Public Sector Agencies are Best Equiped to Fight Social Injustice

2558 WordsJul 17, 201811 Pages
Public Sector Agencies are Best Equiped to Fight Social Injustice With a new President, in came the rush of a new agenda. Gone were the days of the Clinton era, a time of continued investment in big government programs and a commitment that the federal government would assist in healing societal wounds. With President Bush in office, the social work community knew it was in for big changes. Armed with an agenda consistent with his conservative beliefs, President Bush came forth with policies that attempted to downsize the federal role in social issues and social work, to return power to the states in the form of block grants, and to increase reliance on the market as a solution to problems. Like his father before him, Bush wanted a…show more content…
After adopting the Elizabethan Poor Laws from England, the United States seemed to be on its way to a private social welfare system. The Elizabethan Poor Laws created the distinction between “worthy” and “unworthy” poor and sent those “unworthy” of help to privately owned and operated workhouses (or poorhouses). The community and the family took primary responsibility for any needs a person might have had. Throughout much of the 1700s and 1800s, the government did nothing to regulate or deliver social services. A voluntary attitude toward societal problems soon developed (Zastrow, 1999). The official development of the profession of social work is recognized by scholars to be connected to the Charity Organization Society (COS) and the Settlement House Movements. Both started in the late 1800s. Jane Addams founded the first settlement-house in 1889, and the Charity Organization Society started in Britain in the 1850s. These two separate and different movements are credited with developing the organization and delivery of social work (Karger & Stoesz, 2001). The Charity Organization Society, led in the United States by Mary Richmond, finds parallels in both private sector social work and in the Conservative theory of today. The COS, for example, attributed poverty to the moral failings of the poor, ignoring social and economic forces that shaped individual behavior. Believers in private (voluntary)

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