As an advocate of the Welfare Back to Work program I have been involved in this cause for many years. I keep hearing about welfare reform and how ‘soon’ we will do away with those that are merely taking advantage of the system… but I have yet to see a dramatic change.
I used to be a child care provider and worked with welfare mothers while the state put them back to work. So, I have had a lot of experience with both sides of this program. In this article I will offer the quotes that are the norm for those unwilling to get off of welfare and quotes from those working hard to offer support to help this cause succeed and you can voice your own opinions about the issues and complications.
Welfare Recipients: ‘Why Reform won’t Work’
There are, what is called ‘career recipients’, who openly admit that collecting a check and benefits is a job to them. Then there are others that claim they are trying to get off of welfare but can’t seem to find the right job to do so. These are the hardest people to guide through the transition. Below are the most heard complaints and comments that are voiced in regards to going back to work.
“Some people are meant to work and some aren’t, I just don’t think I have what it takes.”
“Having kids is work, I get paid for getting pregnant and taking care of my kids. This is my job.”
“Why should I work if I don’t have to? I make a good living on child support and state benefits so why would I want to get some minimum wage job that won’t even cover half of the expenses that I am used to?”
“I try to work but the jobs just don’t satisfy me. I can’t find a job I like”
Welfare Reform: Services Provided for All
This program offers a job assessment (provided by the social worker appointed) where the welfare beneficiary is asked what skills they possess, if any, and what type of work they would like to do. Training is then provided at no cost to them and is paid for by our budget. Then after training is complete job placement is then set up and jobs are given ahead of regular applicants to ‘give the welfare beneficiary a chance’. During both the training and employment the budget also pays for a child care provider through the Office of Education so there is again no cost to the recipient.
So, for those working hard, making all of the provisions for this project to be successful it can be very disheartening for them to keep on seeing the same faces time and time again while using more of the valuable resources. Here are some comments by social workers that are desperately looking for a way to make this program succeed.
“I think that there should be a set time for those that get onto welfare. Maybe then they may think of this as a serious issue. Millions upon millions of dollars are handed out to people that do not want to work and that is the sad fact of it. It is really no wonder this country has budget problems.”
“Welfare was originally designed to assist those going through a tough time financially until they got back on their feet. But unfortunately it has been used to replace the job in the home. I definitely think that too many people are taking advantage of the system and won’t quit until they are forced to.”
Which Side do you Support?
How do you weigh in on this issue? Do you lean toward supporting those that can’t or won’t support themselves… or perhaps you stand firm with those trying to balance the scales of the working class? Which ever side you choose to support, this is a real hot topic for any good debate.