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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2001): Social Security - Overseas

CAPABILITIES AND EMPLOYABILITY OF UNWED MOTHERS

A.P. Jackson, M. Tienda and C.- C. Huang

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.23 2001, p.327-351

Article examines the role of state welfare in the lives of unwed mothers in the US and asks whether these mothers would be capable of supporting their families without it. Single mothers who are not cohabiting are especially vulnerable to economic hard-ship because they are more likely to encounter multiple barriers to employment then those who cohabit with the baby's father. However most single mothers work in low-income jobs and would be near poor even if they worked full time. Analyses of income portfolios suggest that low-income mothers are quite resourceful in packaging cash and income transfers from a variety of sources to meet their families needs. However, even working single mothers still need state welfare support.

CONCEPTUAL INNOVATION AND PUBLIC POLICY: UNEMPLOYMENT AND PAID LEAVE SCHEMES IN DENMARK

H. Compston and P.K. Madsen

Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 11, 2001, p. 117-132

In 1993 the Danish government introduced paid leave schemes designed to reduce unemployment. These provide for employees to be paid by the state to take leave in order to engage in education or training (education leave), look after their children (parental leave) or pursue self-defined goals (sabbatical leave), while their jobs are filled temporarily by substitutes who would otherwise remain unemployed.

EMPLOYERS QUIT FRENCH SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

R. Graham

Financial Times, June 20th 2001, p.9.

The French employers' federation, Medef, has announced its withdrawal from joint administration with the unions of the country's social security system. Medef objects to the total lack of dialogue between itself and the Socialist government. It takes particular exception to government plans to raid the social security treasury to fund a shortfall in the financing of the compulsory 35 hour working week.

THE MARKETIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY

J. Dixon and M. Hyde (eds)

Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 2001

Social security needs relating to old age, disability, death, sickness , maternity, unemployment, etc may be met by the individual (individual provision) through the purchase of relevant insurance products or by accessing support from family and the community, and/or by the state (statutory provision) either directly, or jointly with the private sector, or by mandating the private sector. In the jurisdictions reviewed in this book, the state has built a public - private partnership to deliver mandatory social security provision, primarily by means of statutory compulsion (the mandatory purchasing of private plans) to complement public provision or through statutory deregulation (permitting mandated private plans to complete with public programmes for market share). Market reform of public social security provision thus seeks to redefine the public - private boundary.

REGULAR AND IRREGULAR EARNINGS OF UNWED FATHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILD SUPPORT

L.M. Rich

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 23, 2001, p. 353-376

Analyses of the Fragile Families study data for a sample of single fathers from seven large US cities shows an average in come of $16,122. A substantial minority of almost 30% also work in the black economy, increasing their income by 23% ($3,293). As a result, estimated total potential child support payments using the Wisconsin guidelines would also rise by 23%.

STATE PAYS JOBLESS TO MOVE

B. Fenton

Daily Telegraph, June 19th 2001, p.11

Three counties in central California have signed up for the More Opportunities for Viable Employment (MOVE) scheme, which offers money to anyone willing to move to areas short of workers.

(See also Guardian, June 20th 2001, p.13)

WELFARE RECIPIENT VIEWS ABOUT CASEWORKERS PERFORMANCE: LESSONS FOR DEVELOPING TANF CASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

S.G. Anderson

Families in Society, vol. 82, 2201, p.165-174

Article presents recipient perspectives about caseworker performance in a pre-TANF welfare reform programme in Michigan. Study participants consistently emphasized three dimensions in evaluating caseworker performance: substantive competence, accessibility and interpersonal relations. Respondents rarely mentioned empowerment, strength building or other casework practices that have been emphasized in social work literature. It is concluded that developing caseworker competence along the basic performance dimensions stressed by respondents may be a prerequisite to the establishment of more substantial helping relationships.

WELFARE REFORM: REFORMING WELFARE OR REFORMING FAMILIES?

L.F. Crowell

Families in Society, vol.82, 2001, p.157-164

Paper presents finding's of a study conducted in Ohio that gathered on JOBS program participants' experiences and perceptions. Also presents results from focus groups and focused interviews that provide a picture of recipients' feeling about being on welfare, finding jobs and understanding of welfare reform. The families in the study had marketable skills and were well motivated. However they faced lack of access to good jobs and stigma associated with being labelled as a welfare recipient.

WELFARE TO WORK: POVERTY IN BRITAIN AND THE US

R. Dickens and D. Ellwood

New Economy, vol.8, 2001, p.98-103

A combination of in-work benefits and cuts to out-of-work benefits has increased employment among low-income groups in the US but this has had a limited effect on poverty. In any country there will always be a sizeable group of people who are not in work, and public policy needs to address poverty among this group through increased benefits.