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Therapeutic Communication. The Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian: Negative Consequences for America's Gays and Lesbians Christopher W. Blackwell, ARNP, MSN, PhD(c) Visiting Instructor, School of Nursing Candidate for the PhD in Public Affairs

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therapeutic communication

Therapeutic Communication

The Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian:Negative Consequences for America's Gays and Lesbians

Christopher W. Blackwell, ARNP, MSN, PhD(c)

Visiting Instructor, School of Nursing

Candidate for the PhD in Public Affairs

College of Health & Public Affairs

University of Central Florida

Therapeutic Use of Self in the Nurse-Client Relationship

D Wink/2002

P Leli/2003

introduction
Introduction
  • History of Privatization of social services from public to sectarian and faith-based initiatives:
  • Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) contains a provision known as Charitable Choice (Section 104).

- The PROWRA provision of Charitable Choice was legislated under the Clinton Administration in 1996 and has been largely embraced and expanded by the Bush Administration.

introduction3
Introduction
  • Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (2001) 3 Main Objectives:

1. “Identifying and eliminating proper federal barriers to effective faith-based and community-serving programs though legislative, regulatory, and programmatic reform;

2. Stimulate an outpouring of private giving to nonprofits, faith-based programs, and community groups by expanding tax deductions and through other initiatives;

3. Pioneering a new model of cooperation through federal initiatives that expand the involvement of faith-based and community groups in the after-school and literacy services, help the children of prisoners, and support other citizens in need” (p. 9-10).

introduction4
Introduction
  • Religious entities must be considered as providers; their

religious integrity unharmed.

  • Applicability: Which formerly-public social services are

religious organizations able to compete to provide?

  • Those that fall under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):

- Food stamps

- Medicaid

- SSI

- Much, much more.

introduction5
Introduction
  • Who agrees with this privatization effort?
  • Who disagrees with this privatization effort?
  • Right-wing (conservative) concerns.
  • Left-wing (liberal) concerns.
introduction6
Introduction
  • Concerns of Gays and Lesbians are Unique:
  • Interrelated to religious-associated spiritual violence and
  • Discriminatory issues affecting both:

1) Homosexual recipients of social services.

2) Homosexuals who work as social service providers.

  • Loopholes in legislation make discriminatory practices reality.
introduction7
Introduction
  • Advocates for gay civil rights and equality have provided strong disproval.
  • The Jean Preface in Cahill & Jones (2002).
  • Organizations In-Opposition:

1) The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

2) The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

3) Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

introduction8
Introduction
  • A Comprehensive View of this Reform Tool Will Include:
  • Positive aspects of utilizing religious organizations to provide social services.
  • The socioeconomic myths and realities of the gay and lesbian community as a minority and those dependent on social services.
  • Negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian to the gay and lesbian community.
positive attributes of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian
Positive Attributes of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Both Democratic and Republican Supporters:

- Ronald Reagan (R)

- William Jefferson Clinton (D)

- Al Gore (D)

- George W. Bush (R)

positive attributes of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian10
Positive Attributes of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Religious providers are more holistic in their approach in providing social services (Bartkowski & Regis, 1999);
  • Religious organizations offer many different types of aid to the needy (Bartkowski & Regis, 1999);
  • Bartkowski & Regis (1999) also found religious organizations to be more concerned with material and non-materialistic needs; found them to use innovative strategies in delivering services; and found were more likely to travel longer distances to provide services.
positive attributes of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian11
Positive Attributes of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Use volunteerism more effectively (Ebaugh, Pipes, Chafetz, & Daniles, 2003).
  • A Religious Approach is Touted As:

- “Relational, morally compelling, and personable; provides “love,” “guidance,” and “friendship”; and helps people “transform their lives”

(Chaves & Tsitsos, 2001, p. 662).

positive attributes of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian12
Positive Attributes of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • These approaches to social services are also considered more natural for religious organizations compared to government agencies or secular service providers (Chaves & Tsitsos, 2001).
the socioeconomic myths and makeup of homosexuals
The Socioeconomic Myths and Makeup of Homosexuals
  • Popular Opinion: Gay = Rich and affluent.
  • Data related to the socioeconomic status of gays and lesbians is somewhat scare (Anastas, 2001; Klawitter, 1998) .
  • M.V. Lee Badgett (2000) has completed an ample amount of research concerning the economic myths and realities of the gay and lesbian community collectively.
  • Research does not support this affluent mythology.
the socioeconomic myths and makeup of homosexuals14
The Socioeconomic Myths and Makeup of Homosexuals
  • Badgett (1997; 1998; 2000) concludes:

- Flawed market surveys are one etiology for myth.

