Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining how social workers might help to alleviate the stigma based on the explanations your colleagues provided.
Whether or not you think means-tested programs such as TANF, SNAP, and SSI create dependency
I do believe in some cases dependency can occur for those who are on welfare. One thing that can contribute to dependency is the societal issue of when welfare assistance exceeds the financial compensation you would get from a low wage job (Popple & Leighninger, 2019). Without higher levels of education, the type of jobs that some are qualified to do are at minimum to low-wage which in many cases is not enough to get by. So, if given a choice between living on welfare or working, some will choose to work only if they will be significantly better off (Popple & Leighninger, 2019).
How the potential perception of dependency might contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs
Many argue everyone should be independent and provide for themselves. I feel that it is this negative attitude that leads to the stigma around welfare assisted programs. The problem is that not everyone has the tools or the opportunity to make it on their own and being self-sufficient is not realistic (Popple & Leighninger, 2019). Those with this negative stigma tend to lack the knowledge of what the real issues are for those who experiencing poverty and how difficult it can be to escape. They group together and stereotype all people who are on welfare (Popple & Leighninger, 2019).
Perceptions you have regarding people who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients
In my work, I have assisted many people in applying for welfare or applying for social security benefits. It is usually one of the first things that I do when first working and helping clients. When you are a social worker, you must use the resources that are available to help those in need. I have seen through my job how getting on welfare can make a huge impact to those are struggling. The issue that is hard for me is when I see people abuse the system. Although I do my best to keep my judgement and attitude aside it can be challenging. For me it is the ones that abuse the system that contribute to the negative stigma associated with welfare and make it harder for those that don’t abuse it.
Explanation of whether means-tested programs (TANF, SNAP, and SSI) create dependency. Amid the falling of a once vibrant economy, many families found themselves unable to obtain a sustainable rate of survival due to the stock market crash in 1929 causing what is known as the “Great Depression” here in America, during this time is when welfare was introduced and implemented (Pilon, 2018). This policy allowed qualified individuals to get food stamps and finances to help aid them in through this difficult time (Pilon, 2018). During this time there was no limit on how long one could be on welfare but there was a limit of the amount of food stamps and finances one could get based on the size of the household. This could very easily lead to dependency because this program and other programs in association with it were created for families who did not work in an effort to aid them to survive. It was not until 1992 when then-president Bill Clinton changed welfare policies that limited the amount of time one could qualify for benefits such as SNAP and TANF (Pilon, 2018). Explain how the potential perception of dependency might contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs. When Aid to Families with Dependent Children was introduced in 1935 societal views were that women were the caretakers and responsible for rearing the children, however, this societal perception has changed over the years and women are now working instead of raising their children (Popple, P. R, and Leighninger, L., 2019). In addition, society began to wonder if America could afford to continue to allow women to stay at home instead of working (Popple, P. R, and Leighninger, L., 2019). This could impact the thinking of the working class causing them to buy into the fact that women who stay at home in these times are just lazy and refuse to work and live off of taxpayers hard earned money. Explain the perceptions you have regarding people who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients. I believe there is a mixed bag of individuals who are receiving various forms of federal assistance. Some are “milking the system” and taking advantage of it while others really need the help and assistance the means-tested programs provide. This proception can affect my work with clients if I go into an assessment or a situation trying to distinguish which category the clients I am working with fits into. If I determine that they are “milking” the system I could easily be persuaded not to be as diligent in helping. With that being said for this and many other reasons I will enter into any situation with an open mind willing and ready to aide in helping my clients become whole.