poverty inequality and income maintenance policy

Getting Started

Although substantial progress toward ensuring minimal standards of food, housing, education, medical care, and income has been made, serious inequality remains. Families in extreme poverty need special assistance, not just in employment, but also in the areas of child care, housing, transportation, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Although social welfare programs have made a significant positive difference in the lives of the poor and their children, much remains to be done to change the social policy landscape in the United States to help vulnerable populations shift from just “surviving” to “thriving” in their lives.

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Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Analyze policies with regard to advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. (PO 5, ILO 5)
  • Demonstrate character, scholarship, and leadership in becoming a world changer through application to personal life and professional social work practice.
  • Demonstrate Christ-like attitudes, values, worldviews, and ethical and professional behavior within advanced clinical practice. (ILO 1)


Background Information

What is poverty? Does it impact social and economic justice? In this assignment, you will read a chapter from your textbook that answers some of these questions and guides you to explore these topics more thoroughly. Why is it important for social workers to advocate for policy changes to become more relevant to modern times? In the Web article you will read in this assignment, Matthew Desmond discusses how eviction and housing issues have a major impact on poverty. While you are reading this article, think about how such issues affect social and economic justice for oppressed populations impacted by poverty and inequality.


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World, read Chapter 8, “Poverty, Inequality, and Income Maintenance Policy.”
  3. Read the article, “How Our Housing System Perpetuates Poverty.”
  4. In APA format, provide at least a one paragraph response while citing workshop resources to support your responses:
  5. Respond to the following prompts:
    1. Why is it important that social policies evolve to fit new realities?
    2. Social welfare programs fill other needs in addition to helping people. Discuss these other uses.
    3. Will poverty be better or worse in the future? Explain.
    4. Explore the interactive poverty map at Poverty USA
    1. What are the poorest areas in your state?
    2. What patterns do you see? Why do you think they exist?
    3. Apply a theory from Chapter 8 of your textbook to make testable hypotheses. Try to find data to support the theory.