Chapter 13 Poverty

Chapter 13 Poverty - INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK 1 BECOMING...

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INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL  WORK BECOMING A CHANGE  AGENT Poverty and Economic Disparity 1
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The United States is the most technologically and  economically advanced country in the world, but  one must have enough economic resources to take  advantage of many of the conveniences that are  available.   2
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DEFINING POVERTY DEFINING POVERTY Defining poverty and determining who is poor is  complicated.   Personal and social values play a large role in  making these decisions.   3
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DEFINING POVERTY DEFINING POVERTY There are two general approaches to defining poverty: Absolute poverty Uses a dollar value that is firmly set; anyone who earns  less than that amount is officially categorized as poor.   An absolute line is easier to use than a changeable relative  comparison.   Relative poverty   Uses comparisons to determine who is poor and who is not.  A relative scale begins with agreement about the level of  economic resources the average person should have, then  compares people against that standard to determine who  has enough.   4
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DEFINING POVERTY DEFINING POVERTY The Official Definition of Poverty The definition of poverty used by federal and  state governments is an absolute measure that is  referred to as the poverty threshold  or poverty  line.  Although there was an attempt to make the  threshold objective and scientific, many  assumptions went into initially developing the  poverty line.   It continues to be controversial today, with some  arguing it is too generous, and others that it is  not generous enough.   5
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Poverty Threshold Set by the Census Bureau – used for statistical  purposes DHHS sets poverty guidelines based on Census  Bureau thresholds that do not reflect differences  in the cost of living from state to state. 1963 threshold for a family of 4 - $3100, adjusted  for inflation over the years, 2008 guideline for the  same family is $21,200 Threshold is controversial – some argue too high  because it leaves out benefits, others too low  because it is based on a minimum diet for  survival over a short period NOT for growth and  development over time.
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Despite the differences of opinion,  the absolute standard is the ONLY  official measure of poverty that is  used to determine the extent of  poverty and to establish guidelines  for program eligibility
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WHO IS POOR IN AMERICA? WHO IS POOR IN AMERICA?
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Chapter 13 Poverty - INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK 1 BECOMING...

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