Challenges Faced by the Department of Social Welfare in Empowering People with Disabilities (PWD): A Qualitative Study

Syukrina Alini Mat Ali, Noor’ain Mohamad Yunus, Mohd Ali Bahari Abdul Kadir, Sri Fatiany Abdul Kader Jailani, Naffisah Mohd Hassan, Nurul Fatihah Ramdan, Emily Mirza Kamsari
Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam
Institute of Business Excellence, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam
Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, Putrajaya
Research Group: Sustaining Quality of Life, Faculty of Business and
Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam



Empowering people with disabilities and mainstreaming their needs into the national agenda should increase their development opportunities, improve development outcomes, and enhance their quality of life. However, people with disabilities face numerous barriers that impede their full participation in the social, economic, and cultural aspects of life. The Department of Social Welfare plays an essential role in improving the well-being of people with disabilities and makes significant efforts to empower them and combat exclusion. Therefore, this study focuses on examining the role of the social welfare office in empowering people with disabilities. The study aims to identify key factors that facilitate or hinder the empowerment process within the department for persons with disabilities. In this qualitative research, data was collected through focus group discussions with officials from the Department of Social Welfare in Putrajaya. Two main themes emerged from the analysis, namely the strength and support system and the limitations faced by the Department of Social Welfare. The findings emphasize that monitoring progress and offering opportunities for people with disabilities can contribute to their empowerment. Collaboration between the Department of Social Welfare, other government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other parties is critical in promoting positive social change. By leveraging their respective strengths, resources, and expertise, they can create innovative solutions, implement effective policies, and significantly impact society.

Keywords: empowerment, people with disabilities (PWD), social welfare.