Breaking the Cycles Within Welfare Essay

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Breaking the Cycles within Welfare
Jennifer Miller
Elizabethtown College

FS1500 Foundations for Accelerated Learning
Marsha Roscoe
October 20, 2013

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Abstract

The Pennsylvania welfare system is built upon the premise of assisting individuals and families in a temporary time of need. The goal is for the recipient to become self-sustaining beyond the need for public assistance. However, as the welfare system currently operates, there are no practices in place to assist recipients to progress from the welfare system into the mainstream.
The major barriers are ever-increasing levels making it unrealistic to reach self-sufficiency while gaining employment at minimum wage or even slightly higher. The recipient can reap more benefits staying within the system than if they obtain employment. So, what is the incentive?
Welfare reform is where the enablement is achieved. Welfare recipients can break the cycle if given the proper welfare reform tools and resources, such as: 1) employment education and training, 2) a career search tool for available jobs in the marketplace, 3) lowering the standard of the supplemental nutritional assistance program to encourage the recipient to want to work.
Providing the education, the proper nutritional standards and implementing random drug testing create the infrastructure needed to have the system function as it was originally designed; to temporarily assist individuals and families in their time of need.
Keywords: employment education, supplemental nutritional assistance program, random drug testing

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Breaking the Cycles within Welfare
Pennsylvania’s population is 12,640,767 making it the fifth most populous state in the country. Office of Income Maintenance Progress Report. (2010). retrieved October 20, 2013, from http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ucmprd/groups/webcontent/documents/report/p_003047.pdf
Currently, 2,766,182 individuals receive some type of service from a Department of Welfare program. This equates to one person receiving a Department of Welfare benefit for every 2.1 employed person within Pennsylvania. (n.d) from www.dpw.state.pa.us Employment education, nutritional adjustments and random drug testing minimize the dependency cycles and assist in self-sufficiency of our existing welfare program.
Employment Education Should be a Requirement for Any Welfare Recipient of Age and
Good Health
If the Government is handing out free assistance there are people willing to accept it whether they need it or not. Implementing a questionnaire at the beginning of the benefit enrollment will assuage able-bodied people from taking advantage of the system. Results will deter any unnecessary entry into the welfare system. Additionally, it will steer toward resources such as employment education, training and job seeking services. Addressing individuals needs at the forefront will aide in achieving self-sufficiency in the end.
As a requirement to obtain cash assistance or supplemental nutritional assistance applicants must be actively searching for employment.
The mission of the welfare system is to temporarily assist needy families and individuals.
The original concept within that mission is temporarily. However, under the current guidelines there is no incentive and therefore no want for progression into mainstream. The amounts provided toward cash assistance and in supplemental nutritional assistance surpass that of a normal household. In that respect, the current welfare system discourages work and promotes

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long-term dependency. What has become the norm is unacceptable. Conditions must be established in order to receive certain benefits of the welfare system. Cash assistance and/or supplemental nutritional assistance may only be received upon engaging in the employment education, training and jobseeker program. A recipient must show they are…