Response 1


Respond in one or more of the following ways:


·      Add to your colleague’s explanation of how gender identity affects an individual’s life-span development.


·      Explain whether you might use your colleague’s strategy for applying the concept of gender identity to social work practice. Provide support for your position.




Colleague 1: AS


A knew understanding that I gained from the learning resources about gender identity is that it is very important for people who are a sexual minority to find a community LGB people (Brewster & Moradi, 2010). People who identify as LGB would benefit from being in an LGB community because they can see that people have had the same struggles as them, and possibly meet people that overcome these struggles. They can learn from others, and learn to be more comfortable in their lifestyle. Being a part of the LGB community in young and middle adulthood is very hard, because this is the time of your life where you are starting your career or established in your career. It could be detrimental to come out as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual in your workplace because you risk discrimination or losing opportunities (Brewster & Moradi, 2010). As a person in the LGB community, in young and middle adulthood, you are constantly thinking about how your sexual or gender identity could negatively affect your life.


As a social worker, I would use this knowledge to better understand my client. I can understand their motivation and the source of their feelings. With this information, I will be able to identify the proper intervention to use with my client. A client who may be struggling with gender identity may need guidance and support. Being competent on this topic will help me to be able to help that client and to better be able to choose an intervention method that fits the client. I will also know when to advocate for my client, and the proper way to advocate for my client.



Brewster, M. E., & Moradi, B. (2010). Personal, Relational and Community Aspects of Bisexual Identity in Emerging, Early and Middle Adult Cohorts. Journal of Bisexuality, 404-428.






Response 2 : Social Security and Social Welfare Programs


·      Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining a strategy for how a social worker might help clients manage these perceptions, given the differences your colleagues described.


Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.



Colleague 1:DP


Social Security and Public Assistance Programs


Social Security is different from public assistance programs in the manner that it is money earned from working; whereas, the public assistance programs are entitlements as a citizen without technically having to have a job prior to using the programs.  “To qualify for benefits, you must earn credits by working and paying Social Security taxes.  The number of credits you need to qualify depends on your age and the type of benefit for which you’re eligible” (Social Security Administration, 2016).  Social security allows one to work to earn medical and financial benefits that an individual pays taxes into.  Public assistance programs give those who are oppressed, with no prior work experience to gain financial support (through monetary sources, food, shelter) in addition to gaining work skills and resources.


Differences between Public Assistance Programs and Social Security


The differences between the public assistance programs and social security is important because it will allow people to recognize that social security is not associated with a stigma.  The fact is society has to work in order to create the option to utilize social security benefits.  “…it is apparent that public assistance in this country has always been controversial, generating many strong feelings about what the problem is and about the character of those benefiting from the program” (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p. 110).  Negativity surrounds public assistance programs because it creates an atmosphere where clients can rely on these programs without having to put work in prior.  As long as people do not meet outside of the requirements with earning an income then they are eligible to use the program.  Society usually will praise someone for working over someone who doesn’t work or does not try to work to make ends meet.  So that is where we can separate the two from being associated with one another.




Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


Social Security Administration. (2016). Military Service and Social Security 2016 [PDF]. Social Security Administration.




Colleague 2:


Social Security benefits, specifically Social Security Retirement is not anything like public assistance. I remember when my older relatives would talk about when they retired that they would live off of their Social Security retirement benefits. However, now in days with the cost of living it is almost next to impossible to be able to live off of Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits are like a public pension which allows people who are 65 and older to have a source of income and be able to live, pay rent or mortgage, and their food and other needs.

            In order for these old age people to receive benefits they would have had to contribute or pay a small amount toward the program or as our class text explains that “Social Security is a social insurance program. An Insurance program, whether public or private, is a way for people to protect themselves and their families against the risk of an adverse event like an automobile accident, a serious illness, or death.” (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p. 141) However, we do learn that Social Security does more than provide retirement benefits. “Retired workers and their dependents account for 71% of total benefits paid. Disabled workers and their dependents account for 16% of total benefits paid and Survivors of deceased workers account for about 13% of total benefits paid.”(Social Security Administration, 2016)


            Unlike public assistance, Social Security are entitlements that you paid in to, to be able to have access to when you retire or in case you are not able to work and become disabled. Also the benefits do not depend on how much you currently are making, where public assistance are many times means-tested. For example, after full retirement age you can collect a payment based on the amount that you paid in through your work years, and still hold a full time job with a separate income and this will not change your benefit amount. However, for public assistance if you make above a threshold or set amount and depending on your dependents etc. you might get more or less or not qualify at all.


