My name is Tracy. 20 years ago, I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Working as an artist has been a deeply rewarding experience which has given both satisfaction and continued room for development. Now, in my mid forties, the search for a side job that can produce more monetary reward is being realized. Hence, I have made the decision to further my education and pursue a certification as a addictions counselor. Being a former addict has given me the mindset of compassionate understanding towards those suffering from the disease of addiction. In addition, over the years I have developed healthy behaviors and practices that would be useful to share with those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors. Most importantly, being an addictions counselor remains in alignment of my values of service to others.
1. Reading chapter 1 provided a thorough introduction of what IS social welfare. The parts that are most intriguing were the historical origins of social welfare, dating all the way back into the Elizabethan age. What a fascinating and sad explanation of how social services developed, in that the Kings and Queens saw giving back to the poor as way out of being annoyed with their begging. This same old truth seems to play out in our current history, in that we still exist in an oligarchy system where the haves own most of the wealth. Tho, thankfully since the idea of helping the poor has evolved, ethics and humanity seem to be evolving right along with the social welfare system, pushing to guarantee more dignity for the individual and families. It is comforting to realize that agencies are there to help guide those in need and to provide skill sets to help overcome the cycle of poverty. The other part of this chapter that was fascinating is how the breakdown of the traditional family structure has created new, alternative structures. In addition, how biomedical technology is being tested and integrated into these new family dynamics will be a sure thing to watch for in the future! Bio medics truly forces us to consider and carefully study how far the technology of ‘playing god’ should be pushed.
2. Learning about the history of social welfare is opening my eyes more to the major theme that seems to play out on this planet, that seems ever slow to change, that being the disproportionate distribution of wealth. Tho there is definitely more humanity involved in the social welfare system now than from its beginnings, seems like there is still long ways to go to truly solve the problem of poverty. Learning how the industrial revolution began to break down reliable community support, to then the Great Depression in demonstrating how indeed sometimes adaption to economic change is beyond individual control, to the breakdown of the traditional family in the sixties, offered fascinating insight into where we are at now in the evolution of providing social welfare. It will be interesting to see how the system and the family structure will further evolve as we progress through the 21st century!
3. Whether giving of service is done through residual or institutional ways, both are acceptable forms of offering to the community. Both private and public institutions should continue to evolve and provide for the community. Both residual and institutional views are as typical as the party they are associated with, that being residual is conservative in nature, that charity should be limited so the individual does not become dependent, to institutional being associated with liberalism in offering a wide range of programs to provide for the needs of all members of society in need. The two party system has become too extreme over the years. The developmental view offers a nice middle ground. It would be nice to see society evolve into a more middle ground in both helping others to help themselves and in politics.
4. It will be interesting to observe the changes of what social welfare will bring to society in the future. We live in a fascinating time in that the advancement of technology is rapidly expanding and seems to be literally developing a life its own. How technological advancements will further change the dynamic of the family structure will be interesting to observe! For me, with technology ever increasing and what this can now potentially bring to us in the future, we as a humanity need to be ever cautious in finding the proper boundaries between playing God and also in preventing technologies from ill intent, both in the hands of man and the actual machine itself.