  • Klawitter and Flatt (1998) found several workplace differences between same-sex and different-sex couples:

- Discrimination;

  • Variations in human capital and labor force attachment; and
  • Gender-based wage differentials.
the socioeconomic myths and makeup of homosexuals15
The Socioeconomic Myths and Makeup of Homosexuals
  • Conservatives have used this flawed data to discredit gay and lesbian concerns regarding equality in the workplace and granting equal civil rights to homosexual couples (such as taxation benefits).
the socioeconomic myths and makeup of homosexuals16
The Socioeconomic Myths and Makeup of Homosexuals
  • Conclusions:

- Research regarding the socioeconomic status of gays and lesbians as a minority group suggests that working gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are no better off and in some ways are disadvantaged economically in relation to comparable heterosexual people (Badgett, 2000; Anastas, 2001; Cahill & Jones, 2002).

  • Like heterosexuals, many gay people are poor (Cahill & Jones, 2002).
homosexuals utilizing the social services system
Homosexuals Utilizing the Social Services System
  • Deriving an estimate of the poor gay and lesbian population is difficult secondary to elusive precise estimates of homosexuals within the general population. Research augmentation is needed!
  • Using a 3%-8% estimate, Cahill and Jones (2002) speculate:

“There were between 1 million and 3.6

million poor gay, lesbian, and bisexual

Americans in 1996, and between 900,000 and 2.5

million in 2000” (p. 7).

homosexuals utilizing the social services system18
Homosexuals Utilizing the Social Services System
  • Do poor homosexuals actually exist?: Yes!
  • Which services do they most likely use?

- Medicaid

- Nutritional support

- Sheltering and domestic violence sheltering

- Substance abuse addiction programs

- Most of the same services used by heterosexual

recipients.

negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian
Negative Aspects of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Deemed by some as an “unprecedented threat” (Jean, 2002).
  • The Bush Administration has been apathetic and adverse to gay concerns with Charitable Choice.
  • Federal anti-discrimination legislation does NOT

protect gays and lesbians.

  • Main Concern:

- Discriminatory practices for workers and recipients.

negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian20
Negative Aspects of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • PRWORA legally perpetuates discrimination against gay men and lesbians through religious protection stipulations.
  • Researchers maintain that religious organizations that are contracted to provide social services are able discriminate on the basis of religious belief.
  • Cahill and Jones (2002) maintain that because religious providers maintain their religious beliefs and practices when providing services, discrimination against gays and lesbians has resulted.
negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian21
Negative Aspects of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Alternative Service Provider Mandate Seriously Flawed (Davis, 1996; Glennon, 2000; Cahill & Jones, 2002):

- Unfunded;

- Largely unknown;

- Geographic constraints due to size of service area.

  • An examination of states currently employing this privatization tool raises serious concerns:

- Example: Substance abuse treatment programs

- Deregulation

negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian22
Negative Aspects of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Another Drastically Negative Effect:

- Widespread discrimination to gays and lesbians

who are employed by religious social service

providers.

  • Because Charitable Choice is federal legislation, state, county, and city laws and ordinances protecting gays and lesbians in the workplace do not apply.
  • Case Example: The Salvation Army.
negative aspects of the privatization of social services from public to sectarian23
Negative Aspects of the Privatization of Social Services from Public to Sectarian
  • Consequences:

- Federal courts are upholding the termination of gays and lesbian Social Workers and Therapists based solely on their sexual orientation

(Cahill & Jones, 2002; Rostow, 2003).

- Alicia Pedreira

- Aimee Bellmore*

- Alan Yorker*

* - Case favorably settled in state court system; sexual orientation not basis of decision.

summary and conclusions
Summary and Conclusions
  • In summary, privatization efforts that move government provided social services to religious organizations has had and will continue to have negative impacts on America’s gays and lesbians.
  • This study has found major flaws in this reform tool as it relates to equality in providing social services.
  • Many concerns and examples of discriminatory workplace practices by religious social service providers were found in the literature review performed by this author.
summary and conclusions25
Summary and Conclusions
  • While much unenthusiastic data depicts this privatization effort as harmful to gays and lesbians, it is clear that more research on the subject is needed:

- Socioeconomic makeup of gays and lesbians

- Precise evaluation of number of gays and lesbians

reliant on social services

- What corrrective measures should be taken? How and why should these measures be selected?

- Which services are more likely to present more discriminatory issues?

summary and conclusions26
Summary and Conclusions
  • This presentation is based on the forthcoming article:
  • Blackwell, C., & Dziegielewski, S. (In press). The privatization of social services from public to sectarian: Negative consequences for America’s gays and lesbians. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment.
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