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A discussion on the problems of social injustice in the united states

Major Social Issues That are Prevalent in the United States

For National Professional Social Work Month, we took an informal survey of some of our advisors and contributors on what they consider to be the top five social justice issues facing social workers today. There were many different responses, but the issues that follow were the ones that showed up most frequently on the lists.

We asked individual social workers to write an essay about each issue. Read those essays about the challenges our survey respondents regarded as the most serious that society faces today and compare them to your own list.

Social Justice Issues

Growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the power of the people to transform society and work toward greater gender, racial, and ethnic equality was clear.

During my undergraduate years, I learned that social workers active in the progressive movement were at the forefront of policies that reduced working hours, restricted child labor, and created public health clinics to improve conditions for low-income families. These models for how we can change our society shaped my involvement in organizations to end violence against women and work toward the empowerment of diverse groups.

My path as a social worker is not unique. Regardless of our setting, all social workers are engaged in work related to oppression and social injustice. We do this work while living and working in a society where groups have mobilized to restrict or eliminate existing rights such as public education for immigrants and the children of immigrants, domestic partnerships for gay men and lesbians, and access to reproductive healthcare for adolescent women.

Surviving and thriving as a social worker requires that we have a true appreciation for human diversity and understand how social identities affect access to resources.

Throughout our history, social workers have been agents of both liberation and oppression. During the same era that we founded social settlements, we were involved in the incarceration of Native American children in boarding schools.

Our approach to diversity within our communities will influence whether we work toward social exclusion or inclusion. Will we work toward the rejection, tolerance, acceptance, or celebration of the different groups that make up our communities?

If we are to work toward social justice, we need to engage in the work involved in celebrating difference and diversity. I use the word celebrate based on its original meanings, which refers to honor, respect, or recognize.

We must move beyond tolerating or accepting those who are different from ourselves to a position of cultural humility that requires us to question our own background and experiences to work in partnership with others. When working from this perspective, we, as social workers, must be engaged in ongoing self-assessment and awareness of how power differences affect our ability to a discussion on the problems of social injustice in the united states genuinely helpful.

This process is an essential element of social justice work. Celebrating diversity means working as an ally and advocating for marginalized and oppressed groups.

Grand Challenges for Social Work: Identify 12 Top Social Issues Facing America

We are allies to others when we can recognize and use the sources of our privilege to advance the rights of those who do not share our own identities or backgrounds.

We need to ask ourselves how we can use the knowledge we have of unjust practices toward individuals and groups in society to work toward changes to improve their situation.

Our knowledge and experience can be used to join with others and create new movements to reduce poverty, improve access to healthcare, support families, and eliminate discrimination on the basis of our social identities.

The United States is becoming an increasingly multiracial, multicultural, and multiethnic society. At the same time, conditions of economic inequality by gender and race have not improved.

These trends in the substance and structure of society challenge our profession to evaluate how we address these demographic shifts. It is our responsibility as social workers to strategically use our position and privilege to work toward greater equality. There is no other ethical choice. She has more than 25 years of experience as a social worker and educator in multiethnic communities.

Child Welfare By Judith M. I am deeply concerned that we continue to fail the children who are abused, neglected, and just plain unwanted. Since the start of our modern-day foster care system in the mid-1880s, when Charles Loring Brace started the Orphan Train Movement to resettle orphaned children from New York City to states in the Midwest and beyond, there have been numerous efforts to get it right.

We have strategically planned, privatized, transformed systems, thought outside the box, been accountable, computerized, wrapped around, and done more with less.

Without the occasional sensationalized child death, I suspect these families would fall off the radar altogether. Some prefer to keep these images far away, finding comfort in denial.

While we are a country of people who profess to love their children, there were 3 million reports of child maltreatment in 2004.

Experts believe this represents only one third of actual incidents.

  1. These problems include a lack of public transportation, human services, and medical professionals and facilities. National Rural Health Association.
  2. Affordable health insurance plans can also be made available to small employers. List three positive aspects of rural life in the United States.
  3. Neglect, often associated with poverty, leads to slightly more child deaths each year than abuse.

More than 800,000 reports were found indicating a rate of 2. As long as no injuries result, parents may hit their children with impunity.

Four children die from maltreatment every day, a number largely undercounted. Neglect, often associated with poverty, leads to slightly more child deaths each year than abuse. According to the 2005 census, 17. We are a wealthy country not just in money but in talent and brains.

  1. Experts believe this represents only one third of actual incidents. Social workers should seek to preserve the existing stock of affordable housing by pushing for programs that rehabilitate low- and moderate-income housing and advocating for preservation of existing subsidies for low- and moderate-income housing.
  2. Retrieved January 3, 2007, from here.
  3. Journal of School Health, 78 10 , 554—561. Travel distances in rural areas also mean that rural residents are less likely than urban residents to receive preventive services such as physical examinations; screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer; and vaccinations for various illnesses and diseases.
  4. Housing costs are staggering in many American communities.
  5. Because rural towns are so small, they often cannot afford services such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and Meals on Wheels, and thus must rely on services located in other towns. Second, rural populations are generally older than urban populations, as mentioned earlier, and have a greater percentage of retired adults.

