ERIC Number: ED438105
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Great Expectations: From Welfare to Work in the South. Rural Development Issues Impacting the South.
Tootle, Deborah M.
Welfare caseloads across the nation have declined dramatically since welfare reform became law in August 1996. These declines have been interpreted to mean that welfare-to-work strategies are effective, but not enough is known to make such an assessment. In the rural South, unique social and economic conditions may affect the implementation and success of welfare reform. This report describes recent welfare reform efforts and identifies some conditions that may affect the potential for moving southern welfare recipients into the workforce. Because the states design and administer their own welfare programs, there is no typical state program. An overview of programs in 13 Southern states outlines major provisions: eligibility in terms of assets and income, time limits for receiving benefits, work requirements and exemptions related to child age, and the decline in caseloads from 1993 to 1999. Poverty is a severe and chronic problem in the South and, without exception, is more serious in rural areas. Welfare-to-work strategies may be particularly difficult to implement in persistent poverty counties, where employment opportunities are limited. Other barriers to employment include low levels of education and skills, competition for low-wage jobs from immigrant labor, inability to survive with low-wage jobs, lack of transportation, shortage of day care providers, and personal and family problems. Community strategies to address these barriers are discussed. (Contains 20 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Eligibility, Employment, Employment Potential, Labor Market, Legislation, Low Income Groups, Poverty, Public Policy, Rural Areas, State Programs, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services
Southern Rural Development Center, Box 9656 Mississippi State, MS 39762. Tel: 662-325-3207; Fax: 622-325-8915; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.ext.msstate.edu/srdc/publications/series.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State, MS.