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Fri, May. 12th, 2006, 01:37 pm

Kimberly Warren
Extra Credit
Social Work 200

1. A Task group is different than a treatment group because instead of working on helping to solve individual group members problems the group meets collectively to address an issue. They collaborate to solve problems, develop ideas, formulate plans and a cheive collective goals. While group members may indirectly benefit from this group it has a greater purpose and goals beyond the individuals personal problems. Some examples of the kinds of groups are treatment conferences, administrative groups, delegate councils, committees, social action groups and teams. A more specific example of a team would be the QTIIG (Queer Women and Trans Individuals Interest Group) which consists of more than two people collaboratively and interdependently working together to plan transgender awareness week for the UW campus. The group worked together collaborating their ideas, skills and contacts to raise money, plan events, encourage involvement and implement the process.

A treatment group alternatively helps the individual members to solve personal problems. This can occur in the form of changing unwanted behaviors, coping with stress, improving their quality of life and in many other ways. The main difference here is that the focus is internal and does not necessarily extend to outside issues. Some examples include Support groups, Educational groups, Growth groups, Socialization groups and Therapy. A more specific example of a growth group would be a group of gender dysphoric meeting to explore the idea of transitioning. This group would be aimed at expanding self-awareness, increasing potential and maximizing health and wellbeing of the group members.

2. Social Insurance is a social welfare policy that is based on the idea that if you put in you are entitled to take out. Old age, Survivors, Disability and health Insurance are all examples of social insurance because you contribute financially over time to the Insurance policy and at such a time as you need it you are entitled to financial help. Unemployment insurance, workers compensation and Medicare are also social insurance policies. Retirement benefits are a specific example of Social Security Social insurance. This allows workers, who have paid taxes through employment up to age 65 to then be eligible for benefits.
Public Assistance policies are not based upon entitlement or what you have contributed as Social Insurance is. Instead it is based upon the need of the recipient. The funding is derived from general tax revenues. TANF or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families is an example of Public Assistance. This program does not give funding directly to poor people but to states and the block grants are then distributed under the discression of the state. Much of the money is used in food stamps, child care, child protection programs, school meals and nutritional programs for low income pregnant women and children. To receive these benefits individuals do not have to contribute but simply fulfill the states eligibility requirements. There are however severe caps on how much an individual can receive and how long they can receive it for.

3. Culture of Poverty is a term that describes the mindset of people who “learn to live in poverty, accept its values and low expectations, and fail to see any way out of it. It, according to the text book, puts blame on individuals and their families. I however disagree with the book and with those who say recognizing a culture of poverty implies that these individuals could simply pull themselves out of it if they made the choice.
I certainly believe that Political and Economic factors play a large role as to why people are in poverty but you can not discount the cultural aspect simply because it is possible to twist it into a negative view of the poor. Children growing up in poverty often grow up within a culture where not much is expected of them. Their childhoods are often spent expending so much energy on survival, on eating, facing abuses, sustaining mockery from peers and so many other trials that children growing up in higher socioeconomic standing may not have to face. These challenges do not facilitate reaching a persons maximum intellectual or developmental potential and often when they reach an age of adulthood we look at them and blame ensues. These challenges are however occasionally scaled by individuals of exemplary strength and motivation as is told in anecdotal examples. Such stories often have an example in them of a person or people who expressed their belief in the child and evoked in them a faith in themselves and a belief that they can achieve greater things than they see around them.
This does not say in any terms that all children are given that opportunity nor that even if taught faith in themselves all individuals can “pull themselves out of poverty”. Instead it is saying that being downtrodden, having few tangible positive role models, being told that you will be nothing, receiving any number of self esteem ravaging input does factor in to the ultimate financial outcome of a persons life. If we discount that we do much more harm than we do good and we dispense of one of the key tools we as not only social workers, teachers and parents but human beings can do for our children. Show them their true value.