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Full text of "Family Support Act of 1988 : hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, March 15, 1994"

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Y 4. W 36: 103-68 

Fanily Support Act of 1988, Serial... 








MARCH 15, 1994 

Serial 103-68 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Ways and Means 

AUG 1 f , 994 

79-657 CC WASHINGTON : 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-044470-5 


I. W 36: 103-6B 

lg Support Act of 1988, Serial... 








MARCH 15, 1994 

Serial 103-68 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Ways and Means 

m i j m 

79-657 CC WASHINGTON : 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-044470-5 

DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, Illinois, Chairman 

SAM M. GIBBONS, Florida 
J.J. PICKLE, Texas 
ANDY JACOBS, Jr., Indiana 
HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee 
ROBERT T MATSUI, California 
WILLIAM J. COYNE, Pennsylvania 
SANDER M. LEVIN, Michigan 
JIM McDERMOTT, Washington 
JOHN LEWIS, Georgia 
L.F. PAYNE, Virginia 
RICHARD E. NEAL, Massachusetts 

PHILIP M. CRANE, Illinois 
BILL THOMAS, California 
E. CLAY SHAW, Jr., Florida 
NANCY L. JOHNSON, Connecticut 
JIM BUNNING, Kentucky 
WALLY HERGER, California 
JIM McCRERY, Louisiana 
MEL HANCOCK, Missouri 
RICK SANTORUM, Pennsylvania 
DAVE CAMP, Michigan 

JANICE Mays, Chief Counsel and Staff Director 
PHILLIP D. MOSELEY, Minority Chief of Staff 

Subcommittee on Human Resources 

HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee, Chairman 

ROBERT T. MATSUI, California, 
JIM McDERMOTT, Washington 
SANDER M. LEVIN, Michigan 

RICK SANTORUM, Pennsylvania 
E. CLAY SHAW, JR., Florida 
DAVE CAMP, Michigan 




Press release of Wednesday, March 2, 1994, announcing the hearing 2 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hon. Mary Jo Bane, Ph.D., 

Assistant Secretary for Children and Families 7 

Amerian Public Welfare Association, Larry D. Jackson 21 

Center for Law and Social Policy, Mark Greenberg 46 

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Barbara A. Paulin 134 

Hawaii Department of Human Services, Garry L. Kemp 103 

Haynes, Margaret Campbell, American Bar Association Child Support 

Project 159 

Lurie, Irene, Rockefeller Institute of Government, State University of New 

York at Albany 28 

Manpower Demonstration Research Corp.: 

Gordon L. Berlin 148 

Judith M. Gueron 35 

North Carolina Department of Human Resources, Mary K. Deyampert 88 

Riverside County, Calif., Department of Public Social Services, Lawrence 

E. Townsend, Jr 115 

Tennessee Department of Human Services, Wanda W. Moore 76 

Williams, Robert G., Policy Studies Inc 170 


American Fathers Coalition, Bill Harrington, letter and attachments 185 

Parents for Justice, Concord, N.H., Sara Dustin, statement 195 



TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 1994 

House of Representatives, 
Committee on Ways and Means, 
Subcommittee on Human Resources, 

Washington, D.C. 
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:14 a.m., in room 
B-318, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Harold E. Ford (chair- 
man of the subcommittee) presiding. 

[The press release announcing the hearing follows:] 




TELEPHONE: (202) 225-1025 






The Honorable Harold E. Ford (D. , Tenn.), Chairman, 
Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Ways and Means, 
U.S. House of Representatives, today announced that the 
Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the Family Support 
Act of 1988, Public Law 100-485. The hearing will be held on 
Tuesday, March 15, 1994, beginning at 11:00 a.m. in room B-318 of 
the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Testimony at this oversight hearing will be limited to 
invited witnesses only. This hearing is the first in a series of 
hearings on welfare issues planned for the year. In announcing 
the hearing, Mr. Ford emphasized that the public will have ample 
opportunity to present testimony before the Subcommittee at 
hearings in the near future. 

Mr. Ford further stated: "When I introduced H.R. 1720 on 
March 19, 1987, which eventually became the Family Support, Act of 
1988, I stressed the importance of education, training, work, 
economic opportunity, and parental responsibility. As enacted, 
the Family Support Act laid the foundation for ^ending welfare as 
we know it.' I look forward to this hearing, which will provide 
a foundation for the Subcommittee's deliberations on welfare 
reform. Future hearings will focus on children, families, child 
care, work incentives, State innovations, and other issues." 


Welfare reform legislation was introduced in the House on 
March 19, 1987, passed the House on December 16, 1987, passed the 
Senate on June 16, 1988, and was signed into law as the Family 
Support Act of 1988 by President Reagan on October 13, 1988. At 
the time, it was heralded by many as a bipartisan effort to 
reorient the Federal-State cash assistance program, Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) , from a program focused 
on providing cash aid to needy families, to a program promoting 
work and parental responsibility. 

At its core, the legislation included a series of 
significant reforms to State paternity establishment and child 
support enforcement programs, some of which have yet to take 
effect. These provisions include: (1) a requirement that limits 
judicial discretion in the setting of child support awards by 
requiring judges and other officials to use State-established 
guidelines; (2) a requirement that States review and modify 
individual case awards every 3 years for AFDC cases and in other 
cases if requested by a parent; (3) a requirement that States 
meet certain Federal standards for paternity establishment, and 
make all parties in a contested paternity case take a genetic 
test if requested by any party, with Federal support available 
for this activity at a 90-percent matching rate; (4) a 
requirement that States implement a computerized tracking and 
monitoring system for child support enforcement, with Federal 
support available at a 90-percent matching rate; and (5) a 
phased-in requirement that States automatically withhold child 
support payments from the wages of a noncustodial parent, except 
for good cause or an agreement not to withhold between both 
parents. The Family Support Act also established work and 
training demonstration programs for noncustodial parents. The 
Subcommittee is interested in learning whether States have 


implemented the child support provisions according to the 
statutory timetable, and what is known of their effectiveness. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 also established a new 
education, training, and employment program, called the Job 
Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program. The 
program provides States flexibility within Federal guidelines to 
help needy families with children reduce the degree to which they 
depend on AFDC for income and avoid long-term enrollment in the 
AFDC program. State JOBS programs must provide a broad range of 
services, including education, job training, and job readiness 
activities. Programs also must include at least two out of the 
following four activities: job search, community work experience 
(work in exchange for welfare) , grant diversion (welfare used to 
provide and subsidize a job), or on-the-job-training. Under the 
JOBS program, States are required to achieve certain rates of 
participation among AFDC families. Some AFDC parents, mainly the 
ill or disabled and those caring for young children, are exempt 
from participation, but may volunteer. States must require the 
nonexempt to participate, to the extent resources are available. 

In general, Federal funding for JOBS program costs is 
available as a capped entitlement. The entitlement level equals 
$1.1 billion for fiscal year 1994. In order to access Federal 
funds, States are required to match Federal spending at a rate 
that varies by State, but generally is no more than 40 percent. 
Federal matching is reduced if a State fails to target 55 percent 
of funds on specified priority populations (e.g., families in 
which the parent is under age 24) , or if the State fails to meet 
participation standards. At the hearing, the Subcommittee will 
receive testimony from researchers and representatives of the 
States about the progress States have made in implementing the 
JOBS provisions, about the various approaches States have taken 
and their experiences to date, about their ability to meet 
Federal participation standards and to pursue their particular 
State philosophy, and about what is known of the JOBS program's 


Persons submitting written statements for the printed 
record of the hearing should submit at least six (6) copies of 
their statements by close of business, Wednesday, March 30, 1994, 
to Janice Mays, Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Committee on 
Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, 1102 Longworth 
House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. If those filing 
written statements for the record of the printed hearing wish to 
have their statements distributed to the press and the interested 
public, they may provide 100 additional copies for this purpose 
to the Subcommittee office, room B-317 of the Rayburn House 
Office Building, before the hearing begins. 


Each statement presented for printing to the Committee by • witness, any written statement or exhibit 

conform to the guideline! lilted below. Any •moment or exhibit not in compliance with these guidelines will not 
be printed, but wilt be maintained in the Committee tiles for review and uae by the Committee. 

1. All statements and any accompanying exhibit! for printing must be typed in etngle epaca on 
legal-size paper and may not exceed a total of 10 pages. 

2. Copiee of whole documente eubmitted ee exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Inetead. 
exhibit meteriel should be referenced end quoted or paraphrased All exhibit materiel not meeting 
these specificetione will be maintained In the Committee filea for review and use by the Committee 

3. Statements must contain the name and capacity In which the witnesa will appear or, for written 
comments, the name and capacity of the person submitting the statement, as well as any client* or 
parsons, or any organization tor whom the wltneas appears or for whom the statement le submitted. 

4. A supplements! sheet must accompany each atatement listing the name, full addraaa. a talephon* 
number where the witneea or the deeigneted repreeentetive may be reached and a topical outline or 
eumnwy of th* comments and recommendations In the full etatamant. Thia supplemental sheet will 
not be Included in the printed record. 

The above restrictions snd limitationa apply only to materiel being eubmitted for printing. Statements and 
• xhibita or supplementary materiel eubmitted solely for distribution to the Members, the press and the public during 
the course of a public hearing may be eubmitted in other forma. 

Mr. Kopetski [presiding]. The Subcommittee on Human Re- 
sources will come to order. 

We have three panels with us today to review the Family Sup- 
port Act. There is a twofold purpose to this hearing. The first is to 
review the operations of the Family Support Act and how it is 
faring with the changes we have made. In addition, it helps us lay 
a further foundation for deliberations and work on welfare reform. 

The chairman, as we speak, is on an airplane and should be here 
in about an hour's time, but I would like to insert a statement from 
him at this point in the record. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 






March 15, 1994 

This morning, we have an opportunity to look back to the 
future. It was but seven years ago that this Subcommittee 
assembled in this hearing room to begin a process of reform of 
our Nation's welfare systems. At that time, as now, policymakers 
were striving toward a new vision, one providing new 
opportunities and responsibilities for welfare parents and their 

Then, as now, it was obvious that reform was possible only 
through a partnership of the States and the Federal government. 
What States could offer was the expertise they'd gained from 
innovation, a commitment to carrying out a new and expanded 
agenda, and continued dedication to evaluation and demonstration. 
What the Federal government could offer was a national vision 
encompassing State flexibility and recipient safeguards, and the 
resources and support necessary to ensure success and continued 
progress . 

The basic framework of the Family Support Act has withstood 
the test of time. Most of what we have learned since 1988 
only confirms what we knew or expected then. Therefore, it is 
only fitting that the Administration plans to build the next and 
more ambitious reform effort on the foundation that the Family 
Support Act provides. 

In this effort, however, it is critical that we shore up the 
basic elements of the Family Support Act -- the JOBS program, the 
child support enforcement reforms, and the child care supports. 
Funding issues and growing caseloads have hampered even this 
level of reform in many States, potentially jeopardizing the 
Administration's goal of changing the culture of welfare offices 
and "ending welfare as we know it." 

A reinvigorated JOBS program and additional child support 
enforcement reforms, coupled with policies to ensure that work 
pays and that children receive proper care, are what is needed if 
the majority of families on welfare are to receive a message of 
hope and responsibility. They also are the essential building 
blocks for a time-limited welfare system that provides a job to 
those willing, but not able, to secure work on their own. 

I would like to thank Mary Jo Bane, the Assistant Secretary 
for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human 
Services, for joining us this morning. As many of you know, 

Dr. Bane is a respected expert and administrator in the welfare 
field, and her research made important contributions to the 
welfare reform debate back in 1988. Dr. Bane, I look forward to 
the Administration's views of the progress we've made since 1988, 
and what that implies for future welfare reform efforts. 

I would also like to take the opportunity now to thank the 
State and local officials, and other experts, who took time out 
of their busy schedules to provide us information today on the 
status of the JOBS and child support provisions of the Family 
Support Act. Your testimony will be reflected in the record of 
the hearing, and will help inform the debate on the 
Administration's forthcoming welfare reform legislation. 

Mr. Kopetski. You folks are very busy people and so are we, so 
we are going to begin by getting the testimony in the record. 

Our first panel is on the JOBS program. We have from the 
American Public Welfare Association Larry Jackson, commissioner, 
Virginia Department of Social Services; Irene Lurie, from the De- 
partment of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller Institute 
of Government at the State University at Albany, Albany, N.Y., as 
opposed to Albany, Oreg. 

Oh, I am sorry. That is what you get for having a rookie up here. 

We are going to begin with Mary Jo Bane, the Assistant Sec- 
retary for Children and Families, and then go to the first panel 
after we hear from Ms. Bane. Good morning. 

Ms. Bane. Good morning. I thought maybe you had changed your 

Mr. Kopetski. No, I just didn't read the script right. 


Ms. Bane. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do appreciate the oppor- 
tunity to come before you and this subcommittee to talk about the 
JOBS program and the Family Support Act. 

I am glad to have the opportunity, both as the Assistant Sec- 
retary for Children and Families with responsibility for these pro- 
grams, but also as one of the cochairs of the President's Working 
Group on Welfare Reform. We are obviously building on these pro- 
grams as we develop the administration's welfare reform proposals. 

The authors of the Family Support Act, including many of the 
members of this committee, were correct in their assessment that 
both child support enforcement and employment support are criti- 
cally important to welfare reform. The authors of the Family Sup- 
port Act also recognized and wrote into the law that we need to 
focus more attention on teen parents if we are to succeed in reduc- 
ing long-term dependency. 

State and local agencies have made substantial progress in im- 
plementing the Family Support Act changes, but much remains to 
be done, both in implementation of that act and in building on it, 
if we truly are to change the welfare system. What I would like to 
do today is talk a little bit about the progress which has been made 
and discuss some important implementation issues. 

Mr. Kopetski. Let me just say, if I may interrupt, that your full 
statement will be made a part of the record, and if you could hit 
the highlights, we would appreciate it. 

Ms. Bane. Thank you. I will try to summarize it, and the full 
statement is in the record. 

By October 1990, all States had implemented a job opportunities 
and basic skills training program for AFDC recipients. In fiscal 
year 1993, approximately 520,000 participants each month were re- 
ceiving education, training, and employment services under the 
JOBS program to help them to become self-sufficient. By April 
1990, all States were providing child care to JOBS participants and 
up to 12 months of transitional child care to families who went off 
welfare due to employment. During fiscal year 1993, an average of 


about 314,000 children per month received child care under the 
programs created by the Family Support Act. 

Recent research suggests that these changes, the JOBS programs 
and the associated services that go with it, are making a difference. 
You will hear a lot about that from other witnesses today who will 
talk about the findings from evaluations of California's GAIN pro- 
gram, Florida's project independence program, and other programs. 
All of these reaffirm the earlier research findings that education, 
training, and placement programs, especially those that focus di- 
rectly on employment, can substantially reduce dependency. 

At the same time, we have to acknowledge that we have not seen 
the widespread change in the culture of the welfare system that 
many of the founders of the Family Support Act envisioned. We 
see, for example, that less than 10 percent of all AFDC recipients 
are participating in the JOBS program and that the JOBS program 
has not pervaded welfare offices to the extent we think it should. 
There are a lot of reasons for that. Among them are the explosion 
in the AFDC caseload over the last 5 years and State budget short- 
falls, which have limited staffing and dollars available for JOBS. 

One area of concern has been the apparent lack of organizational 
change, real organizational change, within the welfare system, and 
again, you will hear more about that over the course of the morn- 
ing. The recent Rockefeller study reveals that, in many cases, not 
much has changed in welfare offices. According to a separate GAO 
study, implementation of the teen parent provisions of the Family 
Support Act has been quite uneven. 

Nonetheless, we do find a number of examples of JOBS programs 
that have truly changed the culture of welfare, and they provide 
the building blocks on which we can develop our new proposals. We 
need to build on the experience of programs like those in Riverside 
County, Calif; in Kenosha County, Wis.; other programs such as 
Iowa's program PROMISE; Frederick County, Md.; Dade County, 
Fla.; and some of the things that the State of Oregon is experi- 
menting with in their JOBS program. We have very good examples 
of teen parent programs in Camden and Newark and in Chicago. 

We really need to look for ways to expand the use of some of trie 
practices that these programs employ, including how they set goals 
and priorities, how they utilize staff, how they coordinate and con- 
tract with existing resources in the community, and otherwise how 
they go about changing what welfare is all about. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 also included important changes 
to the Child Support Enforcement system that enhanced overall 
program effectiveness. Last year, almost $9 billion in child support 
was collected through the IV-D system from noncustodial parents 
on behalf of their children, and paternities were established for 
more than half-a-million children. This translates to 1993 child 
support collections that are almost double the amount collected in 
1988, and it represents an 80 percent increase in the number of pa- 
ternities established. 

Now this is all very positive, but we still have a very, very long 
way to go. Only a fraction of the child support that could 6e col- 
lected is actually being paid, and paternity is still not established 
in anywhere near the number of cases in which we need to estab- 
lish it. 

The Family Support Act did take steps to increase the emphasis 
on paternity establishment, including setting standards for per- 
formance and mandating genetic testing. Some States have experi- 
mented with some very innovative techniques. Two such promising 
techniques, as you know, were included in last year's budget law, 
involving inhospital paternity establishment and expedited legal 
processes for establishing paternity. 

To address the challenge of setting adequate support orders, 
which is another important aspect of the child support system, the 
Family Support Act mandated the use of child support guidelines 
as a rebuttable presumption in setting any child support order. We 
are looking at the implementation of that requirement, and there 
is at least anecdotal evidence that the use of guidelines has in- 
creased the level of support award amounts. 

Another important aspect of the Family Support Act as it af- 
fected child support was the requirement for periodic review and 
adjustment of support orders. We can't yet speak about the results 
of that mandate, since it was implemented only recently. However, 
we are learning that the process is typically pretty lengthy and 
clumsy, and that we need to streamline the approach to updating 
orders, which is a very important part of ensuring that the child 
support which can be paid is, in fact, paid. 

Another requirement of the Family Support Act, immediate wage 
withholding, is now our most powerful collection technique for od- 
taining child support payments. Again, though, we are seeing that 
there are weaknesses in this requirement. In response to these 
weaknesses, at least 13 States, including California, Oregon, Wash- 
ington, and Iowa have enacted mechanisms for employer reporting 
of new hires, which can reduce from months to days the time that 
it takes to locate somebody who has moved to a new job. As those 
requirements become more widespread, they are going to increase 
the power of wage withholding. 

Finally, by September 30, 1995, all States must have operational 
automated Statewide child support enforcement systems. All States 
have submitted planning documents. Some are having trouble 
meeting their implementation schedules, but we are working very 
hard to provide technical assistance to States so that they can have 
those automated systems developed. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 also recognized, for the first 
time in Federal legislation, the importance of addressing 
noncustodial parents' ability to provide ongoing support for their 
children by providing demonstration projects for the work and 
training of noncustodial parents, and some of these are very excit- 

Under the parents' fair share project, we are moving forward 
with plans to evaluate some of those programs to see how employ- 
ment and training services, peer support, enhanced child support 
enforcement, and mediation services for unemployed noncustodial 
parents can work. 


