Social Welfare and Single Mothers
Karen Bridget Murray’s article, “Governing ‘Unwed Mothers’ in Toronto at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”, is a valuable reference into the struggles and triumphs of social welfare for unwed mothers. For me the article highlighted how government ideologies influence social welfare, how important the change from religious reformers practices to social work was and finally how appalling it is that the struggles and barriers these women faced are still relevant to single mothers today.
Murrays article highlights how Liberal governance ideologies, “assumed... that individuals could and would adapt to the machinations of the market...[and] illegitimate births [were] viewed largely as a individual problem” (Murphy, 2004, pg. 254) and because of this there were few social resources available. However, it was through this lack government initiative that there was a call of action to open religious maternity homes and I think it is important to note how even a lack of government involvement still influences social welfare. I also found it empowering how those regular women took the issue into their own hands and affected social welfare for single mothers forever.
The difference of values between then and now is shocking especially how the “vulnerability of unwed mothers” was of lesser concern to the religious workers than, “saving souls, promoting moral ‘character’ and preventing future sexual transgressions” (pg. 262). It was insightful and inspiring to see the impact and reform the introduction of Social Work had after the First World War. How social workers shared the idea of promoting “two-parent, heterosexual,...