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Time Out

Time Out

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Published by hprplaw

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Published by: hprplaw on Apr 25, 2009
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10/17/2011

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TIME OUT!
 A Status Report On Welfare Reform inBaltimore City At the Three Year Mark, AsExperienced By Those It Was Intended toHelp and Their Legal Advocates
December 8, 1999Prepared for The Welfare Reform Legislative Committeeby the FAMILY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (FIP) LEGAL CLINICAn Initiative of the Homeless Persons Representation Project Inc.300 Cathedral Street, Suite 204Baltimore, Maryland 21201(410) 685-6589 ext. 116(800) 773-4340 ext. 116
 
ii
Table of Contents
Introduction...........................................................2
Maryland's Version of Welfare Reform
................................2
The FIP Legal Clinic
.............................................3Executive Summary.....................................................4
The Unrealized Promise to Assist In Overcoming Personal Barriers
........4
 Needless Bureaucratic Barriers
.....................................5
Structural Barriers Unique to Baltimore City
..........................6
 Recommendations
................................................6
 Holding Customers Harmless For BCDSS Failings
..............7
 Addressing Structural Barriers
...............................7
Changing the FIP Program to Ensure Families Get Needed Help
....7Personal Barriers: Unrealized Promises.....................................9
Medical Assistance
...............................................9
Skill Levels: Customer Assessments & Independence Plans
..............10
 Independence Plans Executed Prior to Assessment 
..............10
 Independence Plans Executed Prior to Work Activity Selection
.....10
 Literacy
................................................11
 Family Violence Option
..........................................12
Substance Abuse Screening and Treatment 
...........................14
 Distrust Of the Caseworker 
.................................14
MCO & DSS Finger-Pointing 
...............................15
Who's Doing Case Management?
............................15
The Unique Position of the Work Activity Vendor 
................15
 Enter BSAS 
..............................................16
The Lack of Data
.........................................18
Child Care
.....................................................18
Transportation
.................................................19
Getting to Work Activities
..................................19
Getting to Employment: The Missed Opportunity of Welfare AvoidanceGrants (WAGs)
....................................19
The Emergencies and Exigencies of Poverty
..........................21
 Evictions & EAFC 
........................................21
Utilities & BGE's “Get Tough” Policy
........................21
 Expedited Food Stamps
....................................24
Criminal Records
...............................................24
 Non-Convictions & Expungements
...........................24
Convictions & Employment 
.................................24 Needless Bureaucratic Barriers...........................................26
 Frequent Re-determinations of Eligibility
............................26
The Process of Re-Determinations of Eligibility
................26
 Redets: The Exit Door of TCA
...............................27
 Baltimore City’s 4 Month Redet Policy
........................28
 Applicant Diversion: Child Support First 
.............................29
Other Child Support Problems
..............................30
 
TIME OUT
 
1
 Long Waits in Waiting Rooms
......................................30
Child Specific Benefits
...........................................30
Two Parent Eligibility & Male Caretakers
............................31
The Fair Hearing Sham
..........................................31
 Requesting An Appeal: Forms, Conferences and Other Barriers
....31
The BCDSS Appeals Unit 
...................................32
 Administrative Law Judges(ALJs)
............................32Structural Barriers Unique to Baltimore City................................34
The Job Gap
...................................................34
The Geographic Gap
.............................................35
The Wage or Earnings Gap
.......................................36Recommendations....................................................37
 I. Holding the Customers Harmless.
................................37
 II. Addressing Structural Barriers to Employment in Baltimore City
.......38
 III. Changing the Welfare Program to Ensure that Families Get the Help They Need 
...................................................39Conclusion...........................................................42This report was written by J. Peter Sabonis, Executive Director of the Homeless PersonsRepresentation Project; Professor Karen Czapanskiy of the University of MarylandSchool of Law; and Carolyn Johnson, of the Homeless Persons Representation Project.All are participants in the FIP Legal Clinic, an initiative of the Homeless PersonsRepresentation Project.

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