Through our experiences with the Family Support Act and 
through our experience with other State and local initiatives, we 
have, over these last few years, gained a better understanding of 
how the welfare and child support systems work and about the ef- 
fectiveness of some alternative program models. As you know, the 
Welfare Reform Working Group is working hard to develop propos- 
als that build on the Family Support Act in order to bring about 
real changes in the welfare system. 

I would be delighted to answer any questions that you have. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 










MARCH 15, 1994 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the 
opportunity to appear before you this morning. As one of the co- 
chairs of the President's Working Group on Welfare Reform, Family 
Support and Independence, I am very pleased that you have 
provided me this opportunity to help set the context for the 
Administration's forthcoming welfare reform proposals by speaking 
to what we have learned from the Family Support Act of 1988. 
Clearly the Act represented positive reform but much remains to 
be done if we truly are to end welfare as we know it. 


My testimony today focuses on the implementation of the Family 
Support Act and the progress being made in transforming the 
welfare system into a transitional support system. I will 
discuss our implementation of the first two titles of the Family 
Support Act — child support and paternity establishment in title I 
and employment, education and training in title II. The authors 
of the Family Support Act, including Chairman Ford, who 
introduced H.R. 1720, recognized the need to place additional 
emphasis on employment support and parental responsibility if 
tnpy were to succeed in transforming the welfare system. 

The Family Support Act now serves as the cornerstone for the 
Administration's welfare reform agenda. It set in place 
expectations that families are first and foremost responsible for 
the well-being and support of their children. It recognized the 
need for investment in the education, training and employment of 
welfare recipients, as well as in child care and medical 
assistance which help them transition from welfare to work. Most 
importantly, it introduced the expectation that welfare 
recipiency is a transitional period of preparation for self- 
sufficiency and not a way of life. 

The authors of the Family Support Act were correct in their 
assessment that both child support enforcement and employment 
support are critically important to welfare reform. The Family 
Support Act made some essential changes in these areas, and 
State and local agencies have made substantial progress in 
implementing those changes. 


Last October we marked the fifth anniversary of the passage of 
the Family Support Act. Over the past nine months, the Working 
Group has spent a great deal of time and energy assessing JOBS 
program progress. In my testimony today, I would like to share 
the results of our assessment by highlighting several noteworthy 
JOBS programs and discussing implementation issues which we have 

Let me start with a few of the most important changes to the AFDC 
program. By October ' 1990, all States had implemented a Job 
Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program for AFDC 
recipients; by October 1992, all States had statewide JOBS 
programs; and in FY 93 approximately 520,000 participants each 
month were receiving education, training and employment services 
to become self-sufficient. Also as of October 1990, all States 
began providing cash assistance to two-parent families through 


the AFDC-UP program. By April 1990, all States were providing up 
to twelve months of transitional child care to families who went 
off welfare due to employment. During FY 93, an average of 
314,000 children per month received child care under programs 
created by the Family Support Act of 1988. 

The Impact of JOBS 

Recent findings from the evaluations of California's Greater 
Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program and Florida's Project 
Independence reaffirm that education, training, and employment 
programs implemented in a variety of circumstances can 
substantially reduce dependency. Because of its longer follow-up 
period, I will focus on GAIN, but I want to point out that 
impacts for Project independence are similar to what GAIN'S were 
at the same point, and that California and Florida account for 
over one-fifth of the nation's AFDC recipients. 

As I am sure the Subcommittee members are aware, Mr. Chairman, 
GAIN is a statewide initiative that predated the implementation 
of JOBS, but now serves as California's JOBS program. The GAIN 
evaluation was designed and begun prior to the implementation of 
JOBS, but continued as the GAIN program was converted to JOBS. 
It gives us an early indication of the impact we might expect 
from the JOBS program. 

According to Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation's (MDRC) 
preliminary findings, five of the six counties studied showed 
moderate-to-large gains in earnings and/or welfare savings. 
Across all six counties, earnings for registered single parents 
increased 21 percent (using an unweighted average) over the 
control group (with 24 percent increases in the second year) . 
Welfare payments were reduced six percent (seven percent in the 
second year) . 

There are some equally encouraging data regarding GAIN'S effects 
on employment and case closures. Twenty-nine percent of single 
parents were working at the end of the follow-up period — a 
statistically significant, 25 percent increase over the 23 
percent employment rate for the control group. Three counties 
showed a significant decline (ranging from 3.1 to 11.5 percent) 
in the proportion of registrants who were receiving AFDC at the 
end of two years. Further, larger effects may emerge as the 
registrants who have only recently started education and training 
components become job-ready. 

Although we have made substantial gains under the Family Support 
Act, we must acknowledge that we have not seen the widespread 
change in the organizational culture of the welfare system that 
was envisioned when the Act was passed and the JOBS program was 
established. We are not yet at the point where welfare is viewed 
as a "transitional period of preparation." Vvhen a family walks 
into the welfare agency, the emphasis is not necessarily on how 
the family can avoid welfare or become self-sufficient. Too 
often, the emphasis is on meeting the institutional needs of the 
welfare system. 

I recognize that many factors have impeded change within the 
welfare system, and not all are within the control of welfare 
agencies. First, the AFDC caseload exploded in the early 1990s 
(i.e., it grew 33 percent between July 1989 and July 1993), 
straining staff resources. State budget shortfalls limited the 
staffing available to manage the increased caseload. For FY 
1991, only seven States used their full JOBS allocations, and 
less than 60 percent of the total Federal JOBS funds were 
claimed. Since 1991, States have been using more of their 
allotments. For FY 1992, States used about 70 percent of the 
total Federal funds available for their JOBS programs, and the 
number of States using their full allocations grew. Preliminary 


figures for FY 1993 show continued use of available funds. 
However, most States have met the required participation rate, 
even though they have not used all of their JOBS allotments. 

Another major implementation issue has been the degree of 
organizational change. Here, I would like to note the recent 
study by Irene Lurie and Jan Hagen from the Rockefeller Institute 
at the State University of New York. Their study of local JOBS 
implementation — and particularly their report on the 
perspectives of front-line workers — reveals that not much has 
changed in welfare offices. While JOBS workers are generally 
experienced, well-educated human service workers who strongly 
support the goals of the JOBS program, many believe that their 
agencies' organizational environments have not fully supported 
JOBS program goals. 

There appear to be several explanations for these findings. Some 
States did not have to make many changes to come into compliance 
with the Family Support Act, especially if they already had a 
well-developed welfare employment program. Some welfare agencies 
contracted out much of JOBS because they could not expand welfare 
staff to provide case management services. And some agencies 
relied so heavily on existing education and training services — 
such as adult education classes or JTPA — that in effect they have 
had little control over the design and delivery of services to 
JOBS participants. 

Nevertheless, in spite of the challenges they faced, there are 
examples of JOBS programs that have changed the culture of the 
welfare system. I'd like to highlight two that show us that we 
can begin to change how recipients and agencies view their 
responsibilities. Replicating programs such as these, I believe, 
is one key to building effective JOBS programs across the 


The first is in Riverside, California — one of the six counties 
being evaluated by MDRC as part of its study of the GAIN program. 
I had the pleasure of visiting the JOBS program in Riverside last 
summer. This program provides a marvelous example of what it 
means to institute a change in agency culture. Everywhere I 
turned in the Riverside office, I saw the same clear, simple, and 
unequivocal message. The purpose of everyone there is to get 
AFDC clients employed. I heard the same message from Larry 
Townsend, the county director, as from line workers and 
recipients. It is conveyed during orientations, job clubs, and 
at all opportunities; it is also presented in slogans on posters, 
bumper stickers and lapel buttons. Work is valuable, and it is 
the means to a real future. 

Staff understand what is expected of them. They are enthusiastic 
about their work and able to transfer that enthusiasm to their 
clients. They are given the tools to accomplish their jobs, and 
they are empowered to meet their clients' needs. They have 
manageable caseloads and the flexibility to provide services on a 
case-by-case basis. They are responsible not just for getting 
clients employed, but also for resolving problems that might keep 
them from staying employed. The emphasis on employment is 
reinforced through very specific placement goals, an aggressive 
job development and placement process, performance-based 
contracts, and ongoing, hands-on case management. Individuals 
needing education and training services can get them, but 
services are provided only in the context of a specific work 

Using this approach, the Riverside program has been able to 
achieve the largest impact among any of the six counties in the 
GAIN evaluation and the most significant impact we have ever seen 
in any large-scale study of welfare-to-work programs. After two 


years, MDRC found average increases in earnings by the 
experimental group of $2,099, or 55 percent (over the control 
group average), and reductions in welfare payments of $1,397, or 
14 percent (again compared to the control group average) . 

While the results in Riverside County need longer-term 
evaluation, I think it is clear that changing the organizational 
culture makes a very big difference. It is important that the 
managers of welfare agencies convey the message about the value 
of work and responsibility clearly to staff and clients. It is 
also important that they not send a lot of conflicting messages 
at the same time; they cannot bury the work and responsibility 
message under a mound of AFDC eligibility rules and processes and 
paperwork. Also, they must convey the message to sufficient 
numbers of recipients. If the vast majority of adult recipients 
are exempt, deferred, or excused, it is impossible to change the 
organizational culture of the system. 

Riverside demonstrates a strong commitment to securing the 
participation of all mandatory registrants, and, where necessary, 
it employs formal penalties to enforce participation. These 
aspects of the program also contribute to changing the 
organizational culture. 


A second JOBS program I would like to mention, is that of Kenosha 
County, Wisconsin. Kenosha resembles Riverside in its emphasis 
on early and extensive interventions. The unique aspect of this 
program comes in the structure Kenosha County has developed to 
provide its services. In addition to JOBS program employees, 
income maintenance technicians, child support staff, Job Service 
placement counselors, training coordinators, and remedial 
education instructors are co-located at the Job Center. 
Kenosha's design offers program participants "one-stop shopping," 
so to speak. Co-location serves the dual function of ensuring 
that participants have easy access to the programs and activities 
they need and also helping staff from different agencies work 
together to assist participants more effectively and more 
efficiently. Programs like Kenosha's build teams and foster a 
collaborative environment, promote better communication across 
agencies, and simplify service delivery. Kenosha's experience 
suggests that co-location can improve service to welfare clients. 
In 1992, the Kenosha program achieved an average monthly 
participation rate in excess of 40 percent, substantially higher 
than the Federal requirement. 

As we undertake to build on the provisions of the Family Support 
Act, we need to build upon the experiences of Kenosha, Riverside 
and other programs such as Iowa's PROMISE; Frederick County, 
Maryland's Family Partnership Program; and Dade County, Florida's 
Housing Renovation Program. We must look -for ways to expand the 
use of some of the practices they employed, including how they 
set goals and priorities, utilized staff, coordinated and 
contracted with existing resources in the community, and 
otherwise changed the organizational culture of the welfare 

Teen Parents 

The authors of the Family Support Act also recognized that we 
needed to focus more attention on teen parents if we were to 
succeed in reducing long-term dependency. Thus, the Act includes 
a requirement that teen parents who have not finished high school 
must participate in educational activities even if the age of 
their youngest child would otherwise exempt them from 
participating in JOBS. 


Unfortunately, as the General Accounting Office has reported, 
implementation of this provision has been very uneven across the 
States. In some areas, like Portland, Oregon there have been 
extensive efforts to reach out to teen parents and to ensure that 
they finish their schooling; however, in other areas, teens have 
seen little or no service intervention. 

But recent research findings on serving teen mothers have 
demonstrated that it is possible to have large-scale mandatory 
programs for teen parents that produce results. The Teen Parent 
Demonstration Program, which operated in Camden and Newark, New 
Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois, showed that teen mothers on AFDC 
who were part of a mandatory training and supportive services 
program achieved' and sustained significantly higher rates of 
school attendance and employment. Furthermore, their commitment 
to universal mandatory participation greatly affected the 
organizational culture; the program's strong participation 
requirements substantially changed the expectations and 
motivation of staff as well as clients. Ohio's Learning, Earning 
and Parenting (LEAP) demonstration program (after three years of 
implementation) is also showing encouraging interim results in 
terms of significantly increasing school retention and getting 
teens to return to school or adult education. 

We believe that the Family Support Act is absolutely right in its 
emphasis on serving teen parents. We must work together with the 
States to develop more effective programs for teen parents. In 
this context, we are concerned not just with their progress in 
becoming self-sufficient, but other types of outcomes such as 
delaying further childbearing, focusing on child development and 
better parenting. 


The Family Support Act of 1988 also included landmark changes to 
child support enforcement that enhanced overall program 
effectiveness. I would like to speak generally to the progress 
which we have made in child support over the last five years but 
to focus my comments on those provisions of the Act which held 
the greatest promise. 

Last year, over $8.9 billion in support was collected from 
noncustodial parents on behalf of their children, and the 
paternities of more than one-half million children were 
established. This translates to 1993 collections which are 
almost double the $4.6 billion collected in 1988 as well as an 80 
percent increase in the number of paternities established. 

These statistics show the positive impact the Family Support Act 
is beginning to have on increasing the incidence of paternity 
establishment and the collection of child support. However, the 
Act's limitations are also evident if you look at child support 
that is not being collected and paternities that are not being 
established. Only a fraction of child support which could be 
collected is actually paid and paternity is still not established 
in a sizable number of cases. 

Fundamental weaknesses remain which significantly hamper the 
program's ability to address the seemingly endless growth in the 
number of out-of-wedlock births and parents who financially 
abandon their children. Our welfare reform efforts will build on 
both the program's achievements and what we have learned from 
implementing the Act, to fulfill the President's pledge of 
ensuring that both parents take responsibility for their 

Paternity establishment is the necessary first step to securing 
child support. The Family Support Act placed increased emphasis 
on paternity establishment by setting standards of performance, 


mandating genetic testing upon request, increasing Federal 
sharing in paternity laboratory costs, and encouraging simple 
civil processes to establish paternity. 

In addition to substantial increases in the number of paternities 
established, some of the most exciting innovations in the program 
have grown from the Act's mandate for improvement. In fact, two 
of the most promising techniques developed in States were 
proposed by the President in last year's budget and enacted by 
Congress for all States, involving in-hospital paternity 
establishment and expedited legal processes for establishing 

Hospital-based paternity programs exist or are under development 
in a number of States, including Washington, Michigan, Colorado 
and Arkansas. In Washington, hospital programs have been 
successful in achieving voluntary acknowledgements of paternity 
for approximately 40 percent of out-of-wedlock births, state 
officials believe that as these programs improve, rates may go 
much higher. 

Expedited process for paternity establishment has also begun to 
take hold in some States and should significantly improve the 
time involved in establishing paternity. Administrative 
establishment of paternity, one form of expedited process is 
being used in a number of these States, including Iowa and 

Even after paternity has been successfully established, the 
challenge of setting adequate child support orders and keeping 
those orders up-to-date remains. The Family Support Act of 1988 
mandated the use of child support guidelines as a rebuttable 
presumption in setting any child support order. All States have 
implemented this requirement and while questions were raised in 
testimony before the Commission on Interstate Child Support about 
the adequacy and equity of guidelines, especially in interstate 
cases, there is at least anecdotal evidence that the use of 
guidelines has increased the level of support award amounts. 

To ensure that orders, over time, continue to meet the support 
standards set by the guidelines, the Family Support Act phased in 
requirements for the periodic review and adjustment of support 
orders. States were allowed to experiment with different methods 
of review and adjustment between 1990 and 1993. Effective 
October 13, 1993, States were required to review child support 
orders not later than 36 months after establishment or the most 
recent review of the order, and make any necessary adjustments. 
While this review cycle is mandatory in AFDC cases under the 
statute, in non-AFDC cases, review is conditioned on the request 
of at least one party to the order. 

The delayed effective date makes it impossible at this juncture 
to speak to results of the mandate, however the Family Support 
Act provided for four State demonstration projects "to test and 
evaluate model procedures for reviewing child support awards." 
The demonstrations produced positive results while showing that a 
variety of methods in a mixture of State, judicial and 
administrative environments can be used successfully to review 
and adjust child support orders. 

The average net dollar value of the adjustments was $122 per 
month for AFDC cases and $110 per month for non-AFDC cases. 
However, we also learned from the demonstrations that the review 
and adjustment process is typically a lengthy one, consuming over 
Fix months to take a case from selection to adjustment. Clearly, 
we must look to streamlining this process. 

Another requirement of the Family Support Act, immediate wage 
withholding, is a key component of the Child Support Enforcement 
program. Immediate wage withholding is now our most powerful 


collection technique for obtaining child support payments. It 
accounts for the highest proportion of support collections. 

National wage withholding cllections have increased 
exponentially in recent years, from $26 million in 1985 to almost 
$4.7 billion in 1993. in FY 1993, wage withholding collections 
for child support rose nationally 19 percent over the previous 
fiscal year and were 121 percent higher than the FY 1989 figure 
of $2.1 billion. 

Despite these results, weaknesses in wage withholding remain. 
Its impact is of surprisingly short and uneven duration due 
primarily to job mobility. A 1991 study found the median length 
or duration of wage withholding was 17 months and a high 
proportion of wage withholding cases were in effect for less than 
six months. Also, the time lapse between wage withholding 
durations was lengthy. 

The lack of ready access to timely employment information delays 
implementation of wage withholding and prevents child support 
from being collected at its source before an obligor moves on to 
another job. To achieve this access, a number of States have 
implemented systems of employer reporting of new hires using the 
IRS's W-4 form, the Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. 

A new hire reporting system can reduce from months to days the 
time it takes to locate someone who has moved to a new job. At 
least 13 States, including California, Oregon, Washington and 
Iowa have enacted mechanisms for employer reporting of new hires. 
This practice was endorsed by the Commission on Interstate Child 
Support Enforcement and is being given careful attention in our 
welfare reform deliberations. 

Finally, by September 30, 1995, all States must have operational, 
automated statewide child support enforcement systems. The 
Family Support Act set this deadline and authorized 90 percent 
Federal funding for the development of these systems. 

All 54 States and jurisdictions submitted approvable 
implementation planning documents by the October 1, 1991 
deadline, but many have had trouble meeting their implementation 
schedules. The major roadblocks have been complex State 
procurement processes and limitations in State and contractor 
resources which are stretched beyond capacity as every State 
struggles to meet the October 1, 1995 deadline. Actual 
conversion of manual cases to new automated systems will also 
present a challenge. 

We are working with States to insure that they are aware of the 
significance of the impending deadline, the problems that the 
child support agency is facing and the need for high-level 
commitment of resources and we are providing technical assistance 
where needed. Currently, all but two States have completed the 
planning phase of their project, 50 are in the design/development 
phase, and two are engaged in implementing the Family Support Act 
provisions statewide. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 recognized for the first time in 
Federal legislation, the importance of addressing noncustodial 
parents' ability to provide on-going support for their children 
by providing demonstration projects for work and training of 
noncustodial parents. A project which evolved from this 
provision of the Act is the Parents' Fair Share (PFS) 
Demonstration Project. PFS is a partnership of the Federal 
government, private organizations, and the States, which tests 
employment and training services, peer support, enhanced child 
support enforcement, and mediation services for unemployed 
noncustodial parents whose children receive public assistance. 


