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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2003): Social Security - Overseas

CHILDREN IN HOMES BELOW POVERTY: CHANGES IN PROGRAM PARTICIPATION SINCE WELFARE REFORM

J. Winicki

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.25, 2003, p.651-668

Study uses US Current Population Survey data to examine changes in the way low-income households combine nutritional and cash assistance programmes. Research focuses on cash assistance, food stamp, free school lunch, and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) use in households below the Federal poverty line. Households increasingly rely on fewer programmes, turning more to low-documentation programmes such as free school lunches and WIC.

DISPLACING MOTHERS FROM WORK AND WELFARE

A. Wessels

International Social Sciences Journal, no. 175, 2003, p.79-88

Article examines the impact of US welfare-to-work and work first policies on poor single mothers. The policies are intended to force welfare-dependent mothers into the workplace to make them economically independent. Author argues that labour market conditions prevalent in the US prevent such women from being both attentive mothers and economic agents. In order to give such mothers equitable access to the labour market, the government needs to enact legislation to mandate family friendly working practices such as paid maternity and child rearing leave, and paid nursing leave and to encourage greater investment in preschool and early education.

MILAN CITY COUNCIL DEVELOPS ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICIES

Anon.

European Industrial Relations Review, issue 353, 2003, p.23-25

Innovative regional employment agreements have been concluded in recent years by Milan City Council and a range of social partners and other local interested parties. Hailed as milestones in terms of local active employment initiatives, these programmes target certain labour market groups, such as immigrants and people over the age of 40.

PATTERN OF FOOD STAMP AND WIC PARTICIPATION UNDER WELFARE REFORM

B.J. Lee, L. Mackey-Bilaver and R.M. Goerge

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.25, 2003, p.589-610

Paper examines changes in the pattern of participation in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) during welfare reform in Illinois, 1990-1998. Finds that food stamp receipt among families with young children declined during the study period, while WIC participation increased. The decrease in FSP participation appears to have been driven by the drop in entries to cash assistance programmes. Evidence suggests that families are turning instead to WIC for essential food items for young children. Service receipt duration also became shorter for both FSP and WIC over the study period, with the change being more noticeable for FSP than WIC.

STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT: AN ANALYSIS OF RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION MECHANISMS BASED ON PANEL DATA AMONG DANISH LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED

C. Albrekt Larsen

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.12, 2003, p.170-181

The theory of structural unemployment due to lack of work incentives in welfare states, lack of educational qualifications and personal demoralisation in the face of long tem joblessness was dominant in the 1990s. Governments responded with a range of activation policies aimed at the unemployed. Article challenges this theory of structural unemployment on the basis of a case study of Denmark. Proposes an alternative business cycle/barrier theory. In the case of Denmark, age discrimination, rather than poor education or previous history of unemployment was the major barrier to work.

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