And I am copying this and putting it into an email to the social workers at my job who struggle each day to make ends meet while serving the needs of the elderly, people living with HIV/AIDS, children and the poor. There are no federal grants here, just a few foundation grants and a lot of private donations.
Frstlyml on my post: Some questions about faith based programs.
There is another thread going to this same discussion at Dingo’s site.
I wrote my post out of honest confusion. I’m not opposed to faith based initiatives, if they provide a needed service that nobody else is willing to do.
My questions still stand and I hope that you read my post, but I will simplify it:
After the 1994 election, Newt Gingrich was able to pass his Contract with America
This changed many welfare programs, and many other social service programs.
Faith based initiativesmight partially be a result of this.
It’s difficult to live on a social worker’s salary, though many social workers have a graduate school education, have done much field work, take post grad courses, and have to live. This could include paying back student loans, rent and/or a mortgage and much more.
If you feel that Newt’s Contract with America was smart, how is funding religious charities any less of an entitlement?
Taking this one step further, do you feel that social work is a valid profession or a job that anybody with common sense could do.
Say a social worker finds two homeless people, gets them to a shelter, provides concrete services and counseling. One person begins working for a foundation that has her cleaning streets. She then takes her job seriously, gets a job in private industry, regains custody of her her children, as she has found an apartment that they can live in, and is no longer getting high. (This is very simplified.)
The other person goes to the shelter, and begins working for the foundation. She has a host of behavioral problems, can’t get along with her co-workers, and goes back to the streets. One day she flings a knife at somebody, and accidentally kills that person. (Again this is highly simplified.)
Do you feel that the social worker should have foreseen the later person’s problems and that the first person’s success was or wasn’t due to counseling?
Do you feel that a volunteer with some training can provide counseling to a homeless person?
Would you hold the volunteer to the same standards that you would hold the social worker to?
If I changed the example to one about a child who might or might not be abused, would you think that a volunteer could handle the situation?
Would you want a social worker to be in charge of all cases involving children?
What do you think of social work in general?
Again this is not a loaded question but one I have spent much time pondering. I am including it in faith based initiativesbecause they seem to be the way many social service programs will go in the next four years.
I included Millicent’s comment because that’s how many social workers feel.