Designated State child support enforcement staff work with PFS 
case managers and the court systems to refer noncustodial parents 
to PFS at various points in the child support enforcement process 
(e.g., when orders are established or during determinations that 
non-payment of child support is due to unemployment) . Eligible 
individuals may also volunteer to participate. 

All PFS employment and training programs emphasize OJT and 
employment skills training with education services available for 
individuals who need them. All income from OJT assignments are 
subject to automatic wage withholding requirements. 

Nine States participated in a pilot phase of the demonstration. 
At this time, we are moving forward with plans to undertake a 
full-scale impact evaluation of PFS services. This evaluation 
will examine whether providing employment, training and related 
services to unemployed noncustodial parents of AFDC children 
results in increased child support payments; whether PFS services 
enable disadvantaged noncustodial parents to support their 
children not only financially but also emotionally; and whether 
these services affect the likelihood that nonpaying noncustodial 
parents will pay child support through the Child Support 
Enforcement system. 

Through our experience with the Family Support Act and other 
State and local initiatives, we have gained a better 
understanding of how our welfare and child support enforcement 
systems work and about the effectiveness of some alternative 
program models. The efforts of the Welfare Reform Working Group 
to gather additional input from Congress, recipients, advocates, 
community-based organizations, and researchers — through public 
forums, site visits, focus groups, and consultations — have also 
made important contributions to our understanding. 

The Working Group is now in the process of assessing its options 
and drafting specifications. We will be happy to share these 
with the Committee as they become available. 

We also look forward to holding future discussions with you about 
other aspects of our welfare and support systems and their 
potential role in transforming the welfare system. 


Mr. Kopetski. Thank you. I thank you for the excellent summary 
of your testimony, as well. 

I have a question area, and that has to do with teen parent pro- 
grams. Actually, Oregon, my State, has done a very good job in this 
area and it all started in my home town of Salem, where we built 
up first the teen moms program and then we brought in the dads 
as well. It is truly a teen parenting program, which is a very im- 
portant concept in all of this, for the children as well. 

But as we begin to look at distinctions, such as two different lev- 
els of requirements for people on welfare determined by age, one 
of the concerns that has arisen is if you are more harsh, if you will, 
in your treatment of people under 21 or under 23, what does that 
mean for teen parents? Would they be treated the same as people 
who are not teen parents but on public assistance roles? 

My question has to do with what you are finding in terms of how 
much time of public assistance is necessary for a teen parent to 
graduate into the work force. 

Ms. Bane. The States are finding, and we are finding in some of 
our teen parent demonstrations, that it varies and that it depends 
on a lot of circumstances. 

We have had some demonstration projects, which have been 
quite carefully evaluated, which combine specific requirements on 
teen parents — more accurately, school-age parents. In general, 
these programs focus on recipients who are 18 or younger or still 
in school. 

But the demonstration programs that we evaluated used a com- 
bination of case management and sanctions to help them stay in 
school and to help them learn how to be better parents. Those pro- 
grams do seem to be effective in helping teen parents stay in school 
and make the transition into employment. I think those demonstra- 
tions and some of the other State projects, such as the one you are 
talking about, are providing us a basis for moving forward. 

In general, we think that teen parents should be not only al- 
lowed, but required, to the extent we can do it, to finish school in 
order to be prepared for work, and to stay in school to make that 
investment in themselves and their children. As we think about 
welfare reform options, we are certainly thinking about options 
that would focus very much on helping, and indeed requiring, teen 
parents to stay in school. 

Mr. Kopetski. If you have a ticking clock of, let us say 2 years, 
as the President has generally outlined as part of his welfare re- 
form statement, would the time that a teen parent is involved in 
completing his or her educational requirements count against that 
2 years? 

Ms. Bane. One of the issues we and everybody else have been 
struggling with as we think about time-limited welfare systems is 
the question of under what circumstances should there be exten- 
sions to or deferments from the 2-year timeclock. Certainly, as we 
think about it and as we explore various options, the notion of al- 
lowing exemptions so that people could finish high school when 
they are young seems like one that we ought to consider very, very 
seriously, and we are. 


Mr. Kopetski. Good. The other area has to do with support en- 
forcement orders. I like a lot of the proposals that the administra- 
tion is working on in terms of the welfare reform. 

How much of the problem out there is an infrastructure one with 
local DAs or State courts, et cetera, versus a culture of people not 
used to having to go after fathers, delinquent fathers, and that is 
90 percent of the people we are talking about, because they are 
lawyers and doctors and professionals and the local business per- 
son, the chamber of commerce president, et cetera? 

Ms. Bane. I think it is a combination of the two, and I think we 
are going to have to work on both. I do think, and I don't know 
if other people's experience has been the same, that over the last 
couple of years, there has been a decreased tolerance in society 
generally for people who don't meet their child support obligations. 
I think we have seen, in a lot of different places and through a lot 
of different mechanisms, a real seriousness about enforcing those 
obligations. States have done that in different ways, but I think we 
now do project as a society the importance of those obligations. 

Within the child support system itself, some parts of it are still 
very clumsy. There are some parts of it which depend on court 
mechanisms and interstate collection mechanisms that don't work 
smoothly, to say the least. 

I think also that we have in the child support system a set of 
incentives which, in many ways, make it more productive for child 
support workers to go after the easy cases than to go after the hard 
cases, those cases where you have to establish paternity or find 
someone across State lines. 

I think those cases, interstate cases and cases which may not 
have a lot of income right now but whose income will grow over 
time, are so important that we need to structure the incentives in 
the system so that all cases are treated very seriously. Many of the 
proposals we are working on would try to do that. 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you very much. You may want to hang 
around for this first panel at least. 

Ms. Bane. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you. 

We will move to the first panel. We have Larry Jackson, on be- 
half of the American Public Welfare Association, from the Virginia 
Department of Social Services; Irene Lurie from the Rockefeller In- 
stitute of Government; Judith Gueron, Manpower Demonstration 
Research Corp. in New York City; and then from the Center for 
Law and Social Policy here in Washington, Mark Greenberg, senior 
staff attorney. 

Good morning. I would ask each of you to try to summarize your 
testimony within a 5-minute time period. The red light will go on 
and you will be ejected out of the hearing room. [Laughter.] 

Your complete statements will be made a part of the record. 

Mr. Jackson. 



Mr. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is my pleasure to be 
here today. 

I am Larry Jackson, the Commissioner of the Virginia Depart- 
ment of Social Services. I also hold several positions with the 
American Public Welfare Association, including being on the board, 
being the chair of the National Council of State Human Service Ad- 
ministrators, and being the chair of the American Public Welfare 
Association Task Force on Self-Sufficiency. 

In my testimony today, I would like to briefly discuss implemen- 
tation of the job opportunities and basic skills [JOBS] training pro- 
gram and share five specific recommendations for strengthening 
the program. 

It is important that national policy makers understand not only 
the problems associated with welfare dependency but the fact that 
some of our efforts today are working. The JOBS program is a suc- 
cess, a modest one to date, given the enormity of the task and the 
fiscal constraints that we all feel. 

It is important to remember, Mr. Chairman, that this program 
is in its infancy. It wasn't until a little over a year ago, October 
of 1992, that all States began operating the program on a State- 
wide basis. We are proud of the strides that have been made by 
the States in implementing JOBS, given the competing pressures 
in the last few years. You will hear today early findings from stud- 
ies of programs in California and Florida conducted oy the Man- 
power Demonstration Research Demonstration, showing that JOBS 
is having a positive impact on employment earnings as well as wel- 
fare savings. 

We believe that the funds States have spent on the JOBS pro- 
gram underscore the commitment to the program and to the notion 
of self-sufficiency. Total Federal and State JOBS and child care 
spending for fiscal year 1993 may be as high as $2 billion, in spite 
of the recession, high unemployment, and unparalleled growth in 
the AFDC and food stamp programs. 

If we want the JOBS program to touch and benefit even more 
poor families, however, more Federal dollars have to go into the 
program. We need to increase the current capped entitlement and 
Federal financial participation for the program. We need these re- 
sources now, Mr. Chairman, not when new welfare reform legisla- 
tion is implemented 1, 2, or even 3 years from now. 

In addition to the need for increased Federal support for the pro- 
gram, there are a number of strategies that Congress and the ad- 
ministration, in consultation with the States, could pursue to 
strengthen the program, with or without welfare reform legislation. 

The first of those, we believe, is to start by setting realistic ex- 
pectations about what JOBS can and cannot achieve. Few may re- 
member that the Congressional Budget Office estimated around 
the time of the enactment of the Family Support Act in 1988 that 
only 50,000 families would leave welfare due to the JOBS program 
during the first 5 years of operation. During the past 3 years, there 
were many months in which 50,000 families per month were added 
to the AFDC rolls. 


Second, there is a tremendous administrative burden on families 
and workers under the current AFDC and food stamp system. 
APWA has identified 57 policy proposals that we believe will 
streamline that operation, and we strongly urge the Congress and 
the administration to work with the States in implementing those. 

Third, we commend the Federal Government for committing re- 
sources to training and technical assistance during the early stages 
of implementation of the Family Support Act. More needs to be 
done, and we strongly encourage the Congress and the administra- 
tion to make training and technical assistance among the highest 
priorities in the current program and under any welfare reform 

Fourth, the Family Support Act called on the Health and Human 
Services Secretary to submit recommendations to Congress on de- 
velopment of performance measures. No recommendations have 
been submitted to date. While many States have established their 
own performance standard systems, including Virginia, we have no 
way on a national basis of assessing quality of client progress, iden- 
tifying exemplary program practices, or how to target technical as- 
sistance to States and localities. 

Development of a performance-based system must be addressed 
in welfare reform, and if a welfare reform bill is not enacted, Con- 

fress and the administration, again in consultation with the 
tates, should move quickly to develop such a system. 

Fifth, the States continue to express concern about the so-called 
20-hour rule and the degree to which it drives program design or 
fails to take into consideration those participating in education 
components. We also continue to call for reconsideration by Con- 
gress of the methodology used to calculate participation rates, espe- 
cially under the AFDC unemployed parent program. 

On January 11, 1994, APWA released a series of recommenda- 
tions in its report on welfare reform. The recommendations rep- 
resent a bipartisan consensus of opinion among a broadly diverse 
group representing the variety of State views on welfare policy. 

Our recommendations build on the Family Support Act and the 
JOBS program. They reward and support hard work. There are no 
exemptions for participation in JOBS under our proposal. Everyone 
is required to do something, with a goal of using welfare as a tem- 
porary source of support. There will be penalties for those AFDC 
parents who fail to take their responsibility seriously. Penalties 
will not be imposed, however, if resources aren't available or if jobs 
do not exist. 

It is our hope, Mr. Chairman, to have the opportunity to testify 
before this subcommittee on our proposal at a later date. 

Again, thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 




Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Human Resources, thank you 
for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Larry Jackson. I am 
commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and serve in several 
positions with the American Public Welfare Association-on the Board of 
Directors, chair of National Council of State Human Service Administrators and 
chair of the Task Force on Self-Sufficiency. APWA is a 64-year old nonprofit, 
bipartisan organization representing all of the state human service departments as 
well as local public welfare agencies, and individual members. 

In my testimony today, I would like to briefly discuss implementation of the Job 
Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program-nationally and in 

A Positive Impact 

The current public policy debate on the need to reform the nation's welfare system 
comes a little more than five years after passage of the Family Support Act~a bill 
that was approved by the House by a vote of 347-53, and was based in large 
measure on your initial legislation, Mr. Chairman. The passage of the act resulted 
in a new and comprehensive strategy in support of families—improved child 
support services; comprehensive education, training, and employment activities; 
transitional child care and medical care; and financial assistance to two parent 

That landmark legislation was built upon a very strong bipartisan consensus on the 
need for programs and policies to reflect values: values like mutual obligations 
between citizens and society; and education and job opportunities tied to 
individual responsibility. Much of what we hear today echoes the rhetoric behind 
the Family Support Act: concern with dependency, individual responsibility, and 
work in place of welfare. 

It is important that national policy makers understand not only the problems 
associated with welfare dependency but the fact that some of our efforts, today, 
are working. The JOBS program is a success - a modest one, to date, given the 
enormity of its task and the fiscal constraints we all feel. It is important to 
remember, Mr. Chairman, that this program is in its infancy. It wasn't until a little 
over a year ago-October 1992— that all states began operating the program on a 
statewide basis. 

As you will hear today, early findings from studies of programs in California and 
Florida conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation 
(MDRC) show that JOBS is having a positive impact on employment earnings and 
welfare savings. In a two-year follow-up of California JOBS participants, MDRC 
found that those in JOBS earned 24 percent more than AFDC recipients not 
participating in JOBS. MDRC also found that after two years, welfare payments 
were seven percent lower for JOBS participants than the average amount received 
by a control group. In Florida, JOBS participants earned nearly seven percent 
more than a control group and received nearly seven percent less in welfare 
payments. MDRC President Judith Gueron, testifying before this subcommittee 
today, has said in previous testimony before Congress that the results from 
California and Florida "confirm an emerging story about JOBS' effectiveness in 
increasing employment and reducing welfare dependency." 


State Spending 

The states' commitment to the JOBS program is reflected in the steady increase in 
state funds allocated for the education, employment, and training program. In 
fiscal year 1991 states spent $400 million of the $1 billion available in federal 
funding. In fiscal year 1992, $660 million of the $1 billion available was spent, 
and in fiscal 1993 it is estimated that states obligated $823 million and are 
expected to spend approximately $700 million of the $1 billion available. 

What is often not considered in assessing state commitment to the program is the 
amount of state spending for AFDC child care. The reality is that states spent an 
amount for AFDC child care equal to what they spent in JOBS. In fiscal year 
1993, for example, this would bring total federal spending for JOBS and child care 
to an estimated $ 1 .4 billion. Total federal and state JOBS and child care spending 
for the year may be as high as $2 billion—this in spite of the recession, high 
unemployment, and unparalleled growth in the AFDC and food stamp programs. 

Implementation and Caseload Growth 

Mr. Chairman, July 1989 was the first month in which states could begin 
implementing the JOBS program. It is also the first of 36 months of consecutive 
growth in the AFDC program-growth that was precipitated by the poor economy 
and increases in out of wedlock births. Since July 1989, AFDC caseloads have 
risen by 34 percent nationally and food stamp caseloads by 47 percent (36.5 
percent and 63 percent respectively in Virginia.) In November 1993, the latest 
date for which national data are available, there were 14.2 million people in over 5 
million families receiving AFDC. Nearly 27.4 million people received food 
stamps. During this same period, according to the National Association of State 
Budget Officers, Medicaid spending also grew at a rapid rate with states 
experiencing increases of 28 percent in fiscal 1991, 31 percent in fiscal 1992, and 
14 percent in fiscal 1993. States are expecting to spend 11.2 percent more for 
fiscal 1994. 

This unparalleled growth provides a dramatic backdrop for the challenges faced by 
states as they began implementing the new JOBS program. It is clear, Mr. 
Chairman, that the amount of funding states have allocated for the JOBS program 
is significant in light of the high caseload growth and fiscal stress experienced at 
the state and local level. 

We believe that the funds states have spent on the JOBS program underscore the 
commitment to the program and to the notion of self-sufficiency. If we want the 
JOBS program to touch and benefit even more poor families, however, more 
federal dollars have to go into the program. We need to increase the current 
capped entitlement and federal financial participation for the program. We 
need these resources now, Mr. Chairman, not when new welfare legislation is 
implemented one, two, or three years from now. 

Targeting of Resources 

Nationally, there are approximately 500,000 people participating in the JOBS 
program each month. In fiscal year 1992, the latest period for which we have 
national data, approximately 40 percent were in education activities (high school 
or post-secondary education) and over 20 percent in job training or in a job 
readiness activity. Twenty-eight (28) percent of those in JOBS participated 20 or 
more hours per week. Over one-third participated 16 to 20 hours, and 38 percent 
participated less than 16 hours per week. In Virginia, we served approximately 
8,100 participants with about one-third participating in an education activity. 


Approximately 18 percent participated 20 hours or more per week and 35 percent 
participated in the JOBS program between 16 and 20 hours per week. 

As you know, Mr. Chairman, the JOBS program was designed to target services to 
those who were long-term recipients or at-risk of long-term stays on welfare. In 
fiscal year 1992, 74 percent of those participating in the JOBS program were 
among the hardest to serve individuals in the AFDC caseload. Nearly 43 percent 
had been receiving AFDC for 36 out of the previous 60 months, and over 18 
percent were under the age of 24 and either did not have a high school diploma or 
had not previously held a job. In fact, Mr. Chairman, of those served in the JOBS 
program in fiscal year 1992, 42 percent had not completed the 12th grade, and 18 
percent failed to complete the ninth grade. 

We've had a similar experience in Virginia. In fiscal year 1992, 63 percent of 
those in JOBS were either long-term recipients or those at-risk of long-term 
dependence. Over 44 percent were receiving AFDC for 36 out of the previous 60 
months, and 15 percent were under the age of 24. Over 83 percent of those served 
in Virginia's program during fiscal year 1992 did not complete high school, with 
30 percent failing to complete the ninth grade. The total number of JOBS 
participants entering employment in Virginia grew from 2,600 in fiscal year 1991 
to over 5,000 in fiscal 1992, an increase of 85 percent. Our job retention rate 90 
days after placement is averaging over 80 percent. We continue to exceed the 
participation rate requirements each year, but there are 23,000 AFDC recipients 
who we are not able to serve because of lack of resources. 

The Promise of JOBS 

We are proud of the strides made by states in implementing JOBS given the 
competing pressures of the last few years. It is frustrating to note, however, that 
most of the public does not know this program exists. In a series of focus groups 
in California two years ago, participants challenged the pollsters when they were 
told that there is a mandatory employment and training program now in place for 
welfare recipients. When shown a copy of the Family Support Act of 1988, they 
questioned its authenticity. Clearly, we have not done a good job of "telling the 
good news" about JOBS. APWA has recently received foundation funding to 
work with states in marketing their JOBS programs with the media and public. 
We think this project will go a long way toward helping to increase public support 
and funding for the program. 

Even some of those who support the program say it has failed to "change the 
culture" of the welfare system. The current system, they argue, is still one that 
provides a check and is more concerned with verifying eligibility than moving 
people toward self-sufficiency. While I would agree there is much to improve 
upon in this area, we have seen in many states and localities a real commitment to 
making a difference. 

Denver's Family Opportunity Program, for example, has adopted a "two- 
generation" approach by promoting healthy child development along with adult 
employment. As part of this approach, trained volunteers conduct voluntary 40- 
minute developmental screening for the children of JOBS participants, and this 
information goes to the JOBS case managers. When problems are detected, 
children are referred to a more intensive early intervention screening conducted 
through the Child Find Unit of the Denver Public Schools. Case managers are 
expected to help parents follow up on any needs identified through these 
screenings. The Denver JOBS program also conducts full family assessments that 
obtain information on a wide variety of family-oriented topics, including 


parenting, educational progress of older children, family violence, housing needs, 
and the availability of support networks. 

