This page also contains links to information about developments in welfare policy and implementation nationally and internationally, and to related issues, such as childcare, domestic violence and employment. The page is divided into 5 sections:
education, implementation/implications, families, Rhode Island, kids and disabilities, learning disabilities and welfare rights.
Learners, practitioners and others with experience of, opinions
and recommendations pertinent to welfare legislation and its impact on
adult learning and community are invited to contribute to this page.
send comments, reflections and suggestions to LR/RI by email,
phone, fax or post. Contact information can be found at LR/RI's home
Every attempt has been made to choose HTML over PDF documents;
however, if you require access to an alternate format, please contact LR/RI.
WISE - Wellbeing
Inclusion, Socially and Economically - British Columbia-based
exploring the links between policy, poverty and health.
Also, see updates to information about the Workforce Inverstment Act on this
site - reauthorization
of WIA at http://www.brown.edu/lrri/1385.html
Poverty USA - Catholic Campaign for Human Development site designed to raise awareness of the causes and impact of poverty in America- and to help America's poor find a way to rise above the poverty line not just for a day, but a lifetime.
Domestic Violence and Welfare Policy - [December 18, 2002] report examining research on: 1) prevalence and correlates of domestic violence among women on welfare; 2) effects of domestic violence on child well-being; and 3) marriage and domestic violence. By The Research Forum
Safety Net Sinking by Gordon Hurd, ColorLines Senior Writer Welfare reform during recession: Discrimination and poor access to education and job training make the hard times harder. From Colorlines magazine
Battered Women Safe During Welfare Reform: New Challenges
- by Jody Raphael. "This paper reviews the growing
body of research literature on the relation-ship of domestic violence
welfare. Not only do women on welfare suffer from domestic violence in
far greater numbers than women in the general population, but their
threatened by the women's efforts at education, training, or work, also
use violence and threats of violence to sabotage these efforts at
self-sufficiency. For this reason, welfare reform exacerbates domestic
violence in the lives of many low-income women."
Cruel and Usual: How welfare reform punishes poor people - survey from Applied Research Center uncovering disturbing trends: Welfare programs are less consistent than they used to be, and more likely to operate in a discriminatory way, creating "a crazy quilt of arbitrary rules." The survey reveals that welfare reforms enacted under the 1996 PRWORA have led to discrimination in four areas: race, gender, language and national origin. Survey released January 30, 2001.
also from ARC: WARP:
Welfare Advocacy Research Project - briefs and related information
indicating ways in which welfare reform research distorts the reality
actual lives impacted by reform.
Links that may prove helpful in the war against informational poverty, from Abe Kreworuka and the Electronic Grange Network.
Building the Bridge from Client to Citizen: A Community Toolbox for Welfare Reform - ©1998 by John P. Kretzmann and Michael B. Green - A new paper from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute demonstrates how five "tools" successfully used for community-building activities may be adapted to help former welfare recipients move toward economic independence and more fulfilling lives.
Built to Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform by Karin Martinson and Julie Strawn. This review of recent research on welfare-to-work strategies shows that the most successful programs have focused on employment but made substantial use of education and training. In particular, the postsecondary education and training appear to be key to obtaining higher-paying jobs. This report has important implications for the current debate over reauthorization of the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Findings suggest that Congress should encourage states to include quality education and training services in welfare-to-work programs and allow sufficient time for recipients to complete both basic education and skill training. http://www.clasp.org/ [PDF file, earlier version of this report: http://www.clasp.org/publications/Built_to_Last_final_051302.pdf]
Education and Training Adult Education/Literacy/GED - Economic Success Clearinghouse (formerly The Welfare Information Network) page devoted to issues concerning adult learning. The page includes issue pages, funding announcements and access to a range of resources.
every day spaces: women's transitions from welfare to paid work and
education Cynthia Lee Andruske. Paper presented at the SCUTREA
Annual Conference, 5-7 July 1999. Abstract: This paper
women's transitions from welfare to paid work and education as they
social, institutional and organisational structures in their everyday
I also wonder what role educators' play in assisting or preventing
to contest learning spaces.
From Mev Miller Welfare Reform: Five Years Later - [August/2001]post to the National Women and Literacy list with links to articles reflecting on Welfare Reform since 1996.
HandsNet resources - [August 2001] posted to the National Family Literacy list by Barb van Horn; more on welfare reform and its impacts.
