Textbook - Chapter 15 (Poverty and the Family)

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Sarah Murray

Class FRHD1020 Couple and Family RelationshipsProfessorS MurrayTextbookThe Family DynamicA Canadian Perspective Fifth EditionAuthorsMargaret Ward and Marc BelangerPublisherNelsonISBN 9780176502003Chapter 15 Poverty and the Family Learning ObjectivesTo place poverty in Canada in historical perspectiveTo look at poverty among specific groups of the poorTo consider the characteristics of the poorTo look at how families in poverty do or do not make ends meetTo look at homelessness in CanadaTo examine the effect of poverty on childrenTo consider ways of combating povertyPoverty is defined almost entirely in terms of income Financial levels alone do not accurately reflect the ability of some people to manage better than others the money available to themTwo basic ways of defining poverty An absolute measure identifies the minimum basic requirements necessary for physical survival diet that sustains life clothing that protects from elements appropriate shelter another approach considers poverty a relative concept based on social wellbeing in addition to physical survivalStatistics Canada lowincome cutoffs use this type of definitionHELPING THE WORTHY POORIn the early years of European settlement in Canada the poor depended almost entirely on their families or on other private individuals for helpPublic assistance provided by local governments or charities on an emergency basis only grocery hampers secondhand clothing vouchers for fuel Homeless elderly people kept in local jails on charges of vagrancy because there was no other place for them1867 social programs were primarily the responsibility of provincial and local governments Social safety net developed eventuallySocial assistance was financial aid provided for workers and their families during periods of disability Mothers allowance set up to help needy children Eligibility depended on the mother criteria varying from province to provinceBChusbands were in TB sanitorium mental hospital or prison if self was chronically ill disabled widowed applicants had to be of good character pass a strict means test to prove they needed help subject to intrusion into personal lives permission needed to move from city to country or vice versa1927 old age pensions were established subject to strict means testGreat Depression of 1930s federal government assumed growing role as provider of basic financial support to many destitute familiesSince WWII pace of this involvement has increased1942 nationwide program of unemployment insurance introduced funded through employer and employee contributions 1944family allowances introduced for each child up to 16 years of age 1952federal govt introduced Old Age Security 1965Unemployment assistance extended benefits1966Canada and Quebec Pension plans based on contributions 1972new Unemployment Insurance Act 1974Family Allowance Act Through EI maternity and paternal benefits 2006Universal Child Care BenefitPOVERTY OFFICIALLY DEFINEDProf Chris Sarlo of Nipissing UniversityThe basic needs poverty line is the cost of a list of basic needs required for longterm physical wellbeingThose needs include nutritious food purchased at a grocery store fulfilling all Canada Food Guide requirements rental accommodation clothing purchased new at major department stores household furnishings supplies personal hygiene items laundry insurance outofpocket health costs such as medications dental and vision care and so on
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