There are many other good examples of states that are committed to changing the 
culture of the welfare office. In the next panel, you will hear from program 
administrators from California, North Carolina, Hawaii, and your home state of 
Tennessee, Mr. Chairman, who will describe their efforts to make a positive 
change in the delivery of services to welfare recipients. In a recent APWA study 
of case management practices around the country we found numerous other 
examples of state and local programs committed to fulfilling the original promise 
of JOBS. We have examples of states establishing policies to target a higher 
intensity of case management to clients with supportive service needs, such as teen 
parents. Pennsylvania's Single Point of Contact Program provides an excellent 
example of how agencies target intensive client-centered case management 
services with harder-to-serve clients. 

Strategies to Improve the Program 

In addition to the need for increased federal support for the program, there are a 
number of strategies the Congress and administration, in consultation with the 
states, should pursue to strengthen the program— with or without welfare reform 

• Realistic Expectations: We can start with setting realistic expectations about 
what JOBS can and cannot achieve. Few remember that the Congressional 
Budget Office estimated around the time of enactment of the Family Support 
Act that only 50,000 families would leave welfare due to the JOBS program 
during the first five years of operation. During the past three years there were 
many months in which 50,000 families per month were added to the roles. 

Everyone is pointing to the importance of "making work pay" in the current 
welfare reform debate—enactment of health care reform that ensures universal 
health care coverage, access to quality child care options, and making sure that 
everyone who is eligible takes full advantage of the expansions in the Earned 
Income Tax Credit enacted by Congress. These policy changes must be 
enacted sooner— not later—if states are to be expected to deliver on the promise 
of JOBS and meet what will almost assuredly be very high expectations under 
welfare reform. 

• Welfare Simplification : The Family Support Act did not address the need to 
streamline the up-front eligibility process in AFDC and food stamps. There is 
a tremendous administrative burden on families and workers under the current 
system. APWA has identified 57 policy proposals to streamline the system, 
which we have shared widely in Congress. We strongly encourage you to take 
a leadership role in ensuring these proposals are enacted as part of welfare 

• Training and Technical Assistance : We commend the federal government for 
its committing resources to training and technical assistance during the early 
stages of implementation of the Family Support Act. We must continue to give 
a very high priority to transfer of knowledge about what works and what 
doesn't work. Through APWA's Institute for Family Self-Sufficiency we have 
begun to address the training needs of case managers. More needs to be done 
and we strongly encourage the Congress and administration to make training 
and technical assistance among the highest priorities in welfare reform. 


• Development of a Performance Standard System : In the current JOBS program 
we are reporting on "process" not outcomes. In doing so, success is being 
measured by participation rates. The Family Support Act called on the HHS 
secretary to submit recommendations to Congress on development of 
performance measures, but no recommendations have been submitted to date. 
While many states have established their own performance standard system 
systems, these are not universal. We have no way of assessing quality of client 
progress, identifying exemplary program practices or how to target technical 
assistance to states and localities. Development of a performance standard 
system must be addressed in welfare reform, and if a welfare reform bill is not 
enacted, Congress and the administration, in consultation with the states, 
should move quickly to develop such a system. 

• Statutory and Regulatory Relief : States continue to express concern about the 
so-called 20 hour rule and the degree to which it drives program design or fails 
to take into consideration those participating in education components. We 
also continue to call for reconsideration by Congress of the methodology used 
to calculate participation rates, especially under the AFDC-Unemployed Parent 

JOBS and Welfare Reform 

As Congress considers welfare reform legislation APWA state and local human 
service administrators stand ready to offer our knowledge and experience. As we 
proceed, we should be cautious about having high expectations for job placement 
using approaches such as on-the-job training and work supplementation. In fiscal 
1992, there were less than 1,900 participants per month in on-the-job training and 
only 673 participants per month in work supplementation in JOBS nationally. The 
administrative capacity today simply doesn't exist to implement these approaches 
on a large scale. 

Our experience tells us that we must also be realistic about the ability of states to 
operate a large scale Community Work Experience (CWEP) program as the cost 
can be high and labor intensive— developing work sites and providing supervision, 
monitoring and follow-up with the employer and the client. We know from the 
MDRC research conducted in the 1980's that CWEP is feasible to operate and that 
participants and supervisors found the work meaningful. The programs we have 
operated in the past and those studied by MDRC, however, were small in scale 
with little evidence to support the idea that CWEP on its own leads to consistent 
employment or reductions in welfare caseloads or costs. 

The challenges posed by CWEP are significant as we move to scale. I caution the 
Congress against having overly high expectations about the efficacy of this 
approach in moving large numbers of recipients into unsubsidized employment or 
in reducing caseloads or costs. In addition, while CWEP can serve as a structured, 
meaningful work activity for the AFDC recipients facing a mandatory work 
obligation, states do not currently have the administrative capacity or experience to 
operate a large-scale work program of this nature. 

Our recommendations build on the Family Support Act and the JOBS program. 
They reward and support hard work. There are no exemptions from participation 
in JOBS under our proposal. Everyone is required to do something with the goal 
of using welfare as a temporary source of support. There will be penalties for 
those AFDC parents who fail to take their responsibilities seriously. Penalties will 
not be imposed, however, if resources aren't available or if jobs do not exist. It is 
our hope, Mr. Chairman, to have the opportunity to testify before this 
subcommittee on our proposal at a later date. 

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to testify today. I would be 
happy to answer any questions you may have. 


Mr. KOPETSKI. Thank you for your testimony. 

Ms. Lurie, a Ph.D. from the Department of Public Administration 
and Policy, the State University of New York at Albany. Good 


Ms. Lurie. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am Irene Lurie. I am on 
the faculty of the State University of New York at Albany and am 
coprincipal investigator, along with Jan Hagen, for a 10-State 
study of the implementation of the JOBS program. I am honored 
to be invited to share our findings with you today. 

The Family Support Act creating the JOBS program placed a 
new set of demands on State and local governments charged with 
operating welfare employment programs. Previous programs re- 
quired that welfare recipients register for employment and training 
services, but Federal law did not require that States actually serve 
a minimum number of people. As a result, States were under little 
pressure to perform. 

The Family Support Act, in sharp contrast, mandated that States 
achieve a minimum rate of participation in the JOBS program, 
starting at 7 percent of the nonexempt caseload in 1990 and 1991 
and rising to 20 percent in 1995. Federal regulations define partici- 
pation in terms of a 20-hour per week standard. The pressure to 
meet these participation rates profoundly changed the rules of the 
game for State and local administrators of welfare employment pro- 

In order to meet these participation rates, States have taken sev- 
eral actions. First, despite the fiscal stress that many States expe- 
rienced during the recession, they are generally devoting more of 
their own funds to the JOBS program and thereby qualifying for 
more Federal matching funds. 

Second, to assemble the capacity to serve JOBS participants, 
States have drawn heavily upon other Federal employment and 
training programs, such as the Job Training Partnership Act, and 
upon numerous State and local education programs. 

Third, they have designed programs that are more intensive, 
that meet for more hours each week, increasing the chance that 
participants will gain the skills they will need to oecome independ- 
ent of welfare. 

Fourth, States have recognized the educational deficits of many 
welfare recipients and have made education a high priority. As a 
result, JOBS has succeeded in offering both a wider and deeper set 
of services that may help people to become economically self- 

Our study also identifies some difficulties that the States are fac- 
ing. Federal JOBS funds and the States' matching funds pay for 
only a portion of JOBS services. The remaining services come from 
other Federal and State programs. In States like Michigan and 
New York, which devote large amounts of State funds to education 
and training, JOBS participants have access to an ample quantity 


and variety of services from other programs to supplement services 
purchased with JOBS funds. 

But in States like Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas, which do 
not spend large amounts on adult education and training, in- 
creased services to JOBS participants come at the expense of de- 
creased services to other disadvantaged people. 

For example, the JTPA in many States is serving more welfare 
recipients but fewer members of other disadvantaged groups. This 
means that the counts of the number of people being served by 
JOBS may overstate the real increase in services to the poor. In 
addition, States that depend on other programs for services will 
have increasing difficulty meeting the rising Federal participation 
rate. They need more Federal funds to achieve this goal. 

We conclude that JOBS is a well-designed program, a major im- 
provement over the welfare employment programs that it replaced. 
Other than the need for greater financial assistance to States that 
have insufficient capacity to serve JOBS participants, we do not see 
the need for major reform in the design of welfare employment pro- 
grams at this time. 

Implementing JOBS was a complex effort that required consider- 
able energy by State and local administrators and frontline work- 
ers. The program is a good one. We believe that JOBS should be 
given time to realize its potential promise. If the President and 
Congress conclude that reforms are necessary, the new legislation 
should carefully build upon the JOBS program to preserve what 
the Family Support Act has created. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 

79-657 0-94-2 





before the 



March 15, 1994 

I am honored to be invited to appear before you today. I am on the faculty of the State 
University of New York at Albany and serve as co-principal investigator, along with Jan Hagen, for a 
ten-state study of the implementation of the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program 
(JOBS) enacted by the Family Support Act of 1988. 

We have been following the implementation of JOBS in ten states, and in three local welfare 
offices within each of the states, since the program was implemented nationwide in October 1990. Our 
sample of states includes Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, 
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. The purpose of our study is to learn how the federal 
law and regulations are actually being carried out by state and local agencies — what the JOBS program 
is in practice. We are not examining the program's impact on welfare recipients, although this is very 
important as well. 

Our study gives us grounds for both optimism and pessimism regarding the prospects for 
meeting the goals set forth in the Family Support Act. First the good news and then the bad news. 


■ The Family Support Act is well-designed legislation. The Act gives states the flexibility 
to create programs that are appropriate for individuals with diverse needs and abilities. It also allows 
states the discretion to tailor programs to their own political and economic environments and to 
organize programs in a way that draws upon the capacity of state and local institutions to deliver 
services. Finally, the Family Support Act helps states to finance the child care that parents need in 
order to engage in an education or training program and in order to take a job. 

Although our states' JOBS programs vary considerably, most states make strong efforts to 
offer recipients the opportunity to pursue their education. All of the states have dedicated some of 
their JOBS funds to increasing the availability of education, especially remedial education for 
individuals without a high school diploma. Many states give recipients the opportunity for post- 
secondary education; Pell grants and guaranteed student loans finance tuition while JOBS finances 
supportive services such as child care. About half of our states use JOBS funds to increase the 
availability of job skills training and have succeeded in offering skills training to a significant share of 
participants. The others devoted little or no JOBS funds to job skills training and rely heavily on the 
programs of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). A few states place considerable emphasis on 
job search programs and work experience programs where recipients work off their grant in a public or 
nonprofit organization. 

■ Despite the fiscal stress facing many of the states, they are generally devoting more 
funds to the program each year and are thereby drawing down an increasing percentage of the 
federal funds allocated for JOBS. The ten states as a group drew down 5 1 percent of their federal 
JOBS funds in 1991 and 72 percent in 1992. State welfare agencies are increasingly using the funds of 
other agencies, particularly educational agencies, as part of their state match in order to draw down 
more of their federal allocation of JOBS funds. This is permitted under the federal rules and is 


assisting states during a period of fiscal stress. To some degree, however, the use of these other 
funding streams may be driving the content of the program. 

■ Although the 20-hour rule denning participation in JOBS has sparked a considerable 
amount of criticism, it is encouraging states to provide more intensive services and to develop the 
capacity to track and monitor individuals to ensure that they participate in the program. 

The federal regulations permit states to count as JOBS participants only those individuals who, 
as a group, are scheduled to participate in JOBS for an average of 20 hours per week. Much of the 
criticism of the 20-hour rule occurred because the states had to change their programs, or develop new 
programs, in order to meet the rule. But this was the objective of the 20-hour rule — to require states 
to provide more meaningful services. Perhaps a less demanding definition of "participation" would 
have been better. But now that we have the rule and states are adjusting to it, we should stay with it 
for a while. It is driving the program in the right direction, requiring states to develop meaningful 
JOBS activities and encouraging participants to make a substantial commitment of time, similar to the 
commitment they would make in order to hold down a job. Our only suggestion is that full-time 
college students be counted as full-time JOBS participants. 

■ States are drawing heavily upon the expertise of other agencies, particularly educational 
institutions and the JTPA, to obtain a supply of services for JOBS participants. All state welfare 
agencies, to a greater or lesser degree, are using JOBS funds to contract with other service providers 
for JOBS services. We were impressed by the array of education and training providers that is 
available in most communities and their willingness to serve JOBS participants, particularly if they are 
paid for their services. If more funds were appropriated for JOBS, an additional supply of services 
would be forthcoming. 

■ Most states have also been successful in referring JOBS participants to the programs of 
other agencies without using JOBS funds, thereby increasing the resources devoted to them. These 
subsidies from other programs have been critical in implementing the program, even in states that 
have funded JOBS at a relatively high level. States that devote only limited state funds to JOBS are 
almost completely dependent on the resources of other programs. 

JOBS participants are being served by a wide variety of programs, including the JTPA, the 
Adult Education Act, the Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, the Higher 
Education Act's Pell grants, local public school programs, state and local post-secondary education 
institutions, state and local programs for troubled teenagers, and others. In some states, the services 
funded through JOBS are only the tip of the iceberg. 


Our research also gives us concern about the future of JOBS implementation. 

■ Some states are on a collision course with the federally mandated participation rate, 
which is 15 percent this year and rises to 20 percent next year. The 40 percent participation rate 
that is mandated for two-parent AFDC-UP families this fiscal year, and the rising rates in future years, 
will take the federal mandates even more out of the reach of some states. All the states in our study 
except Maryland reported that they were meeting the federally mandated participation rate in 1992, by 
a substantial margin in several states, but many states did not foresee how they would meet the 
increasing rates with the resources currently available to them. 

■ We question the accuracy of the participation rates reported by the states, for some of 
the same reasons identified in a study by the General Accounting Office in May 1993. For 

example, some states understate their participation rate by excluding from their count of JOBS 
participants all individuals who participate for less than 20 hours per week. We suspect that some 
others overstate their participation rate by not counting all of the people who are required to participate 
in the program. Some states have only recently developed the capacity to calculate the participation 
rate according to the rules set forth in the federal regulations or they have not yet developed this 

■ Even if states were to spend enough to claim their full allocation of federal JOBS funds, 
it is not certain that they would be able to achieve the increasing federally mandated rates of 
participation with reliance on these funds alone. Without the subsidies provided by the educational 


system and the JTPA, it is difficult to foresee how states could provide sufficient services to assist the 
required number of welfare recipients. Maryland has not relied heavily on the services of other 
agencies and is having difficulty meeting the federal participation rate despite drawing down a 
substantial share of its federal funds. 

■ Although subsidies from other agencies are necessary, they may encourage an inefficient 
use of resources. Where the JOBS program is subsidized by other agencies, the actual cost of serving 
participants is considerably greater than the cost to the welfare agency. To the extent that JOBS 
administrators choose among services based on their cost to the welfare agency, rather than their actual 
cost, these subsidies may discourage them from using the best and most cost-effective mix of services. 
For example, the actual cost of job search services is low relative to the cost of higher education. But 
because job search is typically financed with JOBS funds, while higher education is financed through 
other programs, job search appears more costly to the welfare agency than higher education. 

■ The majority of the states we studied are not making vigorous efforts to require that 
welfare recipients participate in the program. Participation in JOBS is voluntary for welfare 
recipients in several states and participation is mandatory but weakly enforced in several others. 

A lack of JOBS services led some states to focus their limited resources on people who were motivated 
enough to volunteer for the program. Several administrators argued that the cost of enforcing the 
participation mandate, in terms of the staff time needed to sanction recipients for failure to comply 
without good cause, was not worth the benefit in terms of increased participation. 

■ Most states did not devote large amounts of resources to staff activities such as case 
management. The majority of welfare agencies hired few, if any, staff as they implemented the 
program, instead reassigning existing staff or increasing their responsibilities where necessary. Lack 
of staff in the welfare agencies was a bottleneck in several states as they sought to increase 
participation in the program. 

Nine of the ten states elected to offer case management as a component of JOBS, but our 
survey of front-line workers indicated that their average monthly caseload was 106 cases. Case 
managers reported that one-third of their time was spent in tracking and monitoring individuals' 
participation in the program. Large caseloads and heavy paperwork prohibit case managers from 
working intensively with clients. To serve individuals who have greater barriers to participation, 
additional staff are needed for more comprehensive assessments, intensive case management services, 
and additional supportive services such as substance abuse treatment. 

■ In some states, welfare agencies were reluctant to make work experience and work 
supplementation programs central features of their JOBS programs because of the actual or 
perceived displacement of regular workers by welfare recipients. Large-scale expansion of these 
programs, which might be necessary if AFDC were time-limited, may be opposed by employees and 
their unions in some states. The recent actions of some of the states to increase their participation rates 
through work experience give opponents of work experience good reason for concern. Most of our 
states that have increased their referrals to work experience are not using the Community Work 
Experience Program (CWEP), where the hours of work are limited to the amount of the welfare grant 
divided by the minimum wage. Instead, they are using the authority in the Family Support Act to 
create an alternative work experience program where the hours of work are unrelated to the amount of 
the welfare grant, so that recipients can be required to work in exchange for benefits at a rate that is 
well below the minimum wage. 


Our research suggests that the major impediment to program implementation is a lack of 
funding, both at the state and federal levels. Most states are not spending enough to draw down all 
their federal funds. Oregon, the only state in our sample that has consistently drawn down its full 
federal share, is spending a large amount of unmatched state funds in order to achieve its participation 
rate. Preparing welfare recipients for financial self-sufficiency is a major task that will require a 
greater commitment of federal funds than the Family Support Act currently offers. 

Advocates for the Family Support Act argued that government and welfare recipients bear a 
mutual obligation: government has an obligation to provide welfare recipients with education, 
training, and employment services, while welfare recipients in turn have an obligation to make efforts 
to become economically self-sufficient. The funding levels for JOBS indicate that neither the 


federal government nor most state governments have fully assumed this obligation and that they, 
in turn, are limited in their ability to impose obligations on recipients of welfare. 

We are also concerned that states are not giving enough support to the staff of the welfare 
agencies, the people who have the face-to-face contact with recipients. We expect these front-line 
workers to do many tasks -- inform people about the JOBS program, motivate them to participate, 
arrange services and child care, monitor their attendance in JOBS programs, and help resolve day-to- 
day problems that interfere with participation in JOBS. Yet many states have been reluctant to 
increase the staff of their welfare agencies and some have even cut staff. If we expect performance 
by welfare agencies, as do the advocates for time-limited welfare benefits, we should acknowledge 
their important role and give them the support that they require to do their job well. 

