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Social assistance in New Westminster : a survey of origins, and the current pattern Willems, Harry Alexander 1952

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SOCIAL ASSISTANCE. IH NEW WESTMINSTER A Survey of Origins, and the Current Pattern by HARRY ALEXANDER WILLEMS A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of the Requirements f o r the Degree of Master Of S o c i a l Work i n the School of S o c i a l Work -Aeeepted as conforming to the standard required f o r the degree of Master of S o c i a l Work School of S o c i a l Work 1952 University of B r i t i s h Columbia - i i -TABLE OP CONTENTS Page Chapter 1. The Nature of the Survey* 1 D e f i n i t i o n "of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e . The means t e s t , as an aspect of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e . Economic and p o l i t i c a l f e a t u r e s of New Westminster. A comprehensive survey. Sources of r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l . Chapter 2. Development of S o e i a l A s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster. 10 Stages of development i n New Westminster. How e l i g i b i l i t y concepts and programs have changed i n f i f t y y e a r s . O r g a n i z a t i o n of the Westminster Benevolent S o e i e t y . Experience of the d e p r e s s i o n . Formation of a s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e department. Amalgamation. Chapter 3. Caseload Changes i n New Westminster. 27 Caseload changes s i n c e 1903, Changes i n s o e i a l a s s i s t a n c e i n r e l a t i o n t o changes of t o t a l c a s e l o a d , i n the l a s t f o u r y e a r s . Seasonal f l u c t u a t i o n s . Caseload t u r n o v e r . A c t i v i t y of s o c i a l worker i n r e l a t i o n t o these changes. Chapter 4. C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Cases. 40 Survey of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases i n 1951. C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of cases; f a m i l y s t a t u s , age and sex. B i r t h p l a c e and r e s i d e n c e of f a m i l y heads. O c c u p a t i o n a l and employment background of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e eases. D i s a b i l i t y c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of f a m i l y heads. Major problems of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c l i e n t s . Chapter 5. Some I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r S o e i a l A s s i s t a n c e . 59 D i f f e r e n t i a l treatment of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. Employment of an i n t a k e worker. P r o v i s i o n f o r m a r i t a l and f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g . C r e a t i o n of c a t e g o r i c a l a i d program f o r the t o t a l l y d i s a b l e d . E x t e n s i o n of insurance schemes to pro v i d e f o r s u r v i v o r ' s i n s u r a n c e . R e h a b i l i t a t i o n and o c c u p a t i o n a l r e t r a i n i n g . Appendices: 68 I. C o n s t i t u t i o n of Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y . I I . Summary of E i g h t e e n Cases. I I I . B i b l i o g r a p h y . - i i i -TABLES AND CHARTS IN THE TEXT (a) Tables Table 1. Caseload Trends i n New Westminster 1947 - 1951. Page f o l l o w i n g 30 Table 2. Turnover i n the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Caseload ' i n New Westminster from A p r i l t o December, 1951. 36 Table 3. Turnover i n " S i n g l e " c a s e s , c l a s s i f i e d a c c o r d i n g to.Sex, i n ; New Westminster from A p r i l t o December 19*51. 37 Table 4. Sex D i s t r i b u t i o n of persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. 41 Table 5. F a m i l y S t a t u s of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e eases i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. 42 Table 6. Age and Sex D i s t r i b u t i o n of C l i e n t s on the b a s i s of Fam i l y S t a t u s as of A p r i l 1951. f o l l o w i n g 43 Table 7. Income source of married couples on a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. 44 Table 8. B i r t h p l a c e of a l l f a m i l y heads i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. 47 Table 9. P e r i o d of Residence of Family Heads on a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. 48 Table 10. O c c u p a t i o n a l C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of Fam i l y Heads on a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i n December 1951. f o l l o w i n g 49 Table 11. Employment r a t i n g of c l i e n t s p r i o r t o r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e compared w i t h the l e n g t h of time i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster, December 1951. 51 Table 12. D i s a b i l i t y C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of F a m i l y Heads i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster, December 1951. f o l l o w i n g 52 Table 13. Major problem a r e a s , other than f i n a n c i a l ones of c l i e n t s i n New Westminster, December 1951. f o l l o w i n g 54 Table 14. Major problem a r e a s , other than f i n a n c i a l ones r e l a t e d to the age d i s t r i b u t i o n of the f a m i l y heads, New Westminster, December 1951. 57 - i v -(b) Charts F o l l o w i n g Page F i g u r e 1. P o p u l a t i o n growth of New Westminster compared w i t h the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e (1901 - 1951) 29 F i g u r e 2. Changes i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e s , New Westminster, June 1947 - June 1951 30 F i g u r e 3. Caseload d i s t r i b u t i o n i n New Westminster. A comparison of the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n p r o p o r t i o n t'6 the t o t a l c a s e l o a d , i n d i c a t i n g a c t i v i t y on the p a r t of the s o c i a l worker. 33 F i g u r e 4. Changes i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster, 1944 - 1950. 33 F i g u r e 5. Comparison between B r i t i s h Columbia and New Westminster of the monthly f l u c t u a t i o n s of u n i t s of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , 1950 and 1951. 33 F i g u r e 6. Caseload turnover i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , A p r i l t o December 1951, New Westminster, 34 F i g u r e 7. Age d i s t r i b u t i o n a c c o r d i n g t o sex of c l i e n t s r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , A p r i l 1951. 45 F i g u r e 8 . Cases w i t h major problems other than f i n a n c i a l . D i s t r i b u t i o n of 276 problems i n 195 cases. 55 i - V -A b s t r a c t SOCIAL ASSISTANCE IN NEW WESTMINSTER Persons not covered by c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs (such as o l d age a s s i s t a n c e and mother's allowance ) and insurance schemes (such as o l d age s e c u r i t y and unemployment i n s u r a n c e ) , are cared f o r by the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The present study i s concerned w i t h t h i s r e s i d u a l group of persons i n one community - New Westminster. The development of the present a s s i s t a n c e program i s t r a c e d , the changes i n c a s e l o a d t h a t have o c c u r r e d i n the l a s t f o u r years are c o n s i d e r e d , and a survey made of the cases t h a t r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e i n 1951. A s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program has been i n o p e r a t i o n i n New Westminster f o r the past f i f t y y e a r s , d u r i n g which time major changes have o c c u r r e d . The p r i n c i p l e of l o c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c a r i n g f o r the d e s t i t u t e has been m o d i f i e d , and the p r o v i n c i a l government today assumes major f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , and has formulated the p o l i c y which i s f o l l o w e d by a l l p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e agencies i n the p r o v i n c e . In c o n t r a s t t o the " r e l i e f days , unemployable persons today comprise the major group of persons r e c e i v i n g h e l p . The employment of s o c i a l workers to implement p o l i c y i s a l s o a r e c o g n i z e d p r i n c i p l e . S o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster i s only one f u n c t i o n of the p u b l i c agency. The stigma a t t a c h e d to c h a r i t y i n the r e l i e f days has decreased and persons i n need are r e g a r d i n g a s s i s t a n c e as a l e g i t i m a t e r e s o u r c e i n times of f i n a n c i a l s t r e s s . The t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the New Westminster agency has i n c r e a s e d i n the l a s t f o u r years of j o i n t m u n i c i p a l -p r o v i n c i a l o p e r a t i o n , but t h i s i n c r e a s e had been p a r t i c u l a r l y prominent i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . Minor (and constant) f l u c t u a t i o n s i n the number of persons r e q u i r i n g h e l p have o c c u r r e d , and t h e r e i s a tendency f o r the a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d to decrease i n l a t e summer. Judging from the eight-month p e r i o d i n 1951, the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a turnover i n cases as h i g h as one i n t h r e e . The s o c i a l worker has met these changes by g i v i n g more of h i s time to the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . The persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e are not a homogenous group. They i n c l u d e persons who r e c e i v e a s s i s t a n c e as a temporary measure, and those f o r whom a s s i s t a n c e i s a permanent source of income. A g a i n , the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e - v i -group i s made up of persons whose only problem Is f i n a n c i a l d e s t i t u t i o n , and those who have problems requiring casework help. A high proportion of the persons have been married at one time but are now l i v i n g alone. The majority of the people on assistance are over s i x t y years of age, and these people suffer from c r i p p l i n g ailments, p a r t i c u l a r l y heart disease and a r t h r i t i s . One-third of the 558 persons who benefited from assistance i n A p r i l 1951 were dependent chi l d r e n , one-half of them under ten years of age. The majority of the dependents l i v e with a widowed or separated woman. The majority of the 122 men who received assistance i n A p r i l 1951, had been previously employed as u n s k i l l e d labourers. The majority.pf the 248 women who received assistance were housewives with no s p e c i f i c occupational t r a i n i n g . S o c i a l assistance i n New Westminster i s a heterogenous r e s i d u a l category of public assistance, with considerable f l u c t u a t i o n i n s i z e , i n d i c a t i n g that the s o c i a l assistance program needs to be f l e x i b l e . 'The rates of assistance also need to be more f l e x i b l e , to permit adequate coverage f o r persons requiring temporary help and f o r those requiring long-term f i n a n c i a l assistance. An alternative would be to provide separate insurance programs f o r the major groups of destit u t e s , such as mothers with dependent children; and categorical aid programs f o r the t o t a l l y and permanently disabled. In order to provide the casework help that s i x t y per cent of the cases need, the number of s o c i a l workers needs to be increased. The employment of an experienced worker i s esse n t i a l to provide (a) uniform p o l i c y respecting e l i g i b i l i t y and (b) early diagnosis, to ensure the application of the p r i n c i p l e of d i f f e r e n t i a l treatment f o r the mixed groups of persons comprising the s o c i a l assistance category. - v i l -SOCIAL ASSISTANCE IN NEW WESTMINSTER A Survey of O r i g i n s , and the Current P a t t e r n CHAPTER ONE THE NATURE OP THE; SURVEY The c i t i z e n s of Canada, through t h e i r e l e c t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , have assumed some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r those persons who are unable to provide f o r themselves the b a s i c n e c e s s i t i e s of l i f e . The B r i t i s h North America Act s t a t e s t h a t i t i s a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the p r o v i n c e s to provide a s s i s t a n c e to i n d i g e n t s . In B r i t i s h Columbia the " M u n i c i p a l A c t " , passed s h o r t l y a f t e r B r i t i s h Columbia entered C o n f e d e r a t i o n , d e l e g a t e d t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the l o c a l m u n i c i p a l i t i e s and c i t i e s . " P u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e i s f i n a n c i a l h e l p , g i v e n i n cash 1 or k i n d , or by the p r o v i s i o n of such s e r v i c e s as m e d i c a l c a r e , by a governmental a u t h o r i t y , to persons who are unable to p r o v i d e f o r themselves the b a s i e n e c e s s i t i e s of l i f e " . H i s t o r i c a l l y , p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e has been known as "poor r e l i e f " . "Poor r e l i e f " was an a l l - i n c l u s i v e term c o v e r i n g every k i n d of person i n want, but p r i m a r l y i n c l u d e d the unemployables. The h i s t o r y of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e i n Canada has been t h a t v a r i o u s groups of persons, such as the aged, the widowed and orphans, c o n s i d e r e d to be more worthy, have been l i f t e d out of the g e n e r a l c l a s s of i n d i g e n t s . In 1920 the / 1 Canadian Welfare C o u n c i l , P u b l i c A s s i s t a n c e and  The Unemployed, November 1951, page 3. - 2 -B r i t i s h Columbia l e g i s l a t u r e passed a "Mother's Pension A c t " designed to provide f o r the d e s e r v i n g widowed mothers w i t h c h i l d r e n . In 192? the Canadian p a r l i a m e n t made i t p o s s i b l e f o r the l e g i s l a t u r e i n B r i t i s h Columbia t o i n s t i t u t e o l d age pensions f o r those over seventy years of age who were f i n a n c i a l l y d e s t i t u t e . The remainder of the i n d i g e n t p o p u l a t i o n , not covered by such c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs, s t i l l remained a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the l o c a l m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The wide-spread unemployment d u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n i n t r o d u c e d a new problem. The l o c a l m u n i c i p a l i t i e s were unable to bear the c o s t s of i s s u i n g r e l i e f t o the unemployed as w e l l as to the unemployables. "Unemployment r e l i e f " was I n s t i t u t e d as an emergency measure to d e a l w i t h t h i s problem, and p r o v i d e d f o r f i n a n c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the p a r t of the f e d e r a l and p r o v i n c i a l governments. "Unemployment r e l i e f 1 thus became a r e s i d u a l category embracing i n d i g e n t unemployables as w e l l as a b l e - b o d i e d unemployed". In the more mature i n d u s t r i a l c o u n t r i e s , such as Great B r i t a i n , v a r i o u s systems of s o c i a l insurance were in t r o d u c e d to p r o t e c t the i n d i v i d u a l a g a i n s t " b u d g e t - s h a t t e r i n g " c o n t i n g e n c i e s a r i s i n g from unemployment, d i s a b i l i t y , r e t i r e m e n t and premature death of the wage earn e r . Canada f o l l o w e d t h i s t r e n d when i n 1941 the "Unemployment Insurance A c t " was passed to p r o v i d e f o r f u t u r e unemployment c r i s e s . 1 Grauer, A.E., P u b l i c A s s i s t a n c e and S o c i a l Insurance, Ottawa, 1939, page 10. - 3 -In 1951 the f e d e r a l government passed an a c t to p rovide f o r a c o n t r i b u t o r y o l d age s e c u r i t y scheme. The e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e and s o c i a l insurance i s t h a t i n p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e h e l p i s g i v e n on the b a s i s of need, r a t h e r than on the b a s i s of c o n t r i b u t i o n made by the i n d i v i d u a l . F o r the purpose of t h i s study, persons i n need are d e f i n e d as those persons who do not have enough income to m a i n t a i n a standard of l i v i n g c o n s i d e r e d by the community to be e s s e n t i a l f o r h e a l t h and decency. P u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e r e q u i r e s the use of a "means t e s t " to determine who i s i n need of help-. 1 P u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e i n Canada has been a f f e c t e d by these two separate t r e n d s ; the c r e a t i o n of c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs, and the development of s o c i a l insurance schemes. What, however, i s happening to the r e s i d u a l group i n the v a r i o u s communities i n Canada t h a t are not covered by e i t h e r of these two programs? Who are the people that make up the r e s i d u a l i n d i g e n t group, and what p r o v i s i o n i s made f o r them? These quest.ions are of paramount importance to a l l concerned w i t h the f u t u r e of our s o c i a l s e c u r i t y program. In B r i t i s h Columbia, the " S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e A c t " , passed i n 1945 makes p r o v i s i o n f o r t h i s r e s i d u a l group. A c c o r d i n g to t h i s Act s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s f i n a n c i a l a i d to i n d i v i d u a l s or f a m i l i e s , and f i n a n c i a l a i d t o m u n i c i p a l i t i e s which 1 Marsh, L.C., Report on S o c i a l S e c u r i t y f o r Canada Ottawa, Kings' P r i n t e r , 1943, page 2 9 . - 4 -extend services to people dependent on s o c i a l assistance f o r t h e i r maintenance. S o c i a l Assistance also includes health services and occupation t r a i n i n g and r e t r a i n i n g . "Of p a r t i c u l a r significance was the in c l u s i o n of •counselling services' i n t h i s d e f i n i t i v e section of the Act, or services given by s o c i a l workers to preserve and strengthen family l i f e , whether f i n a n c i a l aid was necessary or not". 