Religious or faith-based programs provide social services based on their values, faith, and beliefs. The social services are primarily provided by a mosque, a synagogue or a church. An example of a faith-based organization with such program is the Prison Faith International. The founder of this organization is Charles Colson. The main intention of the establishment is to help the prisoners, ex-prisoners and the families of the prisoners. Through biblically based programs, the association transforms and mobilizes lawbreakers to serve their neighbors, and as such, replacing crime with spiritual renewal (Chambers, 1993). Prison Faith International, through their volunteer medical personnel, responds to convicts' medical needs and emergencies. The body uses church-based volunteers to provide support for freed individuals.
The faith-based programs have several advantages. In addition to meeting material needs, the organization also has psychological, spiritual and social duties. For instance, after the release of a prisoner, the association may provide counseling, transportation back home, and even assist them get jobs. The main source of funding for the programs can be the government, sponsors, and donors. Their human capital is mostly volunteers. This makes it easier for them to provide the appropriate social services. Lastly, some religious programs create and provide leadership for the community. The leaders of these programs operate with dignity, and as a result, the community trusts them. Members of the community rely on them for conflict resolutions.
However, the religious programs also have various disadvantages. The programs can lead to religious discrimination. As mentioned earlier, the programs provide services according to their values and beliefs. The faith factor may imply that members of a community with a different belief may be discriminated. Additionally, the programs rely mostly on volunteers for labor. These volunteers may be tempted to seek for paying jobs. The workers turnover can influence the organization's efficiency in service delivery.
Everyone should embrace and recognize the significance of the faith-based organizations. The establishments offer services such as crisis intervention, information, resources, and counseling (Berg-Wager, 2016). These religious programs complement governments in provision of services as they are able to step in where the government programs have failed. For example, they meet spiritual and psychological needs of people who experience disasters like poverty, diseases or even prisoners.
Berg-Wager, M. (2016). Social work and social welfare: An invitation. Routledge.
Chambers, D. E. (1993). Social policy and social programs: A method for the practical public policy analyst. Macmillan Publishing Company
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