Perhaps most important, the JOBS program needs to be given time. JOBS is complex to 
implement: it demands adjustments in the operations of welfare agencies, the development of linkages 
with other organizations, the creation of programs that meet both the needs of welfare recipients and 
the mandates of the federal legislation, and the development of computerized information systems to 
monitor the activities of participants and to report these to the federal government. JOBS has been 
operating nationwide for only three years, and these years included a period of recession with fiscal 
pressures on state budgets and a weak demand for labor. This economic environment has not given 
states the opportunity to demonstrate whether JOBS is up to the task of reducing welfare dependency 
and costs. Now that the program designs and infrastructure are in place, local agencies need time to 
stabilize their operations and see whether JOBS can deliver. 

Our research suggests to us that the JOBS program holds promise for further development of 
meaningful welfare employment programs. While time and money are needed, and a strong economy 
would help, the Family Support Act continues to be a sound basis for state and local programs. There 
is no quick fix to the problem of welfare dependency; if there were, we would long since have found 
it. We urge the President and Congress to have the patience to permit the JOBS program to unfold and 
to make only small course corrections rather than overhaul the welfare system. If major reforms are 
made, the new legislation should carefully build upon the JOBS program to preserve what the Family 
Support Act has created. 


The primary research approach in our implementation study is field network research. The 
essential feature of this methodology is a network of senior policy analysts who assess the JOBS 
program in their state by using a uniform instrument for collecting and analyzing information. Our 
first round of field research was conducted in October through December 1990 and focused on the 
initial choices made by the states in implementing JOBS. The second round of field research occurred 
in June through August 1991 and focused on JOBS implementation in three local sites within each 
state: a metropolitan area, a mid-sized city, and a small or rural community. The final round of 
research was conducted in June through August 1992 to examine the changes made by both the states 
and the local sites as they further developed their programs. We also conducted a survey of front-line 
workers using a self-administered questionnaire distributed in the fall of 1991. 

Our work was done under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public 
policy research center of the State University of New York. The study was funded by The Pew 
Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, the Foundation for 
Child Development, and the New York State Department of Social Services. 



Jan L. Hagen and Irene Lurie, Implementing JOBS: Initial State Choices . Nelson A. 
Rockefeller Institute of Government, March 1992. 

Jan L. Hagen, Irene Lurie, and Ling Wang, Implementing JOBS: The Perspective of Front- 
Line Workers . Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, June 1993. 

Jan L. Hagen and Irene Lurie, Child Care Services and JOBS: Local Implementation . Nelson 
A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, July 1993. 

Irene Lurie and Jan L. Hagen, Implementing JOBS: The Initial Design and Structure of Local 
Programs . Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, July 1993. 

Copies of reports may be obtained by writing JOBS Implementation Study, School of Social Welfare, 
State University of New York at Albany, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12222. 


Mr. KOPETSKI. Thank you for your testimony. 
Judith Gueron. 


Ms. Gueron. Thank you. Good morning. I appreciate the oppor- 
tunity to appear before this committee and to tell you what we 
have learned about the effectiveness of the JOBS program. 

As you know very well, the Family Support Act contained a vi- 
sion of responsibility and reform. Parents were supposed to support 
their children, and welfare should provide a reciprocal obligation, 
a route toward, not an alternative to, work. 

Today, we are again discussing welfare reform, and one might 
reasonably ask, why? Was that legislation flawed? Are there new 
problems that require new solutions? Or was the legislation never 
fully implemented? The answer is important, because different di- 
agnoses suggest different cures. 

My response is twofold. There is new concern about the growing 
number of people who work full time but remain poor and about 
the recent rapid increase in the AFDC rolls. However, much of the 
clamor comes from the fact that the JOBS program has not fun- 
damentally changed the nature and character of AFDC. 

JOBS has resulted in the provision of more education and train- 
ing services, and recent results from California and Florida show 
that it does lead to increases in work and reductions in welfare. 
Average performance in those two States is encouraging. It also 
shows that high-performance JOBS programs can do substantially 
better, with double-digit increases in the share of recipients moving 
into jobs, in one case, a 50-percent increase in earnings, and suc- 
cess with long-term recipients, a very important group. 

But in many communities, JOBS has not implemented a partici- 
pation mandate focused on work. If this diagnosis is correct, the 
lesson is one not likely to be popular. JOBS was intended not only 
to provide services, but also to change welfare and make it more 
transitional. To achieve this, States do not necessarily need a new 
program, but they do need added resources to create the activities 
that would make the JOBS obligation and opportunity real, clear 
Federal guidance on the program's vision and on program strate- 
gies that have proven successful, and strengthened local commit- 
ment to enforce a participation obligation and operate high- 
performing programs. 

Congress will need to increase funding and clarify program goals, 
but just as urgent and difficult will be changing administrative 
practice in the field. Changing welfare as we know it has to happen 
on the ground. It takes time, vision, and will to change large insti- 
tutions like the welfare system, but research shows it is feasible. 

JOBS' largest impact so far have been registered in Riverside, 
Calif., which provides one possible version of how to make JOBS 
real, and you will hear later from the Commissioner in that county. 
When you walk into a JOBS office in Riverside, the program com- 
municates a message of high expectations. You are there for one 
purpose, to get a job. 


At orientation, job developers announce new job openings, and 
throughout, program staff convey an upbeat message about the 
value of work and people's potential to succeed. If you are in an 
education program, and about half of Riverside participants are, 
you are not marking time, as you can be in some locations. You 
know that if you don't complete the education program, or at least 
advance in it, staff who are closely monitoring your progress will 
insist that you look for a job. Finally, if offered a job by a job devel- 
oper, you have to take it or have your grant reduced. 

In that community, welfare has changed for all people in JOBS, 
and this was done under the provisions of the Family Support Act. 
But there are too few such programs. To date, in many commu- 
nities, the resources have not been adequate for administrators 
even to attempt to transform AFDC. At the very time that we are 
learning and have the building blocks in place to learn more about 
JOBS' potential to change behavior, we see programs unable to re- 
alize that promise. 

Yet making JOBS work is critical to any attempt to move fur- 
ther. It is hard to imagine a serious discussion of time-limiting wel- 
fare, with or without work at the end, unless JOBS does a better 
job than it is now of reducing the rolls. The risk will be too high. 
Too many people will hit the cliff, that is, the time limit, and either 
require subsidized work that is likely to cost the public more than 
welfare itself or face a dramatic loss in income with unknown ef- 
fects on families and children. 

The task of JOBS implementation, therefore, cannot be avoided. 
JOBS is the upstream program, if you will, that must succeed bet- 
ter before time limits can realistically be afforded downstream. If 
JOBS does not become a more high-performance system and in- 
stead reverts to the more anemic version of WIN that it was meant 
to replace, any effort at time-limiting welfare will be buried alive 
under the cost and feasibility of massive job creation. 

Thus, it is essential that we understand why JOBS has not 
transformed AFDC and act to bring the system up to the perform- 
ance of the more effective programs. Our past history of welfare re- 
form is one of impressive rhetoric, underfunded efforts, and limited 
real change. The Family Support Act has already created substan- 
tial movement, but further steps are needed for it to deliver on its 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 



Good morning. I am Judith Gueron, President of the Manpower Demonstration 
Research Corporation. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this Committee today to 
present what we have learned about the implementation and effectiveness of the Job 
Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program created by the Family Support Act 
of 1988 (FSA). 

This hearing is being held at an important time. The Family Support Act affirmed a 
vision of responsibility and reform: Parents should support their children; welfare should 
contain a reciprocal obligation, whereby recipients must take steps toward independence and 
states must provide services to assist that transition. The idea was to make the Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program more transitional: to provide a route 
toward, not an alternative to, work. 

Currently, in state capitals and here in Washington, there is a clamor for further 
reform. One might reasonably ask: Why are we discussing this again? Was the legislation 
flawed? Are there important new issues requiring new solutions? Or was the legislation 
never fully implemented? The answer is important, because different diagnoses will lead to 
different prescriptions. 

In summary, my response is that: 

• There is new concern about the growing number of people who work 
full time but earn below-poverty wages. This issue was not fully 
addressed in the Family Support Act, and is one element of current 
state and federal proposals and action. There is also concern about the 
recent rapid growth in the AFDC rolls, a 33 percent increase in the last 
four years. 

• However, much of the clamor comes from the fact that JOBS has not 
fundamentally changed the message and character of AFDC. It has 
resulted in the provision of more education and training services, and 
does seem to be increasing work and reducing welfare, but the system 
has not enforced a participation mandate focused on work. 

If this diagnosis is correct, the lesson is one not likely to be popular in Washington. 
For JOBS to change welfare will require added resources so that states and localities can 
create the activities that would make the obligation real, clearer federal guidance on the 
program"s vision, and strengthened local commitment to enforce a participation obligation 
and operate high-performing programs. Congress will need to increase funding and clarify 
program goals, but just as urgent — and difficult - will be changing administrative practice 
in the field. 

Changing welfare as we know it has to happen on the ground. While I will point to 
examples where JOBS has transformed the welfare system, the broad implementation story is 
that this has not occurred. 

If JOBS were fully implemented — with tough obligations, adequate services, and 
high-expectations programs focused on work - welfare could feel different and temporary. 
But to date, in many communities, the resources have not been adequate for administrators 
even to attempt this transformation. At the very time that we are learning - and have the 
building blocks in place to learn more - about JOBS' potential to change behavior, we see 
programs unable to realize this promise. In my view, this is a key reason the welfare reform 
debate has been joined again today. 

Yet making JOBS work is critical to any attempt to move further. For example, it is 
hard to imagine a serious discussion of time-limiting welfare, with or without work at the 
end. unless JOBS does better at reducing the rolls. Too many people will hit the cliff — that 
is, the time limit - and either require subsidized work that is likely to cost the public more 
than welfare itself or face a dramatic loss of income, with unknown effects on families and 


The task of JOBS implementation cannot be avoided. JOBS is the upstream program 
that must succeed better before time limits can realistically be afforded downstream. Thus, it 
is essential that we understand why JOBS has not transformed AFDC and act to make this 

In the rest of this testimony, I will discuss the challenge of welfare reform, the legacy 
from studies of pre-JOBS welfare-to-work programs, lessons on JOBS' effectiveness, steps to 
strengthen JOBS, and the implications for the current reform debate. 

The Challenge of Welfare Reform 

To understand the passion in welfare reform debates, it is useful to recall the 
complexity (and disagreement) surrounding fundamental program goals. 

When the federal government got into the welfare business in 1935, the aim was to 
help poor children. AFDC was intended to give poor mothers the same opportunity to stay 
at home with their children and out of the labor force that other mothers had. It represented 
what one researcher, Gilbert Steiner of the Brookings Institution, called a national 
commitment to the idea that a mother's place is in the home. 

Since then, a series of changes - women pouring into the labor market, the 
increasing costs of welfare, the growing numbers of single-parent families, and concern 
about long-term dependency - undermined the 1930s view that welfare should provide an 
alternative to work and raised questions about the equity of paying one group of women to 
stay home on AFDC while others were working, often not by choice. The focus shifted 
toward trying to make welfare a route to work. 

Welfare reform proposals since the 1970s have sought to balance the original anti- 
poverty goal against a new anti-dependency goal, always under pressure to minimize costs. 

In the 1980s, efforts to encourage work took two main directions. The first was to 
make welfare less attractive, through dramatic cuts in real benefits. AFDC benefits have 
declined 45 percent in real terms in the last 20 years. In 1970, welfare benefits almost 
brought a family out of poverty; now they are only 40 percent of the poverty threshold. 
Even if offsetting increases in Food Stamps are taken into account, combined realbenefits 
fell 26 percent over this period. 

The second was to make welfare less an entitlement — if you were poor, you got 
money — and more a reciprocal obligation. This idea seemed simple: To get benefits, 
people would have to participate in activities designed to help them get a job. 

In its most common form, this strategy has required welfare recipients to participate 
in employment-directed activities — such as education, job training, job search, or 
community work projects — or risk losing some welfare benefits. 

The resulting welfare-to-work programs are, in part, an employment and training 
strategy, but they are also a welfare reform program intended to change the character and 
message of welfare from an entitlement to a participation requirement focused on work. 

This tension between services and mandates, layered on the tension between welfare's 
anti-poverty and anti-dependency goals, means that different administrators or advocates have 
very different views of the basic goals and thus tools of welfare-to-work programs. People 
who emphasize raising earnings and reducing poverty tend to favor investing in education 
and training to improve job skills; people who emphasize reducing welfare dependency and 
costs stress enforcing a mandate (getting high participation) and maximizing job placements. 

Lessons from Pre-JOBS Welfare-to-Work Programs 

The 1987-88 debate on welfare reform, leading to the passage of the Family Support 
Act, was nourished by widely believed evidence that welfare-to-work programs could work. 


but also that the gains were limited. 

Studies of the earlier 1980s programs (typically low-to-moderate-cost programs that 
focused on getting people into jobs quickly and provided some short-term unpaid work 
experience) had shown that states and counties could implement effective, large-scale 
programs and that different approaches in diverse environments could be double winners: 
increasing the earnings of participants and saving money for taxpayers. 

However, the same studies also showed that many people remained on welfare and 
that most of those who went to work got relatively low-paying jobs that did not move 
families out of poverty. Also, by themselves, the programs did not increase the self- 
sufficiency of long-term welfare recipients - the people on whom the most is spent. 

A recently completed five-year follow-up of people in these programs shows that 
impacts lasted for three to four years, but that eventually people in a control group caught up 
with those in the program. This catch-up did not erase the earnings gains and welfare 
savings that the programs achieved, but it did mean that the gains did not keep accumulating 
and suggests that these programs primarily got people to take jobs and leave the rolls more 
quickly than they would otherwise have done. The programs do not appear to have reduced 
the number of people who would still be on welfare five years later. 

Three other findings are particularly relevant to the current debate: 

• Impacts seem to have been driven by job search services, not by unpaid 
work experience. Unpaid work experience proved feasible to operate 
at relatively small scale, but there was little evidence that it led to 
positive employment and earnings effects or to a reduction in welfare 
receipt and payments. However, there was evidence that, at the scale 
realized, work assignments could be meaningful, were considered fair, 
and produced work of sufficient value to offset their approximately 
$2000 to $4000 annual cost per filled slot, excluding child care. 

• A program in Baltimore that offered some education and training and 
more client choice of services was the only one to get people somewhat 
better jobs and to have had earnings impacts that continued for the full 
five years of follow-up. 

• Another demonstration program - the Saturation Work Initiative 
Model (SWIM) in San Diego - was given full funding to test the 
feasibility and nature of a saturation participation mandate. Results 
showed that, even under ideal conditions, maximum monthly 
participation translated into about 50 percent of single parents with 
school-aged children being active in the program, in self-initiated 
education or training, or in part-time work. 

The JOBS program sought to build on the strengths of these 1980s Work Incentive 
(WIN) Programs, but to do better. It provided more resources, extended the obligation to 
women with younger children, and shifted the emphasis to education and training. The hope 
was that, as a result, people would get better jobs with higher earnings and that the program 
would succeed in raising the earnings of the more disadvantaged. 

In response to findings that today's teen mothers are all too often tomorrow's long- 
term welfare recipients, JOBS also required states - subject to funding availability — to 
extend an education mandate to teen parents who had not completed high school or its 

Lessons on JOBS' Effectiveness 

We now have important findings on JOBS' success for teen mothers and adults. 


Results from Ohio's LEAP Program 

Ten years ago, Mary Jo Bane's and David Ellwood's research alerted people to the 
fact that, while most people spend relatively brief periods on welfare, some do not. Teen 
parents are at the greatest risk of becoming long-term welfare recipients, and more than half 
of welfare spending goes to families headed by women who first gave birth as teens. 

The need to find effective strategies for teen parents is magnified by the encouraging 
but limited success of welfare-to-work programs for adults, particularly the most 
disadvantaged adults. This argues for strategies that can intervene early to prevent young 
mothers from becoming long-term welfare recipients. 

But identifying a problem is not equivalent to having evidence of a solution. The 
Learning, Earning, and Parenting (LEAP) Program, developed by Ohio's Department of 
Human Services, is one of the first statewide large-scale attempts to put JOBS' school 
attendance mandate into practice. 

LEAP uses an unusual mix of financial incentives and penalties, case management, 
and support services to promote school attendance. For a teen who attends school regularly, 
LEAP'S bonus adds $62 a month on top of the average $274 grant; for a teen who attends 
poorly, LEAP reduces monthly grants by the same amount. The financial incentive is 
substantial, with a teen who attends school regularly receiving $124 more per month than one 
who does not. 

Results, now available for 7,000 teens in seven Ohio counties, show that: 

• LEAP prevented some in-school teens from dropping out and brought 
some dropouts back to school. 

• In-school teens experienced a 10 percentage point increase in 
continuous school enrollment during the year after they became eligible 
for LEAP. 

• For dropouts, there was a 13 percentage point increase in the rate at 
which teens returned to school or entered adult education programs. 

• Although the school completion story is not yet finished, early evidence 
indicates that LEAP may produce significant increases in high school 
graduation and GED receipt. 

To produce these results, Ohio spent $330 per teen per year in direct costs (that is, 
not including the cost of increased schooling), and at some point over an 18-month period 
scheduled fully 93 percent of the mothers for bonuses, sanctions, or both. While the typical 
teen came out ahead under LEAP, about 13 percent qualified for four or more sanctions and 
no bonuses. For this group - primarily teens who had been out of school for more than a 
year - LEAP produced no clear benefits and put their children at further risk. 

While the findings are encouraging overall, it is too soon to know the payoff in 
improved high school graduation rates or whether LEAP'S education gains will translate into 
improved labor market performance and reduced welfare receipt, the ultimate goals of the 

LEAP'S success results from actions by the welfare department, aided in many cases 
by in-school programs for teen parents. One can only imagine the potential synergy if these 
were combined with serious efforts to change the schools themselves — schools that LEAP 
teens all too frequently said they feared to attend. Although the causes of high dropout rates 
are clearly complex, LEAP'S results point to the continued importance of efforts to improve 
the school environment for low-income youth. 

The LEAP results are surprisingly positive. In considering their replication, it is 


important to remember that the program was a package that included bonuses, sanctions, case 
management, child care, and transportation. We do not know which of these elements was 
most vital to the program's success. 

Results from California's GAIN Program 

The most reliable information to date on JOBS' success with adults comes from 
MDRC's evaluation of California's JOBS program, called Greater Avenues for Independence 
(or GAIN) — a study conducted for the California Department of Social Services. The 
interim results are important because of the scale of the program (25 percent of AFDC funds 
and 12 percent of JOBS funds are spent in California); because, during the period studied. 
GAIN offered a good test of JOBS, with serious mandates and extensive education and 
training services; and because the study is particularly reliable, with a strong random 
assignment design covering 33,000 people in six counties, which together hold 52 percent of 
the state's AFDC caseload. 

The findings are both encouraging and challenging: 

• GAIN resulted in notable and increasing impacts on employment and 
earnings and some reductions in welfare costs. Importantly, in several 
counties this was also true for long-term welfare recipients. 