1 The present study i s concerned with the s o c i a l assistance caseload and program of only one community - New Westminster. By a detailed analysis of t h i s sample area i t i s possible to pursue a number of questions which have not been f u l l y answered. These questions are of general public i n t e r e s t ; but of s p e c i a l interest to the administrator and to the s o c i a l worker. The City of New Westminster was born i n the days of the Gold Rush i n the late 1850's. In population New Westminster ranks as the t h i r d largest c i t y i n B r i t i s h Columbia, having ri s e n from a population of seven thousand i n 1891 to the present population of twenty-eight thousand. New Westminster's major industry i s lumbering. In addition, shipping and transportation, and f i s h i n g are i t s key industries. Among the secondary industries are paper making, i n d u s t r i a l machinery manufacturing, food processing, and salmon canning. The annual gross value of production i s 1 B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Annual Report  of the S o c i a l Welfare Branch, V i c t o r i a , 1948, page 25. estimated to be e i g h t y m i l l i o n d o l l a r s a year. The annual 1 p a y r o l l i n 1950 was approximately twenty-one and a h a l f m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . New Westminster p r o v i d e s a good sample area f o r the study of the o p e r a t i o n of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program i n one are a , by reason of i t s s i z e , h i s t o r y , and i n d u s t r i a l economy. New Westminster has had a s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program f o r the l a s t f i f t y y e a r s . Numerous changes i n p h i l o s p h y and p r a c t i c e s have o c c u r r e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d of time. What these changes have been and how they a f f e c t the pr e s e n t a s s i s t a n c e program are ques t i o n s t h a t have not been e x p l o r e d b e f o r e . The development of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program i s d e p i c t e d t o pr o v i d e a b a s i s f o r the assessment of the present program. A twofold approach t o the study of the a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n New Westminster i s undertaken i n order to d i s c o v e r who are the members of the r e s i d u a l i n d i g e n t group and why they are i n t h i s c a t e g o r y of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e . I n the f i r s t p l a c e , the post-war changes i n the c a s e l o a d of the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department i n New Westminster are examined. Secondly, the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases f o r the year 1951 are s t u d i e d . Some questions r e l a t i n g t o the post-war changes i n casel o a d are s t u d i e d i n d e t a i l . Do the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d changes show any r e l a t i o n to the p o p u l a t i o n growth of New Westminster? What are the reasons f o r the 1 C i t y of New Westminster, I n t r o d u c i n g New Westminster. 1950, page 4. - 6 -f l u c t u a t i o n s i n the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n New Westminster? I s the present t r e n d towards the c r e a t i o n of more c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs c o n t i n u i n g ? I n order t o explore these q u e s t i o n s , the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d changes are s t u d i e s i n r e l a t i o n to the changes t h a t occur i n the other c a t e g o r i e s of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e . Of importance to the s o c i a l worker, i n the h a n d l i n g of the c a s e l o a d , i s the turnover i n cases t h a t o c c u r s . The turnover i h cases i s s t u d i e d i n order t o g a i n some understanding of the groups of persons t h a t make up the r e s i d u a l , i n d i g e n t group and the comparitive s i z e of the sub groups. The r e s i d u a l s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e group i s not a homongeneous category such as the o l d age a s s i s t a n c e category of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e i s . In order to a s c e r t a i n who the groups are t h a t comprise the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e category an ex t e n s i v e study of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases i s made. The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases are c l a s s i f i e d on the b a s i s of t h e i r f a m i l y s t a t u s , and age and sex d i s t r i b u t i o n . The nature of the d i s a b i l i t y of those . r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n a l background, and prev i o u s employment r e c o r d are c o n s i d e r e d . These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are of p a r t i c u l a r importance i n view of the f a c t t h a t h i s t o r i c a l l y , p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e was granted t o unemployable i n d i g e n t persons. These v a r i o u s aspects are c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the l e n g t h of time the c l i e n t s have r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e . T h i s examination of the cases i s undertaken i n - 7 -order to a s c e r t a i n why these c l i e n t s are i n t h i s c a t e g o r y of a s s i s t a n c e and what t h e i r s p e c i f i c problems a r e . Only by knowing the background of the agency, the nature and s i z e of the c a s e l o a d and the persons who are r e c e i v i n g assistance-, can the s o c i a l worker hope to employ h i s s k i l l s and h i s time to the b e s t advantage. The p r e s e n t study i s i n the nature of an e x t e n s i v e survey r a t h e r than an i n t e n s i v e a n a l y s i s of each i n d i v i d u a l case. The month of A p r i l 1951 i s s e l e c t e d as a base month f o r the c o m p i l a t i o n of c a s e - s t a t i s t i c a l forms. T h i s month i s chosen because i t r e p r e s e n t s an average month. The c a s e l o a d i n A p r i l 1951 i s lower than the peak i n the p r e c e d i n g w i n t e r months, and h i g h e r than the c a s e l o a d i n the summer months. A l s o i n A p r i l the p r o v i n c i a l w e l f a r e department requested a l l w e l f a r e o f f i c e s i n the p r o v i n c e to complete q u e s t i o n n a i r e s on a l l cases r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . I t i s t h e r e f o r e p o s s i b l e to use t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n on the New Westminster cases i n t h i s study. To p r o v i d e some form of Camparison i n measuring c a s e l o a d t u r n o v e r , the month -of December 1951 i s s e l e c t e d and a s i m i l a r survey made. The monthly s t a t i s t i c a l r e t u r n s , completed by each s o c i a l worker, are used i n s t u d y i n g changes t h a t have occu r r e d i n the c a s e l o a d of the agency. These monthly r e t u r n s a l s o I n d i c a t e the amount of work done by the s o c i a l workers. The monthly r e t u r n s are a l s o the source m a t e r i a l f o r comparing the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d w i t h the t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the agency. - 8 -The case f i l e s of the New Westminster agency p r o v i d e the c h i e f source of m a t e r i a l used i n s t u d y i n g the cases themselves. The A p r i l survey f u r n i s h e s the m a t e r i a l f o r the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the cases a c c o r d i n g to f a m i l y s t a t u s , age and sex. I n a d d i t i o n the A p r i l survey s u p p l i e s the i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to the b i r t h p l a c e and r e s i d e n c e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the f a m i l y heads. In December a l l the a c t i v e cases i n the agency were r e a d . In a d d i t i o n t o the i n f o r m a t i o n o b t a i n e d i n the A p r i l survey, the c l i e n t s * d i s a b i l i t i e s and o c c u p a t i o n a l background are noted. To measure the degree of s e v e r i t y of the c l i e n t s ' handicaps a simple t h r e e f o l d r a t i n g s c a l e i s used. A tw o f o l d r a t i n g i s employed t o measure the c l i e n t s ' p r evious employment r e c o r d s . On the b a s i s of the r e a d i n g of the f i l e s In December 1 9 5 1 an attempt i s made to l i s t problems e x i s t i n g i n the cases other than f i n a n c i a l . These problems are major d i s t u r b a n c e s t h a t the s o c i a l workers had e i t h e r r e c o r d e d as r e q u i r i n g h e l p , or were a l r e a d y engaged In h e l p i n g . A t e n f o l d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of problems i s used and each case i s r a t e d as t o whether one or more problems are pr e s e n t . The method of study d e s c r i b e d above i s employed t o i l l u s t r a t e who the groups of c l i e n t s are t h a t make up the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e category i n New Westminster, why they are i n t h i s group, and what some of t h e i r major problems are. On the b a s i s of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n concerning the s o c i a l - 9 -a s s i s t a n c e caseload and program i n one sample a r e a , s e v e r a l recommendations are made. These recommendations r e l a t e to the present h a n d l i n g of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d by the s o c i a l worker, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program to the c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs and insurance schemes i n e x i s t e n c e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. CHAPTER TWO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE IN NEW WESTMINSTER The c i t y of New Westminster has made p u b l i c p r o v i s i o n f o r a s s i s t a n c e to d e s t i t u t e persons and f a m i l i e s f o r the past f i f t y y e a r s . At the b e g i n n i n g of t h i s c e n t u r y i t was r e c o g n i s e d t h a t the d e s t i t u t e persons were e n t i t l e d t o h e l p from p u b l i c funds. The c i t y p r o v i d e d the funds and p r i v a t e church members, g i v i n g t h e i r s e r v i c e s v o l u n t a r i l y , determined and implemented p o l i c y . The d e p r e s s i o n f o r c e d a new approach because of the l a r g e number of able-bodied persons who were out of work. P a i d o f f i c i a l s were employed f o r the f i r s t time to determine e l i g i b i l i t y and i s s u e r e l i e f o r d e r s . The C i t y C o u n c i l of New Westminster p l a c e d a g r e a t d e a l of emphasis on the p r o v i s i o n of some measure of work to the unemployed. The problem of unemployment d i d a g r e a t d e a l to s h a t t e r the p h i l o s o p h y t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l c o u l d p r o t e c t h i m s e l f , on h i s own, a g a i n s t the c o n t i n g e n c i e s of l i f e . T h i s change i n a t t i t u d e was r e f l e c t e d by the s e t t i n g up of an unemployment insurance program at the f e d e r a l l e v e l . As a r e s u l t , the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e department was l e f t w i t h the t a s k of c a r i n g f o r those people who were d e s t i t u t e and unable to work. In t h e o r y , the present emphasis i s on the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of those f i n a n c i a l l y unable t o provide f o r themselves. S o c i a l workers are employed to operate the a s s i s t a n c e program on a casework b a s i s , i n keeping w i t h the new concept of a s s i s t a n c e as d e f i n e d i n the " S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e A c t " of 1945. To a c e r t a i n extent the o l d concept of l o c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y - 11 -has changed, and since 1947 the p r o v i n c i a l government has assumed eighty per cent of the cost to the actual assistance granted to the d e s t i t u t e . S o c i a l assistance i s only one aspect of the wider welfare function of the assistance department. The present program can however, only be assessed i n terms of i t s past h i s t o r y , and i t i s the purpose of t h i s chapter to consider b r i e f l y the development of the s o c i a l assistance program. The Westminster Benevolent Society was formed i n 1903. The constitution adopted by the c i t y c ouncil stated that the "Society i s organized f o r the purpose of dealing with a l l cases of persons who might require r e l i e f and assistance from the Corporation of the C i t y of New Westminster, and of the d i s t r i b u t i n g of the same to the greatest advantage." This quotation seems to indicate that the c i t y council 1 recognized that there were needy i n the c i t y and that these needy persons might require help from public funds. The members of the society represented the l o c a l churches on the one hand, and the c i t y council on the other. "The society i s composed of two ladies appointed from each church congregation i n the c i t y , with the Mayor as President, and the C i t y Clerk as Secretary; a Vice-president and Treasurer to be elected from among the members". The 2 expenses of the society were borne.entirely by the c i t y . The 1 See Appendix One which gives the complete co n s t i t u t i o n of the Westminster Benevolent Society adopted January 14, 1903. 2 Loc. c i t . - 12 -d e l e g a t e s from the c i t y churches were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of cases of d e s t i t u t i o n . The e l i g i b i l i t y of persons was decided by a m a j o r i t y vote at the s o c i e t y ' s monthly meetings. The c i t y was d i v i d e d i n t o t e n d i f f e r e n t zones to provide adequate coverage. Two l a d i e s , r e p r e s e n t i n g d i f f e r e n t churches, were assigned to each of the zones f o r the purpose of i n v e s t i g a t i n g requests f o r a s s i s t a n c e . The p r a c t i c e was to a s s i g n the women to the d i s t r i c t s i n which they l i v e d , as i t was f e l t they would be more f a m i l i a r w i t h f a m i l i e s i n need. Each team, of two women, was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r making an o r a l r e p o r t t o the s o c i e t y each month. No remuneration was p r o v i d e d by the s o c i e t y f o r the members who c a r r i e d out the i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . The c o n s t i t u t i o n p r o v i d e d t h a t a l l r e l i e f was to be giv e n i n k i n d , and money o n l y i n s p e c i a l cases. In p r a c t i c e , a f a m i l y or person i n f i n a n c i a l need was allowed c r e d i t at the l o c a l s t o r e or d a i r y f o r a s p e c i f i c amount. The t r e a s u r e r would pay the accounts a f t e r they had been passed by the s o c i e t y . Only i n e x c e p t i o n a l cases, where the f a m i l y had exceeded the c r e d i t , or bought g r o c e r i e s not •considered e s s e n t i a l , d i d the s o c i e t y do the a c t u a l o r d e r i n g of the g r o c e r i e s . The a v a i l a b l e f i n a n c i a l r e c o r d s of the o p e r a t i o n of the s o c i e t y date back t o 1917 and the f i r s t r e c o r d s of minutes date back to 1923. The minutes of these meetings c o n t a i n l i s t s of e x p e n d i t u r e s , persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , and a b r i e f summary of the cases d i s c u s s e d . No i n d i v i d u a l r e c o r d s - 13 -of cases were kept, and e l i g i b i l i t y was determined, by the team, on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s . The average g r o c e r y order d u r i n g 1923 was s i x t o e i g h t d o l l a r s per f a m i l y . I n May .1923, the s o c i e t y spent a t o t a l of two hundred d o l l a r s . T h i s amount was spent on f o u r t e e n f a m i l i e s . The minutes of the s o c i e t y r e v e a l a g r a d u a l change i n p o l i c y . O r i g i n a l l y o n l y c r e d i t f o r food was p r o v i d e d f o r the c l i e n t s . Somewhat l a t e r r e n t a l allowances, u s u a l l y i n the amount of ten d o l l a r s , were p r o v i d e d . In A p r i l 1924, the s o c i e t y p a i d $7 .50 to a do c t o r f o r three home v i s i t s , and t h i s i s the f i r s t r e c o r d of medical p r o v i s i o n f o r i n d i g e n t s . S e v e r a l years l a t e r the s o c i e t y began to cooperate w i t h the Vancouver c h i l d r e n ' s s o c i e t i e s . The Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y p a i d f o r s e v e r a l cases where c h i l d r e n were b e i n g cared f o r by the two c h i l d r e n ' s a i d s o c i e t i e s i n Vancouver.' The r e p o r t s submitted by these agencies were f o l l o w e d w i t h g r e a t i n t e r e s t , and i n