Social Welfare and Single Mothers Essay examples

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Social Welfare and Single Mothers Karen Bridget Murray’s article, “Governing ‘Unwed Mothers’ in Toronto at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”, is a valuable reference into the struggles and triumphs of social welfare for unwed mothers. For me the article highlighted how government ideologies influence social welfare, how important the change from religious reformers practices to social work was and finally how appalling it is that the struggles and barriers these women faced are still relevant to single mothers today. Murrays article highlights how Liberal governance ideologies, “assumed... that individuals could and would adapt to the machinations of the market...[and] illegitimate births [were] viewed largely as a individual…show more content…
The difference of values between then and now is shocking especially how the “vulnerability of unwed mothers” was of lesser concern to the religious workers than, “saving souls, promoting moral ‘character’ and preventing future sexual transgressions” (pg. 262). It was insightful and inspiring to see the impact and reform the introduction of Social Work had after the First World War. How social workers shared the idea of promoting “two-parent, heterosexual, patriarchal family” (pg. 276), but in contrasted they conducted research, advocated for change in legislation and used the philosophy of “helping the applicant to help himself” (pg. 268). I feel that the philosophy of helping the clients themselves had a sufficient impact in changing procedures as its still used today. While reading Murphy’s article I noticed that many of the barriers that applied to unwed mothers then still apply to single mothers today. Many women faced and are still facing barriers to finding affordable childcare, quality employment, and collection of child support. In addition, there is still a religious stigma attached to pre-marital sex and culture norms to who, where and when it is acceptable for a woman to become pregnant. I was able to gain an appreciation for the social welfare policies and support systems that we have in place now, and how those systems have enhanced the lives of single mothers. Knowing the social history of unwed mothers has furthered my understanding of
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