Since 1930 the United States has had some program helping to provide social welfare. The policy's that began as way's to help America out of the depression have become ways to preserve, and improve social well being. In this Paper I will examine three areas of policy and policy making in social welfare. I will discuss the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Social Security, and Homelessness, and the types of politics associated with them. .
In 1996 congress passed a bill reforming the welfare program. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed many of the policies of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS). It unified these two programs under Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). One of the reasons that this reform was needed was because of the need for legitimacy associated with client politics. In order for the public to support aid to people they must see good reason for it. When AFDC was first created, it was for the purpose of siding single mothers whose husband had been killed in war or mining accidents, it was not meant to be permanent aid. The public saw this as a legitimate reason for giving aid to these people. However, as the years went on, people began to see a moral breakdown in the structure of AFDC. It began to be viewed as a government handout that supported people who were using the system. Mothers would be on it that never planned on being married, it supported out of wedlock childbirths, and it weakened work ethics. At this point the legitimacy of the program had been lost, people wanted a service based program rather than a handout. Some of the changes that were made, were allowing states to have more decision making power in the programs. Since the states would more easily assess problems, they could more easily distribute benefits effectively.