s e v e r a l cases the Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y made permanent plans f o r the c h i l d r e n . T h i s i n t e r e s t i n c h i l d w e l f a r e i n c r e a s e d i n the 1930's when the l o c a l s o c i e t y made s e v e r a l p r i v a t e placements. Board f o r the c h i l d r e n was p r o v i d e d by the s o c i e t y , and was u s u a l l y i n the amount of ten d o l l a r s a month. In d e c i d i n g e l i g i b i l i t y , s t r i c t a t t e n t i o n was g i v e n t o r e l a t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . A l l r e l a t i v e s of a person a p p l y i n g f o r h e l p , were approached and asked to pro v i d e h e l p . In - 14 -many cases jobs were p r o v i d e d f o r the o l d e r c h i l d r e n so they c o u l d support t h e i r p a r e n t s . In one ease on r e c o r d , an e l d e r l y man was unable t o continue t o l i v e by h i m s e l f . The s o c i e t y d e c i d e d to h e l p him, but a r e s o l u t i o n was passed at the monthly meeting " t h a t a l l e f f o r t s be made t o t r a c e any l i v i n g r e l a t i v e s " . E v e n t u a l l y a r e l a t i v e was l o c a t e d i n 1 Edmonton, who when approached by the s o c i e t y , agreed t o have the person i n need come and l i v e w i t h him. The Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y was c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the New Westminster C o u n c i l of Women. Each year the s o c i e t y appointed three women as t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s t o the New Westminster C o u n c i l of Women. The New Westminster C o u n c i l of Women o f t e n sent r e s o l u t i o n s i n the f i e l d of s o c i a l a c t i o n , to the s o c i e t y f o r endorsement. The Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y endorsed a r e s o l u t i o n a sking f o r an i n c r e a s e i n the pension to the aged. The s o c i e t y d e c i d e d not to endorse a r e s o l u t i o n c a l l i n g f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n of a separate department of p u b l i c w e l f a r e t o embrace the v a r i o u s w e l f a r e s e r v i c e s of the government of B r i t i s h Columbia. The s o c i e t y worked i n c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h o t h e r l o c a l p r i v a t e c h a r i t y s o c i e t i e s . I n November 1923, a meeting was h e l d at the YWCA of a l l o r g a n i z a t i o n s connected w i t h r e l i e f work. The purpose of t h i s meeting was to d i s c u s s r e l i e f work i n New Westminster t o prevent d u p l i c a t i o n s of s e r v i c e s . At 1 Loc. c i t . - 15 -th i s time the churches s t i l l sought to meet the f i n a n c i a l needs of t h e i r own parishioners. In answer to some l o c a l community c r i t i c i s m , there i s a notation i n the minutes of the society stating "that Saint Peters Church spent twelve hundred d o l l a r s f o r r e l i e f of i t s own members in the l a s t year". 1 During the depression, the society continued to function i n a supplementary way. It continued to give aid to persons who were unable to q u a l i f y f o r r e l i e f , or who were i n the process of applying f o r assistance. The l a s t records of the society available are f o r the year 1939. During the month of September 1939, the society spent three hundred d o l l a r s whereas the c i t y r e l i e f department spent f i f t e e n hundred. After 1939, the society gradually discontinued i t s work. For several years p r i o r to 1939 i t had great d i f f i c u l t y i n getting representation from the churches and the work usually f e l l to three or four women. After 1939, no formal meetings were held and the work was carried oh by the C i t y Clerk with the help of the Vice-President. The society continued to operate i n this manner u n t i l 1946 when i t q u i e t l y disbanded. In the l a s t year of Its operation i t spent a t o t a l of $1,266.79. At that time the c i t y r e l i e f administrator performed the duties of the delegates of the society. In 1929, the c i t y council r e a l i z e d that the Westminster Benevolent Society was unable to cope with the problem of the large number of unemployed. A separate 1 Loc. c i t . - 16 -r e l i e f department, located at the Board of Work's o f f i c e , was organized. U n t i l the passing of the "Unemployment Re l i e f Act", aby the federal government, the department operated independently of p r o v i n c i a l or f e d e r a l f i n a n c i a l a i d . Within the next few years the f e d e r a l government passed the "Unemployment Re l i e f Act", the "Unemployment and Farm R e l i e f Act", and the " R e l i e f Act". The f e d e r a l , p r o v i n c i a l and municipal governments shared the costs of the r e l i e f and work's programs. In October 1938, the p r o v i n c i a l government segregated the unemployable persons from the able-bodied unemployed. The p r o v i n c i a l government assumed f o r t y per cent of the cost of r e l i e f to the unemployable persons. The h i s t o r y of f e l i e f i s marked by continual p o l i c y and program changes on the part of the senior governments. These changes made i t d i f f i c u l t f o r the c i t y council to operate a successful r e l i e f program. Each new scheme necessitated r e - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and r e - r e g i s t r a t i o n of the unemployed. On October 29, 1930 the c i t y clerk published a notice, i n the l o c a l paper asking a l l unemployed to r e - r e g i s t e r and f i l l i n s p e c i a l forms f o r work. On August 19, 1931 another notice was published again asking a l l single and married men to r e - r e g i s t e r f o r work. The c i t y council had to revamp i t s plans repeatedly. In August 1930, the c i t y had prepared a r e l i e f budget f o r $166,000 and submitted the budget to V i c t o r i a . The budget was slashed i n h a l f and this meant the c i t y council had to - 17 -formulate new p l a n s . The o r i g i n a l budget had been prepared on the b a s i s of the number of married men r e c e i v i n g r e l i e f , and p r o v i d e d f o r work f o r 443 men f o r f o u r days a month u n t i l May of the f o l l o w i n g y e a r . The r e l i e f department was requested t o reduce the number of people r e c e i v i n g r e l i e f . The o n l y other a l t e r n a t i v e was to g i v e a l l of the men two days of work a month i n s t e a d of f o u r days. The r e l i e f o f f i c e found i t necessary t o operate on the b a s i s of money a v a i l a b l e , r a t h e r than on the b a s i s of e x i s t i n g needs. Not onl y were budgets s l a s h e d , but o f t e n the p r o j e c t s which were a l r e a d y underway were d i s c o n t i n u e d . D u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n about ten to f i f t e e n per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e . I n 1933, d u r i n g the peak month, the r e l i e f department had 1400 eases. About 700 of these were s i n g l e cases and 700 were married men w i t h dependents. In March 1934, there were about 1055 dependents of m u n i c i p a l heads of f a m i l i e s who r e c e i v e d $2.75 a month. T h i s would i n d i c a t e t h a t about 2500 to 3000 persons were r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . The r e l i e f department employed s i x o f f i c i a l s t o cope w i t h t h i s s i z e of c a s e l o a d . I n December 1932, a man, h i s wif e and one c h i l d r e c e i v e d $27.00 a month. The a s s i s t a n c e r a t e was made up of two c a t e g o r i e s ; food allowance, and an allowance f o r c l o t h i n g , s h e l t e r and f u e l . The c l o t h i n g , s h e l t e r and f u e l allowance was not to exceed f o r t y per cent of the food allowance. Nine d o l l a r s was allowed f o r f o o d f o r the head of the f a m i l y , $3.50 f o r a second a d u l t and $2.50 f o r each dependent under twenty-one years of age. "- 18 -The maximum allowance f o r a s i n g l e man was twenty cents a day f o r f o o d , and twenty cents f o r c l o t h i n g , s h e l t e r and f u e l . U n t i l 1934, the s i n g l e man o n l y r e c e i v e d a f o o d allowance. The a d d i t i o n a l twenty cents was g i v e n on the understanding t h a t the man was expected to work when c a l l e d upon t o do so, or e l s e produce a med i c a l c e r t i f i c a t e s t a t i n g he was not able to work. Any r e f u s a l to work meant d e b a r r i n g from any f u r t h e r r e l i e f . A c t u a l l y , v e r y few s i n g l e men were ever r e q u i r e d to work, but t h i s t e s t was used t o determine the w i l l i n g n e s s of the men to work. During the e a r l y days of r e l i e f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i t was not an uncommon s i g h t t o see f o u r hundred s i n g l e men appear at the r e l i e f o f f i c e d a i l y to r e c e i v e t h e i r twenty cents i n s c r i p . The r e l a t i o n between the r e l i e f s c a l e and the work's program can b e s t be shown by means of an i l l u s t r a t i o n . I n the case of a married c o u p l e , w i t h no dependents, the man was expected t o work three days a month, f o r which he r e c e i v e d f o r t y cents an hour amounting to $9.60 a month. Th i s amount was p a i d to him i n cash on a weekly or monthly b a s i s . I n a d d i t i o n the man r e c e i v e d a g r o c e r y order f o r $6 .50 and a s h e l t e r allowance of $5.00 making a t o t a l income of $21.25 per month. F o r each c h i l d , the man was allowed t o work an e x t r a day a month. The o r i e n t a l s c a l e f o r the same s i z e of f a m i l y amounted to $17.00 i n s t e a d of $21.25 per month. In many cases the c i t y allowed the r e c i p i e n t to cut h i s own wood from u n c l e a r e d c i t y l o t s . The t o o l s were loaned t o the men, and the c i t y s u p p l i e d the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . - 19 -A scheme was undertaken f o r s u p p l y i n g a group of men w i t h l a n d and seed to grow t h e i r own v e g e t a b l e s . The o r g a n i z a t i o n was l e f t up to the men, which d i d not prove ve r y s u c c e s s f u l . The r e l i e f r e c i p i e n t was never sure when a cut i n h i s allowance would come or when the work's program would end. The d a i l y press r e p o r t e d on March 16, 1933, t h a t there was c o n s i d e r a b l e uneasiness among the men because the present a u t h o r i z a t i o n e x p i r e d at the end of the month, and no f u r t h e r program had been announced. The u n r e s t i n New Westminster was p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t among the s i n g l e men. S e v e r a l demonstrations were h e l d at the Court House p r o t e s t i n g the cut i n allowance at the end of March, 1933. The R e l i e f Worker's Union was a union made up of a l l unemployed men who were working f o r t h e i r r e l i e f . The union h e l d a mass meeting of a l l workers on J u l y 15, 1933 to p r o t e s t the amount of a s s i s t a n c e they r e c e i v e d . I n a statement they i s s u e d they p o i n t e d out t h a t " i t i s not n ecessary to s t a t e the f a c t t h a t present r e l i e f allowance i s meant to keep the unemployed from a c t u a l s t a r v a t i o n o n l y , t h a t no man can work on t h i s allowance without i n j u r y t o h i s h e a l t h as he does not get s u f f i c i e n t f o o d . T h i s i s w e l l known to everyone. The unemployed workers i n Vancouver do not work f o r t h e i r r e l i e f , the unemployed i n Burnaby r e f u s e d to do so and the r e c i p i e n t s on the N o r t h - 20 -Shore have q u i t a l s o " . The union requested a wage of 1 f i f t y cents an hour and an i n c r e a s e i n the grant of f i f t e e n d o l l a r s a month. Meetings were c a l l e d i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r a s t r i k e v o t e . One s t r i k e was attempted i n the summer of 1934. One hundred and t h i r t y men went on s t r i k e one morning and p i c k e t e d the t o o l boxes. No n o t i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r i n t e n t i o n t o s t r i k e was g i v e n . No e f f o r t was made by the Board of Works t o send i n other workers to do the work. The c i t y c o u n c i l met the same day and i t was decided t h a t no r e l i e f would be g i v e n t o anyone who r e f u s e d t o work. The superintendent of the Board of Works r e p o r t e d t h a t those a c t i v e i n the s t r i k e were o n l y a very s m a l l percentage of the unemployed, and many of those who downed t o o l s d i d not do so on t h e i r own v o l i t i o n . With the advent of the second world war the number of unemployed persons decreased and In 1940 the r e l i e f o f f i c e was c l o s e d . During the p e r i o d from 1940 to June, 1947 the c i t y of New Westminster operated i t s own m u n i c i p a l department of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . T h i s p e r i o d was a t r a n s i t i o n a l stage from the r e l i e f days t o the present w e l f a r e department. The c i t y was r e l u c t a n t t o come w i t h i n the p r o v i n c i a l scheme of o p e r a t i o n , as a r e s u l t of poor p r o v i n c i a l -1 T h i s statement i s quoted from a h a n d b i l l d i s t r i b u t e d by R e l i e f Workers' Union i n J u l y 1933. m u n i c i p a l r e l a t i o n s d u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n . During the f i r s t t h ree years of t h i s p e r i o d the department was manned by two r e l i e f o f f i c i a l s . The method and mode of o p e r a t i o n was a c o n t i n u a t i o n of the r e l i e f department i n the d e p r e s s i o n , except t h a t most of the r e c i p i e n t s were unemployable persons. By 1943, the number of cases on r e l i e f had dropped to approximately 150. The p r o v i n c i a l government began i t s own program of amalgamation i n 1942. The separate w e l f a r e s e r v i c e s were brought under the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Branch. Under t h i s arrangement the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s were o f f e r e d s e v e r a l a l t e r n a t i v e methods of o p e r a t i o n . The l a r g e r c i t i e s were r e q u i r e d to operate t h e i r own s o c i a l w e l f a r e programs. The government o f f e r e d to provide s o c i a l s e r v i c e s to the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s at the c o s t of f i f t e e n cents per person based on the 1941 census. The other a l t e r n a t i v e was f o r the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s to operate t h e i r own programs w i t h r e g a r d t o s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . New Westminster c i t y c o u n c i l chose the l a t t e r course and s e t up a S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department i n 1943. I t s f u n c t i o n was l i m i t e d t o l o o k i n g a f t e r the f i n a n c i a l l y i n d i g e n t . C h i l d W elfare, Mother's Allowance, and Old Age Pensions were l e f t t o the p r o v i n c i a l government. Prom 1943 to 1947, the c i t y had an a d m i n i s t r a t o r and a s e n i o r stenographer to operate the program. I n v e s t i g a t i o n s , were, f o r the most p a r t , c a r r i e d out i n the o f f i c e . E l i g i b i l i t y was determined on the b a s i s of m e d i c a l i n c a p a c i t y and f i n a n c i a l need. - 22 -S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e c o n s i s t e d of cash payments and medical s e r v i c e s . The c i t y c o u n c i l adopted the p r o v i n c i a l s c a l e of a s s i s t a n c e l e s s f i v e per cent. The f i v e per cent was used f o r c l o t h i n g allowances g i v e n on the b a s i s of a separate a p p l i c a t i o n of the "means t e s t " . T o t a l expenditures f o r s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r the year 1944 amounted to approximately t h i r t y - n i n e thousand d o l l a r s . The c a s e l o a d v a r i e d from 160 d u r i n g the summer to 210 i n the w i n t e r . Two years l a t e r the expenditures had r i s e n to seventy thousand d o l l a r s , and caseloads had r i s e n to 260 cases. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t the c i t y made a s a v i n g of two thousand d o l l a r s by o p e r a t i n g on a f i v e per cent lower s c a l e than the p r o v i n c i a l government i n 1945. During the years 1943 to 1945, the s t a f f of the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department performed the work of the Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y . The o n l y a c t u a l d i f f e r e n c e was t h a t the s o c i e t y ' s funds were a 100 per cent c i t y charge. I n 1946, the c i t y c o u l d have made a s a v i n g of s i x hundred d o l l a r s by g i v i n g a l l a s s i s t a n c e through the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department. Even though the expenditures of the s o c i e t y r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y about two per cent of the t o t a l amount spent f o r a s s i s t a n c e i t does i l l u s t r a t e the d e s i r e of the c i t y to operate i t s own program w i t h freedom to determine e l i g i b i l i t y on i t s own standards. By the p a s s i n g of the " S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e A c t " i n 1945 and implementing the recommendation of the Goldenburg r e p o r t i n 1947, the p r o v i n c i a l government was able to e s t a b l i s h b e t t e r r e l a t i o n s w i t h the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . I n - 23 -June 1947, the c i t y council decided i t was to t h e i r advantage to come within the p r o v i n c i a l plan of operation. An amalgamated o f f i c e was set up with the p r o v i n c i a l government sharing h a l f the cost of the s a l a r i e s of the s o c i a l workers. The welfare department offered a generalized welfare service, including Old Age Pensions, Mother's Allowance, S o c i a l Assistance and Child Welfare. After f o r t y - f i v e years of giving f i n a n c i a l aid to the d e s t i t u t e , s o c i a l workers were hired to operate the program. The number of s o c i a l workers employed has increased, and at the present time four are working i n the S o c i a l Assistance Department. The major changes that have occurred i n the past f i f t y years are summarized i n the following manner: 1. Agency Structure: The Westminster Benevolent Society was a semi-public agency operated j o i n t l y by the c i t y council and the l o c a l church delegates. The R e l i e f Department was a public agency operated by the c i t y under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Board of Works. The S o c i a l Assistance Department i s a multiple-function public agency under the administration of the c i t y and under the supervision of the p r o v i n c i a l welfare department. 2. Personnel Practices: Church members, appointed by the l o c a l churches, performed the work of the Westminster Benevolent Society. No remuneration was provided f o r the work done. The c i t y clerk performed the duties of secretary of the society* i - 24 -P a i d o f f i c i a l s of the c i t y were employed i n the R e l i e f Department. S o c i a l workers, o p e r a t i n g i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l c a p a c i t y , are j o i n t l y employed by the c i t y and the p r o v i n c e . The p r i n c i p l e of casework s u p e r v i s i o n has been adopted. 3. Method of F i n a n c i n g : I n the e a r l y days the c i t y c o u n c i l a u t h o r i z e d the use of l o c a l p u b l i c funds f o r the o p e r a t i o n of the program. During the d e p r e s s i o n , the p r i n c i p l e f i n a n c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the p r o v i n c i a l government was e s t a b l i s h e d . The f e d e r a l government assumed some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r unemployment r e l i e f . The Budget of the R e l i e f Department was a u t h o r i z e d or m o d i f i e d by the p r o v i n c i a l government on the b a s i s of f e d e r a l grants r e c e i v e d . At the present time, the c i t y i s reimbursed f o r about e i g h t y per cent of the co s t of a s s i s t a n c e . The c i t y pays the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c o s t s and h a l f the s a l a r i e s of the s o c i a l workers employed. 4. S e r v i c e s Rendered to C l i e n t s : The Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y p a i d f o r the g r o c e r y o r d e r s . These amounted t o about e i g h t d o l l a r s per f a m i l y . The women of the s o c i e t y took a p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the c l i e n t s , and o f t e n t r i e d to f i n d jobs t o he l p c l i e n t s become s e l f s u p p o r t i n g . D u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n , a s s i s t a n c e was g i v e n to c l i e n t s not e l i g i b l e f o r r e l i e f , and m e d i c a l c o s t s were p a i d i n some cases. Board was arranged f o r orphaned c h i l d r e n i n s p e c i a l cases. - 25 -R e l i e f p r o j e c t s were undertaken by the Board of Works to provide some work f o r the unemployed d e s t i t u t e married men. I n 1932, r e l i e f o r d e r s , amounting to about twenty-seven d o l l a r s a month, were i s s u e d to a man, h i s w i f e and c h i l d . S i n g l e men were p r o v i d e d w i t h s c r i p at the r a t e of f o r t y cents a day. The p r e s e n t a s s i s t a n c e r a t e s are $69.50 f o r a man, h i s w i f e and one c h i l d . T h i s a s s i s t a n c e i s i s s u e d by cheque. Free medical and h o s p i t a l care i s p r o v i d e d and n u r s i n g home care i s p a i d f o r the c h r o n i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l cases who are d e s t i t u t e . C o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s are a v a i l a b l e to those i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e . In a d d i t i o n the agency has other f u n c t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g to c h i l d w e l f a r e , and other c a t e g o r i e s of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e , such as Mother's Allowance, and Old Age A s s i s t a n c e . 5. D e t e r m i n a t i o n of E l i g i b i l i t y P o l i c y ; The p o l i c y of the Westminster S o c i e t y was f l e x i b l e and was determined on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s by the d e l e g a t e s of the s o c i e t y by a m a j o r i t y vote. F o r the most p a r t I n v e s t i g a t i o n s of d e s t i t u t e persons was c a r r i e d out i n the o f f i c e d u r i n g the r e l i e f days. P r o v i n c i a l r a t e s of r e l i e f were adopted by the c i t y c o u n c i l . P r o v i n c i a l s u p e r v i s i o n was a matter of f i n a n c i a l a u d i t i n g , and the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of e l i g i b i l i t y a l o c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . At the present time the p r o v i n c i a l p o l i c y r e g a r d i n g e l i g i b i l i t y i s f o l l o w e d . F o r the most p a r t e l i g i b i l i t y i s based on u n e m p l o y a b i l i t y as c e r t i f i e d by a m e d i c a l d o c t o r . The care of young c h i l d r e n , and i n some eases the l a c k of - 26 -s u i t a b l e employment, e n t i t l e s persons to a s s i s t a n c e . 6. Types of C l i e n t s i n R e c e i p t of A s s i s t a n c e : During the p e r i o d when the Benevolent S o c i e t y operated, h e l p was g i v e n to d e s t i t u t e persons who d i d not r e c e i v e a i d from the l o c a l churches or from p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s . The c a s e l o a d of the agency was s m a l l , and v a r i e d w i t h the number of other p u b l i c programs i n o p e r a t i o n . In g e n e r a l , h e l p was c o n f i n e d to those f a m i l i e s where the wage-earner was d i s a b l e d . During the d e p r e s s i o n , the m a j o r i t y of the c l i e n t s were abl e - b o d i e d unemployed men. The s i n g l e t r a n s i e n t men proved to be a s p e c i a l problem. I t was c o n s i d e r a b l y e a s i e r f o r the d i s a b l e d person to r e c e i v e r e l i e f d u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n than p r i o r to i t . About f i f t e e n per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n r e c e i v e d r e l i e f i n 1 9 3 3 . The present s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c l i e n t s are composed of s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t groups of people who are unemployable. They r e p r e s e n t about two per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n and are a r e s i d u a l group who are not covered by other p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e c a t e g o r i e s or by s o c i a l insurance schemes. CHAPTER THREE CASELOAD CHANGES IN NEW WESTMINSTER S o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s a r e s i d u a l category of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e , and because of. t h i s f a c t I t i s to be expected that there w i l l be c o n s i d e r a b l e f l u c t u a t i o n i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . The changing p h i l o s o p h y of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , and the changing economic s i t u a t i o n are f a c t o r s t h a t a p p a r e n t l y a f f e c t the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . These f a c t o r s are c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d and p a r t l y account f o r the changes th a t occur i n the number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases i n New Westminster. The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to examine, i n some d e t a i l , the changes i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d , of the wel f a r e department i n New Westminster, t h a t have occur r e d i n the l a s t f o u r y e a r s . I n New Westminster the t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the agency has i n c r e a s e d , but t h i s i n c r e a s e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y h i g h i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e category. I n a d d i t i o n t o the o v e r a l l i n c r e a s e , the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i s s u b j e c t t o a l a r g e number of minor f l u c t u a t i o n s . During the past f o u r years the turnover .in cases, i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d , has been l a r g e and there are i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t c e r t a i n areas of t h i s c a s e l o a d have a high e r turnover than other areas, The changing f u n c t i o n of the s o c i a l worker i s s t u d i e d i n the l i g h t of the changes t h a t are o c c u r r i n g . The term " c a s e l o a d " r e f e r s to the number of f i l e s s et up and c a r r i e d by the New Westminster agency, d u r i n g one- . - 28 -month. A p p l i c a n t s f o r a s s i s t a n c e who r e c e i v e h e l p f o r l e s s than two weeks are not i n c l u d e d i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . An o l d age pensioner whose income i s supplemented by s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , f o r the payment of n u r s i n g home c a r e , i s not c l a s s i f i e d as a s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e case f o r the purpose of t h i s study. However, a spouse of an o l d age pens i o n e r , who r e c e i v e s s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , i s c l a s s i f i e d as a s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e case. Such a case i s designated as a "shared s e r v i c e " and i s counted as o n l y one case. " U n i t s of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e " r e f e r s to the t o t a l number of persons, a d u l t s and dependents, r e c e i v i n g f i n a n c i a l a i d , other than temporary a i d , In any ca l e n d a r month. An " a c t i v e " case, from the s o c i a l worker's s t a n d p o i n t , r e f e r s to a case on which the worker has spent time d u r i n g t h a t month, u s u a l l y i n d i c a t i n g an i n t e r v i e w w i t h the c l i e n t . The c l e r i c a l r o u t i n e of m a i l i n g cheques, or r e c e i v i n g income statements, would not make an open case an " a c t i v e " case. The d e c i s i o n as t o whether a case i s " a c t i v e " i s made by the worker, and i s i n d i c a t e d by him on h i s d a i l y work sheets. At the end of the month the worker uses these d a i l y sheets i n order t o compile the t o t a l number of a c t i v e cases f o r the month. In the l a s t f i f t y years the p o p u l a t i o n of New Westminster has almost t r e b l e d , w i t h most of the in c r e a s e coming i n the l a s t twenty y e a r s . F i g u r e One presents a comparison between the number of persons - 29 -r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e and the p o p u l a t i o n growth. S e v e r a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are encountered i n making t h i s comparison. The t o t a l s f o r the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e are unobtainable f o r the same years t h a t the census was taken. I t i s only p o s s i b l e to v e r i f y the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e f o r the l a s t f i v e y e a r s , by checking the o r i g i n a l monthly s t a t i s t i c s . In 1 9 2 6 , about one-half per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e from p u b l i c funds. Three thousand persons, or f i f t e e n per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n , r e c e i v e d r e l i e f i n 1 9 3 3 . During the war years the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e decreased to one per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n . I n 1 9 5 1 , s i x hundred persons are r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . I t i s apparent t h a t the number of persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e shows no d e f i n i t e c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h the p o p u l a t i o n growth i n New Westminster. P a r t of the e x p l a n a t i o n f o r the wide v a r i a t i o n between the p o p u l a t i o n growth and the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , i s to be found i n the k i n d of persons who are e l i g i b l e f o r a s s i s t a n c e . During the d e p r e s s i o n there was no unemployment insurance program and the a b l e -bodied unemployed r e c e i v e d r e l i e f . Today, the l a r g e m a j o r i t y of the able-bodied unemployed do not r e c e i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . During the war very few people were unemployed, and many handicapped persons, who at other times would have r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e , were able to o b t a i n jobs to support themselves. Again, many f a m i l i e s were i n a f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n to support p h y s i c a l l y handicapped members FIGURE QUE A. POPULATION GKO'VTH OF NEV T'/ESTMINSTER ( 1901 - 1951 ) (Thousandths)-i 7 , 0 - 20 - 20 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 Souroet Dominion Census Bureau B. NUMBER OF PERSONS RECEIVING ASSISTANCE (1901-1951) (Thousandths) "I 3 1 1926 1933 1945 1951 x Source: Annual reports of ^ ew Westminster - 30 -of t h e i r f a m i l y . Due to the p r e s e n t h i g h c o s t of l i v i n g most f a m i l i e s are not able to support unemployable r e l a t i v e s . In view of t h i s , the i n c r e a s e from one to two per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , d u r i n g the l a s t s i x y e a r s , i s not an alarming p r o p o r t i o n . The f a c t t h a t more persons are t u r n i n g to p u b l i c agencies f o r f i n a n c i a l h e l p does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t there i s more f i n a n c i a l d e s t i t u t i o n . The stigma of c h a r i t y , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the r e l i e f days, has p a r t l y disappeared and persons i n f i n a n c i a l need are t u r n i n g to p u b l i c w e l f a r e agencies f o r f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e as a r i g h t . A d e t a i l e d examination of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d s i n c e June 1947, i n d i c a t e s t h a t the major i n c r e a s e i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e s , not persons, s t a r t e d i n the autumn of 1949. (See F i g u r e Two). Since 1949, there has been a f a i r l y steady i n c r e a s e i n the number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. The i n c r e a s e i n the t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the agency i s not the same as the i n c r e a s e i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . The r e l a t i o n between s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases and a l l other cases was r e l a t i v e l y u n iform up to 1950, i . e . , about n i n e t e e n per cent of a l l cases were s o c i a l 1 a s s i s t a n c e cases. In 1950 and 1951 t h i s p r o p o r t i o n s h i f t e d , and s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e became a l a r g e r p a r t of the 1 Table One shows the r e l a t i o n between the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d and the t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the agency f o r the p e r i o d 1947 - 1951. TABLE ONE SUMMARY OF CASELOAD TRENDS 1947-1951 A l l Cases Social Assistance Cases Other Categories Total Persons (Social Assistance) Year Total Active Per cent Total Active Per cent Per cent of A l l Cases Total Active Per Cent Total Persons per case 1947 887 146 16 168 31 18 19 719 115 16 289 1.72 1948 954 176 18 167 46 28 18 789 130 17 320 1.92 1949 1105 248 22 211 77 37 19 894 171 19 409 1.94 1950 1269 270 21 290 102 35 23 979 168 17 530 1.85 1951 1381 371 27 357 148 44 26 1024 223 21 620 1.84 Average i 1119 242 22 235 81 . 