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SOCWORK 1A06 (162)
Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Social Work in the Canadian Context.docx

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McMaster University
Social Work
Sandra Preston

1 Social Work 1A06: Introduction to Social Work Sept. 24 2012 Lecture 3: Social Work in the Canadian Context Rest of Last Lect: Mechanisms of Oppression - Exploitation o Taking the resources, labour, self of others for your own gain - Marginalization o Pushing people to the edges of your society o Moving people from desirable (mental/physical/emotional) spaces to less desirable spaces - Enforcing a Sense of Powerlessness - Cultural Imperialism o Like British Empire  Devaluing peoples’ original ways of thinking about the world - Violence Oppression as a human relationship - Social structures help but humans are resp Lecture 3: Moving towards SJ Social Welfare - Def on slides - Discussion on what is included in social welfare o Youth programs o Food stamps o Homeless shelters etc - Welfare state o System whereby the state ostensibly undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, espec those in financial need - Point of social welfare is to provide a social safety net o Point of a social safety net is to catch you when you fall & help you get back on your feet o Two ways that we use the social safety net to provide social welfare  Income Security vs. Social Services  Income Security provides money for people in various situations 2 o Most of us have received some form of income security in our lives eg. Employment insurance, social assistance, national child benefit, GST rebate, tax cuts  Social services provide a needed service to people o Sometimes better to have a general body (social services) to provide services for people, rather thanjust giving them moneys like income security o Child welfare, health services, shelters, counselling o Public vs. private welfare  Often think of social assistance and social services as something provided by the gov’t  While this is true for many income security programs, most social services are provided by private non-profit and profit organizations/businesses  This businesses supported by the gov’t o i.e. hospitals  Private, non-profit instutions run by a board of citizens  Funded by the gov’t but not the gov’t itself o I.e. Children’s Aid  Private, non-profit, run by a board of citizens  Funded by the gov’t but not the gov’t itself o I.e. Some subsidized daycares  Private, for profit  Funded by the gov’t but not the gov’t itself o Lots of ways that our services are delivered where the money comes from the gov’t but the services aren’t provided by the gov’t  Often think social welfare = social assistance  Only a small proportion of social welfare budget goes to social assistance  Social welfare also = o Student loans o Doctor visits o Child benefit cheque o Public school o Public restaurant – bc visited by health board to ensure safety - Reading ***** o Views of social welfare  Residual  Relates to thin  Institutional 3  Thicker  Structural  Thickest, but still not down at the thick end  Market o What kind of poor are you?  Deserving vs. undeserving – in legislation from way back in the Elizabethan Poor Law  Deserving – seen as poor thru no fault of their own o Don’t have the capacity to work  Undeserving – Seen as poor thru fault of their own o Unemployment blamed on their own failings o Have the capacity to work, but don’t  The defs of these cats have changed over time o Deserving poor – mothers at home with babies  Used to be babies under 6 yrs, now babies under 1 yr – derserving mother who can’t work o Not natural cats, are socially constructed o Approaches  Residual Approaches  Social welfare = charity o Only the deserving can receive social welfare o People have to do everything they can before turning to social assistance  Need to ask fam, church, community, everyone you can before you turn to social assistance o Have to be means tested  Need to be sure you really need it o Make assistance as unattractive as possible o Make it below the amount the lowest paying job pays  Assumes people don’t want to work if they can live off of the system  Will try to live off the system if given a chance o Blames people who are poor  Institutional Approaches  Look less at deserving vs. underserving  Look more at – as a citizen, we deserve the support of our soc o Giving everyone the basics bc that is what is best for the soc o Everyone is a recipient of social welfare  We spent some time here in Canada, now moving on though to market  Structural Approaches  Closer to Social justice 4  Care from the Cradle to the Grave o Minimum income for everyone  In Sweden  Did an exper in Manitoba – gave the community a minimum income, watched to see if people stopped working  Didn’t – a minimum income is not a disincentive to work o Free accessible lifelong education  Day long kindergarten for 3 year olds ---------- grade 12  Then decide if want further education, go for it  Support post-secondarty, post-post secondary o Free accessible healthcare o Adequate, affordable housing o Progressive taxation system  Tax people with more money more, tax people with little money less o Caps on top earnings  One of the Nordic countries – top exec can only make 125x more than the person at the bottom  Sometimes in NA, the person at the top makes 450x the person at the bottom  Market Approaches  Consumer (market) vs. citizenship (institutional) o E
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