Men and Women in the Social Assistance System in Poland

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
Poverty in Poland is a complex and diverse phenomenon. In a situation when limited income is not sufficient to meet families' needs, the representative of the family (or a single householder) can go to the social assistance institutions. In those institutions he can apply for various types of support, which is to enable the family and the individual to overcome difficult life situations. The essence of this support is, on the one hand, enabling social functioning in conditions corresponding to human dignity, and on the other hand, bringing about a situation in which the family (or individual) will not have to use this help anymore. The purpose of the speech is to present the situation of women and men in the social assistance system in Poland. In Poland the majority of social assistances workers (social workers) are women. The occupation of a social worker is undoubtedly a highly female-dominated trade. Visible are the negative sides of the feminization of the profession of social workers associated with the lower assessment of the profession and the low wages compared to other professions, in particular those made mostly by men. An important aspect of the speech is also the presentation of the functioning of men-social workers in the feminised work environment and determining whether the sex of social workers influences their treatment by social assistance clients, supervisors and co-workers. Statistical data collected by various social welfare centres in Poland show that the use of social assistance is strongly determined by gender. Over 80% of the people applying for social support in Poland are women, and they are as a rule not single mothers, but represent a full family in dealing with social assistance institutions. Such a situation results, according to some social workers, from the fact that the families receiving assistance often represent the traditional model of a family with fixed roles, where gender is the main criterion for the division of tasks in the family. Men avoid contact with social welfare institutions and turn to help only when they run a single-person household. The problems that men and women report are also differentiated by gender. The presentation will be based on empirical research which had a qualitative (90 In-depth Interviews - IDI) and quantitative (500 Computer assisted telephone interviews CATI) nature. Researches were carried out with social workers from the whole area of Poland.
Social assistance system, Social welfare institutions, Social assistance institutions, Social assistance to the family, სოციალური დახმარების სისტემა, სოციალური კეთილდღეობის ინსტიტუტები, სოციალური დახმარების ინსტიტუტები, ოჯახის სოციალური დახმარება