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GCU Social Science Low Income Rural Families Discussion Responses

GCU Social Science Low Income Rural Families Discussion Responses


Short answer for each students. :

Questions Describe one major federal program providing aid and services to children and families (e.g., income assistance programs, food and nutrition programs, health care programs, child protective services, or education programs). What are the causes and consequences of the program as implemented? What changes could make this a more equitable or accessible program?

This discussion question is informed by the following EPAS Standard:

5: Engage in Policy Practice


1. The availability of affordable housing for low income families is limited. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides single family housing programs that give these families opportunities to own their own homes in rural areas (2023). One such program is known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program. This program assists low income families by guaranteeing a loan with no down payment and subsidizing mortgage payments based on their adjusted family income. Applicants must have a need for safe housing, be unable to get a loan, agree to occupy the premises, be a citizen (or eligible non-citizen), and not be suspended from being ineligible for any other federal assistance programs. The loan can be used to build, repair, or purchase a home.

The cause for providing housing assistance to low income families was to establish equality for all families and improve their quality of life. Prior to these kind of programs, there was no hope for a family of low social economic status (SES) to have the joy of owning a home. Low income families often pay over half of their income to rent a place to live and have no income left to save for a down payment on a house. The positive consequence of this and other low income housing programs is that they provide assistance to families, improving economic growth and providing children with stable living conditions and greater opportunities in life (NLIHC, 2023). A negative consequence of this program is the geographic restrictions on where housing must be located. This has an impact on the ability to find employment in the area, especially if no car or transit system is available.

Some suggested changes that could better the program are to expand housing opportunities to a greater area of geographical locations and to expedite the time it takes to approve and process the loan. Doing these things will increase the opportunities for low income families promote prosperity and communities that could thrive.

2. One major federal program that provides aid and service to children in education is the Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that gives financial aid to schools or educational settings that have a higher percent of students from a low-income family (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). In general, this program gives money to local agencies that then disperse it to the schools they serve. This Title I Act is in place to help provide resources and academic intervention for students from low-income homes in hope that they can meet academic standards throughout their time in school (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). Some ways this takes place is through extra teacher support in math and reading, summer programs for students, or through after-school care (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). The outcomes from this program are that students are identified for being at-risk for failing in certain academic areas – schools may be more willing and able to identify and help students who may be falling behind. Another consequence of this program could be that schools in a low-income area get sufficient financial support to provide education. One change that could take place to make the program more accessible is to ensure that schools in the area are aware of this program. By reaching out to districts (both public and private) to provide information and awareness of the program, maybe more schools will be able to utilize and apply for the Title 1 Part A Act and receive more benefits and financial assistance.

3. In 1996, Congress established TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) to offer monetary support to families facing poverty. This program came as a replacement for AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). However, several issues emerged with TANF’s implementation:

  1. Coverage: Unlike AFDC, TANF fails to      reach a considerable number of families, leaving many still trapped in      poverty.
  2. Funding Redistribution: Some states have diverted funds      meant for TANF to other programs.
  3. Block Grant System: TANF operates on a block grant      issued to states. Consequently, the states have autonomy over program      operation, including deciding on eligibility.
  4. Eligibility Criteria: While federal law mandates cash      assistance for “needy” families with children, the term      “needy” is open to the states’ interpretation. This vagueness      means certain families in poverty might not benefit.
  5. Limited Financial Assistance: The financial aid from TANF is      often minimal, and insufficient to significantly uplift families from      their impoverished conditions.
  6. State Autonomy on Poverty Line      & Duration: States individually set the      poverty threshold for TANF eligibility. While most states restrict TANF      assistance to five years, the duration varies, with some states offering      even shorter periods.
  7. Drug Convictions & Child      Support Rules: TANF denies assistance to      individuals with drug felony convictions and requires beneficiaries to      relinquish their rights to child support. This latter requirement can be      problematic, especially for domestic violence victims who might have valid      reasons not to seek child support.

