ERIC Number: ED442599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Nobody Asked Us: The WV Welfare Reform Listening Project.
West Virginia's state welfare reform plan was in effect by the end of 1997. In 1999, over 175 interviews were conducted with past and present welfare recipients to bring their experiences and concerns to the attention of the public and policymakers. Nearly all interviewees were women and were taking part in work activities. In general, welfare recipients did not want to stay on welfare for life, did not want to be stereotyped, agreed with the idea of welfare reform but had concerns with current reform implementation, were concerned about gaps in the infrastructure supporting the transition from welfare to work, needed better information about rules and options, and believed that support was needed for the working poor. The interviews revealed common themes: issues of respect, difficulties of coping with chronic poverty on a daily basis, child poverty and the impact of welfare reform on children, the lack of real jobs that pay a living wage, problems with transportation and child care, access to health care, access to further education for parents, advice to others dealing with the welfare system, opinions about why welfare reform was enacted, fears about what will happen after the 5-year limit, and concerns related to crime and domestic violence. Sections on each theme include a summary and interview quotes. A final section discusses some positive state policies concerned with transitional services, child health insurance, and higher education for low-income families; makes recommendations related to interview themes; and points out the need for an economic bill of rights. (TD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Attitudes, Child Welfare, Education Work Relationship, Educational Needs, Health Needs, Interviews, Low Income, Policy Analysis, Poverty, Public Policy, Stereotypes, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services, Working Poor
American Friends Service Committee, PO Box 1964, Charleston, WV 25327 ($5.00); e-mail: RWilson@afsc.org (free via e-mail).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Friends Service Committee, Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia