Implementing Welfare Reform across the Nation

Brief

Implementing Welfare Reform across the Nation

Abstract

The authors examine the implementation of welfare reform based on site visits to 17 cities in 13 states. The analysis finds that many sites initially focused on implementing work-first programs, but broadened their approach over time to include a focus on hard-to-employ families and services for low-income working families. Many of the welfare agencies studied also expanded their message to emphasize employment and the temporary nature of welfare; developed new staffing patterns within the welfare office; forged relationships with workforce development agencies and nonprofit community-based organizations to promote work among welfare clients; and increased the use of performance-based contracting to manage these new relationships.

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