Intro to Social Welfare Chapter One Video Lecture

welcome to the slideshow for chapter 1 on intro to social welfare I'm Tara LaRosa and I'll be hosting this video lecture which is coming in a slightly different format first of all I'd like to begin by defining social welfare I'll be breaking this definition down into a number of component parts which you'll see in the next few slides we can understand social welfare as a philosophical con concept here principles or values shape our approaches to solving social problems this picture illustrates an example of how we might understand those values shaping these understandings if we understand social welfare as a product then we're really talking about legislation documents policy materials that describe how social programs are carried out and delivered to people within the community and finally when we put all these things together we have the process of delivering social welfare and we know that when we think we find solutions to problems we sometimes create new problems and so we have to continue to accept the fact that changes will be made and that the process of social welfare is an ongoing activity we've talked about this idea of social problems but we haven't really defined what we mean when we talk about these hick provides us with a definition that describes social problems as situations that are incompatible with standards or norms held by a significant number of people in society and so in this way we understand people who are experiencing social problems to require some kind of intervention or action we also see that heck defines this situation as potentially relating to the traits or states that someone experiences as an individual as internal phenomena or that social problems can relate to external factors or processes that relate to social structures policies or other societal forces Mullaly adds to this too finition by suggesting that social problems need to include negative effects they have to be societal in nature and they have to be improved through some kind of intervention or support but beyond providing people with a particular set of services and resources there's also a to illustrate this point I hope that some of you remember the ice storm that happened in Toronto a couple of years ago severe weather covered trees roads roofs hydro power lines with ice and they produced a lot of damage this meant that people particularly in the North York were faced with difficult conditions many people had no power for several days people who lived in apartment buildings on upper floors were largely trapped in their apartments and seniors who were living at home and who didn't have a lot of resources and supports were trapped at home with no power no heat and little access to personal care workers who would normally come under ideal conditions and so when we frame the situation of weather in this way and we think about the responses that the community undertakes to weather conditions we can understand the ice storm as a social problem it happened in Toronto where populations are high so it affected a lot of people the responses to severe weather conditions are part of the social welfare policy and programs that we've developed at the societal level and so framed in this way we can certainly understand the ice storm as a social problem but the weather itself is not a social problem only our responses to it and the resources that we commit to helping people during disasters make whether a social problem taken together the processes and services that support people's well-being are understood as the social welfare system again this includes particular programs and services and monies that are provided to people in order to enhance their well-being the policies or rules and regulations laws and administrative directives are often referred to as the social policy aspect of the social welfare system and the system relies on these texts rules and laws in order to inform practice that provides social welfare benefits to members of the Canadian population social problems are understood to relate to external and internal factors external factors exist at the societal level X internal at the personal level responses to social problems may focus on individual or societal change but in our current context most of the time they focus on individual factors responses to social problems that approaches to social welfare may embrace the residual view which is a view that deals with problems that already exist social welfare in this context is seen to be a kind of temporary response to human need and it's based on a conservative understanding that individual needs are best met through the market economy and through support from family and friends in contrast the institutional view see social welfare as related to social processes and phenomena and therefore responses that adhere to this particular value system pay more attention to systemic issues and long-term investments the structural view pays more attention to the fundamental elements of our social structure like for example capitalism and seeks to eliminate processes that are exploitative and oppression an oppressive in nature and so oftentimes these kinds of structural views mean a restructuring of the way in which we organize our economy and our government systems both the public sector and the private sector have a role in social welfare as it is currently structured public welfare includes government programs and services delivered at all levels of government private welfare services include services provided by not-for-profit agencies like say the Red Cross as well as services that are provided by for-profit organizations like insurance companies you may insure your house let's say against robbery or say a fire and as part of that policy you might include things like emergency shelter costs in this way you would be receiving kind of social welfare resources from your insurance company if you didn't have insurance you might be eligible for shelter from a government agency or organization or perhaps through a not-for-profit like say the Red Cross for-profit welfare support might come in the form of insurance you might have your house insured against safe fire and in the event that a fire were to take place in your home your insurance company might provide you with services like emergency shelter costs in order to support you while you rebuilt your home and so we might understand this a kind of private for-profit welfare model while many people argue that the Canadian government doesn't spend enough on social programs a significant portion of what is suspend on social programs falls into the categories of services to elderly people and to healthcare and so while we do have great programs in many areas we also know that Canada status among United Nations member countries is falling and that we spend much less on social programs than many other countries in the developed world the kind of income support programs provided to Canadians fall into four categories Social Insurance Democrat monetary programs and income supplementation each of these has their own set of criteria and particular qualities that make them important this slide outlines some information about each program and the text provides you with a significant amount of information about each of these programs taxes are a significant way of raising funds for providing social services in Canada taxation allows the government to redistribute income from higher income earners to lower-income earners and to create particular desired effects through the redistribution of these funds the benefit of tax based redistribution is that it produces very little stigma and makes determining the eligibility for receiving particular services quite easy to administer it's much less costly