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The Problems that faced The Old AFDC Welfare Program - Essay Example

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The paper “The Problems that faced The Old AFDC Welfare Program” evaluates welfare reforms in the United States, which were first seen to be implemented by Congress and signed by President Clinton back in 1996. The AFDC was seen to have the promotion and advocacy of a number of negative…
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The Problems that faced The Old AFDC Welfare Program
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Download file to see previous pages It was primarily as a result of these negative aspects of the welfare program that there arose the need for the country to implement a raft of welfare reforms. Some of the challenges seen to have been facing the AFDC variously include. I. Breaking up Families: As opposed to the loss of tax payer money that was seen to commonly be associated with the AFDC, the welfare program’s design that seemed to greatly encourage the breaking up of families was as widely perceived to be the biggest tragedy of the AFDC welfare system. One of the main goals of the 1996 legislation was seen to be the general reduction of out-of-wedlock births and increasing marriage (Blank 1153). By offering larger amounts of benefits to single mothers who happen to have children outside of wedlock, the AFDC welfare program was seen to generally encourage single women to largely remain unmarried (Blank 1153). Under the PRWORA welfare reforms, states were now being actively encouraged to try and reduce non-marital births while advocating for marriage. Under the new welfare program, states that were able to successfully reduce out-of-wedlock child bearing without in anyway causing and increase in the abortion rates were subsequently qualified to receive special bonuses(Blank 1106) . II. Disincentives to Work: The question of families opting to choose welfare over work is often perceived to be a rational decision that is essentially based on the available economic incentives. The exact meaning attributed to the term welfare-to-work is seen to substantially vary from state to state. According to Blank (1113), under the old AFDC welfare program, most states during the early 1990s used to engage in a variety of job training and placement programs, however, the new welfare reforms caused most states to shift the focus of their programs to work-first. This change in focus was primarily aimed at attempting to get recipients into a job as soon as was possible. It is thus sen that most programs now tend to emphasize more on a number of narrow job preparation skills such as getting along with colleagues on the job, performing well at interviews, arranging and organizing for child care as well as job search assistance (Blank 1113). One of the more controversial aspects of this shift is that relatively very little money is now being spent on beneficial long-term training for the trainees. It has been argued that these work programs should be designed in a manner that will cause them to increase work incentives by improving the trainees’ employment-related skills as well as the establishment of job search as one of the expected activities that should be engaged in by welfare recipients. It should be noted that a number of states have now implemented programs that have seen them change the existing culture of their public assistance offices and undertaking t reorganize and retrain their staff members such that primary goal is now seen to shift towards encouraging work as opposed to merely providing monthly assistance (Blank 113). Virtually nearly all the different States in the country have now undertaken to engaging in a number of Welfare-to-Work Programs. Since PRWORA was passed, states are now engaged in mandating participation in work preparation and job search assistance among a larger share of their caseloads.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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