fare them well

tracking what’s changing for welfare, women and children

Rhode Island welfare needs exceed time limits

This month, for many welfare recipients in Rhode Island the time of the year that centers on giving is more about needing.

Nearly half of the state’s 10,755 families receiving cash assistance last year had been on welfare rolls for more than five years, according to data provided by the Department of Human Services. And nearly one quarter of the families had been on cash assistance for more than 10 years.

The problem is, the time limit for receiving aid under the state’s current plan is five years.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services website, the state’s welfare program underwent sweeping changes a decade ago:

  • New Family Independence Program: There is now a five-year, lifetime limit on the receipt of cash benefits for adult members receiving benefits.
  • Old AFDC Program: Cash assistance was considered an entitlement and there was no time limit on the receipt of cash benefits.

Now Governor Donald Carcieri is considering cuts to the New Family Independence Program. According to The Providence Journal, “the governor suggested …on talk radio in recent weeks that he would propose cutting in half, from 60 months to 30 months, the time limit for Rhode Island families receiving cash benefits.”That’s two and a half years.

To show he means business, the Gov. Carcieri cut 483 jobs from the state payroll as of Nov. 16.

Want to speak out on these changes? Click on the “Reach out to Your Representatives” How-To.

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December 3, 2007 Posted by | Politicking | , , , | Leave a comment

In Rochester, Project SAVE aims to push families into work

With a grand amount of grant money, one community in upstate New York is giving families the nudge they need to move off of welfare.

In November, County Executive Maggie Brooks proposed an initiative to get welfare recipients into jobs and children in foster care into permanent placements.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on Nov. 1 reported the local Department of Human Services’ plans to implement Project SAVE.

The department suffered massive layoffs in 2002 when 120 jobs were cut, the paper said.

So, Brooks is hoping to stabilize the department, with the addition of jobs.

Problem is, it will take welfare benefits to do so. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Brooks administration officials say they’ll save money by reducing payments to welfare recipients and foster parents.

Taking from welfare to help welfare.

And those new job recipients will be in charging of corralling more families off of welfare.

The system says it’s in such dire straits, it must make mobile families stuck in a cycle of receiving rather than doing.

Here’s how the initiative breaks down:

  • The Department of Human Services will use a $1.3 million state grant to hire 59 new social workers.
  • The grant will cover costs associated with hiring the workers and the equipment they will use. The new staff will fill positions that had been budgeted in prior years but were vacant.
  • Fifty percent of children in foster care return to their immediate families or a relative within six months.
  • The project goal calls for 12,550 temporary public assistance cases per month, on average. That’s a drop of 225 cases from the department’s current count of 12,775.
  • By implementing this program, Monroe County will realize savings of $13.4 million over the next four years due to the reduction in welfare and foster care caseloads at DHS. New strategies will be implemented to allow those needing services that are capable of becoming self-sufficient to become self-sufficient more quickly.

But look closer, for one of these things is not like the others. One goal shows money saved, but a greater loss to local families that most literally don’t make the cut.

November 5, 2007 Posted by | Initiatives, News & Numbers | , , , , | Leave a comment