to do this through the tax system than it is to do it through particular applications for programs while many people believe that corporations pay a significant amount of tax in Canada much research proves that in fact corporate tax is only a small proportion of the taxes that are collected individuals actually pay the largest share of taxes in Canada and therefore contribute the most to social programs high-income earners are often able to exercise particular specialized programs or what some people might refer to as tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes and so it is middle-income Canadians who pay the largest share of taxes overall but still our taxation remains among the lowest of all of the UN member nations who are measured under the OECD calculations while there are many myths about high taxes in Canada we've seen from the last slide that to some degree these are just that myths however there is still a lot of debate over the use of taxation as a way of controlling economic activity and redistributing income you can open the paper any day of the week and find a lot of great examples about these kinds of arguments again these relate to particular philosophical orientations and ideological perspectives many people argue that public spending is important in ensuring that Canadians have a good standard of living and the government has a role or responsibility to intervene in the economy in order to produce well-being among its citizens almost everyone who participates in Canadian society uses social welfare in some way but for 60% of the population income support programs provided as part of the social welfare infrastructure represent an important source of income while 40% of Canadians access some kind of benefits middle class people are more likely to access social benefits because many social programs and tax rebates require a minimum income in order for people to access these services Universal programs used to be the hallmark of the Canadian social welfare infrastructure but now many Universal programs have been eroded or eliminated all together and they require particular kinds of eligibility criteria or have particular cut-offs for receiving benefits health care and education are two programs that we can understand as a universal programs as is the child tax benefit selective programs benefit applicants on the basis of needs and means and we'll talk more about those particular criteria for eligibility in a moment social workers are responsible for assessing the eligibility of many individuals in many social programs and so means and needs tests are two of the models that we use to assess the eligibility of people to receive services or the level of benefits someone might be able to receive means tests assess people's income really ensuring that people have a particular level of income that matches the kind of services that they are receiving so someone might be eligible for particular payments or particular services if their income falls under a certain amount needs tests really look at the balance between someone's needs and the resources that they have to meet those needs if a person doesn't have the particular resources in order to meet their needs then they may be eligible for particular supplements or resources or supports to compensate for the gap between needs and resources there are a number of differences between universal and selective processes beyond the way in which the services are delivered Universal programs have long been understood to produce particular positive outcomes like a strong sense of national identity connection between and among people within the community and they are low stigma programs in that everyone can it can receive the program they are much cheaper to administer than other kinds of programs that require a lot of eligibility assessments like needs and means tests in order to ensure people are receiving benefits that they're entitled to so considering this selective programs can produce stigmatization or be punitive in nature they're more susceptible to cuts because they only affect particular parts of the population rather than the population as a whole and selective programs may lack the kind of quality that Universal programs do because administering a universal program is more simple than administering a selective proce program there's a small app error in this slide in that the second line says political entity while still remaining a measure or political will should be of political will federalism is an important way of doing business in Canada and social programs often are framed within a federalist approach in that proof the provinces get together with the federal government and make decisions about how particular programs should be administered while still maintaining some rights to unique ways to deliver or administer these programs but the process for administering the programs is centralized in planning insurance is a great example of a federalist model of administering income support resources constitutionally the federal government maintains significant Authority in terms of providing income security to the Canadian population however in most instances the federal government leaves the administration and delivery of services to the provinces the exception to this rule is First Nations people indigenous people in Canada remain under the jurisdiction of the federal government thanks to the Indian Act and so the federal government has judicial authority over the administration of social services and social welfare programs to First Nations people in many instances the government has created particular agreements with provinces in order to have provinces deliver the services but they're paid for and adjudicated and controlled by the federal government health care for First Nations people is an example of this as our child welfare services that supports in many areas for example in Ontario the way in which funding is structured in Social Welfare can be really important and we've moved through a variety of different approaches to delivering services while are transferring the resources to deliver services the Canada Assistance Plan was one of the most important approaches to delivering social welfare services in Canada because it created a matching funds arrangement between the federal and provincial government if a government spent a dollar on social welfare services they received $1 in funding from the federal government but over time this matching funds approach has been eroded and it and we now see that the federal government controls payments much more significantly and has carved up health and social transfers into two discrete categories this means that the federal government is able to set limits on spending at the provincial level and to provide particular funds that are designated in an inflexible way to the provincial governments to administer services like health and education and income support programs funding social programs produces a lot of strife and conflict between the federal government and the provinces most recently the federal government has tried to introduce a social Union framework to negotiate the organization and distribution of resources for social welfare programs in Canada whose been limited as success with this social Union framework model some provinces have refused to participate while others have been actively engaged in the process this ends our first lecture and I hope that you enjoyed the lecture and the format that this one was created in I'm not sure that you'll have another lecture that's quite like this but it was an experiment to see how a different kind of software worked in the process of producing a video lecture good luck and I'll see you at lecture 2

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