Discussion: The Effects of Means-Tested Social Programs
What is welfare? When you hear the word “welfare,” do you picture images of individuals who are facing hard times? While there is more than one type of social program available in the United States to those who need it, social welfare programs like TANF provide assistance to families in need through government tax revenues. Programs like these are often referred to as “public assistance” or “means-tested programs.” These programs have eligibility criteria that are based on the individual’s or the family’s household income and assets. Do these types of programs exist in your state or region? If so, what are the criteria? If you encountered a client like Eboni Logan, from the Logan Family video, who soon will become a mother, how might you best assist her in obtaining benefits from these types of programs?
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including the Logan Family video case. Consider the means-tested programs that might be available to her in your state or region. Then, think about the likely long-term outcomes for Eboni and her child, if she chooses to parent. Finally, reflect on the state welfare policies that might help her manage the responsibilities of parenthood.
By Day 3
Post a brief explanation of the means-tested programs that might be available to Eboni. Be sure your answer is specific to the means-tested programs available in your state or region. Then, explain the potential long-term outcomes for Eboni and her child, if she chooses to parent. Finally, explain the state public assistance policies that might help Eboni manage the responsibilities of parenthood.
Discussion 2: Welfare Programs
In the United States, there are many policies and programs in place to provide financial assistance to individuals in various ways. Some of these policies and programs include tax deductions for children, child care, mortgage interest, marital status, and/or student loans. These examples represent financial considerations the U.S. government provides to specific groups of people in society.
While many individuals appreciate the benefits of the policies and programs indicated earlier, there are many stereotypes associated with people who utilize certain public assistance programs like food stamps, subsidized housing, etc. It is important for social workers to understand the impact these stereotypes have on recipients of and service providers for such programs. Also, it is essential that you have the facts about social welfare policies in order to dispel the myths about recipients of assistance programs.
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Consider whether you think means-tested programs, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), create dependency among its recipients. Then, think about how the potential perception of dependency might contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs. Finally, reflect on the perceptions you might have regarding individuals who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients.
By Day 4
Post an explanation of whether means-tested programs (TANF, SNAP, and SSI) create dependency. Then, explain how the potential perception of dependency might contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs. Finally, explain the perceptions you have regarding people who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients.