Current AFDC Work Programs and Implications for Federal Policy

T-HRD-87-9: Published: Feb 23, 1987. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1987.

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GAO discussed work programs for Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC) beneficiaries. GAO noted that: (1) its audit work focused on state-administered work incentive programs; (2) AFDC work programs served only about 22 percent of AFDC recipients in 1985; (3) an unknown proportion of work incentive participants received no services other than orientation or assessment; (4) current work programs underserve women with children under 6 years of age, and recipients who need education or training to obtain jobs; (5) most states are spreading AFDC resources thinly to serve the largest possible population, rather than providing more intensive services to fewer recipients; (6) states relied on other sources of funding to provide such support services as child care, transportation, or counseling; and (7) overall, work programs appear to exclude those recipients most in need of assistance. GAO believes that: (1) while a number of federal and state agencies administer the regular Work Incentive Program, only the Department of Health and Human Services and state welfare agencies administer the demonstration projects that it studied; (2) the administrative division results in duplication and inefficiency and adversely affects work programs; (3) the different work programs receive disparate federal funding; and (4) states vary greatly in their dependence on federal funding.

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