Topic: Tackling Poverty and Dependency: Restructuring the Federal Public Assistance System to achieve a more substantial outcome I.Introduction. How can the historical perspective on welfare reform provide insight concerning the problems of poverty and welfare dependency? a.We can use the historical perspective of the welfare state to seek understanding in combating poverty and exclusion, asking ourselves “How do we implement more effective policies in reducing poverty, and give them the priority they need?” b. Poverty is viewed as both a negative personal and social condition—labeling the poor as “deserving” and “non-deserving.” c.The policy Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) was created for widowed, white women with dependents—“deserving” d.The policy changed to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the demographics shifted to predominately women of color, inner-city residents, and a substantial portion of them were never married. e.Growth in poverty, increased welfare enrollment, public conflict, racism sparked a change in policy II.What are the implications and problems of the new welfare reform—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program? a.What is the focus of the new welfare policy?
i.Changes in social policy: time limits, transitional benefits, state flexibility to create programs ii.Welfare-to-work. Activate the initial transition into employment, leaving individual initiative and market forces to drive subsequent market mobility; 2 problems: This concept 1.Implies that skills training to sustain employment is not of value 2.Either remove the administrator from the “problem,” and/or places the “problem” in an unstable environment 3.Primary policy goal: self-sufficiency
a.What is self-sufficiency and how is it viewed in a free-market economic society? b.A Better Way. How do we equip low-resource families with the necessary tools to make a smooth transition into the work, be successful at their jobs, and balance work and family? Thesis: Delivering a complete framework of service to better equip these families with the necessary tools to make a smooth transition into work, be successful at their jobs, balance work and family life, while moving toward a self-sufficient lifestyle. III.Changing the Perspective of Self-Sufficiency.
a.This economic view of personhood implies that economic self-sufficiency is a relative and easy condition for human beings; and one is considered inadequate and frowned upon if this condition is not fulfilled b.The concept of self-sufficiency should be redefined with an ecology-of-work perspective—the relationship between human beings and their total environment—which will shift self-sufficiency and the problem of work life to the point of view of the worker. IV.A More Active Approach
a.Needs of the People. More focus is needed in equipping participants with the necessary tools to survive and make the transition into the labor market. i.Welfare families have more barriers and/or challenges to employment than non-recipients b.Integrating Services
i.Understanding the initial needs and abilities of single parents who are making the welfare-to-work transition is a critical step in the development of community supports that will aid in the transition. ii.Possible partnerships could be formed with non-profit and for-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and other government agencies to provide training seminars. iii.The federal government should restructure TANF’s policy by utilizing the previous educational and training components within the current “welfare-to-work” model. iv.Each county should be required to research poverty and economic status in their area; and should design programs accordingly. v.The labor market needs to be included in the restructuring ensuring jobs are available for all skill levels (especially low to moderate). vi.Every participant (excluding special needs) should be required to obtain a...