Social policies prize, above all else, the ability to provide a solution to the deficiencies that exist in terms of well-being and life opportunities. This article intends to examine one concrete measure: The Rendimento Social de Inserção (RSI) state benefit. We will seek to reflect on the manner in which this measure actually performs (or not) as a generator of processes of inclusion, thereby increasing the potential for human development. Our starting point is therefore three of the fundamental concepts stated in article 1 of the RSI law: insertion into the workforce, social insertion and insertion into the community. Establishing a bridge with the principle of life-long learning, we will seek to reflect on some uncertainties that are at the heart of the research underway on social policies and human development, carried out as part of a Masters dissertation in Social Pedagogy: the manner in which this measure encourages the development of individuals, the way in which the beneficiaries are involved in defining their own insertion programmes and the need for the redefinition of social policies within a scenario of crisis and social vulnerability, in which the strengthening of the values of solidarity, community and social justice become increasingly urgent. With the growth in unemployment and the increased shift towards less protected working conditions, we have witnessed a progressive destabilization of the stable (those who had stable employment) and the installation of evermore definitive levels of fragility in employment. In this environment, social policies must naturally be reconfigured, but it is important to safeguard, above all, the conditions needed for the maintenance of a dignified existence, taking into consideration those most in need of help, those who have not occupied a position in the social structure for a long time - the “new useless of the world”, in the words of Rizek in the preface to a work by Castel.
|Translated title of the contribution||The rendimento social de inserção state benefit – a social policy for human development?|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Cadernos de Pedagogia Social|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|