The promise of faith‐based social services: Perception versus reality
ABSTRACT This article explores the tenets that support the history of faith‐based social services in the United States and highlights the role of faith‐based organizations, which have a long and respected tradition in service provision. These tenets are rooted in the religious and secular precepts of duty, obligation, charity, responsibility, participation, community, and justice. As basic as these concepts are, the 2001 political debate about extending public support of faith‐based services has proven to be divisive rather than unifying. The concepts and practice of, and experience with, faith‐based services provide an important perspective by which to view and assess the 2001 Bush initiative to expand the use of faith‐based groups in the provision of social services. There is an inherent danger in raising expectations about the ability of faith‐based groups to meet social service needs and to do so “better” than other nonprofit or government agencies. Based on this review of the purposes, history, and current capacity of faith‐based groups, implications are identified and future scenarios offered in regard to an extended role of religious groups in service provision.
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ABSTRACT: President Clinton's charitable choice initiatives in 1996 and President Bush's faith-based initiatives in 2001 allowed faith-based organizations (FBOs) to apply for federal funds while maintaining their religious characteristics such as displaying their religious symbols or practicing their religious principles. After the launch of these initiatives, the level of attention on FBOs and their management practices has increased. Through a best practice analysis of systemic review of 52 studies during the past 10 years, this article reveals that utilization of faith, appropriate staffing, humanized leadership, and diversity of funding were the four critical factors that led to the best macropractices in FBOs. It is also imperative that small FBOs urgently increase collaboration with traditional faith-based providers to offer professional and quality services following the policy changes. Future empirical research recommendations are made and best practices are highlighted.Journal of Social Service Research 01/2012; 38(2):130-143. DOI:10.1080/01488376.2011.615268 · 0.44 Impact Factor
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Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health 08/2013; 15(1):34-46.