An Examination of the Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives

LaShana Leigh East Tennessee State University
Pro Field Experience BGSD/BSPS 4210 Julie Fox-Horton March 25, 2012

Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives

Over the last couple of decades, a great deal of political and media attention has been directed at the welfare program amid claims of it being a drain on the tax base of hard working Americans by stereotypically uneducated, lazy ethnic women who just continued to have children to receive more benefits instead of applying for work. Significant reforms were made to the program during the Clinton Administration in attempt to transition the program recipients out of ongoing poverty cycles and set time limits for program eligibility. During the legislative redefinition of the program, new mandates were imposed to require program recipients to take part in welfare to work programs that offered job skills training, educational training programs, and childcare programs. Over the past couple of decades, these programs have been in existence and this paper is designed to examine in depth the effects of the welfare to work programs with regard to how it is has impacted the economic outlooks of single parents on welfare. An analysis of the findings of this study, reveal that the welfare to work programs has not really had the anticipated impact on single parents. These findings are largely because the programs are not uniform in their inception and the states are given the task of deciding how their version of the program works in accordance with the new federal guidelines. The majority of the states advocate work-first, concentrating reformation efforts more on requiring mothers to find jobs that offer inferior salary and benefit options. The lack of counseling options that educate these women on how to obtain post secondary education has caused the programs’ initial goal of ending the cycles of poverty to fail in principle while of statistically succeeding on paper because of jobs found data. The findings of this study illustrate the importance of initiatives needed to encourage and support postsecondary education in a bid to boost the economic well-being of these single parents. Keywords: Welfare, single mothers, welfare reform, welfare program limits, AFDC, TANF

An Examination of the Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives
The welfare program was designed in the 1930’s as a remedy for depression era families. The program was run by the federal government for sixty-one years (US Welfare System) and then in 1991 2

Since. Unfortunately. A great deal of the parents had to quit their jobs and re-enroll in the welfare program in order to obtain healthcare and childcare for their families. Additionally. these programs did not and for the most part still does not benefit from the enrollment of program participants in post secondary education. The average welfare recipient can permanently alter their standard of living and effectively transition from a low-income bracket to a higher income bracket with postsecondary education and life skills empowerment tools. sweeping reforms were passed in an effort to wean these single parents off the program. These programs were designed to silence the public and create economic incentives for the churches who were granted satellite training center grants and companies that hired these program recipients. the programs do not for the most part actively address other important issues that affect these families such as domestic violence. only temporary solutions that resulted in the welfare recipients cycling back into the program in about 18 months due to the jobs’ lack of benefits and salaries that would actually support a single parent. provide healthcare. most programs offer any encouragement or educational materials regarding how to enroll in college or trade schools. and generate enough income for childcare after the transitional benefits ended. These reforms brought changes to the program that required the program participants to become enrolled in job training programs and career search initiatives at area churches and state Labor/Workforce centers. the poverty culture itself. her children. drug abuse and alcohol dependency. The Demographic Data of Welfare Mothers over a 25-year Period and the Indications with Regard to Education High school dropouts are more likely to become welfare recipients regardless of race. According to (Brandon) it is far more likely for mothers who have children out of wedlock to be welfare 3 . There was no mandate to permanently change the economic statuses of these program participants. Amid growing public frustration and media frenzy.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives the Clinton Administration legislated reforms to the program. the programs objectives were shortsighted and did not address the underlying issues of the parents in the welfare program. The transitional benefits offered by welfare programs only last for an 18-month period.

Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives mothers without a high school diploma. A comparison of these statistics along racial and ethnic guidelines show that over the last twenty-five years. there is an increasing propensity for minorities to obtain a high school education. statistics reveal that the number of blacks and Hispanics graduating high school is nearly even with whites who obtain high school diplomas. Cohabitations and divorce are cited as the reasons for this increase. The study indicates that in 1976 there were 20 percent more single black mothers on welfare than white women during the same time period (Brandon) In essence. There are numerous catalysts for these significant changes in the program populations. According to the findings by (Brandon). the program indicates those years of reported schooling and completed schooling amounts to the gradual reduction of those who make up the welfare rolls. The findings indicate that while there seems to be an across the board increase of women of all ages having children out of wedlock. as well. it is a necessity to include education as impetus for welfare mothers to achieve financial independence. (Brandon) Research over a 20-year period. In the last couple of decades. Additionally. a significantly higher amount of them fall into the category of being high school dropouts. Additionally. It 4 . this study indicates that the amounts of black and whites who have the achieved the same levels of education have the same likelihood to become welfare recipients as opposed to numbers of women from the same groups during the seventies and eighties before the first reform programs came about in the late eighties and early nineties (Brandon). indicates an increase in blacks becoming more educated and as a result becoming less likely to enroll in public assistance programs (Brandon). The dissolution of these unions has created a greater population of whites who are now classified as living under the poverty level. even in rural areas. Since. attitudes regarding marriage have changed dramatically and statistics show a greater likelihood for white women to find themselves in a situation where they qualify for public assistance. one of which is the tendency now for older white women to become single mothers as result of the choice not to marry. the racial components that used to make up the welfare statistics has changed significantly altering the demographic profile of the welfare program. Research indicates an increase in whites becoming enrolled in public assistance programs over the same twenty-year period.

with that in mind. this study is based on not only those populations but on data. However. due to fact that the Green Book data may be skewed. It is imperative to obtain some form of post-secondary education in order to produce sufficient income to evolve beyond 5 . however. The Impact that Welfare to Work Programs has had on Welfare Recipients and PostSecondary Education. If the programs implemented during the reforms focus on making certain that these single mothers can obtain a post secondary education. shows similar statistics among the same group as this survey sample. Therefore. because the data compiled in this book is based on records from public services or caseworkers it is not necessarily reliable.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives is incumbent upon legislators to provide policies that would encourage young women of adolescent age to pursue education as a means of avoiding single motherhood and becoming another high school dropout relegated to public assistance programs. since it is in the best interest of the mothers to hide assets in order to obtain assistance the data compilations may not be as accurate in terms of making these types of determinations for demographic purposes. the women in the study independently volunteered or reported (Brandon). then across the board the women would find themselves able to attain and maintain long-term economic stability. This study encompassed a sample of some 77. With that being said.512 women based on the level of educational attainment and involvement in the welfare program. The reasoning for this is that as rule welfare mothers are less likely to share voluntary information with those workers due to the implied inference that they are somewhat of a further intrusion into their already complicated lives. After some examination of the demographic data. it is also indicative of the study that those who were able to focus on their educations were less likely to become single parents and more likely to achieve a state of economic stability. it is important to take into consideration how the legislation has impacted welfare recipients and access to post-secondary education. It is also important to note that a comparison of these findings with the Federal Government’s Green Book. The amount of people involved in the sample population allowed a considerable group of both whites and blacks to be involved in this study (Brandon).

As we previously discussed. the legislation passed by the Clinton Administration and Congress referred to as Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996(PRWORA) has severely limited the ability of welfare mothers to get this much needed education. Aside from limiting education support to one year. aimed at satisfying temporary concerns not grounded in fact. or remedies for long-term resolution. the type of work most of the women were qualified for all but nullified the ability to become self sufficient as well. However. Headlines buzzed with triumphant platitudes related to ethnic welfare mothers milking the system but no realistic reformation studies. mandating that by the year 2002 half of all welfare recipients be employed. and realistic attention to the pertinent details. Work requirement quotas became the 6 . The welfare program now came with a 60-month time limit for the lifetime of the recipient. as well as sweeping reforms aimed at supporting work but not endorsing education as a means of producing better income opportunities for the families (Weikart). the most critical aspect of the changes with regard to education were the reforms mandated the education that they did support to be vocational education in order to qualify for any support under the new statutes (Weikart). would have revealed that the reforms enacted were ill suited improvements for welfare.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives poverty level income. Truthful research. Based on the much ballyhooed program reforms. the power was placed into the hands of the states to decide how to apply these new referendums. most of the states were reacting to heat of the moment headlines and now the programs served to require welfare recipients to find a job and limited support for post-secondary education to only one year. program adaptations. The program was endowed with a block grant referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF). The shortsightedness of the programs addressed finding work. Unfortunately. less media grandstanding. as discourage any attempts at a 4 year degree. However. since the program obviously did not provide for that option. This action was a stringent reform that took the former Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and retooled it completely. The introduction of this new legislation was made without the benefit of research into how the programs would ultimately come to affect families in the end. the demographic profiles that actually made up the program were not really the basis of fact but based on the stereotypes magnified by the public outcry and political agendas.

