At the Front Lines of the Welfare System
A Perspective on the Decline in Welfare Caseloads
Alternative formats available from:
Examines conversations between welfare workers and their clients to understand the implementation of the 1996 welfare reform.
In the late 1990s, welfare caseloads declined sharply after the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children and gave individual states new authority to reform their welfare programs. This book analyzes conversations between welfare workers and their clients in Georgia, Michigan, New York, and Texas in order to show how the changes in policies, processes, institutions, and resources were instrumental in altering the behavior of workers on the front lines. Author Irene Lurie reveals how workers discouraged families from relying on welfare by mandating employment-related activities, operating a rigorous eligibility process for child care, monitoring clients' behavior, and detecting fraud, all of which contributed to declining caseloads.
Irene Lurie is Professor of Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York.