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Abstract

A priority item on the Reagan administration’s social policy agenda was the creation of a charity model of welfare, in which well-meaning volunteers provide services to the deserving poor and for-profit enterprises cater to the middle and upper class. This model was implemented because human service budgets of public agencies were slashed and subsidies for the not-for-profit sector. This reduction resulted in substantial unmet needs for social services, which have not been adequately addressed.

The authors contend that the profession of social work was not as directly affected by these changes as may be surmised since professional social workers did not constitute a large part of the public social service labor force. Increased advocacy is recommended as part of the solution.

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