As our economy gets worse and jobs are harder to come by, people are finding that striving in today’s society is becoming harder and harder on a daily basis. People living in the middle and lower classes of our society as well as the elderly and disabled have to depend on governmental programs in order to provide for themselves and their families. As the economy changes, so does the policies that govern such programs as welfare, food stamps, child care assistance and federal housing.
However, these programs are paid for by the working class citizens and this causes many issues as more and more people enter these programs and take advantage. Poverty is in every city in every state in America. Families that fall at or below the poverty line can get several means of governmental assistance that can help them through hard times. But it’s not just people who are unemployed that receive such benefits but the elderly who are in too bad of health to work and who have no one to take care of them.
Disabled Americans also receive governmental assistance include the mentally ill and physically challenged. Just like everything else, there are many problems that are associated with this public policy and the issues surrounding it. The problems with the welfare policy is that it is not doing what it was intended to do which was to help keep people out of poverty. However there are many people who However there are many people that disagree with just giving people a “free” ride.
Some people view ones on such programs as lazy and not wanting to work. By determining who should and shouldn’t have assistance properly developing a policy to ensure that such programs are really needed, the United States measures poverty in qualitative and quantitative ways (Stewart, Hedge, Lester, 2008). When a person applies for welfare assistance they are assigned a case worker who looks at several things to determine if they qualify for such programs. One way that helps the case worker determine eligibility is by using qualitative research.
By using face to face interviews it can help the case worker not only observe the person’s responses to questions but also to get an in-depth understanding into the person’s beliefs, attitudes, and their situation (www. uncp. edu). This type of research uses interviews, case studies, and analysis of data collected to help find out the who and why behind the problem of welfare policies.
Ruth G. McRoy, PhD, CSW-ACP, is Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor in Services to Children and Families, University of Texas School of Social Work, Austin, TX 78712. http://www. uncp. edu/home/marson/qualitative_research. html