Portland State University. School of Social Work
Norman L. Wyers
Date of Publication
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Poverty, Income maintenance programs -- Oregon -- Employees -- Attitudes
1 online resource (98 p.)
It has been of some interest to the profession of social work that eligible persons underutilize or fail to use social services and benefits to which they are legally entitled. A number of different reasons have been cited in the social work literature and otherwise generally accepted within the ranks of the social work profession as possible or probable causes of underutilization or lack of use. The variety of reasons includes client lack of knowledge about programs, lack of motivation on the part of eligible clients to apply for benefits and services, client unawareness about legal recourse in securing services, and the like. Other reasons are related to the stigmatizing nature of services, including the effects of means testing, particularly in programs such as the food stamp program and public welfare. We have assumed for some time that the means test has an inherently stigmatizing quality--indeed, the means test has long taken the blame for being the main source of stigma in the social services. Bentrup (1964), Titmuss (1968), and others have called for the complete elimination of means testing in relief programs, to be replaced by negative income tax programs, needs tests, and various other methods of detennining eligibility and providing services and benefits to poor people in a non-stigmatizing manner.
Stutzman, Gene Lamar, "Attitudes of income maintenance line workers in the State of Oregon about the causes and amelioration of poverty" (1978). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3410.