Welfare to Work:

Participants' Characteristics and Services Provided in JOBS

HEHS-95-93: Published: May 2, 1995. Publicly Released: May 2, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program (JOBS), focusing on: (1) who is being served by JOBS; (2) the services JOBS participants receive and the extent to which their needs are being met; and (3) the implications of serving participants in a time-limited benefit system.

GAO found that: (1) most adult Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients do not participate in JOBS due to the Family Support Act's allowable exemptions and minimum participation standards; (2) JOBS only served about 13 percent of single female-headed households receiving AFDC in 1992; (3) even if states meet the minimum participation standard, JOBS will still be serving only a small percentage of AFDC households, which raises questions about whether JOBS can transform the culture of welfare; (4) JOBS services are drawn from existing community programs to avoid duplicative services; (5) JOBS programs obtain many services at no cost, although most programs also purchase some needed education and training services; (6) despite low participation, many JOBS programs are unable to provide participants with the services they need due to a variety of reasons, such as transportation problems; and (7) proposed legislation could require states to place increasing numbers of JOBS participants in a variety of work-related activities over time and impose a 5-year limit on the receipt of benefits.

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