ERIC Number: ED459350
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Welfare Reform in a Hard Place: The West Virginia Experience. Rockefeller Report.
Plein, L. Christopher
Structured work and training activities for welfare recipients in West Virginia began in 1962 when the state's entire caseload of two-parent families receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children was enrolled in mandatory work and training activities. In 1980s-1990s, the Community Work Experience Program became an important tool in welfare-to-work initiatives. The federal welfare reform legislation of the 1990s pressured West Virginia to accelerate its implementation of welfare reform with no allowance for the state's lengthy history of economic hardship and unemployment stemming from the problems of the coal, steel, and chemical production industries. West Virginia's serious shortage of unsubsidized employment opportunities has made compliance with the work participation rates specified for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients extremely difficult. Despite West Virginia's efforts to prevent TANF enrollment and re-enrollment through support services, diversion payments, and new initiatives aimed at families at risk, the reality of the state's job-scarce economy means that some TANF participants are not likely to leave the system anytime soon. West Virginia's experience demonstrates the shortcomings of the roll-clearing strategies of welfare reform and the fact that, although the advent of support services represents a more enlightened approach to welfare, such efforts are no substitute for anti-poverty policies. (Contains 72 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Compliance (Legal), Economic Climate, Economic Opportunities, Education Work Relationship, Employment Level, Employment Opportunities, Employment Patterns, Employment Problems, Federal Legislation, Federal State Relationship, Labor Market, Needs Assessment, Policy Formation, Poverty, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Public Policy, Rural Areas, State Action, State Programs, Strategic Planning, Trend Analysis, Unemployment, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform
Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Attn: Publication Orders, 411 State Street, Albany, NY 12203-1003 (Free). Tel: 518-443-5258; Fax: 518-443-5832; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.rockinst.org/publications/federalism/pleinrockrep t13.p df.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Albany. Nelson A. Rockefeller Inst. of Government.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children; Comprehensive Employment and Training Act; Job Training Partnership Act 1982; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families