ERIC Number: ED452013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Implementing Welfare Reform in Rural Communities.
Pindus, Nancy M.
This paper is part of a broader study considering effects of welfare reform on households in rural areas. This report describes the findings of qualitative research, which examined welfare reform implementation and availability of services in 12 rural communities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, and Maine. The study sites were diverse in terms of geographic isolation, unemployment rate, and racial composition. In each location, welfare staff, service providers, and community representatives were asked about implementation of work requirements, time limits, and other provisions of welfare reform; recipients' access to jobs and services; and the most serious barriers to implementation in rural areas. Employment opportunities varied greatly across sites, but all sites reported that most jobs obtained by welfare recipients paid the minimum wage and offered few possibilities of advancement. Education played an important role in determining a community's economic prospects and the potential for welfare recipients to attain self-sufficiency. Low education levels were a major barrier at seven sites, and at two of these, the quality of public schools was particularly poor. Community social capital--its capacity to assist its neediest citizens--was reflected in socially supportive attitudes in 10 communities. Although most communities were poor, the variation in their ability to provide a safety net for the poor was noteworthy. Promising practices were identified in the areas of education and training, transportation and accessibility, supportive services, and community involvement. An appendix presents site profiles. (SV)
Descriptors: Community Characteristics, Educational Attainment, Educational Needs, Employment Opportunities, Program Implementation, Rural Areas, Social Capital, State Programs, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform
Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-429-0687.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.