Unit 9 the Welfare System Human Services and Social Policy

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 606
  • Published : January 7, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The Welfare System
The Welfare System

Instructor:
Dr.Michelle March
HN300-01
DUE: 12/20/2011

Instructor:
Dr.Michelle March
HN300-01
DUE: 12/20/2011
Franklin Moe, Jr.

Human Services & Social Policy

Franklin Moe, Jr.

Human Services & Social Policy

To understand the “Welfare System” one must know its history. The American welfare system has changed dramatically over the past 80 years. A 100 years ago, families, local communities, and charities; typically religious based, served as the safety net for those who had fallen on hard times. The Great Depression of the 1930s would see a change in social policy with the passing of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” establishing Social Security and Aid to Dependent Children (ADC.) Thus was born the American Welfare System. The U.S. welfare system stayed in the hands of the federal government for the next sixty-one years. Many Americans were unhappy with the welfare system, claiming that individuals were abusing the welfare programs by not applying for jobs, having more children just to get more aid, and staying unmarried so as to qualify for greater benefits. Further expansion came with the Johnson’s administration in the 1960s with the establishment of Medicare, Medicaid, Public Housing, and other programs. During the Reagan presidency it was claimed that mothers with infants should not be allowed to become dependent on the welfare system, and that providing assistance for children under one year of age constituted such “dependency” The welfare system remained relatively unchanged till 1996 when President Clinton signed a sweeping welfare reform law that is still a hot topic of public controversy today. When Clinton was elected he had the intention of changing the welfare system. In 1996 the Republican Congress passed a reform law signed by President Clinton that gave the control of the welfare system back to the states. Conservatives claim a dramatic decline in welfare caseloads, while Liberals attribute the decline to a once healthy economy (www.welfareinfo.org). “Compared with those of other western industrialized nations, the U.S. social safety net is exceptional in numerous ways. Federal, state, and local governments in the United States spend far less on social welfare per capita than do peer nations” (Schaefer & Simmons, 2009 p.01). The purpose of the welfare system is to address social problems (www.policyalmanac.org (ND) retrieved 11/27/11). “Some argue that the “importance” of a social problem depends on two things (1) the power and social status of those who are defining the problem and urging the expenditure of resources toward a solution and (2) the sheer number of people affected. Thus, the more people affected and the greater the social power and status of those urging a solution, the more important the social problem” (Chambers & Wedel 2009 p.7). However, it should be understood that social problems are “highly variable and depend on the viewer” (Chamber & Wedel 2009 p.9). “There are four points to consider when doing a social problem analysis: 1) Identify the way the problem is defined.

2) Identify the cause(s) to which the problem is attributed (its antecedents) and is most serious consequences. 3) Identify the ideology-the values, that is-that makes the events of concern come to be defined as a problem. 4) Identify who benefits (gains) and who suffers (loses) from the existence of the problem” (Chambers & Wedel 2009 pp.9-10).

The welfare system is too complex a subject, and the social problems the system addresses are beyond the scope of this essay. However, I will discuss the goal and objectives for creating the welfare system, and address how these services are distributed. The federal government provides assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF is a grant given to each state to run their own welfare programs. The TANF grant...
tracking img