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Archive for January, 2010

The State of the Union address will give hope to single mothers

President Obama and Vice President Biden announced a few proposals that will be presented in the State of the Union address; one of which deals with child care.  Many single mothers have the hardship of having to pay for child care because they have to attend their low-paying jobs. Some single mothers are unemployed and are able to stay home with their children, but those who are employed are forced to put their children in some sort of daycare. The proposal will allow a tax credit for child and dependent care and an increase of $1.6 billion in funds for child care, which is expected to help hundreds of thousands of children. The proposal is aimed towards the middle class earning less than $85,000 a year.



Should the government put millions of dollars towards programs that help single mothers be lifted out of poverty?

“Welfare Rates Growing”

This video was found on cbs.com that was a journalistic news story that aired in June of 2009, reported by Cynthia Bowers.  The story is about a single mother, named Toccara Groves, who had recently given birth to a new baby and found herself being dependent upon welfare.  Groves never expected being on public assistance, so her goal was to eventually be financially stable enough so she could be off of welfare.  She had lost her job which prevented her from being financially independent.  The story also goes in-depth about welfare rates increasing nationally and how states just don’t have the funds to meet the increasing welfare needs.  States are having to cut back on funds for other programs to put forth funds for public assistance, which has created a larger deficit.  The large decrease in the job market has also added to the welfare need that many people, like Toccara Groves, are having to resort to.

“Single Mother Poverty”

This institutional video was found on YouTube and it was created in December of 2008.  It shows many images of single mothers with their children and it lists facts about single mothers in poverty.  It allows you to sympathize with the mothers because the video shows images of mothers struggling tremendously, which in turn causes them to become homeless or stay in shelters.  The video shows a few facts, such as how single mothers go in and out of poverty due to the lack of income, and some single mothers don’t even have the chance of being lifted out of poverty.  The facts and images show how there are many single mothers in dire need of financial assistance for a number of reasons and not all have the resources to receive the assistance.

Many will save their income with new Health Care reform bill

Many single individuals struggle to pay the basic bill such as rent/mortgage, utilities, cable, and car payments.  Single mothers have the hardship of supporting their children on top of the basic bills.  Along with children comes costs for childcare, clothing, extra food, and health care.  Many single mothers are not able to afford health insurance and not all are able to receive medicaid.  With the new Health Care reform bill, insurance will be provided for all citizens which will alleviate some of the stress off of certain groups of people, like single mothers.  They will be able to put more of their income towards their family and its basic needs, rather than spending it on expensive health insurance.



Single Mothers and Their History

19th Century– State governments and charities created establishments such as orphanages and poorhouses for poor families and individuals who could not otherwise support themselves.  These families and individuals were also able to receive food and fuel relief, and sometimes given money from local governments.

1911– “Mother’s Pension” movement was started in Illinois that allowed single mothers to receive aid from the state to help support their children and allow them to be unemployed to be able to stay home with their children.

1930’s-During the Great Depression an organization called ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) was created to help women with dependent children who had husbands that were either deceased, divorced, or abandoned them.

Source: “Moving Up and Out”

Author: Lori Holyfield

Publisher: Temple University Press

Published: 2002

1933– Franklin D. Roosevelt created a concept called the New Deal, which was to help people of the United States during the Great Depression by providing the three R’s: relief, reform, and recovery.  The first R, relief, was to help the unemployed and hurt farmers; the second R, reform, was to help businesses; and the third R, recovery, was to help the economy.

1964-Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the War on Poverty that was an extension of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  During the War on Poverty, Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act which allowed an organization called Office of Economic Opportunity to help put federal funding towards fighting poverty.

1967- Direct Action Recipients of Welfare was created

Source: “The Welfare Mothers Movement”

Author: Susan Handley Hertz

Publisher: University Press of America

Published: 1981

1974-WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program was created for low-income women with children in need of nutritious foods, education on nutrition, and references to numerous health and social services that were at no cost to the women.  The government gave $20.6 million to the program in support of single mothers and their children.

1996– President Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act that provided assistance for those on welfare to transition into the workforce.  The act also provided limited cash assistance and an increase in funds for child care.

2006– TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) was created to help welfare recipients become self-sufficient.  It helped single parents prepare for jobs so that once they were ready, they could be part of the workforce.

2009– The Recovery and Reinvestment Act was created by President Barrack Obama

Linked Sources:

Aid to low income workers, unemployed and retirees (including job training)-This link provides statistics on how much money is being allocated from the government to the low-income community during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  It gives me a better idea of how much money is going to be put towards single mothers and their struggle for getting out of poverty.  It also gives an overview of what is involved in the act.

“Moving Up and Out”-This book gave me a lot of information of not only past organizations that have helped single mothers who are in poverty, but also recent organizations that have been created.  The book also describes how existing programs that were created years ago have developed today to help millions of single mothers.

Source: “Moving Up and Out”

Author: Lori Holyfield

Publisher: Temple University Press

Published: 2002

How Welfare Began in the United States-This file gave me the history of how welfare began and discussed some of the first welfare systems that were introduced to the United States.  It gave me an understanding of how single mothers dealt with poverty in the past and where the programs we have today stemmed from.

Not everyone can receive welfare– This article addressed the darker side of the issue of mothers and poverty.  It describes how not all single mothers receive welfare and even the ones that do, don’t receive the benefits they need.  Some are forced to work but don’t receive health care benefits and they are not able to give proper attention to their children.  This article also addresses the health issues of being an impoverished single mother raising children.

Single motherhood harming children– This article argues against single mothers and even goes as far as saying that single motherhood harms children.  It also describes a relationship between single motherhood and violence.  It makes you look at the other side of single mothers and poverty, and sort of plays devil’s advocate.  It makes you think if we should really be putting more money into supporting programs that fund single mothers.

My timeline describes certain dates throughout history where there has been an establishment of welfare and welfare reform.  The dates chosen are significant because each one describes a new step in moving towards a better welfare system for single mothers.  With the various dates and organizations that were created on those specific dates, I can generate an argument for the issue at hand.  The five links posted above are the most relevant to my topic and to the timeline because they give a general overview of the issue of single mothers trying to get out of poverty and they include specific time periods in which the government has helped single mothers do so.  The links not only describe the history of the issue and past resolutions, but they also describe current issues about single mothers and they allow me to formulate a current resolution.


Timeline for Gateway

How the new healthcare reform bill could affect single mothers

How the new healthcare reform bill could affect single mothers

The healthcare reform bill has not yet been agreed upon due to disagreement on how much the bill is going to cost and what will be involved in the actual package.  There have been many proposals on what the bill should include, but nothing final has been set quite yet.  There have been many issues that have come to the attention of negotiators, such as if the bill will cover abortions and illegal immigrants.  Another major issue that arises is if the Medicaid program will expand due to the new insurance deal.  Medicaid is a government funded medical program for low-income families or single individuals who cannot afford personal health insurance.  Many single mothers fall into this category and are receivers of Medicaid, but those who do not receive Medicaid and are currently uninsured will receive insurance coverage with the new bill.



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