            The Social Security program was made for the protection of our old age citizens to help them out of poverty and to help them have an income after they are no longer able to work, and to lessen the burden on the government via having to have the elderly on public assistance. There are other programs that the Social Security Administration does cover, however the social insurance is the most common. Popple and Leighninger (2015) explain the difference between Social Security and public assistance by stating “[a]lthough social insurance benefits were to be made available to people of all income levels, public assistance payments would be made only to those determined by states to be financially needy.” (p.141)

            Identifying with our clients and letting them know that they do not need to be ashamed on receiving Social Security benefits as income because it is something that they are entitled to, something that they have worked for and put in for. This is not saying that public assistance is something to be ashamed of but public assistance should be viewed as assistance until the financial situation is better and the recipient is able to no longer need it.



Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to socialwelfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


U.S. Social Security Administration. (2016). Retrieved from:





Response 3: Disenfranchisement of the Social Security Program



·      Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining a strategy social workers might use to advocate for fair benefits within this program for the populations your colleagues selected.


Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.


Colleague 1: PW


The population that I selected for this discussion is the self-employed or unemployed.  Self-employed individuals are the ones who own their own business, farms, or day labors.  When a person is self-employed, their income depends on how much business that person does in a year.  If the individual is a farmer, than their income will depend on how many crops that they can sell in a particular year.  There for their income will be changing every year.  If the person is unemployed, then they will not have any income at all.  According to the Social Security Administration (2016), if an individual is self-employed and has a net income of $400 or more than they must report those earnings.  Some people who are self-employed or unemployed simply do not report their earnings because they did not make enough money and they can not afford to pay the Social Security tax.  When a person does not pay the social security tax, than it is difficult for them to collect benefits when they are eligible to retire since it is a trust fund that tax payers pay into when they are working.


     There should be some kind of policy revision that allows for individuals who are self employed to collect Social Security benefits even though they may not be able to pay Social Security taxes one year since their yearly income is changing every year.  These individuals are hard working just like everyone else but they are their own employer and they don’t have any control over how much work that they will do that year.  For instance a farmer can not control the weather conditions for his or her crops, so he or she does not know if those crops are going to be healthy enough to sell at a farmer’s market. There are many senior citizens who depend on Social Security to pay for their long term care because that is the only source of income that they are receiving. According to the NASW (2009) long term care is a system of providing social, personal, and health care services over a sustained period to people who in some way suffer from functional impairment, including a limited ability to perform activities of daily living.  There are people who desperately need these services and do not have family members who can help them with their daily activities.  Therefore, these individuals need the help of Social Security to help pay for these expenses.



NASW. (2009). Social Work Speaks. Washington DC: NASW Press. (Long-term Care pp. 223-228)

U.S. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved on September 29, 2016 from


Colleague 2: DP



The minority population consists of African Americans, American Indian, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, etc.  The minorities are oppressed in comparison to that of their superior race of whites.  Various factors go the minorities oppression and because of being unprivileged it hinders the population in receiving less benefits/opportunities.

Disenfranchised Population by the Social Security Program

I can see that the Social Security Program might disenfranchise the minority population.  Not necessarily on purpose, however it is due to the fact that whites continue to find themselves more advantaged, privileged, and have jobs that are more flourished than the minority population.  The Social Security program gives those who are entitled benefits by the person’s income.  “…minority groups, on average, have different earnings and life expectancies than whites, which affect the benefits that minorities receive under the Social Security system.  They also have less retirement income from other sources, on average, than whites” (Hendley & Bilimoria, 1999).  Indirectly the program affects the minority population in a way that is unable to be controlled by the minority person. 




Hendley, A. A., & Bilimoria, N. F. (1999). Minorities and Social Security: An Analysis of Racial and Ethic Differences in the Current Porgram [PDF]. Social Security Administration.



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