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Summary of Reality Check: Service Users Speak Out
In this chapter, the author introduces by with a lamenting questions that the oppressed people always ask themselves. The oppressed people lament on the reason being that they are not heard by anyone in the community (Carniol, 2005). An advice is also given to the rich individuals in the society society that they need to practice a lot of listening, they should be willing to learn from others, they should leave space for others also to develop and furthermore, they need to work extra harder in order to end poverty. When all these is with due respect for every individual in the society, then that society will be well off.
Many institutions and groups including other individuals such as Senator Erminie Joy Cohen has criticized the government for publishing reports saying that the government has been for a long time promising to improve on this issue by up to date there has been no efforts done (Carniol, 2005). The government has been so reluctant to change and improve the welfare of the social workers. For this reason, the users of social services have experienced some sort of dehumanization, and they have complained that the government has greatly neglected human needs of its people. It was noted that welfare rates in Canada were so low, and thus they can be described as cruel and punitive (Carniol, 2005). In addition, the welfare incomes had gone down and thus far below the poverty line among all the provinces as well as in the territories of the country.
Despite many complaints that have been reported, there have been little or no efforts made by the government to improve the situation so that the social welfare of the services workers can be enhanced. It was even found that there are over three million Canadians who are currently living below the poverty line. Furthermore, it was found that over 300,000 peoples in the country experience homelessness every year (Carniol, 2005). It was also noted that all the social programs in Canada are experiencing hard times. The nations’ wealth needs to be on the principle of fairness, but this has not been done in the country. This fairness has been hindered by a small group of individuals with self-interests.
On the other side, racism has also been a problem in the country. There have been few or no efforts in tackling this issue. A report from the concerned body dealing with racism has also noted the same problem, but it could not make any efforts to eradicate this issue. Due to this negligence, many individuals are jobless and poor (Carniol, 2005). Children have also experienced some hardships with their families. Most punitive versions of workfare have been adopted by several provinces including Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This punitive version of workfare was that people were to be from their social assistance of they don’t accept the jobs that are being assigned to them. This has made many social assistance recipients to take up odd jobs that they even don’t intend to do.
Despite the mistreatment that services user's experience, most of them do not have an experience. Through this hard times, most of them have been able to overcome mental illness on one way or another. Most of them claim to have gained inner peace from the experience they have had with these agencies (Carniol, 2005). Some argue that a structural approach was used the social work. Some were able to succeed though at first they had a different feeling of, not achieving.
In the beginning, the service provider focused on social care and getting some basic material resources. Through acquiring these basic material resources, some signs of victory could be. This made it possible for the next step (Carniol, 2005). The workers then encouraged more questions and reflections concerning the beliefs of the users such as the beliefs on racist, sexist beliefs among others. Currently, there are some little help that is being delivered by the social services across Canada.
Carniol, B. (2005). Case critical: Social services & social justice in canada. Toronto: Between The Lines.
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