Do Means-Tested Programs Create a Dependency?
Women are gaining employment because of TANF; however, their higher education is lacking leaving the women in low-income jobs (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p. 132). Therefore, in turn it is creating a cycle of applying for benefits, gaining low-income jobs, and to still have to depend on the program. The reason being, the gap between what the women are earning and that of their potential of having a higher education.
Potential Perception of Dependency Contributes to Stigma of Welfare Programs
Dependency on welfare programs will continue to leave a negative perception on the means-tested programs. While there may be statistics to prove that women are gaining work skills to be employed at low-income jobs; the statistics are still greater in the reliance of the job and the means-tested program (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p. 132). The stigma of welfare programs will always carry the association until women obtain college degrees and superior independency.
Personal Perception on Clients Utilizing Means-Tested Programs
I personally believe it is okay to use them to an extent. There are people who absolutely “need” the financial help and there are others who use it beyond what the program is truly intended for. These programs are intended to help people financially until they can become self-sufficient and support themselves financially. Other things I keep in mind are our economy and government policies. If the economy does not overcome this financial barrier and start creating opportunities things will remain the same. Also, federal and state policies need to be altered to assist in enhancing the lives of others and not leaving opportunities open only for the privileged. I do not believe this will affect my work as a social worker because what I believe in will help better the lives of those reliant on means-tested programs. My job is to strive to help clients become self-sufficient with the appropriate resources for their situations.
Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.