Welfare Special Report
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The following are links to major stories on the changing face of welfare from The Washington Post.

Overviews | Post D.C. Series | From the States | The Legislation


Most Find Jobs After Leaving Welfare
May 27, 1999
Nearly three years after the enactment of federal welfare reform, between 61 percent and 87 percent of adults leaving public assistance have gotten jobs, a far higher number than previously reported.

Tough Steps Credited for Welfare Dip
May 10, 1999
A new study by the conservative Heritage Foundation concludes that the sharp decline in the number of families on the rolls is due almost entirely to tough state policies enacted as part of national welfare reform legislation.

Clinton Touts Decline in Welfare Rolls
April 11, 1999
President Clinton yesterday hailed a continuing decline in the number of welfare recipients – at their lowest level in 30 years – and announced new regulations intended to give states more flexibility in moving people off welfare.

Senate's Welfare Plan Infuriates Governors
March 13, 1999
Three years ago, Congress made a deal with the states: The governors would assume responsibility for administering welfare, and the federal government would pay $16.4 billion a year for it. But the Senate is proposing to renege on the deal, and the governors are furious.

Clinton to Propose More Welfare-to-Work Funding
January 19, 1999
President Clinton will propose a $1 billion expansion of the federal government's efforts to help about 200,000 welfare families get jobs.

Court Weighs Welfare Limit for Newcomers
January 14, 1999
The Supreme Court heard arguments on whether a state can limit the amount of public assistance it gives newly arrived residents in a case that offers the first major high court test of the nation's welfare reform law adopted two years ago.

The Welfare Alarm That Didn't Go Off
October 1, 1998
The first significant time limits on welfare benefits are expiring in 14 states, but only a fraction of recipients will lose their assistance because states believe they can afford to give those recipients still on the rolls a break.

Welfare Reform 'Surplus' Is $4.7 Billion
September 8, 1998
Welfare reform has generated a $4.7 billion windfall for the states, an unexpected pile of cash that some governors are diverting to new priorities.

States' Welfare Shift: Stop It Before It Starts
August 12, 1998
In nearly three dozen states across the country, welfare officials are working vigorously to prevent families from ever getting on the rolls, a little-noticed shift in policy that is helping to fuel a historic decline in the number of Americans receiving assistance.

States' Welfare Data in Disarray
April 13, 1998
Eighteen months after federal lawmakers dramatically changed the nation's welfare program, it is becoming clear that the mass of data the government requires states to collect is in such disarray that it is impossible to determine whether the law is working.

Sanctions Fuel Drop in Welfare Rolls
March 23, 1998
Close scrutiny of state and federal records shows that tens of thousands of families are being forced off welfare as punishment for not complying with tough new rules.

Spending Per Recipient Has Risen Since Enactment of Welfare Reform
February 7, 1998
The federal government has reported that states on average have spent more per welfare recipient than they did before welfare reform and that 22 states have spent more than the 1996 welfare law required.

Trading Textbooks For Jobs
December 28, 1997
Stringent new welfare rules are prompting thousands of college students nationwide to trade their books for low-paying jobs, according to welfare advocates and educators.

Children of Welfare Parents Feel Reform's Help, Hurt
December 27, 1997
The new welfare law was passed in the name of children. Taken together, the experiences of hundreds of children in Lawrence, Mass., add up to this: New welfare rules have exacerbated the problems of families whose lives were already chaotic. And they have magnified the strengths of those who were strongly motivated and able to take advantage of new programs.

Review Ordered on Cutoff of Disability Aid to Children
December 18, 1997
The Clinton administration has ordered a widespread review into whether tens of thousands of low-income disabled children have been denied federal assistance improperly.

Welfare Clients Already Work, Off the Books
November 3, 1997
State officials say that many welfare mothers are already working they're just not telling their caseworkers, for fear their welfare benefits will be cut.

Welfare Reform Still on a Roll as States Bounce It Down to Counties
August 29, 1997
Lawmakers around the country are passing down new responsibilities for the poor from the governors' offices to counties and other local jurisdictions.

Strict Rules, Hard Choices in Wisconsin
August 26, 1997
Wisconsin's radical set of welfare changes mean "job ready" recipients will lose benefits. Welfare workers are sifting through caseloads to determine how each case will fit into a new system of revamped philosophies and work incentives.

Though Welfare Rolls Are Down, True Test of Reform Is Just Starting, Experts Say
August 22, 1997
More than 1 million Americans have left the welfare rolls in the past year. But now, states must reach deeper into the ranks of those with long-term welfare dependency to comply with the new requirements.

Welfare Rolls Continue Sharp Decline
August 13, 1997
The Clinton administration released figures showing public assistance rolls continuing to decline sharply with the percentage of people on welfare at its lowest level since 1970.

Clinton Offers Governors Advice for Spending Welfare Windfall
July 29, 1997
President Clinton warned the nation's governors not to divert the savings from plummeting welfare rolls to other programs and urged them instead to use it to help the poor find work.

In Welfare Decisions, One Size No Longer Fits All
June 30, 1997
Dispensing checks without reference to a recipient's personal circumstances is no longer acceptable across the nation. So caseworkers are being given enormous discretion. Are they up to the task?

A Job Program Tries to Tackle the Intangibles
June 16, 1997
As a new federal law ejects millions of welfare recipients into the world of work, the question arises: Is it really a lack of job skills and opportunity that keeps many welfare recipients from finding work, or something more intangible – something like attitude?

Doing the Math on the Welfare 'Family Cap'
March 30, 1997
The "family cap" aims to sever the link between money and babies.