Another study in 1996 revealed that 17 months after the welfare recipients completed their degrees that 88% of them were off the welfare and their average hourly wage was around $11 dollars per hour. the coalitions worked and coordinated the necessary funding and support to establish these satellite programs. they were able to move forward and achieve the outcomes necessary for the common good of all involved (Weikart). The commitment necessary to make the programs succeed was rooted in diversity and organization. Both states used “Advocacy Groups” to reach their goals and they found that as long as the focus was on the common thread and not on the nitpicky details. in order to facilitate better program options for welfare mothers. 7 . The two states pioneered program reformations to TANF. There were significant strides made in Maine and New York. that inevitably were used by other states to affect better results for welfare mothers. A study conducted by City University of New York. Programs in Maine were specifically credited for the initiative to move out of their comfort zones and rally the necessary support from every possible source. provides the most telling evidence of the benefit of a four-year education to a household. it became apparent that the program was focusing on the wrong aspects of reformation and eventually some states were able to rewrite the programs to allow the welfare parents to get the benefit of a four-year education (Weikart). These studies reveal that more education is the key to less dependence on social programs (Weikart). it was more difficult for proponents of the new TANF reforms to get the necessary support to succeed there. amazingly despite New York’s greater diversity than Maine. However. allowing them to get the benefit of a four-year degree and effectively find meaningful employment to lift their families out of poverty. This type of evidence lead to studies in several states that revealed that 87% of welfare recipients with two and four year degrees were actually no longer in the program and that 83% had become gainfully employed (Weikart). These initiatives did not come easy. there were many conservative opponents who argued that enough money had been spent and we need to move on as a nation.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives focus and the fate of the families who really needed help became secondary. The report by them states that the income potential of a four-year degree can add about $690K to a single income during a lifetime. As the states focused on meeting the quotas in order to meet federal guidelines.

percentage White from U. The programs revealed the necessity of support structures to facilitate the successful transition from welfare to work with a four-year degree.80 Average: 15 states 77.S.30 SOURCE: Fifteen states from Center for Women Policy Studies (2003). 418 Affilia Winter 2005 TABLE 1: The 15 States in Which Welfare Recipients Can Attend 4-Year Colleges State Percentage White Percentage of Women in State Legislatures Alabama 71.00 Arkansas 80. One of the key cornerstones of the study that I am referencing at this point lies not in racial divide but in the perception of education to the mothers involved in the study.10 22.25 23.50 27.30 New Jersey 72. 1 The Results of an Experimental Research Project Involving Ten Welfare Recipients that Obtained a Post Secondary Education The enclosed table above details some facts refuting the stereotypes regarding welfare mothers with regard to race.00 California 59.90 21.60 Illinois 73.30 27.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives These results specifically address the problems associated with TANF era reformations.90 Missouri 84.60 Wyoming 92.00 Georgia 65.30 Maine 96.10 10.70 Vermont 96. Unfortunately.00 Colorado 82.50 30.00 Delaware 74.10 17. as the statistics reveal that the programs had effectively forced many welfare mothers who were within months of their degrees to drop out and find a job.90 23.10 Iowa 93.80 30.00 20. Census Bureau (2000).60 29.90 26.60 Hawaii 24. the jobs were not the type of jobs necessary to overcome poverty cycles for their families.10 21.60 16. and percentage women in state legislatures from Center for American Women and Politics (2003). The evidence that the current programs are founded in righteousness indignation based on political agendas and is not based in the actual welfare of the involved is a given.77 Average: 50 states 75.60 21.80 33. It was evident in the above table that more recipients of welfare are white and that it was easier for Advocacy Organizations to effect changes that enabled the welfare recipients in the state with a higher percentage of white welfare recipients than in states where there were higher numbers of non-white residents. One of the key problems with this method of decision 1 Table 1 (Weikart) 8 .60 Montana 90.

The table below contains a breakdown of the subjects involved in the study and some demographic data about each individual.2 This specific study takes another approach. it is has always tended to fall short of its intended mark. 2 Table 1 (Haleman) 9 . first of all they wanted to draw parallels about the purposes of the subjects attaining their respective educations. their impressions about education and what it represents in their lives.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives making is that it does not take the time to find out from those involved in the matter that is being legislated how to best proceed to effect the maximum result. the authors of the legislation are out of touch with the realities surrounding the plight of the persons in need of help. Since. the underlying beliefs of the mothers are the driving factors in the ultimate attainment of the goals. It is interesting to look at the dynamics of each woman’s life and background. and the potential impact on the attainment of their current life situation. The researchers for this study felt it was incumbent upon them to look at three specific schools of thought with respect to the subjects. we find this study takes the time to look at the attributes of the subjects. In essence. The impetus for the subjects’ success in the program was the positive impact that their children seeing them attain their degrees would ultimately mean to them as mothers.

The most significant issue each woman expressed the greatest amount of concern about was the overt stereotyping of the perceived welfare mother. from a mundane trip to the clinic with a Medicaid card or the trip to the grocery store with food stamps. the cashier at the store or other customers in line at the grocery store. It is important to note that this specific group is unique in all aspects demographically and are comprised of a group of volunteers from The Single Parent Project (TSP). The fact that African American subjects found themselves continually confronted with stereotypical rhetoric in this particular study was not a rare occurrence but unfortunately illustrated a multitude of widely held beliefs among Americans in general. A significant problem that this study brings to the forefront is that it shines a light on society and its unfortunate racial assumptions with regard to African Americans on public assistance. It is evident in every experience these women endured. One thing rang true no matter who they were. This specific population contrasts greatly with actual population makeup at the national and state levels. The implications of the conditions were readily apparent in the assumptive reactions of personnel at the clinics. It was indeed a blow to these women to undergo the ongoing episodes of 10 . they were second-class citizens in the eyes of the world because they needed public assistance. The respective study participants to ensure accuracy verified all of the participating subject’s information. The discriminatory conduct was imposed not only upon the mothers but the children were treated differently as well.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives Now that we have a concrete assessment of the population involved in this study let us examine the results and see what the outcome suggests about the issues at hand. The study participants found themselves in a position where it was necessary to defend themselves against overt discrimination because of their station in life and or race collectively on a regular basis (Haleman). It became evident to the mothers that it was necessary to espouse the virtues of a good education to their children. so that they would no longer go through life victimized by their circumstances. The evidence of these widely held public views is the key to the current legislation and this is where the changes must begin (Haleman). Each woman involved in the study was involved in post-secondary education when they took part in this study.

by the mother’s was that the attainment of post secondary education is necessary for all involved to affect a better life and situation for their children. the politico-economic propaganda that has infiltrated the airwaves and political war chests won out. Michael J. These mothers felt it incumbent upon themselves to lead by example and show their children that it can be done. 11 . The escalation of their economic circumstances through attainment of educational goals is seen as the only tool these parents have at this point to defend their children in this climate of defeat. Austin Ph. We find in this specific study the reasoning for the parent’s strong advocacy of post secondary education for themselves and their children as well was grounded in the refutation of these assessments. The ultimate conclusion. There was no regard for their personal circumstances.d). and to be immoral prone to gravitate to criminal enterprises as opposed to honest hard work for attainment of goals (BSCC. and refused to ascribe to the culture of poverty that made it acceptable to be less than productive. Even though these subjects actually were utilizing the programs as intended. lacking in behavioral decorum. just disdain and thoughtless accusation fostered through widely held assumptions that perceive African Americans as less intelligent.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives mistreatment and prejudice because of misinformation.

while segregating the workplace in terms of closer examination reveals another reason for the outcomes. The reality of the situation is that domestic violence is a great contributory factor in this situation as well. However. by requiring a degree but at the same time devaluing the degree by way of lower pay and benefits. Therefore. The TANF program actually has an initiative in place to avert this as a cause for women to remain in the system by enacting the Family Violence Option (FVO) (Wordpress. and benefits it still requires the same educational standards of women in the workplace but continues relegating them to a lesser status in terms of investment in them as a gender. we find that the real data does not really support this valuation of education at first glance because the state of the economy in the 1980’s lead to 20% of all college graduates being employed in a position that did not warrant a degree (Haleman). It was reasonable to assume that their assessment of this fact must be founded on solid evidence. However. The climate in the workplace. The implication of the data speaks so adversely to the realities of gaining a post-secondary education as a means of economic progression. if you will. in terms of political and economic factors. This unfortunate practice functions as a double edge sword in the overall plight of the single mother and her economic stability (Haleman). Additionally. Women in domestic violence situations are often not able to disclose their location when fleeing an abusive spouse and the bureaucratic guidelines in these programs make it inaccessible forcing most women to have to stay in abusive and dangerous situations in order to care for their children 12 . The reality of the situation in this instance is the gradual segregating of them. point to the devaluation of the women in the workplace. The women in this study all agreed that education was a necessity to get off welfare and to end the poverty cycle their family was currently undergoing. other factors contribute to the status of women and what is the perceived reason for the immersion into poverty. there are many roadblocks to actual implementation of the programs. pay. such as the privacy issues and safety concerns that ultimately influence the factors necessary for the women use the program itself. that it makes one question the quest in this specific instance. However.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives The Structural Support Systems Thought to be Necessary in Order to Effect a Successful Transition from Welfare to Work.

d). Training initiatives that serve to circumvent poverty and end the dependence upon welfare must endure a bit of restructuring for a myriad of reasons. While addressing the realities of the poverty culture the programs have to address those very aspects of the lives of the mothers and children in order to move them past their current situations. Austin Ph. we see an increase in the number of those affected in these infinite cycles of impotence (BSCC. the potential emotional barriers to achieving realistic educational goals (Jensen). Austin Ph. Michael J. The truth of the situation is that regardless of the underlying conditions women face there is still a significant amount to be gained by achieving the educational benchmarks necessary to obtain a selfsufficient job. When encountering these children you have to understand the self-esteem issues associated with poverty. we must provide the training in a manner that those affected can understand. Michael There is a tendency in the poverty culture to accept what they and the rest of America expects of them. I mean dropping out of school and/or becoming parents of illegitimate children. The benefits from training and education are relevant enough to warrant better provision for the families involved in the welfare system and the legislative impetus for these programs must be structured to deal with the realities of the recipients and not public opinion (BSCC.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives (Wordpress. because the fact is without the experience of these children watching their mothers achieve these goals they may never 13 . the “culture of poverty” is unique to those embroiled in it and whatever remedies we implement must collectively address this culture. By accepting these cultural norms and finding themselves conforming to these standards. Ultimately. The realities of the how and why of welfare mothers reliance on the system varies widely and is not at all as depicted in the manner that widely held public opinion suggests. we must address them on their respective levels in order to help them out of their situation.d). in order to implement the training initiatives necessary to foster success in these poverty cultures. By this. Aside from the idea that there is a tendency for them not to test well in a standardized testing environment. Firstly. we must accommodate the strengths of those bound in the poverty culture so that they may be able to progress beyond their current station in life. The mothers are right to focus a great deal of their energies to proving to their children that it can be done. Therefore.

The demands of homework and in most cases small children are the death knell to the single mother seeking to end the nightmare of her current welfare poverty mandate. along with the mothers in these programs. It is important that certain changes be made for those in pursuit of higher education for economic betterment to actually be in a position to achieve it. How Education Typically Drives the Economic Status of a Household Studies indicate conclusively that welfare recipients that obtain a two or 4-year degree have a significantly lessened potential to return to welfare rolls. and unfortunate realities the mainstream American will never undergo (Jensen). The current TANF programs require 30 hours of additional work for those recipients who are striving to obtain their degrees (Haleman). In fact. The environments many of these children live in are rife with crime. Additionally. drugs. There have to recalculations made in order to accommodate the realistic experiences of welfare mothers in these programs (Jacobs and Winslow). violence. the welfare to work initiatives must be structured to accommodate single mothers of small children and not have such stringent guidelines that they undermine the quest for a post secondary degree. Essentially. but failed to graduate did not fare as well in terms of maintaining economic viability and avoiding a return to welfare poverty. Family support initiatives must be constructed for the betterment of welfare reform. the children must be trained and educated to adjust and excel to defeat the hold of poverty on their lives. Therefore. it is a necessary progression to implement training programs to help mothers and children (the family unit as a whole) in the adjustments necessary to escape poverty and its culture (Jensen). Statistics show that families where the mother attended college. With that being said.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives believe that these can be real aspirations for themselves. There is no realistic or plausible solution for widespread fiscal relief for the welfare rolls if the program continues in its current state. Stringent program guidelines also require a plethora of compliance for the mothers to stay on the program and succeed in their goals (Zhan and Pandey). the necessity of the 14 . the evidence supports the overall impact on the household collectively as a positive step for the families citing much greater ability to prevent economic decline and maintain economic viability to prevent a return to welfare poverty.

