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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2002): Social Security - Overseas

ARE THEY WORKING? MARKET ORIENTATION AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVE LABOUR-MARKET PROGRAMMES IN IRELAND

P. J. O'Connell

European Sociological Review, vol.18, 2002, p.65-83

Presents a study of the impact of a range of active labour-market programmes (ALMPs) in Ireland. Programmes with strong linkages to the labour market are more likely to improve job prospects than those without.

CAR OWNERSHIP AND WELFARE-TO-WORK

P.M. Ong

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.21, 2002, p.239-252

Study examines the role of car ownership in facilitating employment among state benefit recipients under the current welfare-to-work law in the US. Data from a 1999-2000 survey of public assistance recipients in Los Angeles were analysed. Results showed a significant independent effect of predicted car ownership on likelihood of being employed.

COMMITMENT TO MOTHERING AND PREFERENCE FOR EMPLOYMENT: THE VOICES OF WOMEN ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

J. R. Smith

Journal of Children and Poverty, vol.8, 2002, p.51-66

Study uses qualitative data to examine how welfare dependent mothers view the employment mandate in the 1996 US welfare reform legislation. The data were drawn from individual and group interviews with 14 women on public assistance during the initial phase of their participation in a voluntary welfare-to-work programme. Respondents had strong positive feelings about employment, but believed that they should stay at home with their children until the latter could at least walk and talk. They also had concerns about the availability of suitable childcare.

ENDING WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT: A REFORM STILL IN PROGRESS

D. J. Caraley

Political Science Quarterly, vol.116, 2001/02, p.525-560

Article reflects on the social and political changes that surrounded the repeal of Aid for Families with Dependent Children in the US and its replacement by Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Welfare reform has cut cash assistance rolls by millions and driven many recipients with good skills to get jobs. Given the nature of its funding as block grants to states, it has not saved the federal government any cash assistance money. The job training offered to single mothers to help them off welfare and into work has varied from state to state. As the very high costs of providing support services to help untrained single mothers join and stay in the labour market have become apparent, many states have reduced their provision in this area.

THE FUTURE IN ANTI-POVERTY STRATEGIES

M. A. Shobe

Journal of Children and Poverty, vol.8, 2002, p.35-49

Article examines past and current income and asset-based initiatives in the US designed to increase the well-being of low-income families. It demonstrates that, while income-based anti-poverty initiatives have helped economically vulnerable families to meet their basic needs, they have done little to lift people out of poverty. While current Individual Development Account Programmes are helping low-income adults build assets, little attention has been given to the immediate needs of poor children. Author proposes a modified asset-based policy, Child/Parent IDAs, as an approach to increasing the personal, social and economic well-being of low-income families.

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