To scan archives of these or other lists hosted by the National
Institute for Literacy, (including poverty,
race and listeracy, go to http://www.nifl.gov/lincs/discussions/discussions.html
and click on the list you wish to review. You can also subscribe
and/or unsubscribe to lists from the NIFL website as well.
from the Ohio LIteracy Resource Center's OLRC News, Winter 1998, Volume 3, No. 1. available in PDF at http://literacy.kent.edu/Oasis/Pubs/olrcnews.htm
Julie Strawn from the Center for Law and Social Policy, speaking at the Common Good Institute, shared some of the research on benefits of welfare-to-work programs, including job search programs and academic programs such as GED. Skill development approaches such as GED preparation have often increased employment, earnings, or literacy levels, but not necessarily all three. However, adult education is more expensive and takes longer to get results than job search programs. Research also has shown that the GED shows sustaining benefits in employment and earnings only if participants go on to other training or education.
Programs that have been successful and show higher hourly income for students over a period of five years have some of the following common elements.
The program is individually tailored to meet needs of clients.
The central focus is on employment.
The program has a close relationship with employers.
The program is intensive: at least 30 hours a week.
Close control and follow-up is provided.
Ms. Strawn challenged Common Good participants to rethink adult education and provide basic skills as a part of a larger program that provides job search classes and work experience.
Welfare and Work: Year II Report: A Case Study of the lives of seven
learners - (PDF Format) - written and researched by Janet
Smith, Common Ground Consulting, Brandon, Manitoba. View HTML
The free Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader allows you to view, navigate, and print PDF files across all major computing platforms. To download Acrobat(R) Reader clickhere
Who Find Jobs: What Do We Know About Their Employment and Earnings?
by Sharon Parrott - November 16, 1998. "[F]indings suggest that
recipients who find jobs are likely to have incomes that are inadequate
to meet their families' basic needs. Earnings alone are likely to be
inadequate for families in which the parent has very low skills. For
families, a combination of earnings, cash and in-kind government income
support, and -in the case of single-parents -child support from the
parent will be necessary to make ends meet. Many states have freed-up
due to declining welfare caseloads. The findings described in this
highlight the importance of states using these and other resources to
supports to working families whose income from their earnings alone
them unable to meet their basic needs."
Welfare Reform: What's at Stake for Adult and Vocational Education - Susan Imel 1998, ERIC Trends and Issues Alert
Excellent analysis of the conflicting tensions between meeting learners' needs and satisfying funders demands.
(See also the full list of ERIC digests for related information - vocational education, implications of training vs. education, etc.)
Motivations for Learning: Voices of Women Welfare ReformParticipants
Karen Reed Wikelund (October 1993) documents the experiences of a
of female welfare recipients (who have been required to "go back to
as part of the national welfare reform movement) and identifies
and perceived opportunity structure as motivational keys for
in adult literacy education and training. (Technical Report: TR93-10,
pages) $8.00 To View Document, follow this link,
scroll down the page (which is a list of publications from the National
Center on Adult Literacy), download the document as a PDF file, using
Acrobat reader .
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's new ADVOCASEY
online magazine examines welfare reform policy and experience in
Wisconsin and Canada. Articles describe the process to improve outcomes
for welfare families entering the low-income workforce.
Nutrition Information- Oregon State University Extension. A potentially useful if not entirely unproblematic look at developing materials for diverse audiences addressing nutrition information and education.
The Project for
on Welfare, Work and Domestic Violence - University of Michigan
School of Social Work, a collaborative project of: Taylor Institute
of Michigan Research Center on Poverty, Risk, and Mental Health,
critical examination of who conducts research upon whom, in whose
and towards what end.
Thursday, September 14, 2000 Welfare: Bipartisan Success?
LIZ ACCLES is national coordinator for the Welfare Made A Difference National Campaign, which today launched a public education drive. Accles can arrange interviews with current and former welfare recipients; some of their stories are available on the web page.
FRANCES FOX PIVEN is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Her books include "The Breaking of the American Social Compact." Piven said today: "The welfare rolls are down and politicians, the media, everyone touts the success of welfare reform. But it is really no feat, and no accomplishment, to cut the welfare rolls unless poverty among single mothers and their children is also reduced.... The Congress regularly voted down proposals to systematically monitor the impact of welfare reform on the well-being of families. Wisconsin, the welfare reform pioneer that has slashed its rolls by 68 percent, won't release employers' quarterly reports that tell not only whether recipients got jobs, but how long they kept them. New York City won't open its records to outside researchers. When the Massachusetts welfare department was told that one in three of the people leaving welfare was unemployed, their response was to stop collecting information on why people were leaving the rolls."
