society with difficult and complex issues, requiring honest and experienced leadership and determined and pragmatic political will to resolve.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13418
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2015 14:23
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:19

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