| Poverty and the Effects of Social Policy| Shasta McLaws| Axia| | | | The policies concerning a person’s ability to receive poverty related assistance are mainly governed by the federal poverty guidelines or income limits. These guidelines help by determining what an acceptable living wage would be for a family or an individual to live off of. For the Department of Human Services to justify helping an individual or family with food stamps, child care, Medicaid, or other related services; they must make under a certain amount of money.
For an average family of four, in order to qualify for assistance through the Department of Health and Welfare, the family as a whole cannot make more than two thousand four hundred and forty four dollars in a given month (Department of Health and Welfare). While it is an undeniable fact that the Department of Health and Welfare is offering a helpful service to the American people who live in poverty, there is still plenty of work to be done. Welfare beneficiaries have a long hard road ahead of them if they are to become self sufficient and learn how to manage their financial situation better.
Because people fall into the cycle of poverty for many different reasons, it is difficult to determine what sort of programs will be of the best assistance in improving living situations. Although a lack of education and or the ability to acquire helpful job skills are a few of the main causes. These discrepancies should be some of the easiest issues to fix, however, because there is such a large population in need of immediate assistance, these secondary needs get set aside and often remain unmet.
Far too often single parents may have a difficult time finding work because a vast majority of potential employers are looking for reliable workers who can work at a moment’s notice. Single parents may often be viewed as inconsistent due to their inability to find and afford a trustworthy daycare center for their children. There is also the problem of people worrying about loss of benefits from various social government programs. Loss of these programs can frequently cause a family to decide against returning to work because it just doesn’t make much sense for those who really need the benefits.
Therefore, the parent is stuck in a monotonous cycle that can be very hard to break away from. If there are no incentives to return to work and provide for the family, most will not even try to improve their situation. Besides the hurdle of unemployment and child care issues, a common issue that human service workers may encounter is program bankruptcy or pay cuts. If the programs lose funding, then the workers may either lose their job or have to relocate so that they may keep their job. On a more personal level, the clients may not know how to ask for help or may be too embarrassed or self conscious to seek helpful services.
A way to make sure that those who need these services will have access to them is to talk with the client and let them know what services are available. The welfare system has undergone quite a few changes over the years since it was started. Most of these changes came about from a desire to help people improve their lives and become more self-sufficient rather than remaining reliant on the government. One such change was the welfare to work program, which required a recipient to exchange aid for work. According to reports, within 3 years of the reforms enactment, millions of Americans had moved from being dependant on welfare being self-sufficient” (Welfare Information, 2010. Para 3). Oddly, however; this program was terminated in 2004. It would benefit the country as a whole if this and other similar programs were reinstated. Another important aspect of poverty that needs to be addressed is the necessity for more educational programs. When people have more access to education they in turn, can find better employment that will most likely pay better.
Some possibilities for improvement in social policy would include child care programs like Head Start. This program gives children just that, a head start in education. There is a definite need for these programs, not just for young children, but also for teenagers and young adults. “Currently, about 3. 8 million young people between the ages 16 1nd 24 are out of school and out of work”(CLASP, 2010 para 1). If these individuals are not taken care of from the start, it will only lead them down the same path as their parents and it will not solve the issue of poverty. References CLASP. (2010).
The Federal Government Should Invest in Disconnected Youth. Retrieved from http://www. clasp. org/issues/pages? type=youth&id=0006 The Department of Health and Welfare. (2009). Retrieved from http://healthandwelfare. idaho. gov/Food/CashAssistance/FederalPovertyGuidelines/tabid/311/default. aspx Welfare Information. (2010). Welfare Reform-Social Welfare Change. Retrieved from http://www. welfareinfo. org/reform/