GWENDOLYN MINK, Professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz and author of "Welfare's End," Mink said today: "In this campaign year, both Republicans and Democrats are taking credit for reducing the welfare rolls by 46%, and both sides are touting the 'brilliant success' of punitive innovations such as time limits and coerced work outside the home. But between 30 and 50% of families leaving welfare do not have earnings: that's a 30-50 percent unemployment rate among former recipient families. Three years after leaving welfare, the median income even among employed former recipients was only $10,924 -- well below the poverty line* By any measure, these data show that welfare reform has been a disaster for families who need welfare. The hardest hit are women of color and their children: welfare reform has had an unmistakable disparate racial impact. If Al Gore truly means to redistribute the joys and opportunities of prosperity to folks who have been left out, he needs to spearhead a campaign to reform welfare reform. And if he's truly committed to women's rights and racial equality, he must fight to repeal welfare provisions that make poor single mothers a separate and unequal caste."
LINDA BURNHAM, http://www.coloredgirls.org
Director of the Women of Color Resource Center and co-author of the
"Working Hard, Staying Poor: Women and Children in the Wake of Welfare
'Reform,'" Burnham said: „Undoing the damage of welfare 'reform'
the restoration and strengthening of the social safety net for women,
while funding programs that support women all along the path to
self-sufficiency.... Welfare 'reform' compromises the human rights of
women in the United States. United Nations human rights instruments
to the strong link between economic stability and all other human rights."
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020
[The] April 20th Boston Globe front page article, Welfare-to-work: The challenge grows harder should get the attention of welfare reform policy makers (but will it?). The Marriott hotel chain's highly touted corporate welfare-to-work program, in the high employment economy of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, has an 18% graduation/job placement rate and a 0% job retention rate. Nationally, the job retention rate of such Mariott programs -- until now, as these programs begin to face the harder-to-serve majority of welfare clients -- has been 90% after 3 months, 65% after one year. According to Durham County Welfare Director, Dan Hudgins, every Mariottt Research Triangle Park program applicant was selected by Marriott as the "best of the best of the folks still on welfare."
Perhaps as more information like this is brought to legislators'
we can begin to reform Welfare Reform, to introduce actual help into
equation: education, childcare, healthcare, domestic abuse and
abuse counseling, transportation, and other kinds.
From the Providence Journal, Reducing welfare: 'Steady' but slow, progress With the total number of welfare cases dropping just 2 percent since May 1997, the state could soon be penalized for not meeting federal requiements. By CHRISTOPHER ROWLAND Journal State House Bureau, Providence Journal March 5, 1999
From the Providence Journal, Hunger
grows despite strong economy: A statewide hunger survey shows that even
as unemployment decreases, more people need assistance.
Journal Bulletin, 11 March, 1998. A Rhode Island focus on HUNGER 1997.
familiesA Hand Up for the Bottom Third: Toward a New Agenda for Low-Income Working Families - Isabel Sawhill and Adam Thomas, Brookings Institution, May 2001.
Bush Tells Welfare Moms to Work More--How Pro-family Is That? David Corn, The Nation, 02/27/2002
and Mothers in Low-Income Families" 06.26.02 -
presents selected findings from an IWPR analysis of disabilities among
children and mothers in low-income families.
Domestic Violence/Welfare Research: Resources for Researchers - Collaboration in Domestic Violence/Welfare Research , from the University of Michigan School of Social Work Project for Research on Welfare, Work, and Domestic Violence
FAMILY INVOLVEMENT AMONG WORKING FAMILIES - As more parents join the workforce, family involvement in education, including taking civic action to improve public schools, is often constrained by time. A selected bibliography from the FINE Initiative at Harvard Family Research Project examines the relationship between work and the opportunities for family involvement.
on the Edge - Bob Reeg, Christine Grisham, and Annie Shepard :
Despite being almost universally eligible for welfare, many homeless
parents are not receiving needed services, and many aren't even aware that the welfare program exists; from the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Network for Youth
Families Who Left Welfare: Who Are They and What Are They Doing? - An Urban Institute discussion paper finds that the work lives of former welfare recipients are very similar to those of workers at the low end of the pay scale. Because of the similarities among low-income parents who have not received welfare and those who have, the author, Pamela Loprest of The Urban Institute, recommends that programs and policies address the needs of both groups. (fall, 1999).
