3145.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 3:10 PM

Abstract #5150

Understanding the barriers TANF recipients face leaving welfare for work

Rex S. Green, PhD, Jean Norris, DrPH, Anne Driscoll, DrPH, Shanthi Kappagoda, MPH, and Richard Speiglman, D.Crim. Public Health Institute, P.O. Box 1151, Cupertino, CA 95015-1151, 408-255-0671, RSGreen@worldnet.att.net

Effective January 1, 1997, welfare for families with dependent children became time-limited and parents faced work requirements to continue receiving aid for themselves in California, or for entire families in many states. Interviews with 512 TANF recipients in Alameda County California, beginning in October, 1998, focused on the reasons why recipients may be unable to work the minimum number of hours per week, to continue on aid. In February, 2000, a second round of interviews will document changes in the hours recipients are working, as well as in other personal statuses. Using these data 13 barriers to getting and keeping work were defined and compared with the number of hours recipients were working initially. Six of the barriers were health-related: physical health, mental health, substance abuse, family violence, learning disability, and involvement with a new child. When the second wave of data is analyzed, the extent of barriers initially will be compared with more current levels of working. At baseline recipients experiencing five or more broadly defined barriers were less likely to be working; subsequent results may reveal that those recipients are unlikely to become employed, despite receiving services aimed at overcoming their barriers, or that those receiving services they found helpful were more likely to gain employment. Implications for developing targeted social services to address health problems of welfare recipients will be noted.

Learning Objectives: List the major barriers to getting and keeping work; articulate the impacts on welfare recipients of each barrier; and identify the services that recipients need to overcome the health barriers

Keywords: Welfare Reform, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA