Moohandolbom(Unlimited Care)
Gyeonggi Provincial Government

The Problem

Experiencing the IMF in the late 1990s, Korea’s unemployment rate soared and the number of the needy population increased consequentially. Then, the financial crisis of 2008 worsened the quality of life for the disadvantaged people. Growing number of small businesses filed for bankruptcy, unemployment rates rose, families faced severe economic crisis, and diverse social issues emerged simultaneously as well; The number of people who, were unable to maintain the basic level of necessities, were unable to receive education due to financial issues, and were unable to get treatment at the hospital augmented. At the same time, financial difficulties resulted in divorce, child- and elderly- abuse, and domestic violence which eventually fostered further family crisis.

However, Korea’s prior social security system carried lacked capacity to support the lives of increasing number of low-income population. Specifically, the system held two major limitations to resolve the growing number of issues faced by families in crisis.

First, according to Korea’s public assistance policy, conditions to be qualified for ‘National Basic Livelihood Security System (NBLSS)’ are limited to income and wealth. However, these conditions cannot adequately respond to the sudden crisis faced by many. In addition, because most of the families in crisis, despite their actual crisis in hand, are likely to have assets with low elasticity such as house, property, or a car, support for these families within the policy is nonexistence. In other words, the institution is constructed in a way that only a small portion of families in crisis are eligible to receive the benefit and as a result, a wide range of low-income group are left unattended with the help from public assistance system. Hence, even if the families were to face crisis, unless their income level is below that of minimum cost of living, they are unable to receive any aid under the NBLSS. Although, ‘Urgent Welfare Assistance policy’ is present to supplement such limitations, its assistance is limited to monetary support and it is unable to solve the fundamental problems faced by families in crisis. For these reasons, need for a new social welfare system has been greatly emphasized.

Second, prior welfare service delivery system was limited in providing long-term and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by families in crisis and in helping them attain self-reliance. It was constituted in a way that the central government was in charge of social welfare supply planning and execution, while the local government only passively executed the decisions authorized by the central government. This type of system disabled the local government to understand and fulfill the diverse welfare needs of local citizens. Moreover, with insufficient partnership among welfare providers based on prior delivery system, there was no organization to control for the duplicate or omission of services. Thus, welfare suppliers could not provide integrative and customized service and the effects of services were not optimized.

Hence, in order to support the low-income group who is excluded from the NBLSS, Gyeonggi Province started the ‘Unlimited Care Center’ project in November, 2008.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Gyeonggi Unlimited Care Center is a comprehensive and efficient welfare service delivery system which overcomes limitations of the prior delivery system to connect relevant services provided by central, local government and private sectors. It aims to actively cope with demands of families facing adversity to stabilize their livelihoods.

The center supports families in crisis who lie on blind spots. It jointly operates with public and private sectors which is comprised of religious groups, corporations, volunteer groups, Community Chest of Korea and etc. This partnership is supposed to raise funds for operation and provide human resources to develop infrastructure so that it can supply customized services. In other words, this delivery system is a case management system based upon public-private partnership.

There are three types of families who can obtain official support from this initiative. The families who cannot get support under current existing law, families facing adversity due to abrupt unemployment or failures of business which cannot be supported by emergency welfare provision system, families who cannot cope with hardship even after emergency support are the main targets of the initiative. Any family in hardship can call for help at the division of the initiative located in local community centers and district office. One of the main characteristics of the initiative is that it provides services first and then evaluates the qualifications of families so that swift actions can be made. Public officers in charge of it checks on scenes immediately and if it is verified that families definitely need support, they provide welfare services families need within 3 days. Since families can request various kinds of services, the initiative does not restrain them from choosing a service sector. Therefore, public officers are authorized to decide upon which service is needed and provide services and afterwards, evaluate whether the support was appropriate or not. Through this initiative, the service is provided until confronted crisis is resolved. In spite of efficiency of the initiative involving in crisis, there had been constraints of temporary emergency support and therefore Gyeonggi Province founded the center to establish infrastructure for sustainable and constant protection within the region.

The center, unlike conventional welfare service delivery system which provides one-off and supply-based services, pursues a comprehensive and effective welfare service delivery that is not limited to cash and value-in-kind support. In brief, to solve complicated problem of families even after the emergency support of the initiative, it provides not only financial support but also psychological, social and emotional support as a whole. As such, Gyeonggi Province Government founded 30 district centers and dispatched case managers. They comprehend families’ needs and problems and cooperate with professionals from private sectors to provide full and consumer-based support. Consumer-based service delivery system was established upon appointed network teams who can sustainably manage the follow-up services and adoption of a local based case management system to supply them. It also designed urban, rural and comprehensive models suited for various city types in Gyeonggi Province to utilize the initiative reflecting regional characteristics.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Despite expansion of welfare budget and increment of various welfare policies, there remained duplication of welfare services and blind spots. In addition, the level of recipients’ satisfaction was low due to the supply-based and single supporting system. Therefore, Gyeonggi Province started the initiative of Unlimited Care from November, 2008 to support local residents who were not beneficiaries of the central government. However, the crisis that families confronted with was not relieved within a short period of time. Considering this fact, continuous help, monitoring and follow-up services over the families were necessary to aid them which are contrary to a one-off support.
Moreover, pilot project which aimed to overcome the limits that were arisen from case management by individual agency was launched by private sectors in order to arbitrate and connect the welfare services in a regional-based way via local welfare consultative groups or local private welfare service networks. As a result, it induced changes in local welfare system through cooperation among relevant agencies and sharing responsibilities which went beyond typical agency-centric case management. However, this move had limits due to authorities, lack of responsibilities within local societies and functional constraints of voluntary network and consultation structure to lead the structural change of local society protection system.
For the change, Gyeonggi Provincial Government and Gyeonggi Welfare Foundation opened several meeting, focus group interviews, hearings and discussions with the officials at the provincial government, field workers and scholars from academic fields to discuss further development of the initiative so that via discussions and research, full-time support can be provided within a region by building up a network and a request channel between regional protection system and private sectors. In addition, both organizations rearranged regional protection system to provide comprehensive protection and management in the long-run so that it can improve the quality of lives of local residents and can be an efficient methodology to deliver welfare services.
The beneficiaries in priority are families who did not meet the standard of the central government but encountered crisis and could not obtain support or those whose problems cannot be resolved by simple connection of welfare service. In addition, as the initiative is operated based upon case management within the region, it is a project with the participation of entire local residents of Gyeonggi Province.
The Unlimited Care Centers are comprised of 30 city/county public and private institutions, volunteers and partners within Gyeonggi Province. The care center which is a new welfare service delivery system provides all the possible resources of the region whenever there is a critical or emergency case to individual/group in need.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The first aim of establishing the Unlimited Care Center was to create synergy effect by providing multiple services corresponding to various demands. In other words, the care center aims to stabilize lives of the families facing abrupt adversity and make them self-resilient via comprehensive and consumer-demand based welfare service delivery system. As to attain the goal, Gyeonggi Province founded social welfare networks to support those families in terms of health, medical care, occupational assistance and housing. It built up a network that links an individual facility to a facility based on a bigger region so that it can sustainably manage the families through finding out families in difficulty, supporting management of the case and providing follow-up services. Cases are classified by emergency, focused, general, public and professional support is provided according to the type of the case by the appointed facility. Through the process of providing services, public and private sectors can work organically and it makes possible for them to provide integrated service and case management.

The second objective is to make people who are in trouble call for help by cutting the red-tape. In brief, Gyeonggi installed a counter for people to provide one-stop service so that via the counter, they can be supplied with multiple services according to their demands. To accomplish it, it was necessary to establish a main center for a comprehensive management. Therefore, Gyeonggi Province founded the Unlimited Center with a layered structure of individual network - city/county center – Gyeonggi main center. The main center supports stable operation of all other care centers and oversees general operations of them. It consults other centers, proceeds business for education and networking, promotes the center and monitors and evaluates activities done by the entire organization to support sustainable operation. City/county centers are in charge of local centers’ operation, which allocates cases to subdivisions and as for emergency cases, they open up Solution Committees. In addition, they are closely tied with public and private sectors to discover local resources to mobilize. Network teams, belonging to local centers, conduct a comprehensive case management meeting with them and provide services to families who desperately need help and manage them. They also sort out the available resources to be allocated. As such, to supply full-support to families in need, the care centers are divided into urban, rural, comprehensive types.

Lastly, it is to promote community spirit to the local residents so that they can not only overcome with public resource constraints but also grapple with local issues by themselves. That is, Gyeonggi Province signed memorandums of understandings with a bar association, hospital association, pharmaceutical association, catholic diocese, corporations and etc. They also named honorary ambassadors for the initiative, utilized social networking services to raise fund. Through this process, value-in-kind and services are provided and distributed to the families in crisis. Moreover, it has a taskforce to keep cooperation with private sectors be sustained and developed and to spread the spirit of sharing and social responsibility throughout the local societies.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The number of families in crisis increased exponentially due to sudden economic recession after financial crisis in 2008. However, conventional social service delivery system could not respond to the demands of those families at appropriate time. As such, Gyeonggi Provincial Government and Gyeonggi Welfare Foundation made an agreement upon the necessity of shift of current social security system into the system which is based upon consumer-demands via discussions, hearings of experts at the local government, universities and field workers. Based on the agreement, they derived the concept of “unlimited care services and centers”. Specifically, Gyeonggi Welfare Foundation built up a model of how to implement the concept to the new delivery system. Afterwards, the Welfare Foundation opened briefing sessions for each city and county officials, private sectors, private welfare facilities. Hence, the Unlimited Care Center was established in August, 2009.

One of the aims of comprehensive improvement of social service delivery system, started in 2009, was to build up partnership with private sectors so that the support to families can be made at any time. The other one, in the long term, was to arrange a secure social service system on a local basis in order to improve the quality of lives of residents. After setting a goal, operational guidelines were made in 2009 and based upon them, the first Unlimited Care Center was founded in Namyangju city, 2010. Afterwards, establishment of service management system based on local demands was proceeded. In 2010, Gyeonggi Provincial Unlimited Care Center was established to provide overall support for city/county based Unlimited Care Center. In the year of 2010, 30 centers were inaugurated.

In the year 2010, rudimentary work for operation of Unlimited Care Center was processed. For the workers at the center, workshops were made and professional trainings were given for them to understand their responsibilities. Furthermore, case management and manuals for resource development via on-site inspections and research were made by field experts, scholars and officials of Gyeonggi Provincial Government. The expert committee was organized with 70 experts to support the care centers by managing cases and supervising upon field work.

Due to the efforts made to build up infrastructure, in 2011, the Unlimited Care Center settled on each district and produced satisfactory results. Around 18,000 families are under the management of the care center currently in 2011 and 206,131 social services were provided. As Gyeonggi Province obtained numerous donations from private sectors, 15.2 billion Won(USD 1.3 million) were aided to the families in economic trouble.

Because the service delivery system showed success in Gyeonggi Province, its policy was embraced by the central government and is expected to induce huge change in other local governments in 2012. In addition, the Social Welfare University of Shizuoka in Japan, Seoul metropolitan government, Daejun, Gunsan and other cities in Korea are modeling after this initiative. For its success in both in and out of the country, the initiative was prized as one of the best welfare policies given by major media in Korea.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
One of the main difficulties that the Unlimited Care Center had to face was that unlike the conventional way to build up a new welfare facility, the center had to convince existing social welfare agencies to draw out support for this initiative. In rural areas, where there was hardly any social welfare facility, it was relatively easy for the care center to settle down. However, in urban areas where there are plenty of facilities, it took a long time for a newly born care center to obtain cooperation from existing facilities. Therefore, the care center started to open up public meetings and invited local residents and people interested from private/public sectors. In addition, they made work arrangements with various agencies, distributed materials to account for the purpose of building the center and asked for active support. Moreover, the center strived to grapple with serious cases that no other existing facility would like to take and built confidence while providing professional support. Case meetings have become the place for both main and individual centers to pinpoint solutions for cases which could not be solved by individual facility. Not only had the center provided customized consulting for city/county based welfare agency but also allotted standardized manuals regarding case management/operation/resource development to intensify proficiency of each facility.

