ERIC Number: ED417814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Work Front--Home Front: A Cooperative Extension Contribution to Work First in North Carolina.
DeBord, Karen; Matthews, D. Wayne; Canu, Rebecca; Parris, Pam
North Carolina's Work First (WF) program, like other welfare reform programs, incorporates personal responsibility contracts; paid work, volunteer work, or school requirements; and time limitations. Using telephone interviews, this study examined perceptions of 31 former welfare recipients who were enrolled in the North Carolina Work First (WF) program regarding their work situation, the transition to work, balancing work and family responsibilities, and suggestions for providing information to communities interested in similar programs. Interviews were also conducted with 12 of the subjects' employers. Participants were identified by Department of Social Services (DSS) caseworkers. Findings indicated that in addition to added income and medical benefits, respondents noted self-esteem and belongingness from a supportive work environment as positive aspects of the program. Negative perceptions focused on transportation and child care difficulties, lack of time to accomplish household and family responsibilities, and adjusting to unfamiliar work expectations. Respondents agreed that in order to be successful with their work, adequate job preparation was essential. Personally strong motivation and drive joined emotional support from family, co-workers, and DSS as factors critical to success. Accessing transportation and child care, training opportunities, and community-based services provided additional support for workers. Results of employer interviews indicated that several were pleased with WF employee performance; others identified problems with personal difficulties and attendance. Advantages to hiring WF participants included worker commitment, DSS as extra support, and well-trained workers. Disadvantages included lack of skills, attendance problems, and transportation arrangements. Main reasons for turnover were dissatisfaction with the number of working hours, work preparedness and adjustment, and fear of loss of benefits. (Details on the sample and participants' responses are appended.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh. Cooperative Extension Service.
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina