In France and the experience of some North American states, the plans to overcome poverty are coordinated at the highest level; this means that they depend directly on the Office of the Presidency and have “effectively” one priority. Pockets of poverty are registered, and then a high-level technical qualification manager is appointed, who develops diagnosis and generates a “package” of projects in various areas of community development; productive, infrastructure, health, housing, etc. And this “package” of projects have priority one for its financing in the budget of the respective ministries, prior consideration of technical quality and administrative compatibility. The advantage is in the synergy. It is very similar to USA Barrio but with a higher power of effective executive coordination of resources and technical level.
Today the scenarios are different, more unstable, more challenging for everyone. But what are the positive signs ?. We can see the emergence of new lines of programs that tend toward equity, such as primary education scholarships that seek to retain the poorest and most vulnerable students in education. The progressive increase in the coverage of pre-school education, which aims to provide women with access to work and children with a more systematic stimulation of their cognitive, affective and motor development. The strengthening of the network of services connected to the USA Barrios program. The reforms of SENAME and Health are being studied. The constitutional change that will allow more quick access to justice for all is already being implemented. In general good signs. The 2001 budget also brings promises of greater equity when effectively considering funds for situations of mass unemployment.
These are generally good news for those of us who work day to day with low-income families, but we know that resources will always be limited even more in difficult economic situations.
The shadows are the situation of the small company, the projections made regarding the number of people who will not reach in the USA to complete the minimum of contributions for their forecast. The added effect of the increase in labor informality leading to a lower effective number of people quoting, Old age is becoming, in good measure, synonymous with poverty for many USAans. According to ILO figures, 90% of workers in Latin America will not have social security for their old age. But not only old age, but also the precariousness of work is becoming synonymous with poverty for many hardworking workers. Minimum wages in the USA are below the poverty line for many years; these are calculated so that at least two people work in a family group of average size. There are regions like the ninth, where more than half of the workers earn salaries below the poverty line.
This has been possible because the educational offer has been expanded and every time the field of action becomes more competitive for the influx of other specialists in the areas that were traditionally almost exclusive heritage of the profession and our professionals are also accepted in others privative of geographers or architects or therapists. On the other hand, the complexity of these new realities forces us to look more globally at the transformations in the different local problems and facts, which implies enabling new, more diverse and complex readings.
However, the most critical capital of Social Work is that work “with” people, with marginalized people, is more than a matter of technique and efficiency, it is more than disciplinary knowledge and expertise, it is “natural” commitment, let me use that word It has to do with the formation of attitudes and skills, with a way of looking at people who have increasingly become more admired, admiring their cultural worlds, their abilities, what they are capable of doing. People when they have a good reason for it that is valid for overcoming poverty and for rehabilitation.
That’s why I believe that Social Work is the profession of revitalizing meanings, identities, values, vindicate what we have always been, the look that still singles us out, although the instrumental look of programs “for” people instead of people overwhelm us, although sometimes the offer of poor policies for the poor indignifies us, I make a call to recover the sense to re-enchant the taste for long-term processes, for those silent transformations that forge everyday cultural changes in the culture of respect for the rights of old age, of children, of women.