Employment Barriers Facing Welfare Recipients

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Ashley Boothby Phuongloan Vo


By Ashley Boothby, Social Work

Advisor: Phuongloan Vo

Presentation ID: AM_A10

Abstract: The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed how social welfare was provided to needy families. The previous entitlement program Aid to Families with Dependent Children was replaced with a more work mandated program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The new program places time limits on cash benefits and work requirements. The idea of this new program was to transition recipients from welfare to work. However, this program does not appear to take into consideration the multiple barriers people face when attempting to make this transition. This paper identifies the scope of the problem facing welfare recipients that are forced to find employment, reviews previous literature and research surrounding this issue, and describes the methodology that was used to determine what barriers this group is facing. Through a qualitative study of ten welfare recipients currently living in low-income government housing I examined the barriers facing them if they become employed and determined if these barriers are keeping them from actively seeking employment.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- A: Social Justice & Social Well-Being