The other obstacle that the center encountered was the difficulty of building a partnership between private and public sectors when providing efficient and comprehensive services based upon the established network among public and private sectors. One of the main goals that the center wished to achieve was to change supply-based social welfare delivery system to consumer-demand based delivery system offered by various service providers. In order to attain the goal, cooperation among government sectors was prerequisite and the partnership between private and public based on this cooperation was necessary. However, as the government officials had very short time of experience of working together with private sectors, Gyeonggi Provincial Government took an action to improve their efficiency. To establish a balanced partnership, the government let private sectors operate the Unlimited Care Center and by hiring experts about case management, it focused on expansion of network with private welfare agencies. Moreover, it built a special committee for solving the problem occurred in the process of helping out the families and called out meetings along with specialists from private and public sectors to manage emergency cases.

The last difficulty it confronted with was the difficulty of procurement of professionals. Frequent shift of human resources in public sectors and lack of case managers with professionalism in private sectors resulted in lack of professionalism and efficiency of the care center. At the moment, Gyeonggi Provincial Government is inspecting each care center in terms of stability of the organization and professionalism of human capital to induce better output.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
Primary financial source comes from the budget allocated to Gyeonggi Province and individual city/county. 40% of the operating expenses lie upon Gyeonggi Province and the rest of it upon individual city/county. However, there exists difference in amount of supplying the budget from 10 to 20% according to its financial independence. The Unlimited Care Center utilized existing social welfare facilities as new care centers and let the centers be as the base for comprehensive case management centers. This implies that the care center is a networking business among established welfare facilities which supports them with operating expenses and payroll costs. All that take together, Unlimited Care center is low-cost, highly-efficient organization which prevents overlaps and omission of welfare services and provides appropriate welfare services to the clients. Public finances from Gyeonggi Province and individual city/county are used to build up and maintain infrastructure of the care centers, and finances in corporation with private sectors are used to manage the cases of the families supported by the care centers. Care centers of city/county arranged 8.7 billion Won(USD 7.4 million) at present and Gyeonggi Provincial Government 6.5 billion Won (USD 5.6 million) with the joint partnership with private sectors via memorandums of understandings to support families in crisis. All these financial resources are used to support for welfare services such as pro bono legal services, free medicines, counseling for credit repair, provision of rental houses and home repairs. In addition, they can be arranged to purchase of school uniforms, payment of monthly rent, and improvement of the facilities and reconstruction of housing after floods. These funds are well managed and distributed by Community Chest of Korea. In brief, the Unlimited Care Center operates to link and arbitrate other social welfare agencies and manages cases from these facilities based upon cooperation between private and public sectors.

In terms of human resources, Gyeonggi Province assigned 200 professional case managers from private sectors to the care centers in order to handle with the cases of families sustainably and provide support in a professional way. The managers have at least 5 years of working experience as case managers in social welfare field and are in charge of case management according to the decisions made by solution committees. Public officers at the care centers are in charge of administrative support, resource development and public support for case management. Above this, academic and field experts are committee members and participate in case management meetings according to regions at any time. In addition, volunteers take part in provision of welfare services. They consist of local residents and report the families in crisis whenever they witness them suffer from social problems. Currently there are approximately 67,000 volunteers including delivery men, social workers and presidents of neighborhood associations.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
‘Unlimited Care Center,’ initiated by the Gyeonggi Province in order to overcome the inefficiency of Korea’s prior social welfare delivery system, is gaining great attention from the fact that it has implemented consumer-based case care system. It goes along with the policy revision suggested by the central government. It is a system which does not construct a new institution for a project, but acts as a linkage among existing local institutions. Moreover, as it adopts on a platform structure which, can adapt to the continuously changing environment by developing itself through supplements of new functions, ‘Unlimited Care Center’ can be perceived as an environment-responsive system. In other words, since it integrates welfare services such as employment, residence, education, health, and implements them in a flexible manner according to regional characteristic, the system is sustainable and is applicable in any region.

As ‘Unlimited Care Center’ adopts on the flexible welfare beneficiary selection and customized welfare service system, it is an amalgamative social safety net which, can effectively fulfill the complex needs of a client and thus can be implemented in other regions or countries. Due to global financial crisis, there has been a rise in low-income group and families in crisis. However, these people are not comparable to tradition vulnerable members of the society; compared to the traditionally defined low-income groups, not only do they differ in their needs for different types of products or services to break free from crisis, but also, differ in their need for diverse services and supports ranging from psychological and emotional support to employment-aid.

Recently, plenty of countries are reforming the structure of their own welfare systems to overcome problems arisen from high-cost, low-efficiency structure as they are suffering from high-speed aging society, high unemployment rate and low economic growth rate. The Unlimited Care Center has a low-cost structure which provides not only monetary fund but also enables service consumers to be supported by resources from public and private sectors via efficient linkage between the 2 sectors. Unlike conventional, government-led service delivery system which can only be supported by tax which is run separately from private funds, the structure of using financial resources in the care center is more efficient. Moreover, the system can be sustainable in a way that care centers are pivots for a new care system and cooperate with private sectors.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The Unlimited Care Center provides swift, professional services to families who are in face of abrupt adversity and have high possibilities of giving up hopes on living so that they can be self-reliant again. In addition, it is not a passive policy to provide cash or connect them to appropriate facilities but is an active and a successful social welfare delivery system which offers a full process of self-reliance programs and all the possible welfare resources for individuals and families to overcome crisis within the local society.

The success of the care system was due to the synergy effect of 3 following elements; local welfare system, amalgamative welfare system, sharing welfare system.

The implication of first element is that the local based welfare network had been established via which local communities can have responsibility to correspond to wants on social welfare services and manage resources. Until now, the central and local governments of Korea increased the number of services to help families in blind spots. However, it was not successful as local residents were not satisfied with the services due to shortage of stable, comprehensive service delivery system. As such, Gyeonggi Province Government founded 30 care centers to solve the fundamental problem. It created Gyeonggi Unlimited Care Center which is main center of all district care centers and built a multi-layered structure for the care center to link network teams-city/county centers-main center to find out families in adversity, manage cases and provide the best follow-up service. All that take together, they aimed for sustainable management of the families. Particularly, it is equipped with local based and comprehensive monitoring system over families who are part of the initiative so that it can establish a foundation of consumer-demand based service delivery system by connecting entire welfare agencies.

The second component implies that through the joint partnership between public and private sectors, diverse welfare services were able to be amalgamated to provide customized services to the people in need. The care centers not only provided with welfare services but also services in terms of health, housing, education, occupation and etc. These overall provided services helped vulnerable families to be self-resilient again, raised the efficiency of services and satisfied local residents who had participated in the initiative.

The last element of the success was that it created a sharing atmosphere among corporations to take social responsibility, non-governmental organizations and local residents to participate in donation and volunteer work. Abundant resources are utilized and the capability of local residents to deal with local issues increased and these factors work as a fundamental force to build up a welfare society.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Gyeonggi Provincial Government
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Jong-Goo Kim
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +82-(0)31-8008-2422/4319
Institution's / Project's Website:,
Address:   1, Hyowonro
Postal Code:   442-781
City:   Suwon
State/Province:   Gyeonggi-do

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