Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Role of Social Services

We have recently been talking about our role as social service workers.  Where do you think we should step in when a family isn't doing well; or, what would be the best way to work toward healthy families?

Monday, November 5, 2012


Election day is tomorrow. I know we will all be glad when we are not assaulted by misinformation about the issues, the candidates, and the policies!  One of the things I have been interested in are serious changes to our government. It will be interesting to see who gets voted in and/or voted out.

Many Utahn's think that Orrin Hatch has been in the Senate too long; however, he barely manages to stay in the race and keep his job in the senate. This year, the issue isn't what Senator Hatch will vote for, but rather whether or not Conservatives maintain their percentage in Congress. If they do, their agenda gets to take priority; if not, then their agenda goes south and the liberal agenda takes priority.

Have you ever voted for an agenda? Or, do you vote for the person? What kinds of changes happen to government if we were to have a one party dominating all of the government?  For example, if there is a Republican in the White House and a Republican majority in the Congress? Does it help to have opposite sides represent us?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

upcoming election

We are getting closer all the time to the upcoming election.  I am wondering if we can take some time and list some of the issues that are related to family policy that are brought up in the campaigns?  Most importantly, how accurate are the claims made by the candidates and who is checking to see if the claims are true?  Can you find the truth about some of the issues?

I think this could be an excellent exercise in defining what is family policy and what is not. It's also an excellent exercise related to your media analysis.

One that I heard of today was an attack ad on Jim Mattheson (sp?)  The ad claimed that he changed his vote about getting our spending under control, but he voted to lower the debt ceiling.  Is that contradictory?  Is that family policy?

What have you heard?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate

As we move closer to election day, we will be seeing three debates between presidential candidates and one between potential vice-presidents. (OK, one is already Vice President and the other is already President.)

Since we have been discussing the quality of our information, I am curious about what you saw on the debates and your thoughts about the following story:

When I read this story, I immediately wondered what you, as class members, thought about it. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the quality of reporting here and the content of the debates.

This is getting exciting!

See you on Tuesday. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Determining which topics are Family Policy

Karen Bogenschneider writes in her Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars:

Family policy, a subfield of social policy, encompasses one of four family functions: (a) family creation (e.g., to marry or divorce, to bear or adopt children, to provide foster care), (b) economic support (e.g., to provide for members’ basic needs, (c) childrearing (e.g., to socialize the next generation), and (d) family caregiving (e.g., to provide assistance for the disabled, ill, frail, and elderly). Family policies address issues such as child care, child support, divorce, family violence, juvenile crime, long-term care, and teenage pregnancy. Tax provisions that create a child care tax credit would be considered family policy. However, a tax reform law that lowers taxes for individuals, many of whom happen to live in families, would not be considered family policy. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would be considered family policy. However a universal health care program would not be considered family policy, because it targets individuals, irrespective of whether or not they live in a family setting.

So many things might be considered family policy, but some are not necessarily considered proper discussions for family policy. Since this field is considered a "sub-topic of social policy," what types of policies have we talked about in class might be considered social policy and what might be considered family policy?  

What are the arguments and current topics that are being discussed in this election season that might be considered family policy?  (Hint: see the four basic functions of families).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Media Paper

I see so many issues that are coming up related to the election that not all of them are associated with Family. However, when we are in an election season, which of the candidates share your views of family?  Family Policy is all about the family values that we share as a country.  Part of the problem with the US is that we all come from so many different cultures sharing so few of the same family values that we have a difficult time translating those values into effective public policy.

How would you determine which policies are about family?  Does the recent issue of the killing in Libya connect with Family Policy?

More to come...hint:  Karen Bogenschneider

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Timely Ideas

In class last night we talked about possible projects. UPR (USU's NPR network) had an interesting discussion today about Rachel's idea to think about texting and driving as a possible topic. I was fascinated to listen about the tragedy that occurred in Vernal when a driver who was texting hit a young man from the Jr. High and killed him. What a horrific accident!  Texting seems to be on the rise, and it's a great problem to address.

NPR had a couple of guests talking about the issue. They had a Dr. Strayer who has been doing research on the quality of thinking as we text, or multitasking, etc. and another guest who can talk about the issues of policing people who are texting.  You can read the story or listen to the entire discussion at:

Pay attention to the upcoming membership drive. I'll match your contribution to UPR if you have decided that it's a valuable resource to you!