Social Work in Substance Abuse and Poverty

Social Work and Case Management/ Substance Abuse

Case Management is rooted in the founding of social work and continues to do so to this date. Case management incorporates the study of public and private funding for education counseling, medical care, and social services. In conjunction, each of these products enables a social worker to bring about the most effective case management practices foreseeable. Social workers note that at least 50 percent of their time providing dedicated case management to their clients and communities. A social worker works effectively to engage a client through social delivery, opportunities, resources, and options for support. Each of these pillars provides their client and families needed support. Through evidence based social work case management that involves a solid relationship between the client and practitioner a social worker can play an integral role in the management of a client’s case. The use of psychodynamic perspective and case work were often utilized hand in hand during the first half of social work history.  As cultural change and different viewpoints arise social workers incorporate planning, policy, and social action into their methods of case management. From the early days of social work, substance abuse has been a central focus of case management.  Many policies and programs made it a requirement that an absence from alcohol or drugs was a part of receiving support. Over time, treatment options and service became available and a tool for case managers to use in support of their client ([No title], n.d.-a).

Relative and Absolute Poverty

Poverty is a state of being where one does not have the necessary means to obtain shelter, food, water, medical support, clothing etc. Poverty is experienced worldwide. Poverty is experienced not only on a personal level but also on a community or national level depending upon where you are.  Two out of three people around the world do not have access to clean water, and 25 percent of the world’s population live without electricity. In 2004, .13% of the world’s population exerted control over a quarter of the world assets, and during the globalization period marked from 1980-2000, the development of education declined, and life expectancy was reduced amongst 4 out of 5 nations (Poverty Facts and Stats, n.d.).  Absolute poverty is where one lacks the ability to meet basic life needs, where water, food, education, healthcare, and/or housing is unobtainable due to income disparity. Under relative poverty a person does not earn enough to pay for the things above and beyond the basic life necessities. An example of this would be a family of four that has basic housing, food, and clothing, but may not have the same things as others in the country or community. Examples could be the internet access, a safer environment, or better education. The concept of relative poverty can lead to permanent situations or absolute poverty depending upon the economic outlook of the community (Relative vs Absolute Poverty: Defining Different Types of Poverty, 2018).

Feminization of Poverty

Feminization of poverty is the description of women who live in poverty.  When we discuss the economic status by genders and family structure. There are a few factors that empathize why women experience disproportionate levels of poverty in comparison to their male counterparts.  Often women workers receive lower wages in comparison to their male  counterparts, and this could be for various reasons. However, women in modern times are often single parents who may face the cost of child care, rent, utilities, and substance thus causing a reduction in expendable income that can facilitate a higher lifestyle (Feminization of Poverty – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics, n.d.).  Though poverty is not new, nor is unequal pay, the family dynamics have greatly shifted from the early 1900s to modern day family unit. The concept of females maintaining a family outside of marriage was unheard and socially looked down upon in the early part of the 1900s. Women typically worked out of the family home or maintained partial employment. The cultural structure of employment was much different today than it was in the early 1900s. As our culture shifts, changes, and evolves with time social issues will too adjust and even out. As we continue to reshape our values, morals, ethics, so too will the work environment, social acceptance, and change with time.

HIV and Social Work

Social workers sense the realization of the HIV/ AIDS have been working towards support and advocacy of clients who have contracted such virus.  Social workers have provided prevention methods through policy established practice that support schools, the justice system, mental health and physical treatment, or child welfare. Social workers have taken a leading role in establishing equal opportunities for behavioral and health.  Social workers have built a practice of care continuum through social practice that can best support patients of HIV. The continuum starts with the practice of preventing HIV through outreach programs, followed by a client receiving a diagnosis of HIV. Next a client will be directed to health care that allows for the best possible medical and metal support that can enable a client treatment. In the engage/ retained in care stage a client practices adherence, monitoring, support through social programs, and behavior changes. In the stage “Start ARV Therapy” a client is connected to wellness programs, care planning, and continuous assessment of the client progress is given. In the “Keep the Virus Under Control” stage the client continues to advocate for and socially supported, case management continues to progress under health, mental health, and biosystem education. Lastly, sustain wellness is achieved through adaptation to barriers, advocacy to clients and community, and continued support of client’s health ([No title], n.d.-b).

Unemployment Numbers

The U.S. Government provides a grouping of economic and employment numbers that provide the public the country’s economic health and prosperity. The labor force is the population of the nation that is actively working or seeking employment. The unemployment rate is the population of people who are in a pool of potential working population that is not classified as employed. The unemployment rate is the total known unemployed divided by the number of overall workers that would be eligible to work ((Unemployed/Total Available) x100=). The labor force participation rate is the tally of all peoples over the age of 16 that is actively working or attempting to gain employment. This population collection are citizens that are not in any form of institution. The employment population ratio is the total number of people over the age of 16 that are working and placed into a percentage. (How the Government Measures Unemployment, 2017). Some factors that may distort the actual number of unemployment are the method in which data is collected or the definition in which unemployed is classified as. Data that builds the unemployment numbers are derived from samples of population across the country.  This does not provide a full look at all of the nation in an accurate method.  In addition, the definition of unemployed could be misunderstood. Some have argued that unemployment does not account for the underemployed or working poor. Nor does it account for those that are no longer eligible to receive unemployment benefits or have stopped looking for a job all together. However, for statistical reasoning the government only tracks numbers of working, eligible to work, institutionalized, or disable. This allows for a simplified process. The unemployment numbers have been used and touted by all political parties and only come into media questions by a political party that is not in office or in control of the senate, congress, mayor, governor, etc.


Feminization of Poverty – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2020, from

How the Government Measures Unemployment. (2017, January 25).

[No title]. (n.d.-a). Retrieved June 28, 2020, from

[No title]. (n.d.-b). Retrieved June 28, 2020, from

Poverty Facts and Stats. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2020, from

Relative vs Absolute Poverty: Defining Different Types of Poverty. (2018, September 6). Habitat for Humanity GB.

Published by stmd1980

Hi, and thank you for joining me on my new site. Here I want to take time to discuss different aspects of Mental Health that I have observed over the last 17 years. I wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to discuss research, personal experience, and though the comment section have you the reader share your personal experience with mental health either yours or in a support role for your loved ones. Here on this form I will be targeting topic such as personality disorders, Autism, addiction, and other such aspect that effect many of us throughout the course of our lives. It is my hope through sharing information we can learn from each other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: