Friday, May 30, 2014

Social Welfare Assistance Abuse

After reading chapter 4 'The delivery of Social Welfare Services', I came to the conclusion that the federal Government should provide Social Services. The Federal government should also come up with a brand new, and improved system for determining the eligibility for the allotment of benefits.

I know of too many people that have abused public assistance for many years. They have been able to take advantage of the housing, food-stamps food stamps programs. They also manipulate the system to receive disability/ SSI. Living on assistance has become a way of life for them. Many people of communities that live this way become comfortable and lack the desire to get off of assistance. Information on how to cheat the system, receive and live on assistance is pass down from generation to generation. Many people refuse to work because they will lose their benefits.
I feel that the Federal Government should re-examine whose worthy for benefits. The people that qualify assistance that are able to work should automatically have to attend at college or trade school to obtain qualifications for better employment. I know I’m asking for too much but it would be nice for government to create a computer program that transparently show the welfare recipients’ achievements and progress. This would assure that everyone is working to the best of their ability to minimize the benefits received.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Federal decisions versus society's decisions:

Federal decisions versus society’s decisions:

Day to day we try to make our own decisions in life, hoping that those we make will enhance our lives in some way.  Admittedly, some of these decisions are good and some are bad, but at least we know they were our decisions.  In chapter five it discusses the Delivery of Social Welfare Services and its much decision making.  We know there are many different functions within the government, one of them being decision making for us, the citizens. As you may suspect, there are times we agree with these decisions and times we completely oppose them.  Today it seems at times some citizens depend so much on the government to make decisions for all of us, that their own real decision making almost does not exist. 

One type of decision individuals seem to leave to the government more often than not are those pertaining to their financial well-being. The government has made it so easy for many to collect from programs such as welfare that some people believe that this is the way they should be living. As a citizen, I do not think that the government takes into consideration how people actually live, and the expectations they have.  The government has been so involved that I believe that they have caused more harm than help. 

In my estimation, areas that the government should be helping more include jobs and housing. However it appears that they would rather stick their noses in things that should be decisions made by and for individuals.  One personal example I have in reference to this involves a friend of mine who was having a truancy issue with her son. The government, which makes these laws, refused to understand that she tried to have better control over her son and his being absent from school as much as she could, but she was having a lot of trouble and no one would listen to her side of the situation, and she received a citation.  Knowing this situation first hand and how poorly the ‘local’ government dealt with it remains one reason why I feel the way I do about the government making decisions for us. The government comes up with decisions that they feel are beneficial and acceptable for citizens, but in the end most of us feel the way I do, which is that they make decisions for us in areas that don’t help and don’t get involved where we need them. Many citizens are aware of what is going on and have a better chance of voicing their concerns and making better decisions than the government.

rosa alamanza

According to David Gil, “Choices in social welfare policy are heavily influenced by the dominant beliefs, values, ideologies, customs, and traditions of the cultural and political elites recruited mainly from among the more powerful and privileged strata.” (Gil, 1981)


The day after 276 Nigerian girls were kidnapped, President Goodluck Jonathan spent the day after the kidnapping at a birthday party and a campaign rally. (Hinshaw, 2014)  “If social welfare policies are shaped by a set of social and personal values that reflect the preferences of those in decision-making capacities does this not demonstrate that those who are on the lower end of the economic totem pole will often find themselves getting the short end of the stick.” (2014) 


Does the fact that these girls were from a lower economic class in Nigeria's society make their plight any less of a priority.  Although women are and have been active participants in the governmental makeup of Nigeria's political system, the role and importance of women in that society is still based on how they are valued in the society.  (Nosbitt-Ahmed, 2011)


In Nigeria, social welfare issues related to the welfare of women has not always been a top priority in the government. The age of marriage consent in Nigeria is sixteen however the practice of child bride marriages still continues to be a part of the society, often times the opinion of the bride is not taken into consideration. (Online Nigeria, 2014)


The picture becomes even more dismal for women in rural areas of the country. In those areas social welfare policy is governed and implemented by a kinship system of social welfare.  In many religious communities the social welfare of its members are determined by the decisions of the religious tenets of Sharia, or religious Clerics.


If social welfare policies tend to favor those in more powerful and privileged positions in the society, what will be the consequence of the less fortunate?  Should a person's privilege position in life afford them more benefits and opportunities simply because of the value placed on their worth in society?


Will the fate of 276 Nigerian school girls be determined by their worth in society or will it be determined by a social welfare policy that seeks justice for all its citizens be they male or female?


(2014, 5 24). Retrieved from

Gil, D. (1981). Unraveling Social Policy. Boston: Shenkman.

Hinshaw, D. (2014, May 9). Wall Street Journal - World. Retrieved from WSJ:

Nosbitt-Ahmed, Z. (2011, October 14). Gender Across Borders - A global Voice. Retrieved from Gender Across Borders: www.genderacrossborders.comOnline Nigeria. (2014, May 24). Retrieved from Online Nigeria:

Effect of Social Welfare System


There are a lot of Social welfare policies and they all operate in different ways. These policies determine what people can qualify for and the system is affecting a lot of people because you have to be in the right program for you to be able to get the services that you deserve. Some people sometimes find it difficult to get access to social workers that can speak for them and help them get the important services that they deserve. As a matter of fact there is a lot of collaboration that is needed to be able to get the right service because that is the system.

