An analysis of the concept of welfare in the public assistance program

TANF was created by Congress to prevent welfare recipients from abusing the welfare program by mandating that all recipients find a job within two years or risk losing their welfare benefits. The states use their allocated funds to operate their own welfare programs. However, in order to receive the federal grant, states must also use some of their own money to fund their individual programs.

An analysis of the concept of welfare in the public assistance program

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Overview Abstract and Keywords Social policy is how a society responds to social problems. Any government enactment that affects the well-being of people, including laws, regulations, executive orders, and court decisions, is a social policy. In the United States, with its federal tradition of shared government, social policies are made by governments at many levels—local, state, and national.

A broad view of social policy recognizes that corporations and both nonprofit and for-profit social-service agencies also develop policies that affect customers and those they serve and therefore have social implications.

Social policies affect society and human behavior, and their importance for social-work practice has long been understood by the social-work profession. Modern social welfare policies, which respond to basic human needs such as health care, housing food, and employment, have evolved since their introduction during the New Deal of the s as responses to the Great Depression.

How policy makers respond to human needs depends on who has the power to make policy and how they conceptualize human needs and the most effective ways to respond to them. In the early 21st century, the idea that the state should guarantee the welfare and well-being of its citizens through progressive welfare state policies and services has few adherents among policy makers.

The complex social problems resulting from the recession—the highest unemployment since the Great Depression of the s, escalating budget deficits at all levels of government, an unprecedented housing crisis exemplified by massive foreclosures, increasing social and economic inequality, a nation polarized by corrosive political conflict and incivility—create a context in which social policies are debated vociferously.

Social workers, long committed to the ideal of social justice for all, are obligated to understand how policies affect their practice as well as the lives of those they serve and to advocate for policies that will improve social well-being as the United States recovers. Conflicting ideas and interests exist over what kinds of policies are needed to address social problems and human needs.

A broad array of economic and social policies affects social welfare, ranging from tax policy to educational policy. More narrowly, some social welfare policies focus on policies and programs that provide income assistance and social services to people in need.

Poverty, unemployment, dependent children, family instability, inadequate health care, and the needs of the elderly have been targets of social welfare policies.

An analysis of the concept of welfare in the public assistance program

Because social policy responds to social problems, how those problems are defined and legitimized is important. Social workers, with their intimate knowledge of human needs, can provide critical information to policy makers if they can influence the policy-making process.

Socially constructed family and gender norms influence social policy and the lives of beneficiaries. The federal government and states have clashed over the meaning of marriage and whether state recognition of same-sex marriage violates federal policy. Such contentious debates are often resolved in the courts.

Traditions of public debate and discourse encourage interest groups to lobby for policies that will advantage their members. Some social policy experts feel corporate and business sectors have become so powerful that they dominate policy making, making government less responsive to social needs Stiglitz, Sometimes policies enacted to benefit special interests produce disastrous social results.

For example, opening public lands to oil, timber, and mineral corporations has harmed people and environments if appropriate safeguards are not in place Gore, Foreign policy also has a social impact.

In This Article

During the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century, social policy enforced gendered family norms with a male breadwinner, supporting a workforce that would enable the United States to compete for international economic hegemony. In the early 21st century, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11,and our involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, resources that could have been used to develop or expand social welfare programs such as accessible health care for all Americans have been allocated to national defense and military spending.

The American middle class has seen its well-being threatened by loss of income and reduced job opportunities, decreasing opportunities for upward social mobility.

The obstacles facing the poor for social advancement are numerous. Given the range and relative importance of policy choices, social welfare policies must compete with economic, political, and defense needs for attention and resources.

At least since the presidency of the conservative Republican Ronald Reagan, government policies and programs directed at public social welfare provision have been attacked as ineffectual and inappropriate interferences in the marketplace. Social policies that transferred and redistributed income from the wealthy to the poor, such as programs assisting poor women with families, were harshly criticized.

Efforts have been made to privatize social services and the Social Security system, our most universal social welfare program. In the early 21st century, our political parties debate how our nation can promote economic growth and social well-being, emphasizing the need for job growth, while the longstanding issues of poverty and social and economic inequality receive less attention.

Philosophical Underpinnings of U. Social Policy The notion of citizenship carries specific rights and obligations.Means-tested welfare programs are intended to aid the poor.

For the purposes of this brief, they include Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition. In the U.S., welfare program is the general term for government support of the well-being of poor people; likewise, the term social security refers to the social insurance program for retired and disabled people.

John M. Herrick

In its place, the new Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program gave states “block grants” to establish welfare assistance programs consistent with changing social priorities. New rules required work from recipients and limited cash assistance to 5 years.

Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant as part of a federal effort to ‘end welfare as we know it.’ Under TANF, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs.

Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant as part of a federal effort to ‘end welfare as we know it.’ Under TANF, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs. Critics of the welfare system claim that the system does not provide sufficient state flexibility, does not encourage work, contributes to the breakdown of the family, and has done little to reduce poverty.

This report examines the truth of these propositions and assesses the ability of a variety of proposals designed to deal with the complaints.

Welfare-to-Work Program Benefits and Costs | MDRC