Social Work and Poverty Assignment

What qualities, skills, and attributes do you have that would contribute to the solution of this problem? (Be specific). Specifically address your strengths that make you a good fit for working on this issue Social Work and Poverty Assignment.

Poverty in the U.S.


Poverty is a problem that persists in almost all societies around the world. However, the threshold of poverty measurement usually varies from one country to another. In the U.S., the poverty line for a single person was $12,490 per year in 2019. The threshold for a household of four persons was $25,750. People earning less than the set threshold are categorized as living in poverty (United States Census Bureau). The data released by the United States Census Bureau in 2018 showed that around 11.8% of people in the U.S. lived in poverty.

Poverty affects all races in the U.S., although there are variations in the rates. In 2018, 25.4% of the Native Americans, 17.6% of the Hispanics/Latinos, 20.8% of the black Americans, 10.1% of the whites, and 10.1% of the Asians in the U.S. lived in poverty. The rate varies slightly between men and women. In 2018, around 12.9% of women in the U.S. lived in poverty compared to 10.6% of women (United States Census Bureau). The data showed that the price of poverty among senior citizens was approximately 9.7% (United States Census Bureau). Last, the data indicated that about 5.3% of the Americans lived in extreme poverty, which is measured as income below half the poverty threshold Social Work and Poverty Assignment.

Poverty in the US is caused by numerous factors. Based on the results of an empirical study conducted in 2009 by Sandoval et al. (717), unemployment is the main cause of poverty in the US. Other major factors contributing to the problem include lack of income inequalities, adequate education, poor resources utilization, debts and physical and mental disabilities. The problem of poverty is not expected to be solved addressed completely. As noted in the study by Sandoval et al. (717), the problem is expected to persist. However, extreme poverty is expected to decline as it has done over the last one century.

Interventions/Actions by the Social Workers

The social workers can contribute in various ways in addressing the poverty problem in the U.S. One of the strategies is providing support for basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing to the poor. At the micro-level, the social workers that are able can offer their support to the people living in poverty (Parrott 15). The social workers can act as a link between people and groups willing to provide the poor with basic needs. Also, social workers may refer the needy to settings or places where there is adequate access to the necessities.

Second, social workers can assist people living in poverty through social policy development. For instance, social workers can suggest the need for the establishment of community programs for helping the poor (Parrott 17). They can also indicate a change in government policies in order to increase access of the poor to income, such as raising the minimum pay rate. In addition, social workers can intervene through providing education to the community members about finding creative projects that can help to improve their income (Parrott 17). They can influence some of the affected people to change habits that lead to the persistence of poverty, such as violence and drug abuse. Last, social workers can provide support to the disabled through advocacy. For instance, they can advocate for the establishment of programs targeting to provide financial support to the disabled Social Work and Poverty Assignment.

Social Welfare Programs

Currently, there are social welfare programs that provide support to the people living in poverty in the U.S. The report released by the Census Bureau in 2018 indicated that around 56% of the households from which data was collected had participated in one or more of the social welfare programs (United States Census Bureau). The federal government has established many social welfare programs that currently operate, including the Supplemental Nutrition Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Team Nutrition and Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Personal Qualities, Attributes and skills

Based on personal evaluation, I have the key qualities, attributes and skills needed to contribute in solving the problem of poverty as a social worker. One of my most remarkable attributes is empathy. I have an urge and ability to identify with the experiences of the others, including those who are suffering. An important quality I have is the ability to establish trust in other people, which enable them to feel free to tell me their problems. I am also patient and have ability to work in stressful situations. I have gained team-working, persuasive, coordination, social perceptiveness and boundary-setting skills. All the above-mentioned strengths will enable me to effectively provide support to people suffering from poverty.

Works Cited

Parrott, Lester. Social work and poverty. Chicago: Policy Press, 2014. Print Social Work and Poverty Assignment.

United States Census Bureau. “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018.” 10 September 2019. Accessed 22 April 2020

Sandoval, Daniel A et al. “The increasing risk of poverty across the American life course.” Demography vol. 46, No.4, 2009, pp. 717-37.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. “FNS Nutritional Programs.” 2020. Accessed 22 April 2020

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