Despite its apparent issues, policymakers have often cited TANF as a prototype for other welfare initiatives. However, a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 2021 suggests that TANF falls short in its main objective: effectively reducing poverty and hardship.

Questions 2 How can the civil rights of minority groups be protected in public and private school systems?

This discussion question is informed by the following EPAS Standards:

2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

5: Engage in Policy Practice


1. When speaking of civil rights of minority groups to be protected in public and private school systems it is imperative to reduce bullying and any type of discrimination.  Being discriminated against for any reason is not ethical in today’s society because throughout the years things change overtime in order to achieve effective goals as well as healthier lifestyles.  According to research it explains that, ” Social workers are poised to play a pivotal role in challenging anti-immigrant legislation at the federal, state, and local levels” (Negi et al, 2023).  Often times immigrants feel sheltered and being in fear from the world based on such policies being in place.  This should not be allowed in their countries and often times it is why immigrants flee to other places such as, the United States to have freedom and to gain a better understanding about life.  In today’s society their are social service agencies that offer supportive measures to help assist individuals to obtain services such as housing, employment, schools, health insurance, and even SNAP benefits.  However, they have to become citizens of the United States in order to receive these benefits.

Furthermore, I know personally, that there is a non-profit organization in my area that helps immigrants to succeed in the United States.  The name of this organization is called Catholic Charities and they help individuals with citizenship, and also with any language barriers they may face.  However, when it comes to an education immigrants or anyone that is categorized as a minority should be respected just as well as anyone else in life.  If social workers do not respect this this in turn is ultimately breaking the Code of Ethics.  Further research states that, “Later, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenched equality rights without regard to “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability” in the Constitution” (Villeneuve, 2022).  Due to this we cannot discriminate against any of our clients when engaging with them because as a professional it is not appropriate to say how we truly feel when helping others reach success.  Therefore their are standards and regulations designed to help protect the rights of others when it comes to individuals of different beliefs, cultures, and or sexual orientation.  

2. First and foremost, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in public schools because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Public schools include elementary schools, secondary schools, and public colleges and universities (FindLaw, 2023). Therefore, Civil rights include protection from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, and sex. The civil rights of minority groups in public and private school systems can therefore be protected by implementing anti-discrimination policies, equal opportunity policies, multicultural education, and equalized funding of schools so that no school falls beneath a national floor of funding. School integration policies to create an inclusive, peaceful, and egalitarian environment. Research shows that segregated schools are inferior to integrated ones with lower turnover of teachers, more experienced teachers, and greater resources for high-quality instruction (Wilson & Villaverde, 2020). Worth mentioning in this article are the minority groups. The minority groups include Latinos (including Puerto Ricans), African Americans, Asian Americans, Arab and other Middle Eastern Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and Alaska Natives. Moreover, reducing the disproportionate placement of special education students in restrictive disciplinary settings is of the utmost importance, as an integral part of protecting the civil rights of minority groups.  A comprehensive approach including teacher training, cultural sensitivity, culturally appropriate assessment, and pre-referral use of evidence-based approaches forms the most effective method of reducing dis-proportionality in special education (Teasley, 2018). In conclusion, to protect the civil rights of minority groups, there should be strong advocacy to stop the disproportionate referral of racial and ethnic minority youths to juvenile justice, and tough-on-crime laws which have resulted in the now infamous school-to-prison pipeline (Teasley, 2018).

3. It is very important to protect the civil rights of minority groups in public and private school systems. This can be done by implementing policies against discrimination, policies for equal opportunities, and provide education on different cultures to create an inclusive environment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a legislation that prohibits discrimination, and it includes housing, employment, and education (Civil Rights Division, 2023). Title IV authorizes the Attorney General to address equal protection violations based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion in public schools. Private schools that accept any federal funds must also follow Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. If a private school was to discriminate, they would lose their non-profit status. Sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the education Amendments of 1972 and discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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