Geography of low-income families and children (2003) - report from the National Center for Children in Poverty
THE INITIAL IMPACTS
OF WELFARE REFORM on the Economic Well-Being of Single Mother Families
by Wendell Primus, Lynette Rawlings, Kathy Larin, Kathryn Porter, 8/22/99
-- Average Incomes of Very Poor Families Fell During Early Years of
Reform. "A new study finds that the income of some of the nation's
children and families declined in recent years despite strong growth in
the economy, raising questions about the effects of welfare reform."
the Center on Budget and Policy
Policy Action Network - updated postings related to welfare and families from The Electronic Policy Network (EPN). Idea Central is a version EPN's virtual magazine, updated daily with summaries of, and links to, new EPN releases and columns from featured columnists, as well as a broad view of current issues via their NewsFix column. Previous welfare-related postings are described below:
(From EPN News April 1, 1998 - Time Limits and Welfare Reform: How Many Families Will Be Affected?," - estimates of the number and characteristics of welfare recipient families likely to be affected by the 1996 welfare reform legislation's 60-month time limit, and find that around 40% of the current caseload -- some two million families and 3.8 million children -- will hit the 60-month limit on total benefit receipt .
Women Struggle to Make It on Housemaid's Wages - from a talk given by Barbara Ehrenreich, 05/18/01, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America.
Island Department of Human Services - basic contact information
for the state's DHS.
"The Department of Human Services' primary mission is to provide financial and medical assistance to needy individuals and families in Rhode Island. In the provision of these services, the Department's objective is to assist individuals and families to the maximum extent possible to achieve self-sufficiency, self-care and a strengthening of family life."
Child Weflare resources from the
Center for Law and Social Policy
The Children's Defense Fund - compendium of resources related to children, poverty and possiblities.
Island Kids Count - census data, poverty stats and issues
related to child welfare in the state, through 1997.
Annual KIDS COUNT data updated factbook
RI stats around health, safety, mortality, education and well being; part of the larger RI Kids Count site.
KIDS COUNT data-on-line - KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. KIDS COUNT data is available from an easy to use, powerful online database that allows you to generate custom graphs, maps, ranked lists, and state by state profiles.
Kids Count, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status
of children in the United States. The annual Kids Count Data Book uses
the best available data to measure the educational, social, economic,
physical well-being of children using ten benchmarks: Percent Low
Babies; Infant Mortality Rate; Child Death Rate; Rate of Teen Deaths by
Accident, Homicide, and Suicide; Teen Birth Rate; Juvenile Violent
Arrest Rate; Percent of Teens Who Are High School Dropouts; Percent of
Teens Not Attending School and Not Working; Percent of Children in
and Percent of Families With Children Headed by a Single Parent. The
also funds a nationwide network of state-level Kids Count projects that
provide a more detailed, community-by-community picture of the
When Welfare Works Women from around the country came together to share their experiences with our nation's public welfare system, as part of the Welfare Made a Difference national campaign; they came to speak about what really helps families move out of poverty. Caitlin Johnson reports.
The Welfare Made a Difference Campaign shares personal
of past and present welfare recipients from all regions of the country
and all walks
of life. The campaign's goal is to show the virtues of a supportive and adequate welfare system and the consequences of punitive welfare policies.
How Welfare Makes a Difference - This public education
campaign challenges misconceptions about welfare in preparation for the
upcoming elections -- and reauthorization of the federal welfare reform
act. Do you have any stories about how welfare has helped -- or could
-- families move out of poverty?
Welfare reform and children
page of a four-year study of families and children in Boston,
and San Antonio; the study is based at Johns Hopkins University. The
study, beginning in January, 1999, combines a household survey of 2,800
parents and children, half of them recipients of TANF welfare benefits,
an embedded developmental study of 800 of these families, and an
of a separate but similar group of 170 families.
disabilities, learning disabilities and welfare rights
Welfare to work listserv: from Glenn Young - For those interested in the subject of welfare reform and learning disabilities, there has been a listserv created through NIFL. To sign up, please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org write in the body of the message subscribe nifl-wtwld and your name. Do not write anything in the subject line and do not use any dots or dashes other than between nifl and wtwld. (Click here for more information on listservs).
Welfare Recipients with Disabilities - by Fredrica D. Kramer, The Finance Project.
last updated August 18, 2006
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