Welfare Reform in D.C.: A Series from The Post

Two Women, Two Responses to Change
December 15, 1996
In homes two blocks apart on East Capitol Street, two women now lead very different lives. Their struggles and their logic have something to teach people on the federal end of their street, beginning with this: Making welfare reform work will take more than individual gumption in isolated ghettoes.

Reaching Up for the Bottom Rung
February 23, 1997
In the basement classroom where Goodwill Industries holds janitor class, the ethos of the working world collides hard with the ethos of street and defeat.

On Front Lines, a Struggle at Work
June 9, 1997
Many welfare caseworkers in the city government took their jobs to be protectors of the poor. Now they confront daily what the law's architects have been generally spared: the human face of theoretical social engineering.

Most D.C. Day-Care Centers Have Expired Licenses
October 6, 1997
Overcrowding, infestation by roaches and rats, inadequate adult supervision, filthy cots and kitchens: All are part of the landscape of D.C. day care. It's a problem that clouds the local forecast for welfare reform

Painful Choices: One Woman's Fight to Stay Off Welfare
October 19, 1997
Denise Jordan achieved what the federal government would consider a social policy triumph: She got off welfare, stayed off, and inched up the socioeconomic ladder. Just in time to see her own teenage daughter stumble back down.

After Welfare, a New Dream, a Constant Struggle
December 21, 1997
A year after she left welfare, Elizabeth Jones, 28, lives a truth many lawmakers have thus far sidestepped. The hard part isn't getting a job. It's keeping it. This fall, as she risks her children's well-being to keep working, as she dreams of being a D.C. police officer, her handhold on the socioeconomic ladder threatens to give way.

From the States

Faring So-So After Leaving Welfare
October 11, 1998
Three years after Virginia chose the gentle hills of the Blue Ridge as the starting point for one of the nation's first welfare-to-work programs, about 40 families here have now been cut off from government aid.

Welfare Reform Success Cited in L.A.
August 20, 1998
Independent researchers have found the first solid evidence that welfare reform is beginning to work in the nation's largest cities.

Two-Year Welfare Limit Takes Effect in N.Va.
April 19, 1998
More than 450 Northern Virginia families are being pushed off cash assistance during the next six months, the result of the Virginia legislature's 1995 decision to put welfare recipients to work and to impose a two-year limit on cash benefits.

Many on Welfare in Delaware Failed to Meet Reform Rules
January 6, 1998
Nearly half of the families subject to one of the nation's earliest welfare reform efforts failed to meet the law's requirements and were penalized financially, according to social scientists who evaluated the plan.

Welfare-to-Work May Fall Short for Most in Va.
November 22, 1997
Most of the first 40 families that Virginia pushed off welfare and into jobs seem destined to fall back into poverty when special benefits they received during the transition run out next year, according to a legislative report.

A Homespun Safety Net
October 8, 1997
By opening up to its poorest families, then closing ranks around them, Ottawa County in Michigan has come closer than any community in America to the implicit goal of the national welfare overhaul put in place last year. Every able-bodied welfare recipient here has found a job.

Anne Arundel's Model Efforts
September 28, 1997
The effort to transform the downtrodden into business owners is one of the innovative ways in which Anne Arundel County in Maryland is trying to comply with the federal mandate to move people off welfare.

States Face Day of Reckoning on Welfare
September 15, 1997
After a year of basking in public acclaim for dramatically reducing the nation's public assistance rolls, many states will fail the first official test of their welfare reform programs on Oct. 1.

New Jersey Officials Say Birth Rate Drop Not Linked to Welfare Benefits Cap
September 12, 1997
State officials say a large decline in the birth rate among New Jersey's welfare families cannot be attributed to its "family cap" policy.

Welfare Reform in Minnesota Reduces Poverty
August 28, 1997
A study supports Minnesota's tactic of focusing not just on work but on getting people out of poverty, even if it is more costly.

Hawaii's Welfare Rolls Buck National Trend, Swell by 36 Percent
August 27, 1997
Why, in the midst of an unprecedented national drop in public assistance caseloads, has Hawaii remained a stubborn exception?

New York's Workfare Picks Up City and Lifts Mayor's Image
August 13, 1997
Ever since Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani expanded the minuscule program known as workfare into a monumental work force the size of Nordstrom's, the city has been getting cleaner, the mayor more popular, and the typical resident more satisfied with city services.

Room for Working Poor in Welfare's New Deal?
March 15, 1997
Work requirements created by the welfare reform bill are leading to tense situations between workers, employers and government agencies.

Clinton Orders Welfare Hiring by U.S. Agencies
March 9, 1997
President Clinton directed the heads of all federal agencies and departments to take steps within a month to hire welfare recipients.

Welfare Reform Incorporated: Social Policy Going Private
March 7, 1997
As states begin remaking their welfare programs, several are turning over whole sections of their bureaucracies to private industry.

Efforts to Move Poor From Welfare to Work Going Slowly in Area
March 6, 1997
Despite the exhortations and the promise of tax breaks, the efforts of the Washington area's business community to recruit and hire workers off welfare so far have moved at a glacial pace.

The Legislation

Clinton Signs Welfare Bill Amid Division
August 23, 1996
President Clinton signed historic welfare legislation, ending the federal guarantee of cash assistance to the poor and turning welfare programs over to the states.

President Seeks Balm for Anger Over Welfare Bill
August 22, 1996
President Clinton is considering how to soften the welfare bill's impact in light of opposition from several key Democratic constituencies.

Clinton to Sign Bill Overhauling Welfare
August 1, 1996
President Clinton announced that he will sign into law the most radical overhaul in 60 years of the way the nation gives help to the poor.

After 60 Years, a Basic Shift in Philosophy
August 1, 1996
The legislation will create a fundamentally new framework for running welfare. Clearly, it will be a much tougher system.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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