Various plans have been aimed at women’s advancement in different sphere. TANF replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) welfare program in 1996 with a
$16.5 billion annual federal block grant in which the federal government sets broad policy requirements and states determine, within those rules, their own policies for providing cash grants (Issue Brief, 2003). Although TANF is intended to financially assist needy families (particularly women and children), new legislation may also need to reconsider the physical and mental health of the recipients. Nearly one-half of TANF recipients report “poor” general health or “poor” mental health and more than twice as many reported health limitations that reduced participation in school, work, housework, or other activities in the past year according to the Urban Institute’s National Survey America’s Families (Issue Brief, 2003). This seems to indicate that women who receive welfare have greater rates of health problems than other women that may prevent them from achieving self-sufficiency and a higher standard of life-quality. Eligible women and their children will often lose Medicaid coverage when they leave TANF (Issue, Brief, 2003). Legislation that takes into account the physical and mental health concerns associated with poverty that may prevent them from may need to consider the consequences of these challenges.
Describe the anti- poverty program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Discuss (a) who is eligible for the program; (b) requirements of those receiving TANF; and (c) services provided by the program.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that provides cash assistance and supportive services to assist families with children under the age of 18, helping them achieve economic self-sufficiency. Children under 18 living with their parent(s) or relative such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle etc., who meet specific nonfinancial criteria and whose countable family income meets the following income guidelines are qualified to receive services. The applicant or recipient must provide the Division of Family Resources (DFR) with accurate and complete information regarding the child(ren), parent(s) and all other household members whose income and needs are to be assessed in order to determine eligibility (Family and Social Services Administration, 2012).
Individuals must provide Social Security numbers and meet state residency, citizenship/ immigration status, employment and child support assignment requirements.
As a condition of eligibility for TANF, adult applicants deemed mandatory for IMPACT, Indiana’s employment and training program, are required to attend Applicant Job Search Orientation and complete 20 days of Applicant Job Search activities. Failure to complete the Applicant Job Search program without good cause will result in the denial of the application for cash assistance.
The applicant or recipient is responsible to report any changes in circumstances to DFR within 10 days of the date the changes occurred (Family and Social Services Administration, 2012). A key feature of the TANF policy that distinguishes the current welfare program from its predecessor is that benefits for adults and their families are limited to 60 months over a recipient’s lifetime. While the program provides recipients with cash grants, it focuses on employment, emphasizing the importance of work in supporting families (Issue Brief, 2003).
Security has evolved since its inception in 1935. Describe how the program works today. (a) How is the program financed? (b) Who is eligible to receive benefits? (c) What are the benefits?
Social Security provides guaranteed income each year to more than 55 million American workers and their families who have lost income due to retirement, disability or death; this also includes disability and life insurance protection. Between 1960 and 2008, Social Security helped cut the poverty rate among seniors by more than two-thirds (AFL-CIO, 2012). Social Security is financed through a dedicated payroll tax. Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent* of wages up to the taxable maximum of $110,100 (in 2012), while the self-employed pay 12.4 percent (Social Security, 2012). Social security is available to anyone over the age of 65 for full retirement or 62 for early retirement has paid into the program and has the appropriate amount of credit.
Achieving permanent solutions for placement of children was emphasized with passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997. Discuss the positive and negative outcomes of the act.
On November 19, 1997, the President signed into law the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, to improve the safety of children, to promote adoption and other permanent homes for children who need them, and to support families (Summary of The Adoption And Safe Families Act of 1997, 2012). Benefits of this program include expanding the family preservation and support system and ensuring the safety of children. In addition to the funds that prevent child abuse and neglect and assist families in crisis, the program’s funds specifically include time-limited reunification services such as counseling, substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, assistance for domestic violence, temporary child care and crisis nurseries, and transportation to and from these services. Adoption promotion and support services are also included and are defined as pre- and post-adoptive services and activities that are designed to expedite the adoption process and support families (Summary of The Adoption And Safe Families Act of 1997, 2012). However, the law states that the system’s “paramount concern” is for children’s health and safety, which some critics say endorses a tilt away from family preservation and reunification efforts. These negative outcomes include termination of parental rights if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months (The Adoption And Safe Families Act of 1997, 2012).
The social welfare policy shift to provide mental health services in communities rather than relying heavily on institutionalization resulted in the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963. (a) What was its original intent? (b) How was the actual impact consistent with the intended impact of legislation? (c) What are the unintended consequences and/or problems resulting from the legislation?
Community mental health centers were envisioned as a place that could take care of people who had mental health concerns, but couldn’t afford typical outpatient treatment. Beginning in the 1960’s, the centers are locally based and generally vary in the types of resources they offer the community, but usually, at minimum, offer medications and psychotherapy for the mentally ill. One of their primary purposes was to move people away from the unhealthy, un-therapeutic conditions of state inpatient psychiatric hospitals, toward outpatient, community-based care (Grohol, 2012). Community mental health centers often offer a sliding scale to make services more affordable for those with little or no health insurance. However, most community mental health centers serve a decidedly middle-class America. People who are very poor are struggling with the basics of life such as finding a job, putting food on the table, staying in reliable shelter, keeping a family together. Funding for community services such as these can plateau, or even be cut. In many states, governments must submit balanced budgets and when there’s a shortfall in revenues, public services are often the first to feel such cuts (Grohol, 2012).
Did you immigrate to the United States or have you ever visited another country, or if no foreign experience, what do you know about the following questions? (a) What is it like to be different than the majority population? (b) How can not understanding the language, customs and laws result in difficulties or problems? (c) What might you answer to (a) and (b) to demonstrate about the challenges for immigrants to the United States? (d) How might public policies aid their transition?
I have had the opportunity to travel overseas. Language barriers make communication for even the basic necessities difficult, which can hinder opportunities and access to helping services such as educational and employment opportunities. Disparities in education, health care, employment and other areas that lower that quality of life may also go unrecognized. Social, economic, and political equity may be hindered if efforts developed to help fight social discrimination at a broader, national level are not achieved. Addressing issues of social justice in order to improve access to employment, education, legal and governmental institutions and agencies will help ensure equal access to opportunities for immigrants. Influencing change within the system may need to include analyzing the sources of political power and social influence and encouraging the sharing of power through anti-oppressive strategies to ensure the change is lasting (Lopez-Baez & Paylo, 2009). Public policies that ensure equal access to services, such as eleigibility for state and federal programs, allow immigrants greater opportunities at achieving higher levels of life-quality. Advocacy addressing social barriers and lack of access to appropriate services need to be met at a systems level in order to implement change within the larger society. Influencing change within the system may need to include analyzing the sources of political power and social influence and encouraging the sharing of power through anti-oppressive strategies to ensure the change is lasting (Lopez-Baez & Paylo, 2009).
ALF-CIO. (2012). What is social security? America’s Union. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Retirement-Security/What-Is-Social-Security
Family and Social Services Administration. (2012). Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from http://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/2684.htm
Grohol, J.M. PsyD. (2012). Treatment and Community Mental Health Centers. World of Psychology. Retrieved December 17, 2012 from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/11/14/treatment-and-community-mental-health-centers/
Issue Brief. (2003). Welfare, Women, and Health: The Role of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The Henry Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/0128.pdf
Lopez-Baez, S.I., & Paylo, M. J. (2009). Social justice advocacy: Community collaboration and systems advocacy. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 87(3), 276-283. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/219040504?accountid=27965
Social Security. (2012). The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/HowAreSocialSecurity.htm
Summary of The Adoption And Safe Families Act of 1997. (2012). Retrieved December 17, 2012 from http://library.adoption.com/articles/summary-of-the-adoption-and-safe-families-act-of-1997.html
The Adoption And Safe Families Act of 1997. (2012). Retrieved December 17, 2012 from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/inside/asfa.html