Current welfare policies are not effective and they need to be reformed to encourage more people to look for employment. This will help to reduce government expenditure on welfare beneficiaries who are not willing to work hard to in the country. It is necessary to review the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) before implementing any key decisions. We need to have proper mechanisms in place to evaluate all welfare applicants to ascertain if they really need government support to survive. The welfare program will only be temporary to ensure that beneficiaries stop depending on government for their basic needs once they are employed.
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The program will cater mostly for needy families to ensure that they access basic needs before they get jobs to sustain them. Needy applicants who have lost their jobs need assistance from the government to help them take care of their families.1 This policy will also ensure that children from needy families get enrolled in public schools close to their places of residence where they will benefit from scholarships. It will be necessary for administrators of the program to liaise with other state agencies to evaluate priority cases in the country that need welfare funding.
Previous efforts by the government to introduce welfare policies in the country have suffered due to poor coordination between different stakeholders. It has been difficult for government agencies to formulate placement programs to ensure more welfare dependents get employed in different industries.2 It should be noted that some welfare dependents have criminal records and they lack skills which can help them get jobs in the country. This confirms the need for all agencies to cooperate to ensure that capable welfare dependents in the country are employed. This will help to reduce the burden placed on government by the poor, who depend on various welfare programs across the country. In other countries, employers who help the poor to get jobs are given different incentives by their governments. The US government needs to offer local employers, tax cuts and other incentives, to encourage them to employ people from less privileged backgrounds.
Congress, the judiciary and other government agencies need to support new policies which will help to reduce over-dependence on welfare in the country. The PRWORA Act showed that effective policies are needed to make welfare programs suitable for the country’s social needs. It should be noted that there were several concerns raised by former President Reagan’s administration against state welfare. It is necessary to make Congress representatives aware on how the policy is going to work. This will make it easy for them to support it to ensure that welfare programs in the country help to solve different problems which people face.3 The President needs to work with all congress representatives and other federal agencies to ensure that proposed policies are effective. Public expenditure on welfare programs needs to be looked at critically to ensure that government resources are used properly to achieve desired goals.
The government should make all Congress representatives aware on the amount of money which will be spent on welfare in the country.4 This will increase the level of transparency in the process. Judicial systems in many states deal with some of the most deprived Americans. They need to be included in the plan to enable juvenile offenders, domestic abuse victims and drug addicts benefit from social welfare. These groups of people need welfare support to help them get back on their feet to enable them live positively. Juvenile offenders who are orphaned or neglected by their parents need to be given shelter to help them stay away from criminal activities. Correctional facilities should introduce training programs for these offenders to enable them acquire useful skills which will help them get employment after their release. This approach will help to reduce the over-dependence on welfare programs by different people in the country.
Interest groups, political parties and the media have different opinions on this issue. Some welfare lobby groups and anti-poverty campaigners have been vocal on the issue of welfare in the country. They argue that the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) policy needs to be restructured. However, they do not take into consideration that people need to be encouraged to work to make the economy more productive.5 The federal government needs to communicate its stand on the welfare issue to make all citizens aware of the criteria used to select who benefits from this program. This will make it possible for all citizens in the country to understand what the government is planning for needy families and how this will help the whole society.
The government needs to use the media to evaluate people’s opinions on the matter and how it affects them. This will help policy makers to consider the wishes of the majority before formulating any radical policy decisions.6 The media has a lot of influence on public opinion and as such, the government should take steps to ensure that the public is not misinformed by media organizations. Press briefings should be conducted to ensure that all processes involved in initiating this policy change are open to scrutiny.
This will boost public confidence towards the government which will make more citizens in the country to support these policy changes. Political parties have a crucial role to play before these policy changes are implemented. 7Therefore, an inter-party caucus should be organized to make all political leaders aware of the policy changes which are about to be implemented and how they will affect the country. Congress and senate members are influenced by their political parties and this determines whether they support or oppose different forms of legislation.
There are several approaches which can be used to make all interested groups see the benefits of these reforms. Congress representatives should be made aware that this policy targets families who are deprived and need welfare to help them get their basic needs. However, some Congress representatives may interject and claim that this welfare program may set a bad precedent by making some citizens not to search for meaningful employment. The judicial system needs to be made aware of the need to give juvenile offenders and addicts important skills to make them suitable for the labor market.8 However, this may prove to be a challenge because some correctional institutions do not receive adequate funding from their state authorities which makes it difficult for them to implement crucial reform programs.
State governments should be involved in all plans to implement this policy. This will make it easy for the government to plan programs that make a difference in the society. However, it is necessary for the government to plan how this welfare program is going to be implemented. Some states are unable to raise required amounts of resources to finance different projects within their jurisdictions. Therefore, they may be inclined to oppose these policy recommendations because they have other priority projects which require funding.9 It is necessary for the government to encourage them to support this welfare program to ensure poor families are not subjected to suffering. The federal government needs to fund a large portion of this welfare program to ensure state governments do not incur debts during its implementation.
The inclusion of state government administrators in the formulation of this policy will make it possible for the government to understand key issues that need to be addressed. It is necessary for the federal government to involve other government stakeholders in making crucial decisions which determine how this welfare program will be run.10 State administrators are in a better position to educate the masses on the importance of this policy and how it is going to impact on the lives of all people in the country. This will help the federal government to evaluate the level of support this program is likely to get in different states across the country. This will also help the government to understand how resources need to be allocated in different states, to fund welfare initiatives meant to improve living standards in the country.
In conclusion, this welfare policy will have a lot of benefits in the country. It will help to reduce social problems which are associated with disintegration of families and poverty. This program will make it possible for the government to partner with employers to create more job opportunities for people who are shunned by the society. This policy needs all the support it can get to ensure all families in the country are able to access basic amenities.
Clinton, Bill. “How We Ended Welfare, Together.” New York Times (New York, NY), 2006. Web.
Danzinger, Sheldon. “Welfare Reform Policy From Nixon to Clinton: What Role for Social Science?” Presentation at the Social Sciences and Policy Making Conference, University of Michigan, March 13-14, 1998.
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Ehrenreich, Barbara A Step Back to the Workhouse?. New York: NYU Press, 2003.
Lurie, Irene. A Lesson From the JOBS Program: Reforming Welfare Must be Both Dazzling and Dull. Journal of Economic Literature, 30 (1996): 572-586.
Matthews, Dylan. “Is Obama Gutting Welfare Reform?” Washington Post (Washington, DC), 2012. Web.
Midgley, James. “The United States: Welfare, Work, and Development”. International Journal of Social Welfare 10, No. 4 (2001): 284–293.
Nightingale, Demetra and Robert H. Haveman. The Work Alternative: Welfare Reform and the Realities of the Job Market. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, 1995.
Piven, Frances Fox. The Breaking of the American Social Compact. New York: New Press, 1998.
Ricucci, Norma M. How Management Matters: Street Level Bureaucrats and Welfare Reform. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005.
Sawicky, Max.”The Mirage of Welfare Reform”. Working USA 6, 3 (2002): 55–69.
- Barbara Ehrenreich, A Step Back to the Workhouse? (New York: NYU Press, 2003): 98.
- Max Sawicky, “The Mirage of Welfare Reform”. Working USA 6, 3 (2002): 59.
- Frances Fox Piven, The Breaking of the American Social Compact (New York: New Press, 1998): 102.
- Demetra Nightingale & Robert H. Haveman, The Work Alternative: Welfare Reform and the Realities of the Job Market (Washington, DC: Urban Insitute Press, 1995): 76.
- Bill Clinton, “How We Ended Welfare, Together”, New York Times (New York, NY), 2006.
- Irene Lurie, “A Lesson From the JOBS Program: Reforming Welfare Must be Both Dazzling and Dull,“ Journal of Economic Literature, 30 (1996): 578.
- Dylan Matthews, “Is Obama Gutting Welfare Reform?”, Washington Post (Washington, DC), 2012).
- Norma M. Ricucci, How Management Matters: Street Level Bureaucrats and Welfare Reform, ( Washington, DC: Georgetown Universty Press, 2005): 86.
- James Midgley, “The United States: Welfare, Work, and Development”. International Journal of Social Welfare 10, No. 4 (2001): 289.
- Sheldon Danzinger, “Welfare Reform Policy From Nixon to Clinton: What Role for Social Science?” (presentation at the Social Sciences and Policy Making Conference, University of Michigan, March 13-14, 1998): 15.