• Results varied widely across the six counties studied. While, 
overall, GAIN'S mix of services and mandates increased single 
parents' second-year earnings by 24 percent and cut welfare 
payments by 7 percent, impacts were particularly large in 
Riverside County, where earnings went up an average of 53 
percent and welfare costs decreased by 17 percent. 

If impacts of this magnitude — which are averages for every person in 
the JOBS program - could be replicated elsewhere, JOBS could have a 
substantial effect on work effort and AFDC costs and serve as an 
impressive building block of reform. 

• The results also show that, with sufficient funding, JOBS can change 
welfare as we know it to a program with real obligations and real 

The news from California suggests that JOBS can make an important contribution to 
the overall effectiveness of welfare reform efforts. With resources and commitment, states 
that want to combine opportunities and real participation obligations can change the basic 
character of welfare and both increase employment and reduce welfare costs. Further, while 
on average the results are positive, at their strongest they represent a major achievement and 
evidence of what can be accomplished within the JOBS program. 

Early findings on Florida's JOBS program, Project Independence, provide further 
evidence of positive results in another large and diverse state, but also suggest caution, since 
earnings impacts were concentrated among women with school-aged (as opposed to pre- 
school-aged) children. 

While these results provide an encouraging early report card, for JOBS to promote 
change and transform AFDC, additional resources are required. In the current hard-pressed 
fiscal climate in most states, JOBS can provide only limited services to relatively small 
numbers of welfare recipients. As a result, the reciprocal obligation often exists largely on 

JOBS as Welfare Reform 

This story of mixed implementation success can be interpreted two ways. Some 
might urge that the country move on to new approaches. To this I would counter that, 


unless JOBS works better, most of the next-stage activities now being discussed will have 
high risks. The task of JOBS implementation cannot be avoided. It will take time to change 
large institutions, but the research shows this is possible. We can do better. 

In the language of the current debate, I would argue that one way to "change welfare 
as we know it" is to make JOBS real, and point to the example of Riverside, California, 
which emerged from the GAIN study, to show that this can happen. 

More than any other place I know of, this program communicates a message of high 
expectations. When you walk into a GAIN office in Riverside, you are there for one 
purpose: to get a job. At orientation, job developers announce job openings; throughout, 
program staff convey an upbeat message about the value of work and people's potential to 
succeed. If you are in an education program - and about half of Riverside GAIN 
participants are - you are not marking time, as you can in some locations. You know that 
if you do not complete the program, or at least make progress in it, staff who are closely 
monitoring your progress will insist that you look for a job. Finally, if offered a job by a 
job developer, you have to take it or have your grant reduced. 

Under this regime, welfare feels temporary. I would argue that it could feel more 
temporary than under a nominally time-limited program, where someone could volunteer for 
education, make no clear progress, and then spend an indefinite number of years working for 

The Riverside model is only one possible version of a high-performance JOBS 
program. Other approaches may emerge as even more effective when longer-term research 
findings become available from California and elsewhere. The challenge at the federal and 
state levels will be to identify, replicate, and build on success. 

JOBS Approaches: Human Capital Development 
versus Immediate Job Placement 

What are the elements of an effective JOBS program? The 1980s studies provide a 
convincing record of the accomplishments and limitations of programs that offer mainly job 
search assistance and unpaid work experience. The record on human capital investment 
approaches is less clear. The JOBS evaluation, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, places particular emphasis on credibly comparing these two approaches 
to resolve a central issue in debates about JOBS. Will investments in education, training, 
and other skill-building services lead to welfare recipients' getting better jobs, to reductions 
in poverty, and to greater success with long-term recipients? 

Results are not yet available from that study, but there is relevant information from 
the GAIN and earlier evaluations. 

What are the returns to basic education? A new report shows that California's 
GAIN program led to increases in the number of hours in basic education, and to increases 
in the receipt of a GED. However, welfare recipients in only one of the six study counties 
experienced increases in scores on a test of literacy and mathematical problem-solving. 
Moreover, at two years, there is as yet no link between sites with educational gains and sites 
with earnings gains (although the report argues that two years may have been too short a 
time to detect impacts, and points to some evidence that earnings may have improved at the 
three-year follow-up point). Further, the report notes that education gains are concentrated 
among individuals with relatively high levels of literacy and that test score gains are 
concentrated in the site that made special efforts to adapt existing adult education programs 
to the special needs of people on welfare. These mixed findings suggest that basic education 
in JOBS can make a difference, but that more than business as usual will be needed in order 
to succeed with the more disadvantaged. 

What are the lessons from Baltimore? While these GAIN findings raise cautions 
about mandatory basic education in JOBS, the recent results from the five-year follow-up of 
1980s programs cited earlier is a reminder of the limits of a primarily job-search program 


and the possibility of greater long-term earnings gains from a human capital development 
approach. The Baltimore Options program, a not very mandatory program that offered 
education and training in addition to job search and work experience, had particularly 
enduring earnings gains, although it produced no welfare savings. 

The importance of the JOBS evaluation. The new findings on basic education in 
GAIN may prompt some people to counsel shifting the focus in JOBS, while the findings 
from Baltimore point to the potential of human capital investments. Together, they imply 
that different approaches can be more or less successful in achieving different goals. 
Importantly, they also suggest that the evidence is not decisive, pointing to the significance 
of the direct comparison of human capital and labor force attachment approaches that forms 
the centerpiece of the JOBS evaluation that MDRC is conducting for HHS. 

Steps to Strengthen JOBS 

It is easy to argue for making JOBS stronger. It is more difficult to outline how to 
achieve that. High-performance JOBS programs are likely to share certain features. Key 
among these would be the strong commitment to — and adequate resources for — working 
with all mandatory registrants; reasonable staff caseloads and reliable automated systems so 
that JOBS workers can monitor and report on participation; strong linkages between JOBS 
staff and welfare eligibility workers so that a new message can be communicated to welfare 
recipients; JOBS staff who promote the value of work and the capabilities of welfare 
recipients, who are willing to enforce participation mandates, and who know how to work 
with private sector employers. Focusing on these types of issues would shift programs more 
toward improving internal management and away from the necessary but largely completed 
work of building institutional linkages that has characterized implementation efforts until 

This suggests a number of steps that HHS (or Congress, where appropriate) can take 
to expand and strengthen JOBS: 

• Articulate a strong vision of the JOBS program. This will not be easy, 
because it will require choices as to the philosophy and values of the 
program, but it will help guide the system with regard to program 

Such a vision might include refocusing the system on the goal of 
getting people jobs and on the concept of a reciprocal obligation. This 
could contain a continued emphasis on education and training, but 
complemented by an insistence on job search and employment for those 
not opting for, and not demonstrating a commitment to disciplined 
participation and progress in, those activities. 

• Provide additional resources, with a substantially higher federal 
match, for states that increase program activity above current 
rates, and employ other measures to encourage states to draw 
down these resources and expand JOBS program staff and 

• Strengthen the reciprocal obligation by requiring states to work with a 
much higher share cf the caseload, but at the same time redefine and 
simplify the calculation so that the performance measure is both more 
logical and more accurate in reflecting staff enforcement than is the 
case under the current system. 

One option would be to substitute for the current participation measure 
the concept of "coverage," whereby people would be counted as 
covered if, for example, they were active in the program, working part- 
or full-time, in the sanctioning process, or temporarily excused from 
participating (for specified reasons, and only for a certain percentage of 


the caseload). Such a change would send a "saturation" message, 
reward staff efforts to enforce the reciprocal obligation and meet 
program rules, and be consistent with research lessons on effective 

• Provide increased technical assistance and training to state and local 
program staff on practices associated with success in JOBS. 

• Require or encourage administrators both to use job developers 
aggressively in their JOBS programs and to implement variants of the 
approach used in Ohio's LEAP program. 

• Continue efforts to identify effective JOBS approaches and techniques 
(particularly ones that are successful with long-term and potential long- 
term recipients) in order to assure a return to the expanded investment 
in JOBS. 

Implications for Further Reform 

Past research suggests that, even with improved practices, JOBS programs by 
themselves are not likely to move very large numbers of people out of poverty or off 
welfare. (For example, even in Riverside, almost 50 percent of people slated for GAIN 
were still receiving full or partial AFDC grants two years after coming into the program.) 
But new changes may mean that future programs can do substantially better. 

JOBS programs have been swimming upstream against a current of declining wages 
for the low-skilled. In that environment, they seem to help, but not to transform people's 
opportunities. One of the new elements on the political agenda is the commitment to making 
work pay, as exemplified by the recent expansion in the Earned Income Tax Credit. Given 
how difficult it has been to transform earnings capacity, this focus on making any job a 
better job may offer more direct promise of increasing self-sufficiency and reducing poverty. 

Federal and state efforts to make work pay should make JOBS programs more 
successful by creating a positive synergy. With increased work incentives, economic forces 
will reinforce rather than pull against the goal of work mandates. 

But, for most welfare recipients, stronger JOBS programs and work incentives still 
ignore half of the equation: the fathers of children on welfare. The constraint on what can 
be achieved working with single mothers (given their limited earnings capacity) is one 
rationale for the increased emphasis on child support enforcement. 

Under the current child support system, men have an obligation to pay but no help in 
getting there. Some of the fathers of poor children have sporadic earnings, others work 
regularly, and many are unemployed. It is almost impossible for the child support 
enforcement system to sort this out: It has trouble finding the fathers and, when it does and 
they say they are unemployed, lacks a viable way to respond. Faced with this, some systems 
threaten the fathers with jail, others simply ignore them. Without direct evidence of income, 
the child support enforcement system has no way to make the mandate real for this crucial 
group of fathers. 

Judges and state officials see a new demonstration, Parents' Fair Share, launched 
under the Family Support Act, as providing an opportunity to do that. Parents' Fair Share is 
designed to provide employment and training services and extend the reciprocal obligation to 
fathers of children on welfare, and thereby make child support enforcement a more effective 
vehicle to reduce poverty. 

Time-Limited Welfare 

Another approach proposed at the federal and state level is setting a time limit after 
which welfare might end or employable welfare recipients would have to work in the private 


sector or in community service positions. This is a controversial concept, of unknown cost, 
feasibility, and consequences. If subsidized work is substituted for welfare, how can this be 
done at reasonable cost? If all benefits end, what will prevent large numbers of women and 
children from becoming destitute and homeless? 

Key questions about work at the end of a certain time period include: Can enough 
new "real" (rather than make-work) jobs be created? How many welfare recipients are not 
technically disabled but. at least temporarily, cannot work? Are there other groups (e.g., 
mothers of very young children) who should not be required to work? Should people in 
community service jobs work full time or part time? Should they be paid wages or work in 
exchange for welfare benefits? How will child care be provided? How will the time-limit 
clock be designed, and can existing state data systems provide the needed information? 
Finally, can and will the welfare bureaucracy manage and enforce the new obligations? 

There is a lesson from the last ten years of research, which I have been describing 
today, that goes beyond the findings themselves and is relevant to a consideration of such 
far-reaching change. In the 1980s, welfare reform benefited - and a consensus around 
legislation became possible - when new ideas were rigorously tested at the state level before 
being expanded across the nation. 

The numerous programmatic and fiscal uncertainties surrounding time-limiting welfare 
— and the inevitable up-front cost of current proposals (at a time when the public assumes 
that reform is synonymous with saving money) - suggest that this would also be a wise 
policy for the 1990s. A number of states, with federal waivers, are launching 
demonstrations of time-limited approaches, sometimes combined with measures to increase 
work incentives. Evaluations of these programs should provide some of the answers. 


Since 1967, Congress has sought to substitute for AFDC's entitlement structure a 
reciprocal obligation intended to reduce welfare and increase work. The 25-year history of 
underfunded attempts makes it hard to know the full potential of this strategy. However, the 
1980s research and the new findings on JOBS provide conclusive evidence that this approach 
can change the character of welfare and, at its most successful, be notably effective. 

But there is a big gap between the average and the exceptional program. In many 
communities, there are expanded services, but the Family Support Act's vision of 
requirements has yet to be implemented. Institutional change takes time, and JOBS is at a 
stage where programs need resources and strong incentives to build on and go beyond what 
has been accomplished so that the JOBS vision can be adequately tested. 

Yet this is a time of clear risk: risk that new reforms will compete with JOBS for 
limited resources; risk that interest in creating large-scale community work experience 
programs would so absorb JOBS staff that they would be diverted from their effort to get 
people off welfare; and ultimately risk that JOBS would revert to the more anemic version of 
WIN that it was meant to replace. 

A key to reducing the number of people supported on welfare or in subsidized work, 
and to changing the character of welfare, is to help JOBS achieve its potential - through 
adequate funding and efforts to make the mandate (as well as the opportunity) real. If JOBS 
were fully implemented - with tough obligations, adequate services, and high expectations 
focused on work — welfare could feel different and more transitional. Other state and 
federal reforms may have the effect of making JOBS even more successful, but should not 
divert administrators from the tough work of changing practice in the field. 

The coming year will be critical to determining the potential for expanding JOBS and 
bringing the system up to the performance of the more effective JOBS programs. Our past 
history of welfare reform is one of underfunded efforts and limited real change. The 
challenge will be to avoid repeating that. 


Mr. Kopetski. Thank you very much. 
Mr. Greenberg. Good morning. 


Mr. Greenberg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, in listening to the testimony of others this morn- 
ing and in my own written testimony, there are some remarkably 
consistent themes. One is that the JOBS program needs more re- 

One is that we need to recognize that this is a program that is 
relatively young and is going to need time to grow. 

One is that we need to recognize that there are enormous vari- 
ations among JOBS programs, some performing much more effec- 
tively than others. There needs to be an ability to learn how they 
best perform and how to build on the successes of those who per- 
form best. 

The fourth theme is that we need to have reasonable expecta- 
tions for what any JOBS program can accomplish and the role that 
it can play, both in reducing welfare and in reducing poverty. 

I want to amplify on several of those themes. First, on trie issue 
of resources, it really is important to appreciate that if we want 
JOBS to be the centerpiece of AFDC, it has to be funded to reflect 
that. Under current law, States are at approximately 10 or 11 per- 
cent monthly participation in the JOBS program. A greater number 
of people are probably affected over the course of the year, but in 
any given month, it appears to be in the range of 10 to 11 percent. 

This is despite the fact that if a State was requiring participation 
from everyone who the State could require participation from, the 
number of nonexempt people probably approaches something like 
80 percent. To a great extent, the issue is not that the remaining 
exemption rules need to be changed to mandate more participants. 
The issue is that there needs to be more resources in the program. 

At the same time, we also need to appreciate that even if we dou- 
bled the resources in the program right now, perhaps States would 
reach 25 percent participation. We are very far from a vision of 
universal participation. It may be a vision that some would like to 
eventually reach, but we are really quite far from it at this point. 

In terms of the program itself, I think there is tremendous en- 
couragement from those who are involved in working in the pro- 
gram around the country and in those of us who look at programs 
and watch them and talk to the people involved in programs. I 
think there is tremendous encouragement in what people feel they 
are accomplishing, that they feel that JOBS really has made some 
dramatic differences for those who can receive services, in better 
linking people up with education and training and employment- 
related opportunities. 

At the same time, a central problem in the program at the Fed- 
eral level has been that it is a program that has been obsessed 
with measuring participation and not with looking at outcomes. So 
at the Federal level, there is massive information about participa- 
tion rates and the number of people who participate and the num- 


ber of hours they participate, but virtually no information about 
program outcomes. 

As we move to thinking about welfare reform, and discussion of 
2-year limits and what can reasonably be accomplished in 2 years, 
it would be enormously valuable if we knew what States are ac- 
complishing in 2 years right now. 

For people who begin JOBS participation, where are they 2 years 
later? To what extent is it a program that can bring them toward 
self-sufficiency, under anyone's definition of self-sufficiency, or even 
bring them remotely close to self-sufficiency? 

There are huge data vacuums because the Federal Government 
is not collecting this information. To a great extent, one problem 
facing many States is that the message that the Federal Govern- 
ment has sent is that the central goal of the program is to generate 
and measure participation. 

As we look ahead to welfare reform, we have to be focused not 
just on participation but on program outcomes. 

In terms of program outcomes, there is a lot that we would like 
to know that, unfortunately, we don't because the data isn't there. 
From the MDRC experiments that have been talked about this 
morning, we know that effective JOBS programs can raise employ- 
ment rates, that they can help people enter employment more 
quickly, and that under some circumstances they can raise the 
earnings of people who get jobs. 

But there are also some fairly strong indications that even the 
most effective JOBS program does not fundamentally alter the 
need for an AFDC program. It can reduce the number of people 
who need assistance, but even in the most effective JOBS programs 
there are still very substantial numbers of people who, 2 years 
after they begin participation, are still in receipt of AFDC. 

So the notion of saying, if States simply run an effective JOBS 
program, it ought to be possible for very few people to reach a 2- 
year point on AFDC is simply not supported by the available evi- 

The last theme I would like to briefly discuss is the issue of 
changing the culture of the AFDC office. To some extent, JOBS 
didn't fundamentally change the culture of the AFDC office because 
it has only been able to affect a limited number of people each 

But also, to a great extent, the problem in the AFDC office is 
that there are caseworkers with extremely large caseloads and who 
are overwhelmed with the burdens of the paperwork of the AFDC 
system. So what JOBS has meant for them is additional paper- 

If we want to change the way that AFDC offices think about em- 
ployment, then we have to fundamentally think about ways of 
changing some of the rules of the AFDC program to dramatically 
simplify the eligibility process, to free up caseworkers' time so that 
they have an ability to talk about something other than verification 
of eligibility, and we also need to think about the earnings rules 
of the AFDC system. 

One of the things that is striking in the recent developments 


Mr. Kopetski. I didn't do that. 


Mr. Greenberg. I am very close to finishing. 

One of the things that is striking in recent developments is that 
a number of States have shown increasing interest in changing the 
AFDC earnings rules. In the current system, for all practical pur- 
poses, after 4 months on the job, for each dollar a family earns, the 
family loses $1 in assistance. 

A number of States have been interested in changing that. From 
States that have made changes through waivers there are some 
early indications that improved treatment of earnings appears to 
raise employment rates. And, whatever other effects it has, the ap- 
proach certainly reduces the poverty of the working poor. 

If we want to think of AFDC as a system which encourages work 
and supports work, we have to think about ways in which the 
AFDC office and the rules of the AFDC program can be changed 
in ways which fundamentally support people who go to work. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement and attachments follow:] 



Members of the Subcommittee; 

My name is Mark Greenberg. I am a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Law and Social Policy 
(CLASP). CLASP is a non-profit organization engaged in research, analysis, technical assistance, 
and advocacy on issues affecting low income families. My primary area of work involves federal 
and state welfare reform efforts. Since enactment of the Family Support Act, I have closely 
followed and written extensively on the law governing the JOBS Program, developments in state 
implementation of JOBS, and data and research relating to JOBS implementation. I greatly 
appreciate having an opportunity to talk with you today about the status of the JOBS Program. 

