Since the early twentieth century, thinkers started paying their rather full attention to issues concerning well-being of the individuals in groups, and providing theoretical answers as to the social needs. Thus, momentum was gathered for establishing disciplines dealing with welfare in the Western academia. The ensuing concerns that led to establishment of a discipline as such accompanied the formation of the welfare state in the West. It was in such a milieu that social policy, as a vital and macro approach toward social planning, made its first appearance out which a discourse on welfare and social policy, seen as a necessity, was formed within the academic and scholarly circles. Stated in general terms, the rationale that provided impetus for establishing such discipline was, in the main, to explicate social issues and problems, to offer practical solutions, and to transform the status quo into a desired condition.
Nonetheless, in Iran, despite occurrence of economic and social developments, the question of welfare of the population has never been taken as a serious theoretical endeavor so that both academia and the intellectuals have hardly given appropriate attention to theoretical aspects of social policy. Such negligence has resulted in a situation where theory lags far behind practice, alas. This vacuity acted to push some activists to establish an academic discipline known as ‘planning and social welfare’ at undergraduate and graduate levels in various academic schools or faculties. Such effort is a glimmer of hope for promoting and strengthening the roots of the young discipline. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that ever since the discipline was kick-started and along the years since passed, we did not enjoy, in the area of social policy and welfare planning, a backdrop of solid welfare discourse. This is perhaps why we have not been able to transform these thoughts into action. In other words, we have been unable to adapt the thought on welfare to historical, cultural, and traditional condition of the nation. Otherwise we could have done much academic work on research and theorizing and on adapting the existing welfare models for our social, political, cultural, and economic conditions.