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.