Michael J. drug dealing. and crime are considered desirable for respect amongst their peers. Austin Ph. Austin Ph. Economic driven educational success is where the welfare reforms must focus their energies to rebuild the inner cities and foundations of the America we know and love. As the findings in the varying studies suggest the reasons for the low levels of accomplishment lie in the program goals of TANF itself. There are other benefits to the country as a whole when we have a greater degree of higher educated workers because the family structure benefits from the removal of the poverty culture mindset affecting such things as crime.d). We find that when we have a compilation of higher educated workers then the wages of unskilled workers tends to escalate as a consequence of this action (Phillippe Aghion). To examine the overall benefits of education on economy we have to look at the benefits this generates for society as whole. ability to motivate or provide the warmth needed to foster the necessary self esteem for achievement despite the odds (BSCC. The future of all Americans essentially rests on the successful reeducation of those families and communities immersed in the poverty culture (Jensen). This is a very definitive aspect of why the notion that education will drive the household in a positive manner if the effort is across the board and community-wide (BSCC. juvenile delinquency. The data suggests that although we see such positive numbers for the eventual accomplishment of these goals the actual number of welfare recipients who are able to attain these goals fall significantly below the numbers attained by the US population across the board (London). Predisposition for failure is commonplace in the culture of poverty where education is devalued and attainable acceptance metrics such as gang membership. Failure to attend to the long-term implications will undoubtedly take a relatively small section of the population’s plight and spread it to the 15 . The impetus for these results are the statistical realities associated with low-income parents coping skills. and dropout rates. (London) According to (London).d).Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives post-secondary degree does appear to be a beneficial component in the circumvention to some degree of the return to the welfare poverty cycle. there is a potential income growth of 30% for welfare recipients who go on to complete their Associates degree and a 55% income growth for those who were able to secure their Bachelor’s degree. Michael J.

The problem with this approach was that the state’s used their power to pander to political ambitions and media scrutiny by not researching and assessing the real needs of the recipients but instead acting out the political and media induced punishments that made everyone feel good (Williams). This is a relevant problem for the masses and the welfare reform programs need to address these real needs as opposed to playing to media driven policy mandates.3 How States’ Abuse of Welfare Reform Programs has Impacted the Programs’ Bottom-line A significant amount of abuse of policy was created by the federal government’s policy changes to the AFDC programs during the periods of sweeping reforms. In essence. However. The racial makeup of welfare rolls has vastly changed since the inception of these sweeping reforms and the biases intended for topical value. These programs set family caps on enrollment. must be reconfigured to deal with internal issues that realistically affect the general population (Williams). inner city ghetto welfare recipient who would rather sit at home and are paid than work. a small amount of substantive research would have prevented this even worse waste of taxpayer funds on programs that were ill conceived and did not 3 Table 3 (London) 16 .Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives middle class due to lack of available support mechanisms as the unskilled labor markets decline and America moves toward a more highly educated work force. they punished the lazy. and activities for mothers on public assistance. mandated school attendance. The federal government essentially recused itself from administration of these programs leaving it squarely in the hands of the states to set policy.

Another component in these ill founded programs were the use of the churches as centers to provide the short-term instruction programs necessary to get program recipients labor-ready. These programs were focused on fiscal issues and the states milked them for all they were worth. The catalyst in most of the state’s spending agendas was almost always budget motivated and not problem solving motivated. However. effecting a measure of public ridicule and scrutiny of the those in need instead of resolving the underlying issues that made the programs a necessity in the first place (Williams). they were in some cases outright wooing these companies to their areas by providing them free labor through the welfare system through job initiatives that were not going to create long term benefits for the program recipients. the churches only fulfilled the states’ mandates to receive the coveted funding incentives to be obtained by being a satellite program for these initiatives. In the low income neighborhoods. Further abuse by the states was caused by the use of the federal funds to pander to companies and court them for the tax incentives associated with placing welfare recipients in dead end jobs’ In effect. This created an atmosphere relative to that of the witch trials of Salem . where these churches were located an abundance of substantially large family living centers were built with the monies from 17 .Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives solve the initial problem.

