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Social assistance administration in relation to dependency : a review of contemporary concepts of dependency and public welfare administration, with reference to the administration of the Social Assistance Act by the City of Vancouver Social Service Department Macintyre, James McEwan

Abstract

The problem of the cost of dependency in public welfare has recently motivated many areas to make special studies to determine ways in which it might be reduced. The studies of Bradley Buell and associates have brought to the fore that in any community there is a comparatively small group of families which make use of the majority of health and welfare services in that community. This study was designed to determine the size of the dependency problem in Vancouver and to evaluate the public welfare agency's attempts at combatting any problem that might exist. After reviewing the history of public welfare and the treatment of assistance recipients, attention was directed toward present-day concepts and ways of combatting dependency in urban areas. The extent of the problem in Vancouver was examined by examining the numbers receiving private and public agency aid. Two public assistance caseloads were examined to determine how long the clients had been in receipt of assistance, why they were receiving it, and how old they were. The organization and facilities of the City Social Service Department were reviewed. Two research methods were employed: (1) reviewing the literature to determine how best to deal with the dependent group, and (2) statistical classification of two sample public agency caseloads and services given by private agencies. Information for this study was obtained from the Vancouver City Social Service Department records of assistance recipients, a Community Chest survey of the unemployed group in Vancouver, current literature, and personal observations. In recent years, between one and two per cent of the population of the City of Vancouver have had to rely on the Social Service Department for their economic livelihood. Most persons on assistance are medically unfit for work although some recipients get this aid as they have to look after dependent children or are unable to get an old person's allowance. Very good medical care is given clients, but the size of the caseloads is such that it is difficult for workers to spend much time with any one client to give continuing casework help. It has been found that to adequately combat dependency, the various social agencies in the community must work together. Individual diagnoses are needed to determine those who can be helped to become rehabilitated.

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