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Social Welfare Policies - Essay Example

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Since the historical and political changes have occurred, women have moved into paid work but these women are still struggling to earn a subsistence level of pay as well as the possibility to manage work and care simultaneously and those women who need to take care of elderly people have imposed additional stress on their own selves…
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Social Welfare Policies
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Download file to see previous pages The study is to explore the origins of public welfare policy created specifically for mother-only families. At first, the Government of Chicago initiated the largest mothers' pension program in the United States in 1911. Evolving alongside movements for industrial justice and women's suffrage, the mothers' pension movement hoped to provide "justice for mothers" and protection from life's insecurities. However, local politics and public finance derailed the policy, and most women were required to earn. Widows were more likely to receive pensions than deserted women and unwed mothers. And African-American mothers were routinely excluded because they were proven breadwinners yet did not compete with white men for jobs. Ultimately, the once-uniform commitment to protect motherhood faltered on the criteria of individual support and wage-earning became a major component of the policy (Goodwin). On the other hand, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), commonly known as welfare, is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18. A family of three (mother and two children) may qualify for TANF if their gross income is below $784 a month and assets are worth less than $1,000 (TANF, 2000). This revealing study shows how assumptions about single mothers' roles have traditionally shaped public policy and sheds new light on the ongoing controversy of welfare reform.
Mothers' Pension Policy and TANF
Mothers' pension system is a magnificent addition to the vast scholarly literature on women and the welfare state. There are some analysis of the compromises and contradictions that plagued mothers' pensions from the beginning provides a much-needed historical perspective on the current welfare mess (Goodwin, 1997). Where most previous scholars have examined the motivations, ideology, and political organization that made possible the enactment of mothers' pensions laws in the 1910s, Gender and the Politics of Welfare Reform is the first monograph to analyze their implementation at the local level. Chicago had the largest pension program in Illinois, the first state to enact a mothers' pension law. The 1911 Funds to Parents Act, which permitted counties to provide cash (as opposed to in-kind) assistance for poor parents to raise children in their own homes, set a new direction in social policy by distinguishing pensions from poor relief. In the same way, the TANF is only for low-income families include those with children who:
Lack the support of one or both parents because of a parent's absence, disability, unemployment, or underemployment.
Are less than 18 years old (they may be 18 if attending school and are expected to graduate before age 19).
Are U.S. citizens or legally admitted residents of the United States.
Live in Texas with a parent or close relative.

Unfortunately, political opposition and fiscal constraints worked to limited the new program almost immediately. In keeping with other recent scholars, it is the matter consideration that how mothers' pensions developed as a component of women's rights (Ladd-Taylor, 1998). However, unlike Theda Skocpol, who stresses the role maternalist women's organizations ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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