Poverty, Public Assistance and Single Mothers : A Comparative Look at Norway, Russia and the U.S

Pamela A. Brown

Abstract


This article presents some of the perceptions and experiences of mothers on public assistance and their social workers in three countries—Norway, Russia and the US. Based on in-depth interviews in each country with social workers and the women, five themes emerged that will be presented here. The mothers spoke of the inadequacy of economic support to meet their needs, a life of poverty that sometimes involved discrimination of them as mothers, and a loss of hope that their lives could be different. Two themes that stood out in the interviews with social workers was the lack of resources needed to help their clients and the dilemma faced as an agent of social welfare institutions balanced with being an advocate for the mothers’ needs.

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JCSW was founded in 2006 and is currently hosted by University of Stavanger, in cooperation with University of Agder and Nord University. From 2010 onwards it is published bi-anually.

ISSN: 0809-9936