ERIC Number: ED306318
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Reforming Welfare with Work. Occasional Paper 2.
Gueron, Judith M.
This country has long debated the question of how to design the welfare system, particularly the federally supported Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program which provides cash assistance to families headed primarily by female single parents. A pressing issue is whether welfare programs should continue to be broad entitlements or whether they should become "reciprocal obligations" whereby work or participation in an activity leading to work is required. Of particular concern in AFDC policy are questions about whether this aid reduces incentives for people to work and, thus, promotes dependency. Findings from a three-year evaluation of workfare programs in Arkansas, San Diego (California), Virginia, West Virginia, and Baltimore (Maryland) include the following: (1) it is feasible, under certain conditions and on the scale at which the demonstration programs were implemented, to tie the receipt of welfare to participation obligations; (2) a number of different ways of structuring and targeting programs will yield effective results; (3) in cases in which states chose to operate mandatory workfare, the interim results do not support the strongest claims of critics or advocates; and (4) programs led to relatively modest increases in employment, which in some cases translated into even smaller welfare savings, but, the changes were large enough to justify program costs. A table illustrating the key characteristics of state work/welfare initiatives and a table summarizing the impact of AFDC work/welfare programs are included. A list of 49 references is appended. (FMW)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Cost Effectiveness, Demonstration Programs, Employment, Federal Programs, Poverty Programs, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services
The Ford Foundation, Office of Reports, 320 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017 (paper copy, free).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children