So if there will be more attention to the right of people, and people with disability, including women’s right and other rights it will benefit more people and it will yield a better outcome. For  instance  I have a family friend  that  her child have autism  but  they  couldn’t get her  a quick service because of how the policy run. The child was isolating herself from other children in school and her grade was very low. Her mother was noticing so many changes in her behavior and she was telling her child school that something is wrong with her child because she was not coping with her age and the things that she was supposed to be doing. She was having a lot of issues but the woman kept voicing out her complains and it took her child school  too long for them to be able to see things themselves  and to consider the right program for the child. Because there a lot of procedures to follow to be able to get the right service.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Social Responsibility

In chapter 1, there is a section regarding conflicting values and beliefs in social welfare policy. This brings to mind the social issues in Pennsylvania around gay marriage. On May 20th, a Pennsylvania judge declared that the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional meaning that gay couples can legally get married.

There was an uproar around my community. I was extremely excited to hear this because I believe that we, as a people, are getting closer to loving and excepting each other. I think this also is a social policy that can potentially help young teenagers who are gay and struggling with this idea.

According to PLFAG, a partnership of parents, allies, and LGBT working to make a better future for LGBT youth and adults, it is estimated that between 4 and 10% of the population is gay. This jumps out to me because that means there are many teenagers that are gay, and because of the values of many people that suggest that homosexuality is wrong, they struggle with being themselves. Because many states are now allowing for gay marriage, this can help LGBT youth see that the majority values and beliefs are accepting of their lifestyle.

Of course this is not everyone. In fact, many people are completely against homosexuality. Most people are not aware that many gay youth struggle with academics, bullying and are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide, and have the highest rate of suicide amongst all other teens. Because of these factors alone, you would think that more people would be aware of the struggles that these teens face. If a gay teen does not struggle with these issues, they are likely to face social welfare policies in adulthood such as not being able to marry the person they love.

But, we have come to a more open society as of May 20th in PA. We come to see that our values and beliefs have changed to allow everyone to have the opportunity to be covered under legal law to be someone else's spouse.

Standing In the need!!!

The social welfare system continues to enable healthy human beings. The welfare system continues to favor the affluent people over the poor and true needy people. (Mimi Abramovitz)
The problem is that there is a wide gap between the worthy goals behind welfare and the ground level. There is a tremendous amount of diversity hidden in those large scales. At the same time most welfare recipient has work experience and most want to work. But behind the declining welfare there are a lot of welfare families moving in and out of welfare jobs. the system is design to enable people. I believe it does a great dis service for most people on it. In most cases they are healthy human beings that can obtain a work position and provide for their family. Welfare has made it easy for women to get pregnant and have children and not have to take on the full responsibility of caring and providing for their kids knowing they can depend on people paying taxes and continue to live it up on tax payer’s hard earned money. The question arises who is really in need.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Responsibility: The Needy and The Greedy



For many centuries, society has been responsible for people’s well-being.  Sound like a good thing doesn’t it.  Now let’s elaborate on it a bit.  Why have society become responsible for the needs of people?  Why can’t people be responsible for themselves?  The answer to both questions is, social issues (i.e., unemployment, poverty, mental illness, homelessness, widowers, health problems, teenage parenting).

Because of social issues, social welfare systems and programs were formulated to assist those in need.  Tax payers aren’t happy with the idea of their wages being garnished to help support the “needy”.  Reason is, many people are taking advantage and abusing these services.
There’s the “needy”, people that may have a handicap that prevents them from maintaining a job, or they're employed and their income is below the poverty level.  In contrast, there's the “greedy”,   healthy individuals, unemployed,  and collecting welfare benefits.  Or, they may be employed and lying about their finances in order to receive governmental aid such as low-income housing and reduced child care services.   How fare is that? Who should be responsible for taking care of who.

In regards to Individual responsibility vs social responsibility, some believe an individual is responsible for his own self and others believe the Government should help people when they are in need.  Will this tug-a-war ever end?  It’s been declared that social welfare is defined as; the well-being of society and therefore, society must take care of its own.



Written by:  Angela Shoemake

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sample Post - Who is worthy?

We learn very early on in our social work education that most services are divided into two groups: those for deserving people and those for undeserving people.  Historically, this dates back to our adoption of the Elizabethan Poor Laws, which based aid on the "worthiness" of a person.  Though we seem to have come a long way from referring to people as drunkards or lunatics I can't get past the idea that maybe we haven't come so far.  Our current policies still reek of the stigma attached to being part of the undeserving group.  Poverty in America is something you put on yourself.  Anyone with enough determination and motivation can make it out of poverty to live the American dream.  At least that's what we're told and what we hear in the media.

I started thinking about this recently when I saw this card posted on a friend's Facebook page.

This person and I debate for DAYS about social welfare policy and it's clear from this card what her sentiments are.  No matter how many times I read or hear things like this I am still frustrated by people's lack of knowledge around welfare policy, the assumptions about who receives welfare and who doesn't, and the history behind our policies.  Poor, minority mothers are by far the most stigmatized in our society.  It is true that minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately represented on the welfare roles, but how did that come to be?  Are they just lazier than everyone else?  The answer is no, despite with this someecard will have you believe.  We have created a two tiered system of social security.  Social insurance was designed as an entitlement for everyone, if you work and put into the system, you will be rewarded.  Rarely do we refer to Social Security payments in retirement as welfare.  However, when this system was created it excluded agricultural and domestic workers from receiving benefits.  Who did this impact?  Disproportionately minorities and women.  And where did they have to turn?  The other arm of social security, public assistance.  The assistance for the undeserving and what we have come to know clearly as welfare.  What we have stigmatized as dirty, shameful, and embarrassing.  

These ideas of worthiness or deserving vs. undeserving and imbedded deep in the moral fibers of our country and the policies that guide our systems.  How can we, as social workers, strive to change our system and our policies in the direction of eradicating these deep-seeded divides that make the American Dream so much harder to attain for some than others?