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A study on family policy in Korea -- with special focus on the welfare policies for women and children.

  • Byun, W S
Published Article
Women's studies forum
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1991
PMID: 12285931


A literature review and survey research analyzed the beneficiaries, the delivery system, and the financing of women's and children's welfare services with laws and supportive government policies to clarify family policy and to improve the situation by expansion of foster care and curtailment of institutionalization of children in Korea. Women's welfare services are classified according to the beneficiaries. In 1989, fatherless families in urgent need numbered 75,889 households or .69% of the total; unwed mothers seeking help from social welfare centers declined from 10,383 persons in 1985 to 6156 persons in 1989; and the number of prostitutes decreased from 17,478 in 1975 to 8033 in 1989. The Welfare Act for Fatherless Families was enacted on April 1, 1989, but as of 1990 no budget allocations had been made. The Prostitution Prevention Law was enacted in 1961, and in 1989 there were 23 vocational guidance centers for such women and 22 vocation counseling centers. There are 10 room-and-board facilities for unwed mothers, a Vocational Guidance Center for Women, 22 comprehensive Women's Counseling Centers (and 79 semicomprehensive ones), and 4 adoption agencies. Article 19 of the Welfare Act for Fatherless Families contains a provision on battered wives, but there is no crisis intervention agency. In 1990 there were 13,677,000 persons under 18 years of age or 31.7% of the population. 663,00 children were in need, 4.8% of al children. There are 54 child counseling centers and 28 temporary protection centers. There are 380 child welfare guidance personnel, and 5225 persons appointed as Child Committee members. The number of abandoned and lost children decreased from 18,791 in 1985 to 11,167 in 1989. The Korean government has recently realized the importance of preventive family policy and embarked on the implementation of a comprehensive family policy with urgent measures to deal with the low-income families, child welfare, and day care.

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