Public Assistance Program

According to the Popple & Leighninger text, the purpose of public assistance program is to provide a “safety net” (p.104).  This safety net is meant to help individuals and families facing hard financial times rendering them unable to provide for themselves or their families without some assistance.

Some argue that such public assistance programs disincentivizes finding work. According to the (Popple & Leighninger, 2019) text, most individuals who leave TANF do so because they have reached the maximum time limit an individual can receive such benefits. This statistic can indicate that individuals utilizing a program such TANF do so for as long as possible.

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There is certainly a stigma surrounding these programs. People utilizing public assistance programs are often accused of gaming the system or taking a free ride. In my opinion public assistance programs appear to be imperfect.  Leaving room for individuals to receive benefits instead of working, despite being able to work.  However, I have no doubt that there are many people utilizing these programs who are in a time of desperate need.  Some of these people will leave public assistance programs because they have found employment and are able to support themselves and their family. Some people will leave because they have timed out but still wont or are unable to work and provide.  Regardless, I think that public assistance programs are necessary and should be in place.

I personally do not have a negative perception of public assistance programs. My goal with working with any client, regardless of financial status or circumstance is to help address whatever problems are presented in a professional and ethical manner.


Popple, P. R., Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


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