The Topic: "Social Services" are all the ways the City and State provides support and assistance to those citizens who lack the means to obtain basic necessities food, shelter, employment, medical care. This includes the poor, elderly, disabled, abused, homeless and mentally ill.
The Context: In 1997, the Social Service departments and agencies received almost 20% of the City's total budget appropriations. Rendering services to NYC citizens is a mammoth undertaking -- requiring time, money and considerable human resources. Huge caseload numbers and understaffed agencies leave the City overburdened and underprepared. Add the occasional scandal or tragedy to the mix, and the ensuing politics bring additional stress to the system. The result? The City is struggling to provide the most basic level of service, even to its neediest clients. And the debate about the best way to remedy these problems continues, perhaps indefinitely....
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