European Journal of Social Work, vol.14, 2011, p. 339-361
Policy research identifies two main models of activation of social assistance claimants: labour market attachment (with a focus on quick job entry) and human resource development (with a focus on upskilling claimants). This paper examines the practice of activation in social work with social assistance claimants and variations across municipalities. Social workers were interviewed retrospectively about activation over a year in a random sample of 372 claimants' cases. Findings suggest that the extent of activation varies significantly across municipalities, from 20% to 60%. There was no distinct alignment with either the labour market attachment or the human resources development model. Participation in most activation programmes was obligatory and claimants faced sanctions for non-cooperation.
In 1999 the US Congress set up the Ticket to Work programme, which aimed to help disabled people claiming Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to obtain paid work. The programme provided beneficiaries with vouchers which could be used to purchase employment services from a range of providers. The articles in this special issue draw on the 2010 evaluation of the Ticket to Work scheme and provide in-depth information about SSI and DI claimants' work aspirations, the challenges they face in achieving their employment goals, and the varying degrees of success they have attained. They explore the basic premise of the Ticket to Work programme, that claimants are seeking work but need help and support, the challenges that claimants face in reducing their dependence on welfare, and the variation in claimant employment statistics observed across states and over time.
Working Brief, Summer 2011, p. 25-27
This article looks at what the UK can learn from the Seedco model for helping hard to reach unemployed people to find work in disadvantaged communities. Seedco acts as an intermediary supporting small community-based organisations which offer hard-to-serve populations accessible, culturally appropriate job training, placement and retention services. It has also developed relationships with local employers, seeking to understand which sectors are likely to grow and what skills jobseekers require to succeed in them.