At its core, a social welfare policy indicates the importance of humanity, regardless of particular circumstances. These policies seek to uphold a standard of living for all citizens, providing for basic needs for those who—temporarily or in a more sustained way—cannot meet those needs for themselves.
Social welfare policies highlight the value of those whose income falls below a certain threshold or who have no income at all. It supports these individuals and families with access to housing, food, and/or medical care so that they are not left hopeless. Such policies also protect those who are medically fragile, offering them a means of obtaining medical care and access to basic human needs in a structured way.
By having a social welfare policy, the entire community benefits—not just the individuals who receive those services. Without providing access to such services, there would almost certainly be an entire population of people starving and begging publicly. It decreases the sense of desperation that those who are pushed to the point of starvation must feel, and therefore, it likely decreases the crime rate as well.
In a capitalist economy, it also provides a sense of security to those for whom a possible recession means loss of jobs or loss of retirement resources. The social welfare policy shares the risk of living in such a society among the entire working population, guaranteeing the basic human needs for all during times of personal economic or medical struggles.