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Research Center for Development of Welfare Society

Outline (History) of Research Center for Development of Welfare Society

Adopted as a project subsidized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (the MEXT), the Research Center for Development of Welfare Society, Toyo University, was established in 2007.  Under the themes of “welfare and health planning of municipalities and creation of welfare society in communities” and “investigation research on reconstruction of hilly and mountainous areas”, the Center developed various theoretical and practical studies in alliance with municipalities, etc. Evolving and developing results of those studies, since July 2013, the Center has studied systems that observe the elderly, the disabled, and children, to help them lead independent lives and prevent their social isolation, as well as to develop a concept on general support methods and systems, etc., under the Strategic Research Foundation Grant-aided Project for Private Universities by the MEXT.     

Activities and Features

In recent years, as the social economic structures have changed, studies on support for social welfare have characteristically focused on various difficulties in life arising from more vulnerable social relationships, such as poverty/income gap, isolation/solitary death, abuse of children and the elderly, consumer damage, the homeless, and the working poor. In response to such complicated issues, it has been required to build multifaceted support systems.
The Research Center for Development of Welfare Society has presently promoted studies under the theme of “comprehensive research about support through watching the elderly, the disabled, and children, and support to enable them to live independently in order to prevent their social isolation.  The Center has conducted comprehensive studies aimed at creating a network of systems and institutions/policies jointly with personnel working at care facilities and relevant administrative organizations, in mutual collaboration with the below-mentioned four unit groups.  The studies include ones related to support systems in the areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as livelihood support in East Asia including Korea.
The unit group for the elderly predominantly studies the support systems of elderly people living alone or suffering dementia, and family care givers, who are in danger of further isolation, as well as their livelihood support systems.
The unit group for disabilities studies the support of the self-determination of people with intellectual disabilities and develops programs that are essential for their independent lives.  It also conducts studies fostering supporters and local livelihood support.  The unit group for children formulates family support programs for children chiefly in single-parent households and holds seminars for employees, extending those results to support child rearing in general households.  The theory and history group serving as a platform common to the above-mentioned three groups conducts cross-functional research activities.  

Research Achievements

The Research Center for Development of Welfare Society, Toyo University published “Chiiki ni okeru Tsunagari/Mimamori no Katachi; Styles of human ties and observational care in local communities” (Chuohoki Publishing CO., Ltd.; 2012), and “Yamaai no
Chiisana Mura no Mirai – Yamakoshi wo Ikiru Hitobito; Future of a small mountain village – People living in Yamakoshi” (Hakushindo Co., Ltd.; 2013). The Center also issues the Annals of “Research on Development of Welfare Society” and various data, and holds seminars and symposiums for the general public and practitioners.

Future Development (Goal)

With the aim of having a long-term vision concerning an ideal social welfare support system in future Japan, the Research Center for Development of Welfare Society theorizes local support systems, which have been separately discussed in various fields, as a more common system, from the viewpoints of support through watching and livelihood support.
The Center also works to enable young researchers (research assistants, RA) to develop abilities helpful in the preparation and analyses of systematic practical data, as well as management abilities for research projects through exchange with social welfare facilities.