Walden University Welfare Program Discussion Responses

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Walden University


Read a selection of your colleagues' posts.

Respond by Day 6 to at least two colleagues by explaining how social workers might help to alleviate the stigma based on the explanations your colleagues provided.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Colleague 1: Nicole

An explanation of whether means-tested programs (TANF, SNAP, and SSI) create dependency.

When responding to another peer's discussion 1, I expressed my concerns regarding this concept. I think it sometimes, leads to an "easy way out" for some people, who would rather depend on the assistance they can receive, once they qualify then to actually have to apply themselves to get a job, or a better job to support themselves and their families. I'm sure that the system is so overwhelmed that they don't often "check-in" with everyone who is recieving assistance to see if they still qualify or just taking advantage of the programs.

How the potential perception of dependency might contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs.

Years ago, I fell on hard times and had lost my job, i was finding it difficult to get a new one and was running low on supporting myself. I was relying on friends and food pantrys to feed myself. A friend had suggested applying for food stamps to help me out. I vehemently argued with them saying that I wasn't one of the people that really "needed it", that there were so many other people who needed it more than me. She spoke at great length with me and said to apply and let the "system" decide if I qualified or not.

I was so nervous of going down and standing in line with what I assumed would be homeless and very hungry people (shame on me!) and was actually embaraassed of going. Not only for that but I was concerned wondering what people were going to think of this caucasian lady driving a BMW was there for. However, my car was paid for, I was managing my rent from savings and was just in a hard spot. But, when I arrived and got out of my car, I was shocked. There were so many people that looked and felt like I did. Needless to say, I qualified for assistance.

I hated going to buy groceries and having to whip out my EBT "credit card", because everyone knows what that looks like in the grocery store and I didn't look like the stereo-typical "food stamp person", whatever that was. But, embarressed for relying on it or the stereotype that I or others had of the people receiving assistance, it was a lifesaver at the time. With hard work I was able to find a new job in a couple of months and went down to the assistance office and told them I didn't need the benifits anymore. The lady behind the counter was shocked. She said well you still qualify for 8 more months. I had to almost convince her i didn't want them anymore and to give my share to another family in need.

Explain the perceptions you have regarding people who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients.

I have been fortunate enough growing up to come from a very blessed family and never really had to experience getting assistance other than for about 2 months, when living on my own, as stated previously. I am all about building independence and focusing on strengths of my clients, so to help them build their self identity and self esteem, to be able to support themselves and their families. I know that it would never bother me negatively to work with a client who was receiving assistance, most of us need support in one form or another. I know that having been in that same situation, although for a short amount of time, I can feel their fear, shame and guilt as well. Over the years, I have done a lot of volunteering both on a local and global scale to be able to help someone and meet their needs whatever situation they are in at that time, is why I wanted to pursue my MSW in the first place.

Colleague 2: Tiffany

Consider whether you think means-tested programs create dependency among its recipients.

I personally believe that these types of programs do create dependency. I believe that on some level our government does as well. The welfare system has reformed or tried to be reformed several times over the years. I’ve always though about this a a very straight forwarded issue. However Popple, & Leighninger, have me thinking other wise. They stated “if we raise benefits in order to reduce child poverty, we risk encouraging adult dependency” (2019). I never thought about it like this before. They went on to say “a round of welfare reform that reduces child poverty by increasing benefits will be perceived as increasing adult dependency and will lead to a reform effort to counteract this. The reform effort will attempt to reduce dependency by cutting benefits, which will increase child poverty and lead to calls for reform because of this” (2019). This issues is defiantly not as simple as I thought it was.

How does the potential perception of dependency contribute to the stigma surrounding welfare programs.

When people think about welfare they don’t think about someone going through a hard time that just needs a little help. They think of someone who doesn’t work, is on drugs and ha several children. I’m sure that this is not true for most of the population who receives benefits. By trying to reform welfare and put more stipulations in place regarding working and drug testing I believe that the government is trying to change that stigma.

Reflect on the perceptions you might have regarding individuals who receive means-tested welfare and how that perception might affect your work with clients.

I currently work with the developmentally disabled. Almost all of my client’s receive SSI or SSDI benefits. This is something that they have come to rely on. In this population I really don’t see this as a bad thing. Most of my clients will never be able to live alone without some type of in home services. It’s cheaper to pay this benefit over placating them into a nursing home. However the one thing that I find hard to work with is when they want to get a job. The push for my population of people to get jobs has gotten stronger over the last few years. However if they get a job their benefits get cut. Sometimes it evens its self out other times it does not. So many people are afraid to actually work because they have bills to pay. Most people only receive around $775 a month. I personally don’t see a reason why we need to cut their benefits because they work in a supported employment setting making an extra $100 a month. Their still living on less than $1,000 a month. I personally don’t think I could do that.


Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers (7th ed). New York, NY: Pearson.

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Explanation & Answer

Find attached the completed work. Looking forward to working with you again. Goodbye.



Discussion Replies


Discussion Replies
Reply to Nicole

The assurance of a source of income has a high probability of making individuals under
the benefit develop some form of laziness that makes them fail to exert effort into trying to seek
their own income yet they might have earned much more from working. According to
Deshpande (2016), a review into the people who were removed from the beneficiaries of the
support programs started earning much more to compensate for the lost benefits. In this regard, I
agree with your expression that the program results in an easy way out since the benefits create
dependence as these individuals wou...

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