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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2007): Social security - overseas

The development of economic self-sufficiency among former welfare recipients: lessons learned from Wisconsin's welfare to work program

M.V. Alfred and L.G. Martin

International Journal of Training and Development, vol.11, 2007, p.2-20

Through the views of case managers and employers in Wisconsin, this research sought to identify the barriers to economic self-sufficiency found among former welfare recipients and the effectiveness of services available to address these barriers. The study found situational barriers such as lack of access to transport or childcare, education and learning experience barriers, personal issues and disabilities to impede the development of low-income workers. The services found to promote the development of economic self-sufficiency among former welfare recipients were support services, educational programmes, employer intervention services and counselling.

New modes of governance in Italy and the Netherlands: the case of activation policies

V. Borghi and R. van Berkel

Public Administration, vol. 85, 2007, p. 83-101

This article discusses and analyses operational welfare state reforms in Italy and the Netherlands. It aims to illustrate how welfare state reform agendas have become dominated by operational policy issues, using the provision of employment services targeted on benefits claimants as a case study. It shows that many operational reforms have been influenced by new governance principles, such as decentralisation, the involvement of civil society and market actors in policy and service delivery, the introduction of new public management, and the promotion of inclusivity. It goes on to show how the concrete implementation of these new principles of governance takes different forms in the two countries.

State responses to the family formation goals of welfare

C.K. Lawrence

Social Service Review, vol. 81, 2007, p. 129-153

Current welfare policy discussions in the USA emphasise the potential role of marriage and two-parent family formation in alleviating poverty and improving the well-being of children. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 empowered states to develop incentives for the formation of two-parent families within their Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programmes. Using data from a longitudinal study that tracks local implementation of TANF programmes in 17 states, this article analyses the different policy choices that states made under TANF concerning marriage and family formation.

Welfare program performance: an analysis of South Carolina's Family Independence Program

C. Ratcliffe, D.S. Nightingale and P. Sharkey

American Review of Public Administration, vol. 37, 2007, 65-90

This study examines South Carolina counties' welfare-to-work programme across five employment related performance measures: employment rate, employment entry rate, employment retention rate, earnings gain rate and earned income closure rate. Counties' performance in each of these five areas is analysed in terms of both actual and expected performance levels, where the expected level controls for local conditions over which staff have no control, such as demographic characteristics of the caseload and labour market conditions. The analysis indicates that both actual and expected performance levels vary substantially across counties. States may therefore wish to vary counties' goals based on caseload characteristics and economic conditions rather than expecting all to achieve the same level of performance.

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