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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2000): Social Security - Overseas

DEALING WITH THE ELUSIVE WELFARE-TO-WORK ISSUE: THE CASE OF POVERTY TRAPS IN ISRAEL

J. Gal and A. Doron

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 34, 2000, p. 253-273

The Israeli income support programme includes both liberal disregards, that seek to encourage the movement from welfare to work, and a severe income ceiling which creates barriers that effectively hinder this movement. Due to this income ceiling, the disregards lose much of their impact and very potent poverty traps emerge, thereby creating work disincentives that encourage people to stay on welfare rather than to seek work.

DETERMINANTS OF INITIAL ENTRY ONTO WELFARE BY YOUNG WOMEN

M. Klawitter, R. D. Plotnick an M. E. Edwards

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 19, 2000, p. 527-546

Uses data from the youngest cohorts of women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to construct Aid to Families with Department Children histories starting at age 15. These histories are used to estimate models of the determinants of initial use of AFDC. Benefit levels do not seem to affect participation, but the presence of a programme for medically needy families not on welfare appears to decrease entry onto welfare for some groups. Parental poverty, family structure, academic achievement, attitudes towards school and race are significantly related to the likelihood of participating in AFDC and the rate of entry.

REDUCING WELFARE BENEFITS: CONSEQUENCES FOR ADEQUACY OF AND ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS

V. Albert

Social Work, vol. 45, 2000, p. 300-311

During the past 20 years most states in the US have failed to increase welfare benefits in line with inflation. Article demonstrates the consequences of lowering benefit levels for eligibility for welfare. It is likely that under TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), because of lower welfare benefits, families will become eligible for welfare at much lower earnings levels than they would have before TANF became effective. Reducing welfare benefit levels can also create work disincentives. The effects of welfare benefit reductions can be mitigated by 1) maintenance of the Food Stamp Program and 2) assigning minimum benefits levels to which states must adhere.

SELLING THE UNEMPLOYED: THE PERFORMANCE OF BUREAUCRACIES, FIRMS AND NON-PROFITS IN THE NEW AUSTRALIAN "MARKET" FOR UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

M. Considine

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 34, 2000, p. 274-295

Forms of selective, individualised welfare assistance delivered through quasi-markets are a defining characteristic of the New Welfare State model emerging in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA. They propose better financial results for government and outcomes which better meet the needs of individual clients. The use of multiple agencies in theory offers a greater prospect of service innovation as the many independent contractors strive to earn higher returns as a result of superior placement strategies. However, these reforms also suggest new forms of exclusion and bias as agencies seek to work only with those clients who can deliver them profits.

TEENAGE PARENTS AND WELFARE REFORM: FINDINGS OF A SURVEY OF TEENAGERS AFFECTED BY LIVING REQUIREMENTS

M. E. Collins, J. W. Stevens and T. S. Lane

Social Work, vol. 45, 2000, p. 327-337

Presents an evaluation of the Teen Living Programs developed by the State of Massachusetts. These offer alternative living arrangements for teenage parents receiving welfare who are unable to live with family members. Programme outcomes relating to health, education and TAFC receipt appear to be most positive, whereas those relating to employment and income, housing, pregnancy and violence are more disappointing.

UNDERSTANDING A WORK-FAMILY FIT FOR SINGLE PARENTS MOVING FROM WELFARE TO WORK

K. DeBoard, R. F. Canu and J. Kerpelman

Social Work, vol. 45, 2000, p. 313-324

Reports results of a telephone survey in which 30 recently hired welfare recipients described the factors that were needed to help them make a smooth transition into work. These include social support, access to transportation, reliable childcare, and education and job skill development.

UNEMPLOYMENT REFORM DIVIDES SOCIAL PARTNERS

Anon.

European Industrial Relations Review, no. 320, 2000, p. 23-25

Reports on the rejection by the French government of proposals by the social partners to reform the UNEDIC unemployment insurance scheme by introducing a back-to-work plan.

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