Faith-based organizations' support for older adults in Vietnam: A comparison of Catholic and Buddhist efforts




Faith-based organization, Older adults, Social service provision, social intergation, social policy


How faith-based organizations (FBOs) take part in the social welfare system for older adults is of interest to policy-makers and researchers in the face of a rapid aging population. Since FBOs are underexplored in Vietnam, this study provides an insightful understanding and analysis of Vietnamese Catholic and Buddhist FBOs’ participation in social service provision to older adults. By conducting secondary data analysis, semi-structured interviews and field observation at some FBOs’ and public social protection centers for older adults, this article presents some insights into the way Catholic and Buddhist organizations provide short and long-term services to older adults, compare Catholic and Buddhist services, and discuss the challenges of sustainability. To advance understanding, authors also analyze the findings on the context of the complicated relationships between FBOs, government and the welfare state in Vietnam. Based on the findings, the authors suggest a coordinated and planned universalization strategy by the public/ private sectors. Further research is needed to leverage support for the implementation of a cooperative partnership approach in providing social service provisions within a Vietnamese context.

Author Biographies

Huong Thu Hoang, VNU-University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Huong Hoang Thu is an Associate Professor of Sociology, working at the Faculty of Sociology, VNU-USSH since 2002. Her research interests include religions, religion and social work, social policy and migration.

Trang Nguyen, VNU-University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Trang is an Associate Professor of Social Work working at the Faculty of Sociology, VNU-USSH since 2002. Her research interests include formal and informal care for older persons, social policies, family issues and youth delinquency. 

Catherine K Medina, University of Connecticut

Dr. Catherine Medina is an Associate Professor Emerita. She teaches in the Policy Practice concentration. She is a gerontologist and her research is focused on the social determinants of health in communities of color.


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How to Cite

Hoang, H. T., Nguyen, T., & Medina, C. K. (2023). Faith-based organizations’ support for older adults in Vietnam: A comparison of Catholic and Buddhist efforts. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 23(3).