Social safety nets in Canada
Subject Area:Social Work
Every Canadian is provided with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) when they reach the working age. At the moment, Canada intends to eliminate the cards, and just assign each adult with a SIN. The SIN is used by the government to identify individuals, which they also use when filling out their tax forms (Christie, 2015). Through the SIN, Canadians can access some tax benefits and government programs. The second safety net is the employment insurance, previously known as the unemployment insurance or the pogie. Structure of Social Safety Net in Canada Canada divides social services into social and welfare services and social security programs. All levels of government have a responsibility to issue social security programs. These give direct economic assistance in some ways to families as well as individuals.
In this category, there are plans such as Old Age Pensions, Family Allowances as well as municipal and provincial social assistance programs (Kettler, 2017). Also, Canada has welfare and social programs meant to respond to social, personal and emotional needs. As such, this resulted in the change in administering finance such that now these were the responsibility of the three levels of government. Some provinces have some social welfare organizations that receive some funds from the United Way campaigns, similar to the alternative services that work outside the government and other private organizations (Wall-Wieler, Roos, Chateau & Roos, 2015). Social welfare services operated by the state remain essential, the idea that informed sources of assistance such as churches and families are more desirable. Canadian safety net programs are designed to best suit the population they serve.
Some of these services cater to the youth, families, children, the elderly and the physically disabled. So as to meet the needs of the elderly, Canada has created residential homes that either offer long-term care or smaller nursing homes established in individual communities. Other services provided for the elderly include home-delivered meals, drop-in centers, and homemaker services (Béland & Daigneault, 2015). Canada also has a variety of services that cater to the needs of people with mental and physical disabilities. These range from large-scale institutions to small community-based residential services like group homes and foster homes. In some jurisdictions, there are government-sheltered workshops that not only train, but also integrate disabled individuals into the society. The severe budget cuts by all levels of government as well as the belief that private social services could be effective and efficient, resulted in Canadians having lots of doubt regarding the future and utility of social services.
The government has created a sharing formula in which the federal government awards provincial governments with tax points, and extricates itself from social welfare services. The federal government ensures that every territory and province assists the people in need. Each jurisdiction should also have a mechanism to appeal the decisions made by welfare officials. All provinces cannot have the residency requirement to be eligible for social services. Another strategy involves the re-integration of people back into their communities from institutions, as well as providing services that prevent the institutionalization of these people in the first place. One of the main parts of these initiatives involves allowing women to take care of their kids, the old as well as disabled individuals within their homes.
The main problem facing this government initiative is the lack of sufficient community facilities and services in its effort to de-institutionalize as many people as possible throughout the country (Dixon et al. The third method that the government uses is the transfer of the administrative responsibilities of social welfare services to the private sector. In places like Alberta, the use of private sector to provide social services is more pronounced than in other areas. The Canadian Child Benefit also encourages the participation of the labor force either through reducing the welfare cliff or through work requirements. Canadian social safety nets have positive effects on people, helping them stay longer at work and reducing the level of poverty. As such, this has increased the employment rates for single mothers who do not have a college degree, enabling them to catch up with the employment rates for childless women.
Canada’s social safety nets has resulted in a decline in the poverty rate among single women with children (O'Campo, 2015). Canada’s generous system and its stronger cash welfare program is responsible for the small poverty rates in the country. This growth in unemployment insurance benefits was because the government thought that unemployment insurance would help the people who needed it the most and offer substantial economic stimulus during the downturns by increasing spending. According to Keynesian thought, such a move would not only counter a recession but also create more jobs quicker. Nonetheless, the fact that unemployment insurance benefits were substantial and there was a lot of ease in getting them resulted in adverse side effects (Murray & Forstater, 2017). Some unemployment insurance recipients were reported going to British Columbia to ski.
As such, Murray et al. The entire system should be coordinated and focused on individuals who are most in need. As such, there are suggestions to improve welfare programs in Canada. First, the government should try to get as much money as possible to the poorest Americans. Second, the welfare system should be simplified so that it equitably benefits every deserving Canadian (Squitieri et al. Also, unless where necessary, the government should eliminate the need to have assets such as a house as a pre-requirement before benefiting from the safety net programs. Welfare Reform in Canada: Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective. University of Toronto Press. Bisom-Rapp, S. , & Coiquaud, U. The Role of the State towards the Grey Zone of Employment: Eyes on Canada and the United States.
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