Poverty and Economic Inequality. Social Sciences Essay (Essay Sample)
Overview and Rationale
Navigating a social service delivery system can be overwhelming for any individual or family in need of
assistance. For those living in poverty, it can often feel impossible. Social workers pursue social change,
particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations. Part of a social worker’s
professional commitment is to work to eliminate economic inequality and poverty. To tackle the
problem of poverty, social workers need to understand the psychosocial conditions related to poverty.
The purpose of this assignment is thus for you to develop knowledge in the area of poverty and
To this end, you will compose a 5-6 page paper (typed, double-spaced, 12-pt font) in response to the
questions listed below:
1. What is poverty?
a. Identify the basic essentials a person needs to live in our society. Reflect on the list you
created. Was it difficult to determine these basic essentials? Why or why not?
2. Social Welfare Programs
a. Identify and explain three social welfare programs designed to address poverty.
b. Answer the following questions for EACH program:
i. Who is eligible for the program?
ii. What is provided by the program?
iii. What is the goal of the program?
iv. Do you think the program is adequate? Why or why not?
3. Employment Opportunities
a. Acquire information about wages, benefits, and health insurance coverage for an entrylevel job in your community. Respond to the following questions:
i. Summarize the job description.
ii. What is the salary, and which benefits are provided?
iii. What healthcare coverage is provided for the employee? For family members?
iv. What are the job requirements? Who would fit those requirements, and who
v. Is this job a viable alternative to public assistance? Why or why not?
vi. Do you think that gender or race might play a part in this employment
4. Personal Budget
a. Fill out the budget form on page 93 (at the conclusion of Chapter 3) of your text for a
fictional family of three: a single parent with two children, ages 3 and 8. The parent has
the entry level job/salary that you identified and discussed in Question #3. Do some
research to determine what the approximate costs of each item listed on the budget
form might realistically be in your community, and include the itemized budget in your
b. How does the family’s monthly total budget compare with the federal poverty level?
c. How does it compare with the levels of eligibility for and the benefits from current
public assistance programs?
d. How does the family’s minimum needs compare with those living in poverty?
5. Reflect on what you learned from this assignment. What surprised you?
Your paper should contain the following information:
• Title & Reference page in APA format
• Citations relevant to your responses to Questions 2, 3 & 4.
Poverty and Economic Inequality
Poverty and Economic Inequality
Poverty is a social problem and a state that hinges on the economic disadvantage of an individual to acquire essentials for a minimum standard of living. In this regard, the individual prescribed as poor has a very low income to the extent they cannot afford necessities. Such families are likely to go for days without medical attention, healthy food, clean water, and proper housing (Chen, 2019). In most circumstances, poverty is defined from an economic perspective although there are other aspects such as social exclusion and capability. The former includes exclusion from cultural, civil, and political activities. Poverty from a capability viewpoint includes factors beyond income, consumption, and welfare. These include health and education because they are equally important in the future generation of income (Wagle, 2018). Conclusively, poverty is the inability to meet the necessities of life and in the worst circumstances, one could end up dying.
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