Surely we can muster the will to develop and support a top-notch child welfare system? Lobby hard for loan forgiveness for social workers willing to specialize in child welfare. Enlarge the sphere of influence for social workers by running for a local, state, or federal office—or electing a colleague.

Our children have only a handful of years to be children, only a brief period to build the foundation for a productive and satisfying adulthood.

The Most Popular Social Issues of 2018

I must admit, I felt pretty good about this, as I traveled to and from the gym, ate my yogurt and veggies, and took the stairs at work. This blissful denial lasted all of one day. The next day, while attending a health disparity task force meeting, I was brought back to reality: You can live in the healthiest state in the country and still be surrounded by desperate need. Why, in a nation of so much, is my zip code dying?

Why is employee-sponsored health insurance disappearing? Why are the numbers of uninsured African Americans, Hispanics, and immigrants so disproportionate to that of Caucasians?

Why is the number of uninsured children—8. Although these are questions without simple answers, social workers have a tradition of striving for solutions. To begin, we must understand who are most affected by the disparity in health insurance coverage. Also at high risk of being uninsured are minorities and immigrants.

The recent escalation in the number of uninsured individuals is largely attributed to a continuing decline in employee-sponsored insurance ESI.

  • Yes, it is shocking but true;
  • Retrieved January 17, 2007, from here;
  • Building bridges within and beyond social work The Grand Challenges for Social Work create an opportunity for social work researchers and practitioners to collaborate widely with each other and with many other fields and disciplines, including health care, law enforcement, education, civil rights, technology, and climate science;
  • In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr;
  • Public transportation on the move in rural America.

Even when employers do offer insurance, employees frequently cannot afford the skyrocketing premiums. The consequences for those who cannot afford or are not offered health insurance are life-altering. KCMU has found that they are less likely to receive preventive care, such as mammograms, and are more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable conditions.

These misguided attempts to contain costs by denying treatment of minor conditions often result in the development of problems that are both more expensive and more serious. Those without insurance are likely to have problems paying medical bills—nearly one quarter are contacted by collection agencies. Most importantly, the Institute of Medicine estimates that 18,000 Americans die prematurely each year because they lack health insurance.

These inequalities are not inevitable. Solutions do exist and can be created with an eye to both effectiveness and cost containment. Policies can be implemented to locate and enroll individuals who are eligible for public programs, while eligibility for these programs can also be expanded to cast a wider net. ESI premiums can be lowered, and employers with a certain number of employees can be required to pay a set percentage of their payroll on health benefits. Affordable health insurance plans can also be made available to small employers.

It was not hyperbole for the public health worker to say her zip code is dying. Chances are, some of those 18,000 people who died prematurely—the minorities, the poor, the children—were her neighbors. So long as some zip codes remain endangered, social workers have a mission: Perhaps, then someday the health rankings will be a cause for all zip codes to celebrate.

She previously worked in a transitional care unit, and she is currently the patient services manager for the Minnesota Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is also a hospital emergency department social worker.

Retrieved January 17, 2007, from here. Retrieved January 25, 2007, a discussion on the problems of social injustice in the united states here. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

In contrast, social workers believe poverty has many complex causes, including low wages, a lack of jobs, racism, sexism, and other forces beyond individual control. We favor helping rather than punishing people and changing rather than protecting a problematic status quo. However, for the past 30 years, the fight against poverty and injustice has been an uphill battle.

Indeed, major economic dislocations and victim-blaming public policies have taken their toll on the capacity of the three traditional sources of income—marriage, markets, and the state—to protect people from poverty even when they work hard and play by the rules. Mounting Poverty In 2005, 12.

From 1987 to 2005, the number of people lacking food security rose from 31 to 35 million; those without health insured soared from 31 to 46. We also know that people cope with the desperate condition by harming themselves e. Social workers have the know-how and the professional obligation to help people undo negative coping and promote positive coping—both self-advocacy e.

A growing consensus holds that exposure to economic hardship and adverse conditions often precedes the rise of individual and social problems rather than the other way around, as previously presumed.

Some fear that making individual and social change a fundamental part of our work politicizes a previously objective and unpolitical profession. Since social work cannot avoid the political, it is far better to address these issues explicitly than to pretend they do not exist. The middle ground, if one ever existed, has fast receded. We must decide which side we are on. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is the author of Regulating the Lives of Women: She is currently writing a book on the history of activism among poor and working class women in the United States since 1900.

The Role of Marriage, Markets and the State.

  • A growing consensus holds that exposure to economic hardship and adverse conditions often precedes the rise of individual and social problems rather than the other way around, as previously presumed;
  • List three positive aspects of rural life in the United States.

Retrieved January 2, 2007, from here. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.