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At least 200 words each with 1 reference per responses to back up your claim. Please separate each discussion response.
Week 4: Discussion 2: Welfare Programs
Means-tested programs (TANF, SNAP, and SSI) create dependency
In 1996 the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). This was based to reduce the number of people receiving assistance and place them back to work as quickly as possible. PRWORA also placed a 5 year lifetime limit on TANF recipients. With this policy reform, many states have created new obligations which prevented people from getting TANF. This effort was created as a diversion with the belief that providing alternatives from TANF or other government programs, will prevent or reduce welfare dependency. This ensures that those receiving TANF are truly in need and really providing the right services to the right individuals and families (Gonzales, Hudson & Acker 2007). Although some may be reliant on government programs it is not intended to be that way as most programs are monitored to ensure people are being encouraged to go back to work and able to support themselves.
Stigma surrounding welfare programs
I once lived in a neighborhood, upper-middle class, in an apartment. The apartment was 1300 a month. At the time is was expensive for me but I was able to manage. Sometimes I was late but most of the time I was on time and very proud that was able to maintain such a high rate alone. After a few months I noticed the apartment complex and the people who were there were different. Trash on the street to furniture in front of the complexes and I was mind boggled. As I complained to the office manager her response was “we are now accepting section 8”, I thought to myself that here I am working and making ends meat to live in a nice neighborhood where others can come and live in the same style apartments as me paying nothing. It can be infuriating. The stigma around those who are on welfare programs exist. Many feel that people are on Medicaid or on government housing because they are too lazy to go out and work. Welfare and the means to provide your family has always been identified as controversial treatment but the qualifications for one to maintain to be on welfare can be mined blowing. Individuals attributions have significantly made influences on the qualifications and ways which Medicaid and other programs have tested or been implemented have affected those who are trying to work hard (Stuber & Schlesinger 2006). As a future social worker I will abide by NASW and work for those who are in need of services but those who take advantage of the system will be reported and. It is our job to teach those how to leave independently and healthy lives not to live or rely on someone else.
Gonzales, L., Hudson, K., & Acker, J. (2007). Diverting Dependency: The Effects of Diversion on the Short Term Outcomes of TANF Applicants. Journal Of Poverty, 11(1), 83-105. doi:10.1300/J134v11n01̱04
Stuber, J., & Schlesinger, M. (2006). Sources of stigma for means-tested government programs. Social Science & Medicine, 63(4), 933-945. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.01.012
Just as a person with a problem with drugs or an issue with gambling relying on government assistance can become an addiction. One someone is used to something they begin to grow a custom to what they receive, either a high or sense of euphoria when it comes to drugs or the rush that a gambler gets when they win big on a bet. When it comes to the feelings that are described when someone comes off of assistance is something more. In the book Not Working by Marchevesky this dependency is defined as, “The discourse of welfare dependency both structures a way to read the welfare recipient’s past and provides her with an identity for the future. The medicalization of welfare dependency provides the former recipient with a teleological path of “recovery” in which to anchor her future, a scar in her past that always already constructs the present as an improvement” (Marchevsky, 2006, pg 125). Sometimes people need assistance. However, it is not created to be a long term solution. In the state of Kansas eligible families may qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TNAF. According to the department of social, rehabilitative services, “Families can only get TANF for 24 months in a lifetime” (DCF, 2017). This prevents individuals from gaming the system to get more money.
When it comes to the stigma associated with being a welfare recipient, I think currently the government needs to revert to the days of food stamps being actual coupons. This may sound a little harsh and unfair. However, the use of the coupons created a feeling of remorse for needing to be on assistance. When I was young, say 5-6 years old, my mother was on food stamps and government assistance. She was a single mother with three children, had been divorced twice and was raising me, my brother and my sister without help from our fathers. She was going to school full time and also working to try and make ends meet. It got to the point that she was having a hard time putting food on the table. Eventually, she swallowed her pride and applied for benefits. This was one of the most difficult decisions that she ever had to make. She told me the first time that she had to use food stamps she was so embarrassed that she had to do it that when she got out of the store, she just cried. She promised herself that she would do whatever it took to get off of assistance and be able to provide for us. She did just that, years of hard work and dedication she was able to get off of assistance and be a provider for her family. Ironically the same thing happened with my mother in law, and today I have nothing but the utmost respect for both of them. My mom graduated with her Bachelor’s of Nursing and my mother-in-law with her Masters in Social Work.
As people become more dependent on the government, they will lose that drive to do better and to live a better life. If I have clients that are recipients of assistance, I believe I will do my best to instill the sense of work to become independent from the assistance of others. I see welfare as a stepping stone when someone has exhausted the venues needed to help themselves. There are times people need a hand, but they must dig down and drive hard to reach their intended goals.
Economic & Employment Services Successful Families Program – TANF. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2017, fromhttp://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/ees/Pages/Cash/TANF.aspx
Marchevsky, A. T. J. (2006). Not Working. New York: NYU Press. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/waldenu/detai…
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