Social Welfare Policy

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Tap, tap, tap says my pen as it leaps between my legal pad and desk, “Where is she,” I ask myself glancing over at the clock. Predisposed thoughts begin to flood my brain, “typical Canton mother, only wants help when it’s convenient for her. I should have known she wasn’t going to come, it’s Friday at 4:30, if she’s not here in ten minutes I’m going home.” Time passes slowly until the clock reaches 4:45 when over the intercom I hear “Victoria, your 4:30 is here.” Frustrated, yet composed I walk dreadfully to the entrance prepared to greet the “typical Canton mother.” However, to my surprise there stood a poised woman in business attire accompanied by four well kempt timid children. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she giggled, “this one decided to ride…show more content…
Elizabeth Segal author of Social Welfare Policy and Social Programs: A Values Perspective explains: “Most social welfare programs and services in this country are residual in response and selective in coverage. The residual and selective design of social welfare policy largely reflects the ideologies values and beliefs of the United States society as a whole” (p. 70). Individually, members of society are held accountable for their poverty, which places the emphasis on the institutional conception of pre-intervention to alter behaviors, such as providing educational resources to decrease the likelihood of economic hardship. Societally, poverty recognition takes place by large-scale modifications to the United State’s market and labor systems. However, current shifts in values echo that poverty is seen as both an individual and societal responsibility, where neither approach has been implemented effectively and to examine this closer, critical theory needs to be explored.
According Segal, critical theory: “examines social life with the goal of evaluating the United States social order and the ways in which power and domination affect people’s lives. Critical knowledge helps us discern ways that oppression and domination can be changed” (p. 70). Taking a critical theory approach to poverty showcases the power imbalances
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Universality approach to services is that a construct should provide benefits to any member of society regardless of their income. The other side of the argument suggests the selectivity approach where services are restricted to only those that demonstrate need through specific eligibility. Consequently, the universal approach is less cost effective than the selective construct which limits the ability for outreach. The stigma associated with social welfare dates back to Colonial Law’s who, “considered widows, orphans, elderly people, and people with a physical disability as worth of assistance. The characteristic they shared was that they were in need through circumstances beyond their control.” (p. 28). With the addition of disability in 1996 Welfare Reform Legislation not much has changed in regards to who is deemed worthy of

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