34 21 881 161 18 434 1.85 Source: Monthly S t a t i s t i c a l Returns. FIGURE TWO CHANGES IH SOCIAL ASSISTANCE CASKS Hw W.rtminater, Jan. Vjlfl - Jun« 1^1 - 31 -t o t a l c a s e l o a d , r i s i n g to twenty-six per cent of the t o t a l c a s e l o a d i n 1951. I f economic f a c t o r s were s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the i n c r e a s e i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , then i t would be expected that a s i m i l a r i n c r e a s e would occur i n the cases other than s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , i . e . , i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g o l d age pension and mother's allowance. The r e l a t i o n between the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e and the number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases has been s t a b l e throughout the l a s t f i v e y e a r s . The average number of persons per case i s 1.85. In Vancouver, the number of persons per case i s 1.3, which i n d i c a t e s t h a t a 1 l a r g e r p r o p o r t i o n of the cases i n Vancouver are made up of s i n g l e persons. The s o c i a l workers i n New Westminster have met the i n c r e a s e i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e by a l l o c a t i n g more of t h e i r time to t h i s category of p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e . In 1947, e i g h t e e n per cent of a l l s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases were a c t i v e , and s i x t e e n per cent of a l l other cases were a c t i v e . In the next few y e a r s , the number of a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases rose from ei g h t e e n to f o r t y - f o u r per cent, w h i l e the number of a l l . other cases t h a t were a c t i v e o n l y i n c r e a s e d from s i x t e e n to twenty-one per cent. E i t h e r the s o c i a l workers f e l t t h a t the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases r e q u i r e d more a t t e n t i o n 1 C i t y of Vancouver, Report of the S o c i a l S e r v i c e Department, December 1951, page 1 - 32 -than the other cases, or the persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e demanded more of the s o c i a l worker's time. The number of s o c i a l workers employed was i n c r e a s e d from three to f o u r i n 1950, and si n c e 1949 the agency has been used as a student placement. This i n c r e a s e i n workers was more than o f f s e t by the t o t a l i n c r e a s e i n c a s e l o a d and does not account f o r the percentage i n c r e a s e i n the number of a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. The g r e a t e r percentage of a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases i n r e l a t i o n t o other 1 cases, i n d i c a t e s t h a t the s o c i a l workers have been and -are showing more d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n the d i f f e r e n t i a l approach to the h a n d l i n g of the g e n e r a l i z e d c a s e l o a d . The d i f f e r e n t i a l approach i s based on the r e a l i z a t i o n , t h a t some persons have g r e a t e r problems than o t h e r s , and t h a t some persons respond more r e a d i l y to help than o t h e r s . I t would appear t h a t the s o c i a l workers f e e l t h a t s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases need more h e l p , and t h e r e f o r e , are g i v i n g a d d i t i o n a l s e r v i c e s , such as c o u n s e l l i n g , to the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases, i n order to enable them to become f i n a n c i a l l y independent. Without the g r e a t e r i n c r e a s e i n a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases, i t may be t e n t a t i v e l y assumed that the i n c r e a s e i n the number of persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster would be h i g h e r . 1 An " a c t i v e " case i s .an open case i n which the s o c i a l worker helps the c l i e n t through i n t e r v i e w c o n t a c t . An "open" case i s a case i n which f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s c u r r e n t l y i s s u e d . - 33 -I n the l a s t f i v e y e a r s , about o n e - f i f t h of a l l cases i n New Westminster have been s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. Of 1 these s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases, o n e - t h i r d were a c t i v e c a s e s . Again, o n e - t h i r d of a l l the a c t i v e cases i n the agency were a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. Each worker spent about o n e - t h i r d of h i s time on the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. On the b a s i s of the average of three s o c i a l workers i n the New Westminster agency, i t appears t h a t one s o c i a l worker's time was spent on the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases. The average number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases per month Is ' 235. In 1947, the average s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d was 168; three workers were employed. In 1951, the average s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i s 357. A c c o r d i n g l y , i t c o u l d be argued t h a t the present c a s e l o a d r e q u i r e s s i x s o c i a l workers. The second major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d , b e s i d e s the o v e r a l l i n c r e a s e i n s i z e , i s the constant minor f l u c t u a t i o n s that occur from month to month. (See F i g u r e F o u r ) . Each year from 1944 - 1950, seems to have i t s own p a t t e r n of minor f l u c t u a t i o n s . With the e x c e p t i o n of the year 1949, there i s a downward t r e n d i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , i n l a t e 2 summer or e a r l y f a l l . The most d e f i n i t e s e a s o n a l swing appears to be i n 1950. 1 F i g u r e Three shows the comparison of the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e caseload i n p r o p o r t i o n to the s i z e of the t o t a l c a s e l o a d . 2 Persons on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r a t h e r than cases i s used i n order t o permit the i n c l u s i o n of the p e r i o d 1944 - 46. FIGURE THREE CASELOAD DISTRIBUTION IN NEW WESTMINSTER ( 1947 - 1951 ) A comparison of the s i z e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n p r o p o r t i o n to the t o t a l c a s e l o a d , i n d i c a t i n g a c t i v i t y on the p a r t of the s o c i a l worker. S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e A c t i v e Cases SOURCE: Table One FIGURE FOUR CHANGES IH THE NUMBER OF PERSONS RECEIVING ASSISTANCE IN NEW WESTMINSTER, 1944-1950 to G O GO u © u o u © -8 Si 570 550 490 450 410 370 330 290 250 210 1950 1949 1948 1947 1946 1944 u e © fa o eg or © 5 © • 9 © © e © •s to © e 3 o © © bO - p > S3 © o O © <ai to o S3 - 34 -The monthly f l u c t u a t i o n s , i n the number of persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n 1950 and 1951 i n New Westminster, f o l l o w the p r o v i n c i a l p a t t e r n . The p r o v i n c i a l changes, i n number of people r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e , show an 1 in c r e a s e In l a t e w i n t e r , and a decrease throughput the summer and f a l l . The same p a t t e r n a p p l i e s t o New Westminster except t h a t the decrease comes l a t e r i n the summer. One f a c t o r c o n t r i b u t i n g to the s e a s o n a l decrease appears t o be the a v a i l a b i l i t y of employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r the mar g i n a l unemployables. A g a i n , a c e r t a i n 2 percentage of the c a s e l o a d i s made up of persons who are i n the low mar g i n a l income, group, who are o n l y able t o o b t a i n work i n summer and r e q u i r e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e In the w i n t e r . The t h i r d major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n New Westminster i s the l a r g e turnover o f c a s e s . The number of cases c a r r i e d by the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e department f o r the months of A p r i l and December 1951 were e q u a l . In the nine-month p e r i o d from A p r i l to December, o n e - t h i r d of the cases were c l o s e d . Out of the 331 cases 3 r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n A p r i l , 219 were s t i l l r e c e i v i n g 1 In F i g u r e F i v e , the month of January was s e t as 100 and the other months are compared w i t h January. I t should be p o i n t e d out t h a t F i g u r e F i v e does not attempt to g i v e the comparative number of persons on a s s i s t a n c e between the pro v i n c e and New Westminster, but i s a comparison of f l u c t u a t i o n s . 2 B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Annual Report  of the S o c i a l Welfare Branch, 1951, page 23 3 F i g u r e S i x d e p i c t s by means of a c i r c l e graph the turnover t h a t occurs from A p r i l t o December 1951* FIGURE F I V E COMPARISON BETWEEN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND NEW  WESTMINSTER OF THE MONTHLY FLUCTUATIONS OF  UNITS OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE, 1950 and 1951 120 115 110 105 100 95 J a n . F e b . M a r . A p r i l May June J u l y A u g . S e p t . O c t . Nov. Dec. S o u r c e t A n n u a l R e p o r t - S o c i a l W e l f a r e B r a n c h , 1951. M o n t h l y S t a t i s t i c a l r e t u r n s , New W e s t m i n s t e r . •FIGURE s ix CASELOAD TURNOVER I N SOCIAL ASSISTANCE A p r i l to December 1951, Nevr Vestmlneter DECEMBER - 35 -assistance i n December. The high turnover implies that the s o c i a l workers spent a great deal of t h e i r time establishing e l i g i b i l i t y , I.e., 112 new cases were approved and 112 cases were closed, making a t o t a l of 224 cases where the workers considered e l i g i b i l i t y i n d e t a i l . In order to ascertain which areas of the caseload are subject to the greatest turnover, the caseload i s divided on the basis of family status. In A p r i l , 258 of the cases had single persons as family heads and 73 cases had married persons as family heads. "Single" r e f e r s to any adult person not l i v i n g with a spouse regardless of that person's previous marital status. "Married" refers to two people l i v i n g together as man and wife, regardless of th e i r l e g a l status. These two categories are subdivided on the basis of whether there are dependents other than spouses. The two single categories are further c l a s s i f i e d on the basis of sex. Table Two depicts the turnover that occurred i n cases from A p r i l to December 1951. "New" refers to those cases that received assistance during December and not i n A p r i l . "Continuous" refers to those cases that received assistance both i n A p r i l and December. "Closed" refers to those cases that received assistance i n A p r i l only. The number of family heads who were married and had dependents increased 27 per cent i n the nine-month period. Seventeen of the twenty-two cases i n th i s category received assistance both i n A p r i l and December, which indicates a - 36 -r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l t u r n o v e r . Two cases were opened f o r every one t h a t was c l o s e d . TABLE TWO TURNOVER IN THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE CASELOAD  i n New Westminster from A p r i l t o December 1951. Fami l y S t a t u s T o t a l Cases Per Cent Continuous Closed New A p r i l Dec. fihangfl M a r r i e d : With Dependents 22 28 + 21 17 5 11 Without Dependents 51 37 - 28 27 24 10 S i n g l e With Dependents 77 64 - 17 43 34 21 Without Dependents 181 202 4 11 132 49 70 T o t a l 331 331 219 112 112 The number of f a m i l y heads, married and without dependents'decreased by f o u r t e e n cases i n the nine-month p e r i o d . Almost one-half of the cases i n t h i s c a t e g o r y were open i n A p r i l and c l o s e d b e f o r e December, which i n d i c a t e s a l a r g e t u r n o v e r . One case was opened f o r every two t h a t were c l o s e d . The number of s i n g l e persons w i t h dependents decreased from 77 t o 64 which i n d i c a t e s the op p o s i t e t r e n d t o t h a t which occurred i n the married w i t h dependents category. T h i r t y - f o u r cases were c l o s e d and o n l y twenty-one opened. The turnover i s almost as l a r g e as the turnover i n the married without dependents category. The s i n g l e persons without dependents account f o r the l a r g e s t number of cases b o t h i n A p r i l and December. The - 37 -number of s i n g l e persons w i t h dependents i n r e c e i p t o f s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i n c r e a s e d by el e v e n per cent from 181 t o 202 c a s e s . Seven cases were opened f o r every f i v e t h a t were c l o s e d i n the nine-month p e r i o d under study. The s i n g l e men account f o r the major i n c r e a s e i n the number of s i n g l e persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e , i . e . , the number of s i n g l e men i n c r e a s e d from 74 to 90 . The number of s i n g l e women decreased from 184 to 176. The number of s i n g l e women without dependents a c t u a l l y i n c r e a s e d , but t h i s Increase was more than o f f s e t by the decrease i n the number of s i n g l e women w i t h dependents. TABLE THREE TURNOVER JEN "SINGLE";. CASES t CLASSIFIED^ ACCORDING TO SEX. In New Westminster from A p r i l to December' 1951. Category S i n g l e w i t h S i n g l e without T o t a l Depenc lents Dependents Male Female Male Female Male Female A p r i l Cases 4 70 111 74 184 December Cases 2 62 88 114 90 176 Continuous 2 41 48 84 50 125 C l o s e d 2 32 22 2? 24 59 New • - 21 40 30 40 50 On the b a s i s of t h i s one example i t i s im p o s s i b l e t o make any g e n e r a l i z a t i o n concerning c a s e l o a d t u r n o v e r i n New Westminster. The o u t s t a n d i n g f e a t u r e i s the o n e - t h i r d - 38 -turnover of cases i n a nine-month p e r i o d . There seems t o be a s l i g h t tendency f o r the number of s i n g l e men without dependents t o i n c r e a s e . Another t r e n d i s i n d i c a t e d i n the in c r e a s e of the number of married persons w i t h dependents. On the b a s i s of t h i s one study i t i s im p o s s i b l e to say, why the number of s i n g l e women w i t h dependents should decrease and the number of s i n g l e women without dependents i n c r e a s e . On the b a s i s of t h i s examination of the c a s e l o a d i n New Westminster i t would appear t h a t s e v e r a l changes have o c c u r r e d . The number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases has been doubled i n the l a s t f o u r years w i t h most of the i n c r e a s e coming i n the l a s t two y e a r s . T h i s Increase i s out of p r o p o r t i o n t o the p o p u l a t i o n growth, and out of p r o p o r t i o n t o the i n c r e a s e i n the t o t a l c a s e l o a d of the agency. T h i s i n c r e a s e i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases has been marked, i n the agency, by an i n c r e a s e d c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the. past of the s o c i a l worker, on t h i s category of the t o t a l g e n e r a l i z e d c a s e l o a d . Minor and constant f l u c t u a t i o n s i n the number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases do occ u r , but these f l u c t u a t i o n s do not f o l l o w a d e f i n i t e s e a s o n a l p a t t e r n . There i s a tendency f o r the a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d to decrease i n the l a t e summer. T h i s decrease i n New Westminster bears some c o r r e l a t i o n t o the p r o v i n c i a l p a t t e r n of s e a s o n a l f l u c t u a t i o n . The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a o n e - t h i r d turnover i n cases. The s i n g l e women account - 39 -f o r the l a r g e s t number of cases but there does appear t o be a t r e n d towards a g r e a t e r number of s i n g l e men r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . The h i g h e s t t u r n o v e r e x i s t s i n the cases w i t h f a m i l y heads who are married and without dependents, and i n the cases w i t h s i n g l e persons w i t h dependents. The s o c i a l workers i n New Westminster are f a c e d w i t h a d i f f i c u l t problem because of the steady Increase In the number of persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e , the con s t a n t minor f l u c t u a t i o n s t h a t occur i n the s i z e of the c a s e l o a d , and the h i g h r a t e of turnover i n cases. CHAPTER FOUR CLASSIFICATION OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE CASES I n a prosperous year l i k e 1951, and In a s i z e a b l e c i t y l i k e New Westminster there are people who are without enough r e s o u r c e s t o m a i n t a i n themselves. The purpose of t h i s chapter i s t o study the two per cent of the p o p u l a t i o n i n New Westminster t h a t depend on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e i r major source of income, i n order t o see the k i n d o f people t h a t r e q u i r e a s s i s t a n c e , and why i t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r them to r e c e i v e a s s i s t a n c e from p u b l i c funds. S e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s a r i s e p e r t a i n i n g to the c a s e l o a d i n the months of A p r i l and December, 1951. F i r s t , how many of the people are men and how many are women? Second, what k i n d of work have they been doing b e f o r e they r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e , and what handicaps have prevented them from c o n t i n u i n g t o work? How long do they remain on a s s i s t a n c e ? T h i r d , what k i n d of problems, o t h e r than f i n a n c i a l ones do these people have? These que s t i o n s are of paramount importance t o persons i n t e r e s t e d i n the we l f a r e of the d e s t i t u t e i n New Westminster. The S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department i n New Westminster i s s u e d s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e t o 331 cases i n A p r i l 1951. These 331 cases r e p r e s e n t 558 persons. The sex d i s t r i b u t i o n of these persons i s summarized i n Table Four. In t h i s study "dependents" Include c h i l d r e n , a d o l e s c e n t s , and a few m e n t a l l y d e f e c t i v e persons who are - 41 -o l d e r , and