In my testimony today, I would like to make three primary points: 

At any given point, the JOBS Program involves only a small minority of AFDC recipients. 
However, that is Dpi because states lack the authority to require greater participation; it is 
because states lack the resources to involve more people. Ultimately, the key to having a 
program that reaches more people is an expansion in program resources. 

Based on how federal data is collected, we will eventually know quite a lot about the extent 
and nature of JOBS participation, but almost nothing about outcomes of JOBS participation. 
It is essential to shift the focus of the program from one that almost solely measures 
participation to one which also attends to outcomes. 

• The limited available information about JOBS outcomes and impacts offers a fairly clear 
picture: an effective JOBS Program can raise employment rates and earnings of AFDC 
families. At the same time, not everyone succeeds in getting a job, and those who do often 
enter into low-wage jobs and jobs that do not last. We are now in an environment where 
some are suggesting that with effective services, very few people should reach the point of 
needing AFDC more than two years. From the existing JOBS data, there is no basis for 
believing that even the most effective JOBS Program can end the need for AFDC. 

In the next few minutes I would like to expand on each of these points. 

The primary constraint on the number of JOBS participants is the availability of 

While many areas of welfare policy are hotly disputed, there is probably relatively little 
disagreement on one basic point: the JOBS Program needs to be bigger. It is generally recognized 
that the current program reaches only a small minority of AFDC recipients in any given month. 
While some people emphasize the need to expand services and others emphasize the need to expand 
mandates, there seems to be broad agreement that the JOBS Program should involve more people. 

In discussing JOBS participation data, I need to initially note that only very limited information is 
available for FY 92, and no data for FY 93 is currendy available. Due to state difficulties in 
reporting and federal difficulties in cumulating and publishing data, much of the information we 
would want to present a clear picture of the nature of JOBS participation is not available at this 

In FY 91, in an average month, the number of JOBS participants nationwide was either 460,914, 
or 498,195, or 500,674, depending on which report one uses. In any case, this represented about 
1 1% to 12% of adult AFDC recipients. In FY 92, the average number of participants each month 
is estimated to be in the range of 500,000, probably also representing about 1 1% of adult AFDC 
recipients. The HHS Budget does not provide a precise number, but does indicate that currendy, 
over 500,000 people are active in JOBS programs each month. This monthly figure is a measure 
of those who were involved in the program in some way in an average month. As such, it is 
important to keep in mind that: 

• When we say about 500,000 AFDC recipients were involved in JOBS in a month, that is not 
the same as saying the JOBS Program only reaches 500,000 AFDC recipients. Over the 
course of a year, a larger number of people will participate in the program, though there is 
no figure reflecting that number. Thus, more families are involved in the program in some 
way over time, but in any given month, JOBS affects about 1 1% of adult recipients. 


Due to the complexities of the JOBS participation rate calculation, there will always be a 
difference between the number of JOBS participants and the number of "countable 
participants" for participation rate purposes. Only those persons who, as a group, average 
20 or more hours of scheduled activity each week and attend at least 75% of scheduled hours 
are "countable participants." Hence, the number of "countable participants" will generally 
be lower than the number of participants, and it is entirely possible that a state's countable 
participants could increase or decrease while the state's number of actual participants 
remains constant. 

In any case, the key fact to appreciate is that on a monthly basis, JOBS involves a small fraction of 
AFDC families. Whenever anyone speaks about an ultimate vision of universal participation, we 
need to keep in mind how far the current system is from that vision. 

The limited number of participants is no! because states lack the authority to do more. To the 
contrary, a state exercising available federal options could probably require participation from 
approximately 80% of adult AFDC recipients. This is sometimes a subject of confusion because 
of how data is reported. For instance, according to data in HHS' Characteristics and Financial 
Circumstances of AFDC Recipients FY 91, it appears that in FY 91, approximately 57% of adult 
AFDC recipients were coded as being exempt from JOBS participation. In part, this reflects the fact 
that JOBS was not required to be statewide until October 1992; in part, it reflects a large number 
of exemptions based on the age of children and the lack of availability of child care. However, in 
FY 91, a state exercising all available options under federal law could have required participation 
from the vast majority of AFDC families. Under federal law, a state may set its age of exemption 
when a parent is caring for a young child at age 3, or may drop the age of exemption to as low as 
age 1. Of the 54 jurisdictions, 41 currently set their age of exemption at age 3; five use age 2, and 
eight use age 1. In FY 91, only about 9.5% of AFDC families had a child under age 1; however, 
not even all of these would have been exempt, since parents under 20 who have not completed high 
school do not receive the exemption for having a young child. All other exemption reasons 
(excluding remoteness from program activities) comprised another 11% of AFDC recipients. 
Accordingly, it seems clear that under current law, a state could mandate participation by 
approximately 80% of adult AFDC recipients. 

When one compares the potential to require participation by 80% with actual participation by 11%, 
it seems clear that the barrier to additional JOBS participation is not the exemption structure of 
federal law; it is the availability of resources to fund additional participants. 

On the issue of limited resources, there are really three different problems: many states have been 
unable to draw down all available federal JOBS funds; the federal cap on JOBS funds limits the 
amount that can be drawn down; and the expense of child care functions is a major constraint on 
JOBS participation. 

As to drawing down available funds, states have made progress in each of the last three years, but 
are still short of obligating all available funds. HHS staff indicate that states obligated $568,284,439 
of $ 1 billion available for FY 9 1 ; $686,250,460 of $ 1 billion available for FY 92; and according to 
preliminary figures, $823,21 1,471 of $1 billion in FY 93. Thus, in the last three years, states left 
over $900 million in federal funds unobligated when those funds could have been used for JOBS 

While states plainly left unspent available funds, it is important to keep two facts in mind when 
considering state spending: 

First, JOBS spending is reasonably close to what was originally projected by the 
Congressional Budget Office. CBO originally estimated that states would spend 60% of the 
capped entitlement in FY 91, 64% in FY 92, and 59% in FY 93. The JOBS capped 
entidement was intended to establish limits on state spending, and was not initially intended 
as a statement of what the state "should" spend. Only in the last few years have many 
observers treated a state's not drawing down its capped entitlement as a failure to do so. 

Second, even if states were spending every cent of their capped entitlements, JOBS would 
still only be reaching a small minority of AFDC recipients. The program involved 1 1% to 
12% of recipients each month in FY 91 and FY 92, when the states obligated 57% to 69% 


of available funds. Thus, even if all available funds were obligated, it seems unlikely the 
program would have reached much more than perhaps 20% of the AFDC population. 

While most states did not approach their caps in FY 92, a small number (Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, 
Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin) drew down at least 95% of their 
capped entitlements, and a greater number of states did so in FY 93. Thus, the issue of making 
additional funds available to those states that reach their caps looms as a larger issue for the future. 

The other major constraint on JOBS spending is child care. AFDC child care spending has grown 
rapidly in the last several years. Federal AFDC child care spending increased from $263 million 
in FY 91 to $360 million in FY 92 to $482 million in FY 93. This is in sharp contrast with the 
initial expectations of some observers that child care costs for JOBS implementation would not be 
substantial. Moreover, many state agencies readily acknowledge that the cost of child care is the 
primary factor limiting the growth of the JOBS Program. Indeed, the major area of litigation around 
the Family Support Act has concerned the unavailability of child care assistance. In six states, there 
have been lawsuits filed by individuals who wanted child care assistance in order to participate in 
education and training programs, and who were not being allowed to participate in JOBS. 

In contrast with JOBS, child care is an uncapped entitlement, so the limit on state spending here is 
not a federal cap; rather, it is the requirement that states must provide matching funds in order to 
generate federal match for child care at the Medicaid match rate. As this subcommittee considers 
future expansion of the JOBS Program, there is a real need to consider improving the match for 
child care expenditures. 

Additional funding and an improved match rate for JOBS and child care can expand program 
participation. At the same time, we need to acknowledge that without a very substantial infusion 
of funds, the program cannot possibly approach the sometimes-articulated vision of universal 
participation. Doubling the number of participants would still result in a program involving less 
than 25% of AFDC adults. However, the next 500,000 participants can be anticipated to cost more 
than the first 500,000. In part, this is because states often drew on activities available without cost 
for their initial JOBS placements; at some point, such slots cease to be readily available and further 
slots must be purchased. In addition, new participants may be more likely to have younger children 
and higher child care costs. 

The key point here is that we are not close to universal participation and should not lead the public 
to believe that we are. In many respects, the JOBS Program has been a victim of unreasonably high 
expectations since its earliest days. Whatever level of resources Congress ultimately chooses, it is 
important that public expectations not be disproportionate to the program's resources. 

At the federal level, JOBS has sought to measure participation rather than outcomes. As 
a result, we know very little about JOBS outcomes, and for many administrators, 
generating participation has been the principle program goal. 

Just as there is broad agreement on the need to expand JOBS, there is also broad agreement that to 
be a success, JOBS needs to raise the employment rates and earnings of AFDC families. Beyond 
this general framing of the goal, there are often serious disagreements about the appropriate balance 
between immediate job placements and longer-term education and training. However, over some 
time frame, the program must be measured by its success in increasing employment and earnings. 

Unfortunately, federal data reporting requirements provide virtually none of the data that one would 
need to answer almost any question relating to JOBS outcomes. On basic, fundamental questions 
about JOBS outcomes, there is no available federal data. 

It is important to appreciate how profound the data gaps are. Initial JOBS implementation began 
in July 1989. Through September 1991, states were never asked to collect or report any information 
whatsoever about employment entries. Beginning in October 1991, states began to be subject to 
requirements for a sample-based reporting system, in which they must provide information about 
a sample of cases each month. In this sample-based system, states must report a few pieces of 
information relating to employment entries: whether the sample member entered employment in that 
month or the prior month, the wage at employment entry, the number of hours of employment in 
the month, and an occupational code. At some point, HHS may generate a report based on this 


information, though none has been issued to date. Even this data, however, will likely be difficult 
to use. States are asked to report an employment entry if the sample member entered employment 
this month or last month. Some states report this data for a sample, and others for the entire 
universe. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible to even accurately determine the number of 
JOBS participants who entered employment in a month. 

As a result, if this subcommittee wants to know how many people have gotten a job after 
participating in the JOBS Program, HHS cannot presently answer the question. Apart from job 
entries, there are a multitude of other important questions for which there is no available 
information: what is the average wage at employment entry; what percentage of jobs are part-time 
or full-time; do the jobs provide health care benefits; how many people who enter jobs are still 
employed at any designated later point in time? None of this information exists. 

I appreciate that outcome information is always incomplete and potentially misleading, because it 
does not answer the question of program impacts. At the same time, it seems clear that having some 
information about the nature and type of jobs people receive after JOBS participation could be 
useful. As we enter into a welfare reform debate, we would all benefit from information about the 
extent to which jobs provide adequate income to approach or exceed the poverty level, whether the 
jobs offer benefits, and the extent to which job entries are accompanied by job retention. Yet we 
will need to conduct the debate without any of this information. 

Why does none of this information exist? One part of the answer involves initial decisions by 
Congress in enacting the Family Support Act, though the larger part of the answer concerns 
decisions made by HHS in initial JOBS implementation. 

When Congress enacted the Family Support Act, there was no consensus on appropriate program 
performance standards. As a result, Congress legislated participation rates and targeting 
requirements to take effect in the program's early years, and provided that states would be subject 
to fiscal penalties for failure to meet participation rates and targeting requirements. Congress also 
mandated a set of reporting requirements, which did not explicitly include any reporting of program 
outcomes. At the same time. Congress directed HHS to report to Congress by October 1993 with 
a set of recommendations for performance standards. 

In turn, HHS imposed extensive participation reporting requirements on states, but opted to impose 
no outcome reporting requirements through September 1991, and only minimal outcome reporting 
requirements subsequendy. Though October 1993 has now passed, HHS has not yet submitted 
recommendations to Congress for any program performance standards. While it seems likely that 
some sort of performance standards will be incorporated into the Administration's welfare reform 
proposal, the fact remains that almost five years after states began implementing JOBS, there are 
no federal performance standards and virtually no federal outcome reporting requirements. 

As I've suggested, one consequence of this data vacuum is that we lack a great deal of information 
that could help inform the welfare reform debate. However, there has been another serious conse- 
quence: in the initial years of JOBS implementation, the federal government sent a powerful 
message to states that the goal of the program was participation; that participation was the primary 
aspect being measured, and the primary basis for which states could suffer fiscal penalties. As a 
result, in many communities, the central focus of the JOBS Program has been meeting participation 
rates. This is an instance in which you get what you measure, and the signal sent to states was that 
they would be measured on participation. Notwithstanding this message, some states proceeded to 
develop their own outcome measures and their own measures of program success; you will be 
hearing from several of those states later this morning. At the same time, it is important to appreci- 
ate that there are other states that are unable to report any information whatsoever about the 
employment outcomes of the JOBS Program. 

Observers sometimes ask why states have made such limited use of work supplementation, on-the- 
job training, and work experience programs in their JOBS efforts. There are a number of factors 
affecting the mix of program activities, but one has likely been the pressure of JOBS participation 
rates. When the major task of an administrator is to generate some number of persons participating 
for 20 hours a week, the administrator necessarily must consider which components most easily 
generate a number of 20-hour participants. Those components which require individualized 
attention to each slot are not an attractive way to maximize participation. 


There are two important lessons here for the next round of welfare reform discussions. First, it is 
important to keep in mind that, in enacting new legislation, there is a real virtue in asking what 
information you will hope to have in five years, and ensuring that it is collected. Second, it is 
important that Congress not again defer the question of how to judge performance, and that the 
central focus of the system cannot be process alone; there must also be attention to program 

An effective JOBS Program raises employment and earnings, but still leaves many people 
without jobs, or in jobs that pay little or do not last. Even the most effective JOBS 
Program does not end the need for AFDC. 

Despite the gap in federal data reporting, we do have one important source of information that tells 
us that JOBS Programs can be effective in raising employment and earnings: the evaluations of state 
programs conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. In the last year, 
MDRC has issued reports on California's GAIN Program and Florida's Project Independence. Each 
of these reports underscore a conclusion suggested by prior research: that programs providing 
employment services to AFDC families generally raise the employment rates of those families, can 
increase the speed with which people get jobs, and can raise the earnings of those who enter 

Apart from noting these overall impacts, however, the MDRC data provides some other information 
which needs to be considered in the welfare reform debates: in particular, the MDRC data suggests 
three points that are insufficientiy noted in the current debates: 

While a JOBS Program can raise employment rates, and can raise them significantly, it is 
nevertheless true that most AFDC employment entries are the result of individual initiative 
and are not attributable to JOBS. In many instances, the jobs attained by both JOBS and 
non-JOBS participants still leave the individual's family deep in poverty. Accordingly, there 
needs to be far more attention to how the AFDC system supports and does not support 

Second, we place a great deal of attention on individual employment entries, but far less 
attention to issues of employment retention and progress over time. Yet looking at 
employment rates over time for those subject and not subject to JOBS requirements 
underscores the significance of the issue of job retention. 

Finally, in the current debate, some people are suggesting that with a strong JOBS effort, it 
should be possible to have only a small group of people who reach the two-year point of 
AFDC receipt. To the contrary, even with a very high-impact program, there is no reason 
to believe that only a small group will need AFDC for more than two years. 

As a framework for this discussion, it is useful to lay out some of the key results described in 
MDRC's studies of California's GAUM Program and Florida's Project Independence. 1 For the GAIN 
Program, data exists from the two years following the quarter of random assignment; for Florida, 
data is available for one year following the quarter of random assignment. As you know, GAIN led 
to statistically significant increases in employment, earnings, and reductions in AFDC payments. 
Over two years, there was a 12.4% increase in the percentage ever employed, a 20.5% increase in 
average total earnings, a 2.2% decrease in the percentage receiving AFDC, and a 5.6% decrease in 
average total AFDC payments. Here are some of the key findings on employment rates and AFDC 
receipt from the GAIN evaluation: 

1 The data in the following discussion is drawn from Friedlander, Riccio, and Freedman, GAIN: Two- Year 
Impacts In Sli Counties (MDRC, May 1993) and Kemple and Haunson, Florida's Project Independence: Program 
Implementation, Participation Patterns, and First- Year Impacts (MDRC, January 1994) While the data is taken 
directly from the MDRC reports, I am solely responsible for the following analysis of the data 


Employment and AFDC Receipt Outcomes 

for Experimentals and Controls 

for Six California Counties 



Ever Employed Over Two 



Employed in Last Quarter of 
Year 2 



Ever Received AFDC, Last 
Quarter of Year 2 . 



In the GAIN evaluation, a great deal of attention has been paid to the program in Riverside, 
California. Riverside's GAIN Program raised earnings for single parent families by 55.5% over two 
years, and led to a 14.2% reduction in total AFDC payments. Riverside's impacts were the highest 
ever measured in a random assignment evaluation of a welfare-work program; here are some key 
employment rate and AFDC receipt findings: 

Employment and AFDC Receipt Outcomes 

for Experimentals and Controls 

for Riverside GAIN Counties 



1 Ever Employed Over Two 
1 Years 



1 Employed in Last Quarter of 
| Year 2 



| Ever Received AFDC, Last 
H Quarter of Year 2 



Earlier this year, MDRC released the first year findings from Florida's Project Independence, finding 
that the program resulted in a 5.3% increase in the percentage ever employed, a 6.6% increase in 
average total earnings, a 1.8% decrease in the percentage receiving AFDC, and a 6.7% decrease in 
the average total AFDC payments over the first year. As with GAIN, here are some key findings 
concerning employment rates and AFDC receipt: 

Employment and AFDC Receipt Outcomes 

for Experimentals and Controls 

in Florida's Project Independence 



Ever Employed Over One 




Employed in Last Quarter of 
Year 1 



Ever Received AFDC, Last 
1 Quarter of Year 1 



The Florida data clearly demonstrates how families entering employment may still be extremely 
poor. While the majority of both the experimentals and controls entered employment during the 
year, only 13.5% of the experimentals and 12.8% of the controls had earnings of $7000 or more for 


the year. In part, this reflects the fact that individuals did not work for the full year. However, if 
the employed program group members worked year-round, at the earnings level attained in the 
fourth quarter, they would average an annual income of $78 14, falling short of a full-time minimum 
wage worker (who would gross $8500) and falling far short of the poverty level. For employed 
control group members in the fourth quarter, annualized average earnings would be $7848, slightly 
above those who had the benefit of Project Independence. 

When one looks at the employment entry data for these programs, several points stand out: 

A JOBS-type program raises employment rates, and a highly effective program can raise 
employment rates in a substantial way; 

Even without program services or mandates, many AFDC recipients enter employment. In 
California, 46% of the control group members entered employment over a two year period; 
in Florida, over half (52.5%) of the control group entered employment in one year. 

With or without JOBS services, those entering employment may still be quite poor; 

In both the experimental and control groups, there is a striking contrast between the number 
ever entering employment and the number employed in the last quarter. For GAIN overall, 
51% of experimentals entered employment at some point, but only 29% were employed in 
the last quarter of the two year period. For the GAIN control group members, 45% entered 
employment, but only 23% were employed in the last measured quarter. 

