10 Page Paper - After more than five years on welfare...

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After more than five years on welfare, Connie Rounds — the divorced mother of two teenagers — went to work as an aide at a residential facility for the elderly in Oregon. It was 1998; she was being paid $6.30 an hour and living below the poverty line. When Rounds' boss required her to work overtime, her income went over the monthly eligibility limit for Medicaid and state health insurance, a major disaster for Rounds, who is in her 40’s and suffers from chronic health problems. Losing health insurance saddled Rounds with more than $3,000 in medical bills, which she must pay from a monthly income that has no room for luxuries. After her old car gave out, Rounds purchased a better used car, which put her over the eligibility limit for food stamps. For several months, Rounds had to choose between buying the daily pain killers that enabled her to work or paying for basic expenses such as car insurance, the electric bill for her trailer, and food. Although her income has gone up $1.60 an hour since she started working, Rounds and her family are no better off financially than when she first left welfare because her increased wages. When anti-poverty program directors heard of Connie Rounds case, they immediately gave her much needed help: job training, temporary financial aid, and public housing. Effective poverty fighting programs that assist those in need and reduce the poverty rate include Welfare-to-Work, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, public housing, and job training. By institutionalizing the Welfare-to-Work program, poverty has significantly decreased. One aspect of this programs focus is based upon work. Specifically, it states that recipients of this program must work a minimum amount of hours each week. According to a report on Facts.com titled “Welfare-to-Work,” “The state of Maryland requires that the heads of welfare-
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recipient families work a minimum of 20 hours per week in exchange for their benefits.” This ensures that the recipients who are being supported by this program are putting forth effort to receive benefits for themselves as well as their families. Further, this ensures close supervising of each and every participant who goes through their program because if a person is not meeting the required minimums, they will no longer be supported. Because these recipients are required to work, they typically work for long periods of time. In fact, Sharon Parrot, Director of the Welfare Reform and Income Support Division for the United States, stated, “Those who find jobs tend to work a substantial number of hours—typically more than 30 hours per week during weeks in which they are employed” (1). By working a fair amount of hours, the program can determine how dedicated a person truly is and if they should maintain to support them. Although work is a very important aspect of the Welfare-to-Work program, there are other parts that contribute to its success. Another aspect of the Welfare-to-Work program is the follow-up.
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Patabit during the Fall '07 term at Michigan State University.

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10 Page Paper - After more than five years on welfare...

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