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Social Welfare Developments, 1951-2000

in: Events

National Association of Social Workers founded by a merger of seven social work membership groups.

Michael Harrington’s The Other America is published, awakening the American public to the nation’s increasing level of poverty.

March on Washington DC for Jobs and Freedom

Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. Title II and Title VII forbid racial discrimination in “public accommodations” and race and sex discrimination in employment.

President Lyndon B. Johnson declares War on Poverty. The Economic Opportunity Act passed by Congress on August 20. The legislation established the Office of Economic Opportunity and called for the creation of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Job Corps, Upward Bound, Neighborhood Youth Corps and Community Action programs.

Voting Rights Act is passed.

The 89th Congress enacts a number of pieces of social welfare and social justice legislation, including the Older Americans Act, which created the U.S. Administration on Aging, the first central federal agency dealing with aging; the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which initiated the first major infusion of federal funds into the U.S. educational system; Medicare, enacted as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act; and Medicaid, enacted as Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

U.S. Administration for Children and Families (now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is established.

Days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in April, the Fair Housing Act is passed. The Act prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale and financing of public and private housing based on race, color, religion and national origin. The law has been amended twice and now also protects all genders, families with children and people with disabilities, and has been interpreted to include the insuring of owned properties in addition to rental, sale an financing.

President Richard M. Nixon proposes the Family Assistance Plan in an historic message to Congress. He asserts the existing welfare system has failed and recommends a federal welfare system with a virtually guaranteed annual income. Eventually the plan is withdrawn.

Social Security Amendments of 1972 established the Supplementary Security Income (SSI) program, a federally administered welfare program to replace the state/federal programs of aid for the aged, blind and disabled populations.

Congress passes the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which outlaws discrimination in obtaining non-mortgage credit (i.e. credit cards or car loans) based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age. Under the law, lenders must consider veteran’s benefits, welfare payments and social security payments as real income. The law also requires that lenders notify potential borrowers within 30 days whether their application has been approved and, if it has been denied, the specific reason for denial.

President Gerald Ford signs the Housing and Community Development Act, which creates the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. CDBG funds dispersed to states and cities are intended to be used for affordable housing, economic development, and anti-poverty programs.

As part of his amendments to President Carter’s budget, President Ronald Reagan removes direct federal funding for mental health services, instead establishing a block grant program for institutional and community-based mental health services.

President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act.

President Bill Clinton signs into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, ending “…welfare as we know it.” The heart of the new legislation is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social welfare developments, 1951-2000. (2011). Retrieved [date accessed] from /events/1951-2000/.

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