does not Include the f a m i l y head, or h i s spouse. " A d u l t s 0 i n c l u d e s both the f a m i l y head and h i s or her spouse. Two t h i n g s are q u i t e c l e a r . F i r s t , the dependents r e p r e s e n t 34 per cent of a l l persons who are r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . Second, the a d u l t women make up 44 per cent of the persons r e c e i v i n g h e l p , and outnumber the men two to one. TABLE FOUR SEX DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONS IH RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE In New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. CATEGORY MALE FEMALE TOTAL A d u l t s 122 248 370 Dependents 95 93 188 T o t a l s 217 341 558 The f a m i l y s t a t u s of the 331 cases i s shown i n Table F i v e . " S i n g l e " r e f e r s t o those cases w i t h o n l y one a d u l t person i n the f a m i l y u n i t . " M a r r i e d " r e f e r s t o two people of the opposite sex l i v i n g t o g e t h e r as man and wife r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r l e g a l s t a t u s . About t h r e e -q u a r t e r s of the cases i n New Westminster are s i n g l e . A h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of the s i n g l e cases have dependents than the married c a s e s , i . e . , i n 77. cases out of 99 cases, dependents are cared f o r by one parent o n l y . The s i n g l e cases without dependents account f o r over h a l f of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases i n New Westminster. About f i f t y per cent of the s i n g l e cases have been married b e f o r e . A h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of those married b e f o r e are - 42 -widowed persons. The second l a r g e s t category of the s i n g l e cases i s those t h a t have never been married b e f o r e . The d i s t i n c t i o n between the c a t e g o r i e s "separated" and " d e s e r t e d " i s one of agreement between the separated p a r t n e r s . I f the p a r t n e r s came to a v e r b a l or w r i t t e n agreement to s e p a r a t e , the case i s c l a s s i f i e d as a "separated" case. I n those cases where the p a r t n e r s are separated o n l y t e n per cent of the marriages ended i n d i v o r c e . TABLE FIVE FAMILY STATUS OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE CASES  i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951* CATEGORY With Dependents Without Dependents TOTAL PER CENT Mar r i e d 22 51 73 22 S i n g l e : Widowed 2 5 84 109 33 Separated 23 19 42 12 Deserted 14 1 15 4 Never Mar r i e d 8 74 82 26 Dependents l i v i n g w i t h . r e l a t i v e s 3 - 3 1 T o t a l 99 232 331 100 About one-quarter of the 99 dependents are cared f o r by widowed persons. Twenty-two dependents are b e i n g cared f o r by married couples and twenty-three dependents are cared f o r by separated persons. However, o n l y one-quarter of the widowed persons have f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , w h ile one-half of the separated persons, and the m a j o r i t y of the des e r t e d persons have f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . T h i s would i n d i c a t e t h a t many d e s e r t e d and separated persons r e c e i v e a s s i s t a n c e because t h e i r f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s prevent them from seeking f u l l - t i m e employment. A c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the age and sex d i s t r i b u t i o n o f the c l i e n t s on the b a s i s of f a m i l y s t a t u s r e v e a l s s e v e r a l d e f i n i t e p a t t e r n s . Those persons on a s s i s t a n c e , who are married tend t o be o l d e r than those who are s i n g l e and have dependents. Sixty-two per cent of the married persons are over s i x t y years of age, whereas o n l y 44 per cent of the s i n g l e persons are over s i x t y . A g a i n , a hig h e r p r o p o r t i o n of the married women tend t o be o l d e r than the married men. A word of e x p l a n a t i o n should be gi v e n as to the g r e a t e r number of married women than married men. A h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n o f the married men are r e c e i v i n g the o l d age p e n s i o n , than women and t h i s i s the reason they are not c o n s i d e r e d i n t h i s study. Table Seven summarizes the income s t a t u s of the 1 Table S i x presents the age and sex d i s t r i b u t i o n of c l i e n t s on the b a s i s of f a m i l y s t a t u s as of A p r i l 1951. T A B L E SIX Age and Sex D i s t r i b u t i o n of Cl i e n t s on the  Basis of Family Status as of A p r i l 1951 (a) MARRIED PERSONS AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN TOTAL PER CENT Over 60 29 41 70 62 40 • 60 14 17 31 27 20 • 40 4 9 13 11 T o t a l 47 67 114 100 (b) Single Adult Persons Age Group Without Dependents With Dependents To t a l Per Cent Men Women Men Women Over 60 36 70 2 5 113 44 40 - 60 29 32 2 32 95 37 Under 40 5 9 1 33 48 19 T o t a l 70 111 5 70 256 100 (c) Dependents Age Group Dependents with Dependents with T o t a l Two Parents One Parent Male Female Male Female Over 20 3 2 5 7 17 10 - 20 10 8 30 27 75 Under 10 11 14 37 34 92 T o t a l 24 24 72 68 138 (d) Summary Age Group Male Female Tot a l Per Cent Over 60 67 116 183 32 40 - 60 45 81 126 23 20 - 40 18 60 78 14 Under 20 88 83 171 31 T o t a l 218 340 558 100 - 44 -married c o u p l e s . I n t h i r t y - t w o cases one p a r t n e r r e c e i v e s the o l d age pe n s i o n while the spouse r e c e i v e s s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . The 73 married cases r e p r e s e n t 114 persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e and 32 r e c e i v i n g the o l d age pens i o n . However, f o r the purpose of t h i s study, o n l y persons whose income i s d e r i v e d from s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e are s t u d i e d . T h i s does not apply t o the s i n g l e persons who depend e n t i r e l y on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e i r major source of income. TABLE SEVEN INCOME SOURCE OF MARRIED COUPLES ON ASSISTANCE  i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1931* INCOME SOURCE WITH DEPENDENTS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS TOTAL One p a r t n e r on p e n s i o n 4 28 32 Both p a r t n e r s on a s s i s t a n c e 18 23 41 T o t a l 22 51 73 The s i n g l e persons without f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s tend t o be o l d e r than those w i t h f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Most of the s i n g l e persons over s i x t y years do not have dependents, and the m a j o r i t y of these are women. Women w i t h dependents make up the m a j o r i t y of those persons under f o r t y years of age. Of the t o t a l of 256 a d u l t persons 75 are men. About one-half of these men are over s i x t y years of age, and - 45 -have no dependents. Only o n e - s i x t h of the persons under f o r t y years are men. A l a r g e r p r o p o r t i o n of the s i n g l e men tend to be younger than those who are ma r r i e d . One-half of the dependent persons are under t e n years of age. H a l f of the dependent persons are male and h a l f are female. Seventy-seven s i n g l e persons are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the care of 140 dependents and twenty-two m a r r i e d couples care f o r 48 dependents. The average number of dependents per married couple i s 2.2, whereas the average number of dependents per s i n g l e person i s 1.8. In A p r i l 1951, about twenty per cent of the persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e were between the ages of s i x t y - f i v e and seventy. Seventy-one of these are women and f o r t y - t w o are men. The m a j o r i t y of those over s i x t y - f i v e w i l l be t r a n s f e r r e d t o the o l d age a s s i s t a n c e program i n January 1952, which w i l l mean a twenty per cent decrease i n the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d . The s m a l l e s t number of persons who are r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e are between the ages of twenty and f o r t y - f i v e years of age. Of the twenty-two men i n t h i s age cat e g o r y , e i g h t are dependents. On the b a s i s of t h i s examination, i t i s c l e a r t h a t the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e group i s not a homogenous group but i s made up of s e v e r a l d e f i n i t e sub-groups. 1. Men; The 122 a d u l t men comprise the s m a l l e s t group of the 558 persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n A p r i l 1951. One-half of these men are over s i x t y years o f age. The s i n g l e men FIGURE SEVEN AGE DISTRIBUTION ACCORDING TO SEX  OF CLIENTS RECEIVING ASSISTANCE  In New Westminster, A p r i l 1951 MALE Age Group FEMALE 4 2 1 0 1 5 1 2 1 ? 1 8 2 2 27 21 70 65 6 0 5 5 50 4 5 4 0 3 5 3 0 2 5 2 0 1 5 1 0 5 8 2 5 2 5 1 9 14 1 3 16  15 1 3 1 5 21  21 27 7 1 38 - 46 -tend t o be younger than the married ones. P r a c t i c a l l y a l l the s i n g l e men have no f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . A hi g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of men tend t o be younger than the women i n the same f a m i l y c a t e g o r i e s . 2. Women; There are twice as many women on a s s i s t a n c e as men. S l i g h t l y l e s s than one-half of the women are over s i x t y years of age. The m a j o r i t y of the s i n g l e women are tinder f o r t y years of age of whom the m a j o r i t y have f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Almost one-half of the women are s i n g l e w i t h no dependents. One-quarter of the women have never been ma r r i e d . One-half of those t h a t were married are widowed. 3. Dependents; O n e - t h i r d of the t o t a l number of persons b e n e f i t t i n g from a s s i s t a n c e are dependents. Of these dependents one-half are under t en years of age. The m a j o r i t y of the dependents have o n l y one pa r e n t , and are e i t h e r l i v i n g w i t h a separated or a widowed woman. 4. M a r i t a l Groupings; One-quarter of the a d u l t persons have never been married. Only f i v e per cent o f the cases are ma r r i e d couples w i t h dependents." Only o n e - t h i r d of the a d u l t persons who were married are s t i l l m a r r i e d . O n e - t h i r d of the s i n g l e a d u l t s are widowed persons. The m a j o r i t y of the separated persons and most of the d e s e r t e d persons have f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . - 47 -One c r i t i c i s m o f t e n l e v i e d a g a i n s t the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department In New Westminster, i s t h a t most of the persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e are n o n - E n g l i s h speaking f o r e i g n e r s . On the b a s i s of the survey i n A p r i l i t Is noted t h a t one-quarter of the f a m i l y r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e were born i n the B r i t i s h I s l e s . (See Table E i g h t ) . One-half of the f a m i l y heads were born i n Canada, most of them i n E a s t e r n Canada. Only f i f t e e n per cent were bo r n i n n o n - E n g l i s h speaking c o u n t r i e s . T h i s group i n c l u d e d those born i n A s i a S c a n d i n a v i a and E a s t e r n and Western Europe. TABLE EIGHT BIRTHPLACE OF ALL FAMILY HEADS IN RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE  i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. BIRTHPLACE TOTAL B r i t i s h Columbia 37 P r a i r i e s 57 E a s t e r n Canada 75 B r i t i s h I s l e s 85 U n i t e d S t a t e s 25 S c a n d i n a v i a 11 E a s t e r n Europe 27 Western Europe 7 A s i a 7 T o t a l 331 Another s i m i l a r c r i t i c i s m i s o f t e n made t h a t most of the persons r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e have never l i v e d i n Canada long enough t o make a c o n t r i b u t i o n to t h i s c ountry. - 48 -As was noted b e f o r e , one-half of the f a m i l y heads have l i v e d i n Canada a l l t h e i r l i v e s . Only three per cent of the f a m i l y heads have l i v e d i n Canada f o r l e s s than twenty y e a r s . (See Table Nine) The B r i t i s h Columbia r e s i d e n c e g i v e s a l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t p i c t u r e . O n e - t h i r d of the cases have l i v e d i n B r i t i s h Columbia f o r l e s s than t e n y e a r s . One-half have l i v e d i n B r i t i s h Columbia f o r over twenty y e a r s . TABLE NINE PERIOD OF RESIDENCE OF FAMILY HEADS ON ASSISTANCE  i n New Westminster i n A p r i l 1951. LENGTH OF RESIDENCE CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA Throughout L i f e 163 36 Over 40 years 76 40 30 t o 40 years 52 32 20 to 30 years 30 53 10 t o 20 years 5 56 Under 10 years 5 114 T o t a l .331 331 - 49 -O c c u p a t i o n a l Background of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Cases. I n p r a c t i c e , s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s granted to d e s t i t u t e persons who are unemployable. The g r e a t m a j o r i t y of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s have been employed at one time i n t h e i r l i v e s . Only 13 out of the 331 f a m i l y heads, who r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e i n December 1951, had no o c c u p a t i o n . Table Ten d e p i c t s the o c c u p a t i o n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of those i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e . A t w o f o l d employment r a t i n g i s d e v i s e d on the b a s i s of the r e c i p i e n t ' s p r i o r employment r e c o r d . S o c i a l workers' comments i n the case f i l e s w i t h r e g a r d to the frequency of job changes, l e n g t h of time the l a s t job was h e l d , and g e n e r a l work performance, are used as c r i t e r i a i n making the employment r a t i n g . No employment r a t i n g was attempted i n the case of housewives and those who had no o c c u p a t i o n p r i o r t o r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . Seventy-four of the 136 men, who r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e i n December 1951, have been working as u n s k i l l e d l a b o u r e r s . Of these men, 38 had been working s p o r a d i c a l l y p r i o r t o r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . The d e a r t h of p r o f e s s i o n a l persons i s q u i t e e v i d e n t . Only 17 men had been employed i n s e m i - s k i l l e d manual work, of whom 14 had been employed r e g u l a r l y . The 136 men seem to f a l l i n t o f o u r d e f i n i t e c a t e g o r i e s . The f i r s t c ategory i s comprised of 36 men who had a s e m i - s k i l l e d o c c u p a t i o n and were employed r e g u l a r l y , but because of some handicap are now on a s s i s t a n c e . The TABLE TEN OCCUPATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF FAMILY HEADS New Westminster, December 1951 OCCUPATION EMPLOYMENT RATING TOTAL PER CENT Men Regular Sporadic Unskilled Labourer 36 38 74 55 Semi-skilled Manual 14 3 17 13 M i l l Worker 12 8 20 % 15 Driver 2 2 4 3 Sailor 1 1 2 1 Salesman 2 5 7 6 Bookkeeper — 2 2 1 Farmer 2 1 3 2 Self-employed 3 . — 3 2 Miscellaneous 1 1 2 1 No Occupation 2 1 TOTAL 73 61 136 100 Women Clerical 5 1 6 3 Nursing 7 2 9 5 Domestic Service 6 6 12 6 Housekeeper 2 4 6 3 Factory Worker 6 2 8 4 Waitress 5 5 2 Teacher 1 1 .5 Missionary 1 — 1 .5 Housewife 136 70 No Occupation 11 6 TOTAL 28 20 195 100 TOTAL Men and Women 101 81 331 - 50 -second category i s comprised of 2 3 men who had a semi-s k i l l e d o c c u p a t i o n , but had l i t t l e success i n h o l d i n g a steady job, and are now on a s s i s t a n c e . The t h i r d c a t e g o r y i s made up of 3 6 men who had no s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g and managed t o work r e g u l a r l y i n a l a b o u r i n g job u n t i l they were handicapped and f o r c e d t o accept a s s i s t a n c e . The f o u r t h and l a r g e s t category i s made up of 3 8 men who were unable to h o l d jobs as u n s k i l l e d l a b o u r e r s and are now i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e . Seventy per cent of the women have never had an occ u p a t i o n o t h e r than t h a t as a housewife. The c l e r i c a l and n u r s i n g groups, who make up about e i g h t per cent of the 195 f a m i l y heads,, have been employed f a i r l y r e g u l a r l y p r i o r t o r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e . Over on e - h a l f of the f i f t e e n per cent of the women employed as w a i t r e s s e s , domestic s e r v a n t s , housekeepers, and f a c t o r y workers have been employed s p o r a d i c a l l y . The women have even l e s s s p e c i f i c o c c u p a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g than the men. The 195 women s t u d i e d do not r e p r e s e n t a l l the women on a s s i s t a n c e , but o n l y i n c l u d e those who are f a m i l y heads. Those persons w i t h a r e g u l a r employment r a t i n g appear t o remain on a s s i s t a n c e f o r a s h o r t e r p e r i o d of time than those w i t h a s p o r a d i c employment r a t i n g . Table E l e v e n presents a comparison of employment r a t i n g s a c c o r d i n g t o the l e n g t h of time the f a m i l y heads have been i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e . One-quarter of the f a m i l y heads remained on a s s i s t a n c e f o r l e s s than one y e a r , one-quarter remained on - 51 -a s s i s t a n c e from one t o two y e a r s , one-quarter remained on a s s i s t a n c e from two to f i v e y e a r s , and one-quarter remained on a s s i s t a n c e f o r more than f i v e y e a r s . The m a j o r i t y of those w i t h a r e g u l a r employment r a t i n g remained on a s s i s t a n c e f o r l e s s than two y e a r s . The m a j o r i t y of those w i t h no employment r a t i n g tended t o remain on a s s i s t a n c e the l o n g e s t . The eighty-one persons w i t h a s p o r a d i c employment r a t i n g d i v i d e e v e n l y between the f o u r c a t e g o r i e s of l e n g t h of time on a s s i s t a n c e . TABLE ELEVEN EMPLOYMENT RATING OF CLIENTS PRIOR TO RECEIVING ASSISTANCE compared w i t h  THE LENGTH OF TIME IN RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE  i n New Westminster. December 1951* P e r i o d on A s s i s t a n c e Employment R a t i n g Less than One Year One to Two Years Two to F i v e Years Over F i v e Years TOTAL Regular 34 38 13 16 101 Sporadic 19 22 19 21 81 S u b - t o t a l 53 60 32 37 182 No R a t i n g Given 30 21 50 48' 149 T o t a l s 83 81 82 85 331 - 52 -D i s a b i l i t y C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of S o c i a l Assistance Cases. In p r a c t i c e , i t i s necessary f o r applicants f o r s o c i a l assistance to obtain medical evidence that they are unemployable. Of the 331 cases or family heads, who received assistance i n December 1951, 242 had medical c e r t i f i c a t e s to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r e l i g i b i l i t y f o r assistance. The 89 persons who did not submit medical c e r t i f i c a t e s were either too old to work, or had the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the care of young children. Of the 242 family heads, who had medical c e r t i f i c a t e s , 124 were men and 118 were women. Table Twelve gives the d i s a b i l i t y c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the 242 family heads who presented medical c e r t i f i c a t e s . These cases are c l a s s i f i e d on the basis of age and sex, and on the degree of the d i s a b i l i t y . The threefold r a t i n g of the severity of the handicap i s based on the doctor's opinion as to the length of the c l i e n t ' s unemployability. Of the family heads who are disabled, 175 are permanently disabled and only 17 temporarily. A higher proportion of the women are permanently disabled. The high proportion of persons with a permanent degree of d i s a b i l i t y i s understandable i n view of the large number of persons who are over s i x t y years of age. One-quarter of the disabled family heads are suffering from some form of heart disease. A larger number of women are suff e r i n g from a heart disease than men. Most of the people su f f e r i n g from heart disease are TABLE 12 DISABILITY CLASSIFICATION OF FAMILY HEADS IN RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE  New Westminster, December 1951 DISABILITY DEGREE OF DISABILITY AGE GROUP Permanent Semi- Temporary 20-40 40-60 Over 60 TOTAL permanent Years Years Years Women Heart Disease 33 4 3 4 11 25 40 Arth r i t i s 10 3 - - 6 7 13 Psychological 11 4 - 5 7 3 15 Fractures, etc. 6 - 1 1 2 4 7 Tuberculosis 2 1 1 2 - 2 4 Respiratory 3 1 1 1 2 2 5 Paralysis 3 1 - 2 2 — 4 Internal 3 2 . - 1 3 1 5 Cancer 3 1 - - 2 2 4 Mental Defective 3 2 - 2 3 - 5 Blind 2 - - - 1 1 2 Senility 5 - - - - 5 5 Diabetic 3 - - - - 3 3 Overweight 3 - - 3 - 3 Skin Disease 1 - - - - 1 1 Glandular 1 - 1 - - 1 1 2 Sub-total 92 20 6 18 43 57 118 Men Heart 22 1 1 — 3 21 24 Ar t h r i t i s 15 9 1 2 13 10 25 Psychological 5 5 1 3 5 3 11 fractures 6 3 3 1 7 4 12 Tuberculosis 4 5 3 4 7 1 12 Respiratory 9 - 1 - 3 7 10 Paralysis 5 2 - 1 2 4- 7 Internal 3 1 - 1 3 4 Cancer 3 1 1 - 2 3 5 Mental Defective 2 1 - 1 2 - 3 Blind 4 1 - - 2 3 5 Senility 2 - - - - 2 2 Diabetic 1 - - - 1 1 Overweight - - - - - - -Skin Disease 1 1 - - 2 - 2 Glandular 1 - - 1 - - 1 Sub-total 83 30 11 14 48 62 124 Total 175 50 17 32 91 119 242 No Physical Disa b i l i t y Women - 77 Men - 12 Total Number of Cases 331 - 53 -over s i x t y years of age. The women w i t h h e a r t d i s e a s e tend t o be younger than the men. T h i r t y - e i g h t f a m i l y heads are d i s a b l e d by reason of a r t h r i t i s . The m a j o r i t y of these are men. The people s u f f e r i n g from a r t h r i t i s tend to be somewhat younger than those d i s a b l e d by a heart c o n d i t i o n . A high e r p r o p o r t i o n of the women who are d i s a b l e d by reason o f a r t h r i t i s are permanently d i s a b l e d . P s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s a b i l i t y accounts f o r about t e n per cent of the d i s a b i l i t y cases. The p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y d i s a b l e d are younger than the a r t h r i t i c persons, i . e . , about o n e - t h i r d of them are under f o r t y years of age. In Vancouver, the c h i e f cause of d i s a b i l i t y i s t u b e r c u l o s i s w i t h h e a r t d i s e a s e and a r t h r i t i s r a n k i n g 1 second and t h i r d i n order of frequency. In New Westminster, t u b e r c u l o s i s ranks f i f t h i n frequency. Among the causes of d i s a b i l i t y which are l e s s f r e q u e n t i n occurrence, such as f r a c t u r e s , r e s p i r a t o r y d i s e a s e s , p o l i o , and b l i n d n e s s , the men outnumber the women. The women, on the other hand outnumber the men i n the overweight and d i a b e t i c c a t e g o r i e s . The major causes of d i s a b i l i t y f o r men under f o r t y years of age are t u b e r c u l o s i s and p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s a b i l i t y . For women u n d e r . f o r t y y e a r s of age the major causes are 1 C i t y of Vancouver, Report of the S o c i a l S e r v i c e s  Committee, January. 1949* page 3 - 54 -p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s a b i l i t y and h e a r t d i s e a s e . The m a j o r i t y of the o l d e r men s u f f e r from h e a r t d i s e a s e , a r t h r i t i s and r e s p i r a t o r y d i s e a s e s . The m a j o r i t y of the o l d e r women s u f f e r from some form of hea r t d i s e a s e and a r t h r i t i s . Major Problem Areas; The persons i n r e c e i p t of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e are f a c e d w i t h the problem of making an adjustment to the f a c t t h a t they are d i s a b l e d , and are not able to be g a i n f u l l y employed i n the labour market. Many of the p a r t i a l l y d i s a b l e d are unable t o o b t a i n the type of work they are able to perform, or do not have the t r a i n i n g to f i t them f o r s p e c i a l j o b s . Again, some of the d i s a b l e d f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to accept the medical h e l p they r e q u i r e t o be r e h a b i l i t a t e d . I n a d d i t i o n to t h e i r handicaps, they f a c e the problem of f i n a n c i a l d e s t i t u t i o n . Aside from these areas of d i f f i c u l t i e s the persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e have other i n t e r r e l a t e d problems which they are unable to so l v e themselves. . In 4 1 per cent of the cases the s o c i a l workers saw 1 no major problems other than f i n a n c i a l and medi c a l ones. In 59 per cent of.the c a s e s , the s o c i a l workers f e l t there were problems e x i s t i n g t h at e i t h e r needed the casework s e r v i c e s of the s o c i a l worker, or e l s e were 1 Table T h i r t e e n presents a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the major problem areas other than f i n a n c i a l and medical ones. These problems are c l a s s i f i e d on the b a s i s of whether one, two or three problems are present i n a case. TABLE THIRTEEN MAJOR PROBLEM AREAS, OTHER THAN FINANCIAL ONES. New Westminster, December 1951. PROBLEM AREA NUMBER OF PROBLEMS TOTAL One Two Three Marital relationships 24 . 23 9 56 Child-parent relationships 22 31 6 59 Mentally def-ective children 7 6 3 16 Illegitamacy 4 7 5 16 Alcohol 8 10 5 23 Housing 13 9 5 27 Transients 2 10 3 15 Nursing home care 24 3 - 27 No suitable employment 9 3 4 16 Poor standards 3 4 2 9 Misc. 12 _ 12 Totals 128 106 42 276 Cases 128 53 14 195 SUMMARY Cases with major problems 195 Cases with no major problems 136 59 % 41 % Total cases 331 100 Cases with one problem ' 128 Cases with two problems 53 Gases with three problems 14 66 % 27 i 7 i Total cases 195 100 - 55 -b e i n g a l r e a d y d e a l t w i t h by him. The two major d i f f i c u l t i e s . t h e c l i e n t s experience are i n the area of m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and p a r e n t a l -c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p s . These f i n d i n g s c o r r e l a t e w i t h our e a r l i e r o b s e r v a t i o n , t h a t of those persons who had been married o n l y o n e - t h i r d are s t i l l m a r ried. The h i g h i n c i d e n c e of s e p a r a t i o n s and d e s e r t i o n s i s f u r t h e r evidence of poor m a r i t a l adjustment. The m a j o r i t y of those w i t h m a r i t a l problems have d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h c h i l d - p a r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p as an a d d i t i o n a l problem. The l a r g e number of c a s e s , t h a t have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n the area of f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s has a s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e to the s o c i a l worker, and to the community, i n view of the f a c t t h a t o n e - t h i r d of the persons b e n e f i t t i n g from a s s i s t a n c e are c h i l d r e n . Economic dependency has a p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t on the p a r e n t s , which i n d i r e c t l y a f f e c t s the growth development of t h e i r c h i l d r e n . The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r a t e f o r one parent and two c h i l d r e n i s about seventy 1 d o l l a r s a month. I t needs very l i t t l e i m a g i n a t i o n to r e a l i z e the t a s k the parent f a c e s i n t r y i n g to meet the p h y s i c a l needs of the c h i l d r e n on t h i s r a t e of a s s i s t a n c e . The a n x i e t y on the p a r t of the parent who i s f a c e d w i t h 2 the problem of p r o v i d i n g adequate f o o d , c l o t h i n g and 1 The type of f a m i l y u n i t most common i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s a mother and her two c h i l d r e n . 2 B i r d , Dorothy, "How R e l i e f A f f e c t P a r e n t - C h i l d R e l a t i o n s h i p s " , P r a c t i c e of Case Work i n P u b l i c Agencies, P.S.A.A., 1942, page 17. FIGURE EIGHT DISTRIBUTION OF 276 PROBLEMS IN 195 CASES C h i l d - P a r e n t R e l a t i o n s h i p 21 % A l c o h o l 8 % No a v a i l a b l e Employment M a r i t a l R e l a t i o n s h i p 20 % Misc. - 56 -s h e l t e r i s not conducive to the c h i l d ' s s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s . F u r t h e r , a l a r g e number of the c h i l d r e n are d e p r i v e d of the experience of having a f a t h e r d u r i n g t h e i r growing y e a r s . The f a c t that i n some cases the c h i l d r e n do have two p a r e n t s , does not mean t h a t a h e a l t h y m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between the p a r t n e r s . 1 I t i s not w i t h i n the scope of t h i s study to determine whether economic problems cause m a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , or whether the m a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are the source of the economic problems. In the cases of the d e s e r t e d parents w i t h c h i l d r e n i t may be assumed t h a t many are i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e because of poor m a r i t a l adjustment. The f a c t t h a t both f i n a n c i a l and m a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are present i s a d i r e c t c h a l l e n g e to the s o c i a l worker to a s s i s t the c l i e n t s to make the most advantageous use of a v a i l a b l e community r e s o u r c e s and thereby ensure an adequate growth experience f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n . In the m a j o r i t y of those cases w i t h no problems, the f a m i l y heads are over s i x t y years of age. Those over s i x t y years of age who had problems were mostly cases i n which i t was necessary f o r the s o c i a l worker to g i v e h e l p i n o b t a i n i n g n u r s i n g home ca r e . One-half of the three problem cases were i n the 50 to 60 age group. (See Table Fourteen) I t would seem t h a t these are the cases i n which the d i f f i c u l t i e s are of long s t a n d i n g and had accumulated over a long p e r i o d of time. 1 Appendix Two presents i n summary form a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the e i g h t e e n married cases w i t h dependents. - 57 -TABLE FOURTEEN MAJOR PROBLEM AREAS, OTHER THAN FINANCIAL ONES, RELATED TO THE AGE DISTRIBUTION. New Westminster, December 1951. AGE GROUP NUMBER OF PROBLEMS TOTAL None One Two Three 20 - 30 2 10 6 2 20 30 - 40 3 17 11 2 33 40 - 50 7 22 10 2 41 50 - 60 22 35 16 7 80 Over 60 102 44 10 1 157 Total 136 128 53 14 331 At the same time i t should be remembered that t h i r t y per cent of the cases i n t h i s age group do not have any d i f f i c u l t i e s other than f i n a n c i a l . In the twenty to t h i r t y age group ninety per cent of the cases had d i f f i c u l t i e s . i On the basis of t h i s examination of the s o c i a l assistance cases, i t would appear that the s o c i a l worker has a function beyond that of determining f i n a n c i a l e l i g i b i l i t y . In order to cope with the task of using his s k i l l s to the best advantage, i t seems e s s e n t i a l that the s o c i a l worker be able to determine which cases require casework help and concentrate on these on a selective basis. In working towards the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of his c l i e n t s the s o c i a l worker needs to keep i n mind - 58 the v a r i e d needs of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e groups. CHAPTER FIVE SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE P u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e i n New Westminster has changed i n the l a s t f i f t y y e a r s . During the d e p r e s s i o n , p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e was a "stop-gap" program t h a t attempted to meet the needs of the f i n a n c i a l l y i n d i g e n t , most of whom were employable but unable to o b t a i n work. Today many of the people who would have r e c e i v e d r e l i e f i n the d e p r e s s i o n r e c e i v e f i n a n c i a l h e l p through sources such as the unemployment insurance scheme, or workmen's compensation. The new o l d age i n s u r a n c e , and o l d age a s s i s t a n c e schemes should f u r t h e r reduce the number of people t h a t r e l y on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e i r major source of income. The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program i s becoming a r e s i d u a l program t h a t attempts to meet the needs of d i v e r s i f i e d groups of c l i e n t s , who do not q u a l i f y f o r h e l p under the e x i s t i n g insurance and c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs of n a t i o n a l coverage. One r e s u l t of the d e p r e s s i o n experience was t h a t the s e n i o r governments had to a i d the c i t i e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s i f the l o c a l governmental u n i t s were to f u l f i l l t h e i r l e g a l o b l i g a t i o n s of p r o v i d i n g f o r the f i n a n c i a l l y d e s t i t u t e . At the p r e s e n t time, the p r o v i n c i a l government assumes about e i g h t y per cent of the c o s t of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e and p r o v i d e s s u p e r v i s i o n t o ensure uniform p o l i c y throughout - 60 -the p r o v i n c e . The S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Department i n New Westminster o f f e r s a g e n e r a l i z e d w e l f a r e s e r v i c e of which s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s o n l y one a s p e c t . S o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s s u b j e c t to f l u c t u a t i o n s i n the number of persons r e q u i r i n g help> because i t i s a r e s i d u a l program. The persons i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e are not a homogenous group, and t h e r e f o r e i t i s impossible to account f o r a l l the f a c t o r s t h a t are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the present i n c r e a s e i n cases i n New Westminster. The p r e s e n t i n c r e a s e i s not of an alarming p r o p o r t i o n but does i l l u s t r a t e t h a t the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e program must be a f l e x i b l e program t h a t i s able to cope w i t h u n p r e d i c t a b l e f l u c t u a t i o n s . The s e a s o n a l f l u c t u a t i o n s i n d i c a t e t h a t employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s do a f f e c t the number of persons t h a t r e q u i r e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . Another f a c t o r a f f e c t i n g the number of persons on a s s i s t a n c e i s the breakdown of the f a m i l y u n i t , whether through the death of the wage earner or through m a r i t a l d i s c o r d r e s u l t i n g i n d e s e r t i o n . The stigma a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r e l i e f has decreased