NLA Discussion: Welfare Reform in Wyoming
David J Rosen
DJRosen at world.std.com
Fri Feb 27 07:39:33 EST 1998
Here's some heartening news on Welfare Reform in Wyoming.
Today's Boston Globe (you can see the whole article online
today and possibly still on Saturday at http://www.boston.com/globe/ )
has a front page article on how Wyoming has cut its welfare roles
by "putting some heart into welfare reform."
1) Wyoming's welfare caseloads dropped 65% last year, the
nation's biggest drop;
2) 2/3 of the families leaving welfare are getting jobs, even
though Wyoming's economy is behind the rest of the country;
3) according to the writer of the article, Michael Grunwald, the
reason may be a "unique small-town approach" where people
help each other to find jobs "at their own pace, with support
instead of threats, flexible guidelines rather than rigid rules;"
4) By comparison, my state of Massachusetts with its harsh
approach "widely viewed as a triumph of tough-minded
welfare reform" has four times the percentage of people on
5) Wyoming doesn't have workfare. As long as people keep trying to
find a job they can keep their benefits until they hit the federal
5-year lifetime limit.
6) Individual plans for welfare clients routinely include job
searches, basic skills classes, parenting aid, battered women's
groups and shelter, psychological and vocational counseling,
job skills training, substance abuse treatment, stress reduction
classes, time management, and rides to job interviews.
7) The ratio of caseworkers to clients is 1:14. (In Massachusetts
it is 1:120)
David J. Rosen
<DJRosen at world.std.com>
More information about the Nla-nifl-archive