2015 Volume 9 Pages 17-32
Based on the observation that the phenomena of a low birth rate and an aged population are rapidly occurring in South Korea, the present study established a research question on how to provide social services in this context and examined the “Social Service Project to Cope with a Low Birth Rate and Aged Society,” which is being implemented by each local government.The result of the analysis is as follows. To cope with the low birth rate, 17 metropolitan local governments operate various social services, such as: creating an atmosphere that encourages childbearing and parenting; establishing policies that encourage childbearing; paying medical expenses during delivery for low-income families; providing a comprehensive care package for pregnant women; developing applications on pregnancy–childbearing–parenting; building public daycare centers; and lending toys.The social services to cope with an aged society include: removing inconveniences in homes for the elderly; hiring assistants to help with the health and safety of the elderly; managing dementia in the elderly; pairing “buddies” with those elderly residing alone; building a silver town (retirement home) for the low-income elderly; creating a living space for the elderly living alone; hosting video festivals; and providing jobs for the elderly.Although the social services to cope with the low birth rate and aged society are diverse, they have limitations in that they lack a “medium-to-long-term vision” and that they do not “secure the budget” in advance. Because this problem cannot be solved within a short period, Korean society need a change in direction to establish a long-term goal and push forward the core projects. In particular, budgetary agreement between central and local governments must be drawn up before nationally funded projects related to social services are planned. Considering current economic recession and negative policy environments, we suggested an alternative social service policy approaches such as an on-line based social service market for overcoming the jurisdictional restrains, social service industry for stable and high quality service, social responsibility investment as a new fund for social service.