Welfare Reform : Social Welfare Policy

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Social Welfare Policy Social Welfare Policy Analysis Eric Dean University of Arkansas Introduction Several states have recently begun to enact legislation that requires welfare recipients to submit to drug tests before they are eligible to receive any public assistance. The purpose of mandatory drug testing is to prevent the potential abuse of taxpayer money, help individuals with drug problems, and ensure that public money is not subsidizing drug habits (Wincup, 2014). While these are noble intentions, current programs are not meeting these standards. States must now abide by past court rulings that limit the number of applicants they can screen and for what reasons. Despite these rulings, several states continue to pursue legislation free of legal scrutiny. Among these states are Missouri, Kansas, and Mississippi where drug testing legislation has already been established (“Kansas to test welfare recipients for drugs,” 2014, p. 8.) I would argue that the courts need to decide if the benefits of these programs outweigh the costs. There are both constitutional and public policy issues associated with implementing mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Considering the ineffectiveness of current and past programs, it must be decided if these programs should be continued. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics states that it is the responsibility of the social workers to “meet the basic human needs of all people, with
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