The federal guidelines for the initial programs were set up to provide post secondary education for the program recipients and provide support mechanisms to sustain them while completing their respective courses of study. We discover that the during this process there are a lot of things at work that detract from rational problem solving but foster a witch hunt type of atmosphere that results in a “punish the welfare recipients for their complacency” rhetoric. In the midst of all this uproar over the programs the women and children suffered the greatest losses of all. This whole aspect of the program ended up solving nothing and just benefited big business and churches instead of the intended targets (Williams).Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives these program for congregations that would scarcely fill them halfway. this task had been given to states to oversee and they set about on personal agendas aimed at resolving the state’s personal agendas and not those of the program recipients once again. Within that. The programs set off on an aggressive stance to eliminate lifetime entitlement programs and establish a method of transition for the families who were bound in a state of welfare poverty. This resulted in the states appropiating funding for programs which still had not been researched but 18 . the lines became blurred and the priorities were unfortunately set based on the media scrutiny and political agendas instead of actually seeking to help those in the programs. health care. Safety Net programs are programs designed to help families or face issues with finances. During the legislative process. and food (Center on Budger and Policy Priorities). program assignment the actual amount of monies spent on welfare is even less than the 13% as that is representative of the entire budget for safety net programs. A great deal of attention has been made by virtue of accusing the social services of being a tax drain on Americans. Actual statistics point to the fact that only 13% of all federal monies go into what is termed as Safety Net Programs. Conclusion The Clinton Administration ushered in a host of sweeping reforms aimed at ending the welfare program as we know it. Unfortunately. Because there was no feasiblility study done at the onset of these mandates each state was bascially granted carte blanche to solve the social services issue as they deemed necessary.

regardless if they were long term just for a short mandated period to receive the tax credit.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives answered the call of the public outcry generated by media and political agendas. We discovered that the women were privy to discriminatory profiling as a result of having to use Social Service programs such as welfare. Thereby forcing the families to cycle back to the welfare roles in order to take care of their families. The programs were restructured by most states to discourage any tyoe of post secondary education unless it was vocational in nature. The programs also set up tax incentive programs geared to reward companies who granted jobs to these program recipients. Another benefactor of the these state programs were the churches who receive huge grants and housed the neighborhood centers for the program recipients and in most cases daycare services as well. medicaid and food stamps. This resulted in a rush to push welfare recipients into jobs that would not provide enough income to sustain a family once the transitional subsidies ran out. During the course of the programs some states were proactive and through the use of Advocacy groups they were able to sway sstaate legislatoors and cajole them into investing into post secondary educaction for the single welfare mothers. The misapproriation of the funding was one of the greatest drains of taxpayer funds ever in the end and failed miserably at rehbbing welfare recipients. The states had hidden agendas in their policy mandates and pandered to big business and wealthy individuals in a bid to prevent them from leaving their areas. This also resulted a great deal of free money for churches to build and grow their daycare programs and still did not garner the results intended by the initial legislation. All this money was being distributed but was not providing any benefit to the ones who really were most needy. We took a look at a study that encompassed ten women who were in the process of a completing a postsecondary degree and took a look at their journey to their degree. The new welfare reform mandates did embrace post secondary education and provide the necessary support systems for the mothers to complete their course of study and break welfare poverty cycles. We also found that there was and still is a negative stereotype 19 . Maine and New York pionered programs that would become models for other states that would adopt them as well.

The culture of poverty was one of the underlying problems with the welfare to work initiatives since it did not address the entire family units. Peter." March 1993. The study revealed ultimately that the children needed to be trained to think differently and cope with the culture of poverty. Brandon.wisc.pdf>.Residual Effects of US Welfare to Work Initiatives associated with government assistance programs. "Trends over time in the educational attainments . 20 .edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc152e. The public slights actually served to work as motivation for the mothers to instill in their children a respect for education and the necessity of it to prevent them from having to rely on social service programs in the future. African Americans suffered the most stereotypically negative responses from the public in general and found themselves having to defend themselves on a regular basis and ignore in some instances the slights aimed at their children as a consequence. <http://www. So the bottomline of this paper is to advocate the necessity of post secondary education for the elimination of welfare poverty cycles and achievement of economic stability. Thesse women detailed the cursory glances and ill mannered comments made to them while in doctor’s offices using a medicaid card or at a grocery store using their food stamps. Because of the largesse of the political grandstanding and media propaganda the damage was already done and mothers with already difficult lives endured more distress at the hands of the population in general. but focused on fiscal saving and never dealt with the pyschological and emotional consequences of povert . Institute for Research on Poverty. The outrage over the welfare programs were born in the stereotypical african american welfare mother with a cadillac who was happy to sit home and letthe governemnt take care of her.irp.

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