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|Title:||How Hospital Social Workers Address Poverty|
|Keywords:||Poverty, healthcare, barriers, system, stigma|
|Abstract:||This research study began with an interest in understanding how social workers address poverty and/or low income in hospital settings. It discusses the ways in which hospital social workers address poverty in front line practice, while connecting how the experience of poverty and/or low income can further complicate one’s health and access to healthcare. This paper also discusses the ways that macro political ideologies, structural barriers and societal stigma impact how social workers address poverty in frontline hospital practice. Poverty is a social determinant of health, which is why understanding how hospital social workers address poverty in front line practice is important. Given the influence of neoliberalism and its impact on the growing gap between the rich and poor, it is suggested that poverty and low/income will continue throughout Canadian society. This paper also discusses, how accessing healthcare and navigating the system may become difficult for those experiencing poverty. This study is based on a thematic analysis of the findings from six semi-structured interviews with individuals practicing as social workers in two large teaching hospitals in southern Ontario. The data is interpreted and discussed using a critical framework, specifically, anti-oppressive practice and Marx theory. The subsequent findings indicate that in practice front-line social workers address poverty in practical ways. Major themes that emerged from this research include: addressing stigma, navigating “the system”, systemic and structural barriers, no family, no friends, and connecting with resources.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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