April 18, 2007
Welfare reform in reverse
SB 6016, "Concerning good cause reasons for failure to participate in WorkFirst program components" has passed the legislature and awaits Mrs. Gregoire's signature. Rep. Bruce Chandler explains this is welfare reform in reverse:
The historic Welfare Reform Act of 1997 requires welfare recipients to engage in certain job search and work activities as an ongoing condition of eligibility. Recipients who become parents may apply for a one-time exemption -- for only one child -- until the child is three months old, then they must begin or resume activities such as parenting skills instruction or job readiness training.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at April 18, 2007
10:23 AM | Email This
Senate Bill 6016 would strip the list of work activities from state law in favor of participation in non-work activities such as alcohol or drug treatment, or parenting education. As passed by the Senate, it would double the exemption from work activities to six months, and remove the one-time, one-child limit. The House amended the bill Wednesday to double the exemption again, to one year.
1. Generally I agree with the basic philosophy of the Workforce Legislation with a few caveats. The biggest problem for working mothers of all types is childcare. There are supply issues for quality childcare of all types. I don't know what the legislation does in terms of childcare assistance or subsidy. The other issue for low-income working mothers is assistance with job-training and education which ulitimately will get them off the welfare cyclical. I haven't looked at stats in a couple of years, but in the past most people cycled on and off welfare using the system for about 18-24 months. At the time that I looked, the system was getting down to the hardcore intractible clients that had learning, education, and hardcore substance abuse issues. I know the conservative mantra is people should be responsible for themselves and I agree. The problem is that so many of the "left behinds" have children. The question is how to provide enough family support so that the children are supported and enough motivation to move some really difficult client populations out of the system without harming their children. Finally, some of these folks will never be stable and the question is what happens to their kids?
I agree with you WVH, but why "dumb" down the system? Why allow the "left behinds" to queer the whole system? I thought it was working.
BTW, we adopted two of the "left behinds" kids and they are thriving. We aren't, but they are. Lots of problems we are working out. I am surprised how difficult it is, as well as the fact the kids do slowly respond and improve. They are even talking college, whereas we thought getting them through high school would be a miracle.
Blessings to you and your family for the adoption. That is part of the solution. But, the current system favors birth parents, no matter how many times they screw up. I believe Serita's law and laws for other children killed by their parents which limit the chances birth parents have and make children available for adoption before they are too damaged are a big part of the solution. As long as some of these folks have custody of children, the solutions are really hard for this left behind group.
4. There are two answers to the problems of welfare mothers. First require & provide birth control of some kind, preferably the Norplant that is good for 5 years. Second, provide good quality, charity & public supported orphanages where the kids have a better chance than they currently have while living with disfunctional, addicted birth parents.
5. Back to business as usual for these lefties, eh? They weren't ever serious about real reform to begin with. This is simply a move to go back to no accountability.
6. watering down the intent of the law. just like releasing felons among us. added freedoms for the lesser contributors trumps the whole of society. i dont mind helping people, but we need more bootstraps to discourage "sitting & taking."
7. Perhaps there is a concurrent effort to get the Dad's to pay more to support their children with this legislation too? I'd think paying for at least 1/2 of day care so that mom can work would be a good start.
8. THis is not going to do anything, but let people have even more of an excuss to remain unemployed. If we do not require work, why would stragglers put forth an effort? I understand sometimes people need help, but not dependancy!