and more people are r e g a r d i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e as a r i g h t to h e l p them i n times of f i n a n c i a l c r i s e s . -The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d i n New Westminster i s f u r t h e r c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a l a r g e turnover i n cases. From A p r i l t o December 1951, o n e - t h i r d of a l l the cases were c l o s e d and an e q u a l number of new cases opened. About one-quarter of the f a m i l y heads r e c e i v e d f i n a n c i a l h e l p - 61 -f o r l e s s than one year, which i n d i c a t e s t h a t f o r many f i n a n c i a l l y destitute persons s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s of h e l p to t i d e them over temporary p e r i o d s of f i n a n c i a l c r i s e s . On the other hand, about one-quarter of the f a m i l y heads r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e f o r over f i v e y e ars and f o r them s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e p r e s e n t s a permanent source of income, u n t i l they can q u a l i f y f o r o l d age a s s i s t a n c e . The f l u c t u a t i o n s and turnover i n s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases pres e n t s s p e c i a l problems t o the s o c i a l worker. I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o operate the same program of a s s i s t a n c e f o r temporary a i d and permanent f i n a n c i a l h e l p . The s i z e of the g e n e r a l i z e d c a s e l o a d i s such t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r the s o c i a l worker t o g i v e each case the i n d i v i d u a l amount of a t t e n t i o n t t r e q u i r e s . The s o c i a l worker In New Westminster has attempted t o meet t h i s problem by g i v i n g more of h i s time t o the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e category. T h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l approach seems to be a s t e p - i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n . However, even w i t h t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l approach to the v a r i o u s c a t e g o r i e s of the g e n e r a l i z e d c a s e l o a d the s i z e of the c a s e l o a d i s too l a r g e t o handle i n a c o n s t r u c t i v e and r e h a b i l i t a t i v e manner. P a r t of the s o l u t i o n l i e s i n a d i f f e r e n t i a l approach to the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e cases themselves. The s e l e c t i o n of cases f o r i n t e n s i v e h e l p should be made on the b a s i s of prospects f o r r e h a b i l i t a t i o n . The problems f a c i n g a s i n g l e man over f i f t y , who has never been married, who i s - 62 -an a l c o h o l i c and a r t h r i t i c are d i f f e r e n t from the problems of a separated mother who has two c h i l d r e n t o support. Again the chances f o r r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of a widowed, who i s over s i x t y , whose c h i l d r e n have l e f t home and who has never had any s p e c i f i c o c c u p a t i o n t r a i n i n g are d i f f e r e n t from those of a young married man w i t h a f a m i l y t o support, who i s d i s a b l e d f o r a temporary p e r i o d . The success of the d i f f e r e n t i a l approach r e s t s on the s o c i a l worker's knowledge of the major groups of c l i e n t s t h a t make up the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e c a s e l o a d , and h i s d i a g n o s t i c a b i l i t y t o evaluate p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r r e h a b i l i t a t i o n . About f o r t y per cent of the cases have only f i n a n c i a l problems and do not r e q u i r e i n t e n s i v e casework h e l p . A l l c l i e n t s are g i v e n a f a i r and understanding a p p l i c a t i o n of the means t e s t w i t h . r e g a r d to t h e i r f i n a n c i a l e l i g i b i l i t y f o r a s s i s t a n c e , but the subsequent a c t i v i t y of the worker i s based on the worker's r e c o g n i t i o n of the b a s i c needs of the c l i e n t s . The i n t a k e s e r v i c e of the agency i s of major importance to ensure the e a r l y r e c o g n i t i o n of the c l i e n t ' s needs. T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y true i n an agency that has s e v e r a l f u n c t i o n s . The needs of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e group are v a r i e d and an adequate i n t a k e i s e s s e n t i a l i n q u i c k l y a s s e s s i n g the prospects f o r r e h a b i l i t a t i o n . The employment of an experienced i n t a k e worker i n New Westminster would f u r t h e r reduce the s i z e - 63 -of the c a s e l o a d by e n a b l i n g the s o c i a l workers to spend a l l t h e i r time i n g i v i n g s e r v i c e s to the l a r g e number of c l i e n t s . I t would a l s o ensure the establishment of e l i g i b i l i t y f o r a s s i s t a n c e on a u niform b a s i s . One of the major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e caseload i s the h i g h p r o p o r t i o n of cases t h a t have m a r i t a l and f a m i l y problems. The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e department i s the only casework agency o f f e r i n g c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s , Ih New Westminster. The problem of p r o v i d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s to the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e group as w e l l as to those persons not r e q u i r i n g f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e can be met i n e i t h e r of two ways. The " S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e A c t " p r o v i d e s f o r the g i v i n g of " c o u n s e l l i n g " s e r v i c e s to. those persons w i t h d i f f i c u l t i e s whether they need f i n a n c i a l h e l p or n o t . The present department c o u l d be expanded through the employment of a d d i t i o n a l caseworkers t o meet the needs of the community. The other a l t e r n a t i v e appears to be the s e t t i n g up of a separate agency o f f e r i n g m a r i t a l and f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g . Such an agency co u l d be e i t h e r a p r i v a t e one, supported by the community chest, or e l s e a f a m i l y court operated as a p u b l i c agency. A c a r e f u l l y d e f i n e d r e f e r r a l p o l i c y to a p r i v a t e f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g agency would be a great h e l p to the c l i e n t s , many of whom need and want h e l p , but are not always able t o get t h i s h e l p because of the p r e s s u r e on the s o c i a l worker's time. A - 64 -f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g agency would be a sound investment, from the standpoint of p r e v e n t i v e work i t cou l d do. There are good i n d i c a t i o n s t o suppose t h a t many of the cases, who now r e c e i v e f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e would not be on the a s s i s t a n c e r o l e s had they r e c e i v e d h e l p w i t h t h e i r m a r i t a l problems when the p a r t n e r s were s t i l l l i v i n g t o g e t h e r . The c h i e f argument f o r the establishment of a f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g agency i s t h a t one-half of those p a r t n e r s that are separated from t h e i r spouses have dependent c h i l d r e n . Another group of c l i e n t s on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e are the s i n g l e t r a n s i e n t men who are a l c o h o l i c s . The problems of a l c o h o l , t r a n s i e n c e y and bad housing f r e q u e n t l y appear t o g e t h e r . Most of these s i n g l e men have never been employed r e g u l a r l y and have no t r a d e or r e g u l a r o c c u p a t i o n . Many of them are s u f f e r i n g from a r t h r i t i s or b r o n c h i t i s , p a r t l y because of poor housing accommodation, l a c k of adequate n u t r i t i o n due to t h e i r past work h i s t o r y . In the p a s t , the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e department has been c r i t i c i z e d by some members of the community f o r p r o v i d i n g the a l c o h o l i c s w i t h money to spend on the purchase of a l c o h o l i c beverages. Most of those r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n t h i s category, f i n d i t r e l a t i v e l y simple t o procure a medical c e r t i f i c a t e s t a t i n g they are unemployable, which i n r e a l i t y they are, and f i n d i t im p o s s i b l e t o o b t a i n the medical h e l p they need. In a l a r g e p a r t t h i s i s perhaps due t o t h e i r - 65 -own unwillingness to secure help. The agency experiences regular periodic influxes of transients requesting help and a great deal of the worker's time i s spent i n establishing residence and e l i g i b i l i t y . The majority only receive assistance for a few months and then d r i f t on to other s o c i a l welfare o f f i c e s . To refuse assistance to these men does not appear to be the answer, and yet giving them money to purchase alcohol does not help them e i t h e r . To handle thi s problem adequately e n t a i l s the active cooperation of the medical, health and police a u t h o r i t i e s . I t further en t a i l s the coordination of e f f o r t s of the various neighbouring municipalities and Vancouver to f i n d a solution to this problem. The present s o c i a l assistance rates are primarily intended to meet the temporary needs of persons f o r assistance. A large proportion of those receiving assistance w i l l be i n receipt of assistance f o r a long time. I t seems too much to expect a mother and her dependent children to l i v e on the present assistance rates during the whole time the children are growing up. The solution appears to l i e either i n providing f o r great f l e x i b i l i t y i n the present s o e i a l assistance rates and design them to meet the needs of those who w i l l receive assistance over several years, or else provide s p e c i f i c programs to meet the needs of two s p e c i f i c groups. This applies p a r t i c u l a r l y to those mothers with young children - 66 -and those who are permanently and t o t a l l y disabled. The establishment of a survivors insurance scheme would seem to be a great help to the widowed, p a r t i c u l a r l y those with dependents. It would give them the security of a regular d e f i n i t e allowance that would ensure them a basic minumum of income. S o c i a l assistance could then be used f o r supplementation on the basis of e x i s t i n g need. The needs of the t o t a l l y and permanently disabled would be better met by a se t t i n g up of a categorical aid program. The setting up of these two programs would make the s o c i a l assistance category a residual program. This appears to be i n l i n e with the recommendation of the Canadian Welfare 1 Council who f e e l that the general assistance program should be.reduced as much as possible through the adoption of preventive measures and through the expansion of contributory programs. As was pointed out i n the l a s t chapter a large number of single persons who were receiving assistance, were women who had no s p e c i f i c trade and found i t d i f f i c u l t to enter the labour-market. The development of vocational t r a i n i n g and s p e c i a l placement would be a great resource i n working with t h i s group of c l i e n t s . Support through s o c i a l assistance to enable those c l i e n t s who are under s i x t y to procure vocational t r a i n i n g i n l i n e with t h e i r a b i l i t y would seem to be a wise use of s o c i a l assistance. 1 Canadian Welfare Council, Public Assistance and the  Unemployed, November,, 1951 page 6 - 67 -A l a r g e number of those men and women who are n o t t o t a l l y d i s a b l e d c o u l d be r e h a b i l i t a t e d t h r o u g h adequate m e d i c a l t r e a t m e n t and v o c a t i o n a l r e t r a i n i n g . The p h i l o s o p h y o f s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e had d e v e l o p e d i n the p a s t f i f t y y e a r s i n New Westminster and f i n a n c i a l a i d f r o m p u b l i c funds f o r the d e s t i t u t e I s o n l y one a s p e c t o f h e l p i n g p e o p l e i n need t o enable them t o meet the c o n t i n g e n c i e s of l i f e . The i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f the recommendations o u t l i n e d would s e r v e t o b r i n g i n t o r e a l i t y t h i s p h i l o s o p h y and make more adequate p r o v i s i o n f o r those p e r s o n s who are not c o v e r e d by i n s u r a n c e and c a t e g o r i c a l a i d programs o f n a t i o n a l c o v e r a g e . V - 68 -APPENDIX I Copy of C o n s t i t u t i o n of Westminster Benevolent S o c i e t y O r g a n i z a t i o n : The S o c i e t y i s or g a n i z e d f o r the purpose of d e a l i n g w i t h a l l cases of persons who might r e q u i r e r e l i e f and a s s i s t a n c e from the C o r p o r a t i o n of the C i t y of New Westminster and of d i s t r i b u t i n g the same to the g r e a t e s t advantage. Membership: The S o c i e t y i s composed of two l a d i e s appointed from each Church co n g r e g a t i o n i n the C i t y , w i t h the Mayor as P r e s i d e n t , the C i t y C l e r k as S e c r e t a r y ; a V i c e - P r e s i d e n t , and T r e a s u r e r t o be e l e c t e d from among the members. Order of B u s i n e s s : 1. Reading of minutes of pr e v i o u s 2. Report of the T r e a s u r e r 3. Reports of Committees 4. Report of cases of d e s t i t u t i o n D u t i e s of O f f i c e r s : The P r e s i d e n t s h a l l p r e s i d e at a l l meetings, and have g e n e r a l s u p e r v i s i o n o f a l l work of the S o c i e t y . In the absence of the P r e s i d e n t the V i c e - P r e s i d e n t s h a l l perform the d u t i e s i n c i d e n t t o the o f f i c e of P r e s i d e n t . The S e c r e t a r y s h a l l keep a c o r r e c t r e c o r d of a l l meetingsj of a l l motions and r e s o l u t i o n s , s h a l l a t t e n d to a l l p r i n t e d n o t i c e s , and s h a l l present a f u l l r e p o r t of the years proceedings at the annual meeting. - 69 -The Treasurer s h a l l reeeive and give receipts f o r a l l monies of the Society, disbursing the same by order of the President and s h a l l render a complete report at the annual meetings. Rules of Order: Any resolution or motion put to the Society s h a l l be decided by a majority vote of those present; i n the case of a t i e the President s h a l l have a casting vote. In the absence of d i s a b i l i t y of any lady to be present she may appoint a substitute from the Church she represents. Meetings: Meetings s h a l l be held on the 2nd Thursday of each month i n the City H a l l at 2:30 p.m. and seven members, exclusive of the President and Secretary, s h a l l constitute a quorum. A s p e c i a l meeting may be c a l l e d at any time by the President. R e l i e f Expenditures: A l l r e l i e f s h a l l be given i n kind, money only i n sp e c i a l cases. Off i c e r s f o r 1903: Mayor W. H. Keary - President Mrs. A. J. H i l l - Vice-President Mrs. Chas Warwick - Treasurer W. A. Duncan - Secretary (Adopted January 14th, 1903. ) - 70 -APPENDIX I I SUMMARY OF EIGHTEEN CASES IN NEW WESTMINSTER 1951 A l l M a r r i e d Couples w i t h Dependents, b o t h P a r t n e r s r e c e i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e 1. Ag^ e Age Group Male Female Over 60 4 2 50 - 59 3 3 40 - 49 8 5 30 - 39 3 6 20 - 29 - 2 T o t a l 18 18 2. D i s a b i l i t y P s y c h o l o g i c a l 5 P o l i o 3 T u b e r c u l o s i s 3 A r t h r i t i s 3 Age 2 No s u i t a b l e employment 1 Kidney t r o u b l e 1 T o t a l 18 3. Former Occupation U n s k i l l e d l a b o u r e r 7 Bus and t r u c k d r i v e r s 3 Salesman 2 Self-employed 2 M i l l w o r k e r 2 Undertaker 1 I n t e r i o r d e c o r a t o r 1 T o t a l 18 4. Employment R a t i n g R e g u l a r l y employed 11 S p o r a d i c a l l y employed 7 T o t a l 18 5. Length of time i n r e c e i p t of a s s i s t a n c e Less than a year One to two years Two t o f i v e years Over f i v e years T o t a l 3 7 3 5 18 - 71 -Major problems b e s i d e s f i n a n c i a l M a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s 5 D e f e c t i v e c h i l d r e n 4 P a r e n t - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s 4 Housing problem 4 Low standards 3 I l l e g i t i m a c y 3 A l c o h o l 2 T o t a l 25 - 72 -APPENDIX III BIBLIOGRAPHY B i r d , Dorothy, "How R e l i e f Affects Parent-Child Relationships", Practice of Casework i n Public  Agencies, New York, Family Welfare Association of America, 1942. B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Annual Report  of the S o c i a l Welfare Branch, V i c t o r i a , King's P r i n t e r , 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951. Canadian Welfare Council, Public Assistance and the  Unemployed, November 1951• Cassidy, H. M., Public Health and Welfare Organization  i n Canada, Toronto, Ryerson, 1945. Cit y of Vancouver, Report of the S o c i a l Service  Department, 1948 and 1951. Cit y of New Westminster, Introducing New Westminster, 1950. Grauer, A. E., Public Assistance and S o c i a l Insurance, Ottawa, King's P r i n t e r , 1939. Marsh, L. C , Employment Re sear ch, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1935. Marsh, L. C , S o c i a l Security f o r Canada, Ottawa, Ring's P r i n t e r , 1943. 

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