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Macro social work involves a great number of dilemmas that force people to make hard choices. The question of funding is perhaps the most relevant one as it can decide the majority of the outcome. The difficulty of the funding dilemma comes from the unique nature of the way funding sources are affected by the populations of the community. The number of people that can receive the benefits from macro social work is limited, which at times leaves people without help. This paper will outline how populations can affect funding sources, what this means for the minority populations such as seniors, and will provide my take on the issue.
The populations of a community can have a great effect on funding sources available to it. Macro social work is primarily aimed at people experiencing harsh living conditions such as poverty and destitution which focuses the funding sources on paying more attention to people living on the far side of the scale. This is a reasonable position to take as there exists a significantly large number of people experiencing extremely difficult conditions, and they require more urgent help. The more populations are affected by the state of destitution leads to more funding being given by the sources (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, & Thomas, 2012).
Unfortunately, this system has a large flaw that has an effect on minority communities who are not yet living in poor conditions, but are either at risk or also require additional help. Perhaps the most prominent community affected by this issue is the elderly population. A lot of funding sources are tied to income eligibility, leaving very few slots for people who do not live in poverty. While this is a seemingly sensible concept, it becomes a real issue when applied to people who have saved up money over the years. Often the savings are not sufficient to pay for the increased need for medical care. Also, the lack of outside help from family members who might be absent, or conditions and bad habits that have developed over the years exacerbate the issue. Seniors are forced to survive on their own because they technically have money, leaving them to search for agencies with alternative funding solutions (Netting et al., 2012).
I believe that this issue could be at least slightly mitigated by the introduction of a group risk assessment for the populations that exhibit similar characteristics. By examining the situation the people are in, their recent history, and available resources, a possible trend for the future condition of the person could be established. Factors such as the money spent on healthcare by the person could give an insight into their future needs, as many medical conditions require a regular application of medicine and visits to the hospital. With the rapid changes in healthcare reforms, these costs can wildly increase as the government policy changes with the beliefs of the leading political party. This situation creates great risks for people who are currently operating with slightly higher funds.
The difficulties experienced by some minority populations can often be overlooked by examining their condition only from the present perspective. With the distinct focus on helping people with low-income eligibility, macro social work has a very small allowance for people outside of this definition. Perhaps by examining the possible risk of the situation worsening, a more effective list of people can be established.
Netting, F.E., Kettner, P.M., McMurtry, S.L. & Thomas, M. L. (2012). Social work macro practice. (5th ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc. Web.