In a new series I will be asking the question “is X or Y legit?”
I will refrain from inserting my opinion in the original post, and depending on how the discussion goes may interject later on.
Bill Batterman posted a ballot earlier in the year about a debate he judged on T social worker. In said ballot he outlined all the key definitions for why SS must be a SW, and included quotes from the articles. A key point here is that many of the more recent definitions all quoted/referenced an earlier definition, so in essence batterman did the same thing that the authors of some of the definitions did.
The relevant part of his decision:
Bill Batterman is the Director of Debate at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2009 Wisconsin Debate Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year, Bill is an instructor at the Georgetown Debate Seminar and the Spartan Debate Institute at Michigan State University. https://www.the3nr.com/2009/09/12/ballot-greenhill-round-robin-round-5-%E2%80%94-kinkaid-bk-aff-vs-westminster-at/ 9-12-09
The negative’s interpretation is that “social services” are defined by the interaction between professional social workers and their clients. Several pieces of evidence are offered to support this interpretation: The 1NC Van Wormer 2006 evidence cites “Elizabeth Wickenden’s discussion of the definition of personal social services” and explains that “social services … are a mixture of concrete in-kind benefits and services relying on the helpful effects of professional interaction with the client. … [A] benefit is considered to be a [personal—unhighlighted] social service when professional interaction is critical to effective use of the service. … This [definition is somewhat cyclical as it] defines social services as things that social workers do. [The definition presents us with several problems. Some immediate questions are: Is it personal social services if it doesn’t involve social workers? What is the position of the profession in such services? Are personal social services analogous to medical services, which probably would not be recognized as medical services if they were not offered under the auspices of medical professionals? Wickenden seems to imply that] social services need to be ‘directed, supervised or performed by social workers.’” The 1NC Hahn 2007 evidence quotes several authors and summarizes their definitions of “social services.” “Kahn (1979) defined “social services” in the United States as [‘those services rendered to individuals and families under societal auspices,] excluding the major independent fields of service (that is, excluding health, education, housing, and income maintenance).’ … [In practical terms, those] services would include day care, foster care, institutional facilities, [information and referral services,] counseling, [sheltered workshops,] homemaking services, vocational training and rehabilitation.” It then quotes Smith (2002) who “believed that social services are the activities encompassing an expanding array of programs developed to improve the lives of families and individuals.” The evidence highlights the next sentence about Smith’s definition: “These services include programs designed to address domestic violence, rape, AIDS, poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and the needs of disabled persons.” The 2NC reads a piece of evidence from the House Ways and Means Green Book—a publication that “provides program descriptions and historical data” for federal programs. In this case, the evidence is explaining that Title XX Social Services Block Grant Program funds “cannot be used for [the following: most] medical care except family planning; [rehabilitation] and [certain detoxification services; purchase of land, construction, or major capital improvements; most room and board except emergency short-term services;] educational services generally provided by public schools; [most social services provided in, and by employees of, hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons; cash payments for subsistence; child day care services that do not meet State and local standards; and wages to individuals as a social service except wages of welfare recipients employed in child day care.]” The 2NC also reads a piece of evidence (Burke 2004) citing the definition of “social service” in the CARE Act of 2003: “[Defines social services as helping people in need, reducing poverty, improving outcomes of low-income children, revitalizing low-income communities, and services empowering low-income people to become self-sufficient.] The term “social services” does not include programs delivering educational assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the Higher Education Act.” Just for clarification purposes, I assume, the 2NC also read a piece of evidence from the U.S. Department of Education establishing that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes No Child Left Behind—this didn’t become relevant to the debate. The 2NC read evidence from Elizabeth Wickenden (in a 1976 journal article) that further developed the initial 1NC interpretation that quoted her. This was one of the most important pieces of evidence read by either side because it provided a comparative argument about the overarching way in which social services should be defined—based on the goals or objectives of the policy or based on the mechanism of the policy. Wickenden argues that “[Both the old public assistance titles and the newer Title XX undertake what is now called “definition by objective”: in other words,] social services are to be defined by what they seek to achieve. [Where the old law talked about “strengthening family life,” Title XX lists five objectives: economic self-support, self-sufficiency, protective care for children or adults who need it, prevention of institutionalization through community services, and provision of services to help people in institutions. But] definition by objective alone opens the field wide for functions which fall clearly into other categories. For example, the goal of self-support is directly served by education, job placement, medical or rehabilitative service, job creation (by tax policy or otherwise), farm policy, military policy, and, in fact, virtually all other public policies. While social services can be directed to this common goal, the goal cannot define them. Something more is needed.] Moreover, Title XX clearly opens the way to many differing interpretations of what is to fall within these objectives by prohibiting federal challenge of any expenditure “on the grounds that it is not an expenditure for the provision of a service” within the meaning of the act.3”
The question of whether “social services” should be defined based on the mechanism used or the intended outcome seems like a very important one. At least for me, this is a much more interesting and meaningful question than “does X interpretation of social services preserve neg ground / aff flexibility” — those arguments are always self-serving and criminally underdeveloped.
So the question: is it legit to read this card in a T interpretation? Is it more or less legitimate to just “read” Battermans words as your own argument (in essence paraphrasing)?