Welfare to Work: A New Response to Poverty

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Professor's Comments: This student has done an outstanding job of fulfilling the requirements of the assignment in his analysis of the Welfare to Work Program. Abstract: This study defines poverty, explains its causes and consequences on various systems, and traces our governmental response to this problem from the New Deal efforts to the present system of welfare. Drawing from recent literature to examine specifically the efficacy of TANF’s welfare to work (WtW) initiative, this writer focuses on the following: (1) on the target population, single mothers and children, and (2) on how this initiative is affecting both this group and the overall problem of poverty. Also included are a discussion of the historical and contemporary issues regarding this initiative as well as implications for social work policy and practice. Welfare to Work under TANF: A New Generation of Responses to Poverty Existing in all cultures and affecting people from many walks of life, especially single mothers and children, poverty does not discriminate. What is poverty, then? Is it simply a condition, or does it create conditions that reach far beyond a simple social issue? In order to understand these questions, one must begin with basic definitions. Poverty is technically broken into two categories – absolute poverty and relative poverty. Absolute poverty exists when a family cannot provide for its basic needs – which include nutrition, clothing, and shelter. A measurement for this category is the poverty line, a calculation that is based on three times the amount of a family’s normal food budget. On the other hand, relative poverty measures economic status and compares it between families within the same geographical locus (Ka... ... middle of paper ... ...y Longman, Inc. Egendorf, L. K. (1999). Poverty: Opposing viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press. Evaluating Welfare Reform (1999, June 1). Retrieved from http://speakout.com. Karger, H. J. & Stoesz, D. (1998). American social welfare policy: A pluralist approach (3rd ed.). New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Reichert, D. (1998, July). TANF appropriations in state legislatures. National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/statefed/welfare/moememo.htm. Segal, E. & Brzuzy, S. (1998). Social welfare policy, programs, and practice. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peackock Publishers, Inc. Trattner, W. (1999). From poor law to welfare state: A history of social welfare in America (6th ed.). New York: The Free Press. Vallianatos, C. (2001, October). Child support, cohabitating families studied. NASW News, 46(9), 12.

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