Poverty is one of the most heart-wrenching and difficult conditions to witness. It is no easy feat to watch a human life so utterly defeated, no matter which part of the world they belong to. It seems incomprehensible to many. Conversations about poverty often end by becoming anxious, depressed, withdrawn, or entirely hopeless.
Many people in the world require assistance and help to rise above these problems. Fortunately, social workers understand the need and urgency to aid these individuals so that both society and these citizens can have their liberty and dignity back.
Time and time again, social workers have been instrumental in eliciting resoluteness, pride, hope, and resilience from underserved and dejected communities.
Effects of Poverty on Society
Poverty is a vicious cycle. It passes on the same obstacles to every succeeding generation. It is multidimensional and not just about the problem of equitably distributing money. Here are some issues faced by the poor:
• Unemployment. There is no income source due to unemployment, and an individual cannot fulfill their pressing needs such as food and clothing. Consequently, these stringent conditions further aggravate an already fragile domestic life and perpetuate trauma and abuse cycles.
• Poor housing conditions. Lack of infrastructure leads to inadequate housing complexes, making the people living there susceptible to long-lasting, often fatal diseases. Lack of safety and protection from street crimes and a shortage of necessary facilities such as water and electricity further add to their misery. For most of the poor of the world, these circumstances are often untenable. The longer they’re left unattended, the more dangerous it becomes.
• Low literacy rates. Due to scarce resources, children cannot attend schools or go to underfunded, ill-equipped ones. Lack of skills and competencies makes it difficult for them to secure stable and well-paying jobs. For these children, ultimately, it becomes increasingly difficult to escape the clutches of poverty.
• Increased violence. There is a marked increase in violence both on the streets and domestically in poverty-stricken communities. In most impoverished neighborhoods, violence is the typical reaction to decrepit living standards. It shatters the already fragile peace that these communities so desperately need.
Social workers understand that poverty is a critical and on-going concern and must act as a safety net for most communities and individuals. They know that leaving these situations unattended is not an option.
Their unique training and skills bridge the gap between organizations that can help individuals who need it most. They are the vanguard in the struggle to alleviate and gradually tackle the prevailing circumstances of poverty.
Educational programs, such as Bachelor of Social Work Online Degree Programs, can help equip those interested with the right tools and critical skills to reshape society.
Impact of Social Work on Poverty
Social workers understand the intricacy behind poverty. They know that poverty is an umbrella term and has varying levels and must be carefully categorized. It helps ensure that these terms are simple to follow and understand and ultimately applied. In Social work terminology;
• Extreme poverty is when families cannot fulfill even the most basic survival needs. These are urgent cases and need immediate addressing.
• Moderate poverty is when families can fulfill a short amount of basic needs but still require copious amounts of assistance.
• Relative poverty is mostly found in developed nations when the average income is less than the average national threshold.
Using these terminologies, a social worker cautiously intervenes in various situations. Understanding what technique and perception need to be applied is crucial, especially for women, children, the elderly, and marginalized groups at risk, including refugees and immigrants.
A social worker’s role involves a wide array of actions using techniques and skills required to de-escalate the situation. They need a deep understanding of each case.
• Intervention. Social workers use various tools to communicate with people and better understand their situations. After establishing effective communication, they guide them steadily and methodologically apply to their lives. The idea is to change an individual’s perception and behavior to their circumstances to help them out.
• Community development. Social workers extend their responsibilities to reshaping communities by prioritizing the community’s immediate concerns, which in most cases is employment. They help impoverished communities work on job security, placement, and identifying what the local businesses need. They do this through in-depth analysis and assisting individuals in procuring the necessary skills.
• Community practice. Social workers engage with families to extend their influence and discover resources through a personal approach. They do this by paying close attention to their capabilities and ensuring the community can benefit themselves and their surroundings fruitfully. They ensure that the community interacts within itself and functions as a working environment that positively deals with other communities.
• Group education. While working with impoverished communities, it is equally important to educate other professionals who may contact these families and lack awareness of various poverty-ridden challenges. Through compassion and education, social workers teach the skills these professionals need to adopt through specific workshops and conferences. It ensures that professionals patiently and empathetically navigate sensitive issues. Examples include local community politics, incidents of violence, and substance abuse while providing gainful opportunities to its members.
Human beings are social creatures. Every person wishes to be an upholding and necessary member of their community. However, this desire, if left unfulfilled, can morph into an ugly and gloomy expression.
Poverty adds fuel to the fire and makes it difficult to maintain these values. Instead, it fills an individual with shame and despair to respond unfavorably. It is essential to understand that every human desire compassion and understanding.
Well-planned and engaging programs that only social workers engaged deeply with communities can deliver may be the only solution to attaining these lofty goals. A social worker’s job is to extend help to those in need and themselves. If this is your calling, then answer it today. Make sure you put your best foot forward!