3 Facts About Poverty and Social Work

By Sam Engel

Working with the impoverished is one of the most important services that a social worker can provide to society. Due to the systemic oppression that individuals in poverty face due to the capitalist society that exists today, they need the help of social workers more than ever. Having a lack of money puts one at a severe disadvantage in society, and it’s a social worker’s job to help bridge that divide. Here’s three facts about social workers and poverty!

  1. The goal of social workers is to help individuals and families escape poverty. This is a tough task in itself, however a social worker can provide a variety of services, including referrals to human needs services, assistance with filing for government-subsidized housing and programs, and even providing education and job training programs.
  2. Self-empowerment is a crucial part of social work. Social workers try to help people help themselves, and empowerment plays a huge role in this goal. The importance of educating the impoverished on self-advocacy cannot be understated. This will encourage them to get involved in public policy, and hopefully improve the community around them.
  3. The impoverished are at a huge disadvantage in terms of educational opportunities. They are at such a disadvantage due to the institutional racism and systemic oppression that exists in society.


DiNitto, Diana M., and Carl Aaron. McNeece. Social Work: Issues and Opportunities in a Challenging Profession. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990. Print.