Faith-based organisations and welfare provision in Northern Ireland and North America: whose agenda?

Derek Bacon

in Landscapes of voluntarism

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861346322
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302650 | DOI:
Faith-based organisations and welfare provision in Northern Ireland and North America: whose agenda?

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In the US, the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives pursues a policy that includes adjusting the law to allow faith-based and community organisations to compete for federal funding, eliminating barriers to such organisations being included in the provision of social services, and encouraging greater corporate and philanthropic support for faith-based and community organisations through public education and outreach activities. In the UK, the Faith Communities Unit has a similar trend and also marks a significant step towards involving representatives of the major world faiths found in Britain in policy development. This chapter analyses the developments in government support for faith-based welfare provision in the US. It presents an overview of a similar trend towards government utilisation of the experience, skills, and diversity of faith communities in the UK. It discusses the Northern Ireland context for faith-based voluntary action. While in both the US and in Britain several churches, religious bodies, and faith groups compete and coexist, especially in the multicultural urban areas, this is less true of Northern Ireland. The faith-based organisation and the congregation will usually be from the Christian tradition. Churches form the largest voluntary institutions in Northern Ireland, with the largest voluntary economies in terms of money and time and probably the richest resources to bring to bear on some of the most intractable problems of the present.

Keywords: United States; United Kingdom; Northern Ireland; world faiths; policy development; voluntary economies

Chapter.  8032 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

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