An effective JOBS Program can reduce AFDC receipt and AFDC payments, but it has not 
yet ended the need for AFDC. For California's six counties, in the last quarter of the two 
year period, 61% of experimentals (as against 63% of controls) were receiving AFDC. For 
Riverside County, 47% of experimentals (as against 52% of controls) were still receiving 

From these findings, I draw three broad conclusions: 

First, as already suggested, it is both desirable and important to act to expand the JOBS Program. 

Second, we need to recognize that the JOBS Program is not the primary reason why AFDC 
recipients enter employment and that most of those who enter employment are not doing so because 
of JOBS services or mandates. However, among both those who do and don't receive jobs through 
the JOBS Program, insufficient wages and job retention are major issues. Despite this fact, state 
AFDC and JOBS efforts typically provide little or no support to working AFDC recipients in 
helping them succeed in employment From existing data, it is probably not possible to isolate how 
much of the job retention issue is due to problems such as child care or health care, lack of adequate 
income in low-wage jobs, job readiness issues, or the characteristics of the low- wage labor market 
itself. However, there are several ways that AFDC policy could be restructured to support low-wage 
workers and help encourage job retention: 

AFDC could improve its child care assistance to employed AFDC recipients. Under current 
law, states are free to offer employed recipients no child care assistance except use of the 
AFDC dependent care disregard, which may have the effect of limiting employed recipients 
to the cheapest and least reliable forms of care. Working AFDC recipients could be better 
supported if their child care access and options were expanded. 

Case management assistance for working AFDC recipients could be encouraged or 
mandated. Under current law, states have an option to provide case management for 90 days 
after a JOBS participant enters employment and leaves AFDC. However, many programs 
do not provide this assistance, and a large number of those who leave AFDC for 
employment did not participate in the JOBS Program. 

The availability of transition benefits could be strengthened. While transitional child care 
continues to grow slowly, the program is still far below its initial expectations. Eligibility 
rules and the process for attaining transitional child care could be simplified. The 
complicated reporting requirements for transitional Medicaid could be reduced or 


Finally, it is time to revisit AFDC's rules for treatment of earnings. Since 198 1 , federal rules 
have essentially provided that after four months on the job, all earnings except the first $120 
result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction of assistance. This sharp penalty on employment 
earnings virtually assures that a working family loses AFDC assistance while still deep in 
poverty. In the last year, several data sources have begun to suggest that improving the 
earnings rules can raise the numbers of families entering employment. For example, in New 
York's CAP Program, assistance is only reduced by $.10 for each $1 a family earns when 
below the poverty line; in the two year findings, families in the CAP treatment group had 
average monthly earnings 27% higher than the control group; in Monroe County, the highest 
impact county, average monthly earnings increased 53%, a figure comparable to Riverside's 
impact 2 In addition, under federal waivers, a number of states are now experimenting with 
improved earnings rules, and initial results are encouraging. By waiver, Michigan uses a 
permanent $200 and 20% disregard. In September 1992, 15.7% of Michigan's cases had 
earned income (33,589 of 213,320 cases); by December 1993, 23.3% had earned income 
(50,838 of 217,744 cases). Utah is operating a three county demonstration project with a 
$100 and 45% disregard, and reports that the percentage of cases with earnings in the 
demonstration sites has increased from 18% to 24%; at the same time, preliminary 
indications are that grant costs for the experimental group have declined more than grant 
costs for the control group. Illinois has just begun a waiver project under which 2/3 of 
earnings are disregarded; Illinois officials indicate that in the initial months of the project, 
reported earnings cases have increased by one-third. Taken together, these indications 
strongly suggest that Congress needs to revisit AFDC's treatment of earnings, as a means of 
supporting and encouraging work, and as a means of reducing the poverty of working poor 

In short, if those who enter jobs often enter into employment which is poorly paid, or unstable, or 
both, it is necessary to consider ways in which the AFDC system can better support and help low 
wage workers. 

My third conclusion is that an effective JOBS Program can reduce, but not end, the need for AFDC. 
As this subcommittee appreciates, there are now numerous discussions in both the states and in 
Washington about the idea of time-limiting AFDC. Proposals often differ dramatically in what 
would happen to those who reach the time-limit, but a frequent theme of proponents is that JOBS- 
type services will be gready expanded, and that only a small number of people should reach the time 
limit. The California and Florida data suggest that this notion is wrong. 

In California's GAIN results over six counties, most (61%) of those who became subject to GAIN 
requirements were still receiving AFDC in the last quarter of the two-year period. It is particularly 
instructive to look at Riverside County. As I've noted. Riverside had the highest impact ever 
measured in such an evaluation, and the county plainly has a number of exemplary practices. At 
the same time, 47% of those subject to GAIN requirements (and 52% of the control group members) 
were still receiving AFDC in the last quarter of the two year period. It is also important to keep in 
mind that the GAIN evaluation did not involve parents of children under age 6. Taken together, 
these factors suggest that if every program in the country could be raised to Riverside-style quality, 
there would still likely be a very large number of families who need AFDC more than two years. 

Florida's results underscore this point. Some people are now asserting that the principal problem 
with JOBS is that it is not sufficiently employment-focused. Florida's program involved a strong 
job search focus, a very broad definition of "job ready", and a ready willingness to initiate sanction 
proceedings against those who did not comply with program rules. Nevertheless, at the end of one 
year, the program did not fundamentally alter the need for AFDC. Of those subject to program 
requirements, 55% (as against 52.5% of those in the control group) had entered employment; 36.5% 
of experimental group members (as opposed to 34% of control group members) were employed in 
the last quarter; and 64.3% of experimental group members (as opposed to 68.6% of control group 
members) were still receiving AFDC. Moreover, Florida's evaluation involves the first JOBS 
evaluation which includes impacts for parents of children under age 6; no statistically significant 
earnings gains were demonstrated for this population. The Florida results suggest that simply 
returning to a 1980s-style emphasis on job search is not likely to have dramatically better impacts 
now than it had then. 

Hamilton, Burstein, Hargreaves, Moss, and Walker, The New York State Child Assistance Program: 
Program Impacts, Costs, and Benefits (Abt Associates, July 1993). 


These cautionary notes are in no way intended to be dismissive of what a strong JOBS Program can 
accomplish. There are still many unresolved questions about how to strike the best balance between 
human capital investment and immediate job placements, and about how to best ensure that all 
program components reflect a goal that the ultimate emphasis must be employment. These 
concerns, however, are intended to suggest that even with a strong JOBS Program — under anyone's 
vision of a strong JOBS Program — there is still a clear need for a safety net structure for poor 
families, and that need does not disappear at the two-year point. Congress may ultimately be called 
on to debate the pros and cons of work-for-wages, community work experience programs, and other 
possible approaches to addressing those who have received aid for two years. However, Congress 
should not enter that discussion with the assumption that with a high-quality JOBS Program, only 
a small number of people would ever reach the two-year point JOBS can be a part, but only a part, 
of an anti-poverty and welfare reduction strategy. If Congress' ultimate goal is to reduce the poverty 
of poor families, it is necessary to expand the JOBS Program, but to broaden the discussion to focus 
on the array of policies needed to reduce family poverty. 


Mr. Kopetski. Thank you for your ringing testimony. [Laughter.] 

That was bad. 

We will hear from Mr. Shaw first this morning. 

Mr. Shaw. Why do I have to follow that statement? 

Mr. Kopetski. I know. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Shaw. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Dr. Gueron, I was delighted to see you inject the name of Mr. 
Townsend in your testimony, and I am glad to see he is on the next 
panel. He is one of my heroes and one of the few success stories 
that I think we really have in restoring self-esteem to people and 
pushing them out the door, teaching them to fly. 

I think, though, and Mr. Greenberg, I think this leads me into 
your testimony, because the paperwork and the overwhelmed 
AFDC workers, if we are going to redo welfare as we know it today, 
if we are going to be successful in a bill, such as the Republican 
bill with 162 cosponsors which the President has picked up on, we 
have to — do I get the bell, too? [Laughter.] 

We have to be sure that there are resources out there. But we 
also have to energize those people in the AFDC offices. Their mis- 
sion will be quite different. Their mission will be to get people off 
of welfare. 

You said in your oral testimony that we would encourage them 
to work. Why would we not require them to work? 

Mr. Greenberg. I think there is no question that we envision a 
system which both encourages and requires. One of the things 
which is striking in the MDRC numbers is the behavior of control 
group members — the people who didn't get services and weren't 
subject to requirements. When one looks at the control group mem- 
bers, one sees a system where very large numbers of people do 
enter employment on their own. 

It is clear that when programs provide services and impose man- 
dates, there is an increase in employment rates. But it is also the 
case that when we look at the system as a whole, there are very 
large numbers of people who enter employment on their own and 
in the existing system are treated very badly when they do, in 
terms of the verification requirements that are imposed on them, 
the treatment of their income, the lack of attention to support serv- 
ices, and the lack of attention to transitional services. 

One theme which emerges, in looking at the MDRC numbers is 
that while significant numbers enter employment, there is also a 
lot of job loss. In many instances, jobs are not retained for lengthy 
periods of time. 

We need to think about how to get more people into work. We 
also need to think about how to help them succeed when they do 
enter work. 

Mr. Shaw. Do you think that the loss of jobs and the fact that 
such a high percentage of people on AFDC will be on welfare in an 
average of 8 years by the time they get out, do you think that part 
of the problem is that the AFDC clicks back in as soon as they lose 
that job? 

In other words, the problem as I see it, is that mothers can get 
into the welfare system in this country, with food stamps, AFDC, 
and various other benefits, and receive over $12,000 a year in bene- 


fits. If you take a minimum-wage job, that is less than $9,000 a 

So the whole system that we have today is skewed to encourage 
people to get into welfare and really not encourage them to get out. 
Do you agree with that statement, because of the dollars? 

Mr. Greenberg. When we look at the system today, one set of 
questions involves what a family receives in the AFDC system. One 
set of questions involves what happens to working poor families. 
Now the $12,000 

Mr. Shaw. Let us stop right there. Let us say what we are trying 
to do for the working poor. We put together child care for them. 
We have supplemented their income with the earned income tax 
credit. We continue food stamps, if their earning capacity is below 
a certain rate. If it is also low, we give them a very good possibility 
of low-cost housing. We continue Medicaid. 

What would you suggest that we do that we are not doing? 

Mr. Greenberg. There are several things. Congress has dramati- 
cally expanded the earned income credit and many of us are very 
hopeful that that is going to make a real difference. 

At the same time, a key problem with the earned income credit 
at present is that that overwhelming majority of those that receive 
it, more than 99 percent, receive it once a year in a lump sum. 

A part of what needs to happen in the next stage of welfare re- 
form is to find a way to get money to people who need it when they 
need it. When an individual enters a low-wage job, she has ex- 
penses that month. She has to pay rent that month, she faces all 
the additional expenses of employment, and the earned income 
credit needs to be delivered in a timely way. 

Even if this issue is addressed, though, we also need to recognize 
that in many instances, those who enter employment are not able 
to find full-time work or may not be able to work full time. We 
need a system which provides help and support so that families 
who work part time are not as poor as they are under the current 
system, whether that is through the tax system or through the wel- 
fare system. 

Mr. Shaw. I think that the statement that you made with regard 
to how the earned income tax credit is paid is a constructive one, 
and one that we should look at. 

The Republican bill requires 35 hours a week of work for a con- 
tinuation of the receipt of the benefits. It also has a job training 
component, which we pay for. We realize that this is going to be 
expensive. It also has a job search component, so that the recipient 
is encouraged and assisted in trying to find a decent job. 

At a particular period of time, after 2 years, work, some type of 
employment, menial though it may be, is required in order for the 
continuation of the receipt of benefits. 

Now to me, that is a much more humane program than just pay- 
ing somebody to remain where they are, to say to somebody that 
the only way you are going to really increase your income is to 
have more kids. We see that the rise in illegitimate births is really 
startling. Secretary Shalala has even mentioned that it is a sign 
of — I am perhaps not quoting her right, but I interpret what she 
is saying is that there is a form of moral decay in this country and 


one that we have to attack. It is really disgraceful when you see 
where we are. 

I think that, at some point, we have to look at the problem and 
say that we in the Congress may very well be the problem. Maybe 
we have put together benefits and programs that takes the encour- 
agement out of people to break out of welfare. It takes away the 
desire for self-empowerment and it robs people of their future. 

Do you agree with that, with anything I said? [Laughter.] 

Mr. Greenberg. I do agree with some things you said. 

Mr. Shaw. Thank you. 

Mr. Greenberg. Let me try to identify the areas of agreement 
and the areas of disagreement. 

Mr. Shaw. That would be helpful. Thank you. 

Mr. Greenberg. There is fairly strong bipartisan agreement on 
the need to expand basic services for those who come into the sys- 
tem. There is a recognition that it is a problem that the existing 
JOBS program only reaches 10 percent, and that those services 
need to be expanded. 

For those who have received services, are able to work, ready to 
work, and simply can't find a job, it seems clear that the next stage 
in the welfare reform discussion needs to be about what is the best 
way to provide and require work. 

As we think about that, there are some difficult choices that Con- 
gress is going to be facing. As you have suggested, in H.R. 3500, 
the approach taken is to say that the family will continue to re- 
ceive AFDC assistance but would work 35 hours a week, regardless 
of their level of AFDC assistance, in order to get AFDC. 

Plainly, one of the other options being considered is the idea of 
creating some sort of public service employment structure that in- 
volves payment of the minimum wage. That is clearly a choice that 
Congress is going to need to make. That involves both issues of 
how much it is going to cost 

Mr. Shaw. I would hasten to point out that the benefits received, 
in all probability, already greatly exceed minimum wage, and I 
think I made that clear in my example of what is out there for wel- 
fare recipients, even though it is not strictly in the AFDC payment. 

Mr. Greenberg. In order to reach, I believe, the $12,000 figure 
that you spoke about before, it involves a number of things other 
than AFDC 

Mr. Shaw. That is correct. 

Mr. Greenberg. The AFDC grant for a family of three in the 
median State with no other income is $367 a month. That $12,000 
figure, and I am not sure exactly what is involved in getting to it, 
but I would assume that that also involves the value of Medicaid. 

Certainly, our country appears to be moving towards the prin- 
ciple that health care ought to be available to all Americans and 
ought to be available both to those receiving welfare assistance and 
those who are working. 

Mr. Shaw. That will be good news to Mrs. Clinton. She is having 
a few bad days. 

Mr. Greenberg. The point that I want to emphasize, though, is 
that one cluster of questions involves thinking about those who 
have received services, are at a point where they are able to work, 


and they can't find a job and the government can't find a job to 
refer them to. What is the best way to provide work for that group? 

In addition, though, if we want to think about welfare reform as 
something that reduces poverty, and if we want to think about wel- 
fare reform as something that reduces the need for welfare in the 
long run, we also have to focus on the reality that in the existing 
system, many people enter into jobs which do not pay enough to 
support a family. Many people enter into jobs which do not last. 
This isn't simply an issue of, how do you move people from welfare 
to work, but rather, how do we have a structure in place that 
makes it possible for a poor person who is able to work and willing 
to work to support a family? 

Mr. Shaw. I think that is going to be one of the areas of debate, 
but the other side is whether it is better to let them stay home and 
do nothing rather than getting into a work cycle? A lot of these jobs 
could be called entry level, and it is something that everyone has 
to go through at some time in their life. 

Mr. Greenberg. I don't think that very many people are saying 
it is better for people to stay home and do nothing. The real 

Mr. Shaw. That is the alternative. If you say that minimum 
wage, that people can't support their family on the type of job that 
we are talking about, if it is a real job, that is a start. It is going 
to be tough on some people. There is no question about that. A lot 
of the people out there are much more comfortable under the wel- 
fare system we now have. 

But the problem is that it appears to me that the system we 
have today breeds poverty. It breeds poverty itself. It is govern- 
ment paying people to stay in their place and stay where they are, 
and that is the crudest system of all. 

Mr. Greenberg. There is very broad agreement that we want a 
system that imposes requirements and that provides services com- 
mensurate with those requirements. The questions that Congress 
is ultimately going to have to struggle with will really be ones of, 
in a world of limited resources, what are the best ways of spending 
them? In a world where we might like to have everyone working, 
if we have an economy where there aren't enough jobs for everyone 
who wants to work, now do we best deal with that? Do we deal 
with that by having people work in return for their welfare bene- 
fits? Should the government create a set of jobs, create public em- 
ployment jobs, as a means of addressing it? 

Those are, a set of difficult questions that are going to have to 
be part of the next round of discussion. 

Mr. Shaw. I think that that is ultimately the question, and I 
think undoubtedly, for some, there is going to be the creation of 
jobs, whether it is picking up trash along an interstate or whether 
it is mowing the park or whatever it is, Dut there is going to have 
to be the creation of some menial jobs in order to close that gap. 
There is no question about it. 

As a matter of fact, that is the incentive. You can't have great 
jobs at the end of the program and then expect someone to get ex- 
cited about a job search program. We want to do everything we can 
to be sure that they are cooperating fully in the job search pro- 

79-657 0-94-3 


It is going to be, I think, at least in H.R. 3500, it envisions that 
the States will be taking care of all of this. But the problem is, and 
I think you have correctly stated where the lines of debate are 
going to be, and it is going to be right along the lines as to how 
expensive it gets, how much do we pay? It is more than just the 
continuation of benefits. 

Of course, the big problem is going to be how it is paid for, and 
I don't know that we want to open up that debate today, because 
we certainly know that that gets to be a little bit of a thorny issue 
no matter which way you go. We are anxiously waiting to see the 
President's funding proposal. 

I am sorry that the first witness got out of here. I noticed as I 
walked up on the podium, I saw her pick up her things and run 
out of the door, so I didn't have a chance to ask her any questions, 
and I regret that I wasn't here to do that. 

But one of the big questions we are waiting for is how the admin- 
istration is going to pay for its welfare bill. We are anxiously await- 
ing the bill. We talk about whether there is a crisis or a problem. 
There is a crisis in the welfare system in this country today, and 
I think all of us would agree to that. It needs desperately to be ad- 

I hope that we can push this along as quickly as possible in order 
to try to do something. We are having generation after generation 
on welfare. We have illegitimacy going up. This country is in a 
moral crisis, and a welfare crisis is definitely out there. We are 
part of the problem, and we need to make some progress. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Ford [presiding]. Thank you very much. 

Let me pick up where Mr. Shaw left off. How many community 
work jobs, in the parks or on the interstate, as he mentioned ear- 
lier, would we need if we sent all of the able adults on AFDC into 
the work force? It is about 2 to 2V2 million people that we are talk- 
ing about, right? 

Mr. Greenberg. The best estimates are that under current law, 
there are potentially 3 million families who would reach the 2-year 
point of AFDC receipt. I have seen a figure in the press indicating 
that the administration has projected that something like 2.3 mil- 
lion families could be potentially subject to work requirements in 
a 2-year limit, depending on how it is phased in. 

Chairman Ford. Are there enough case workers or case man- 
agers to manage and to supervise all of these leaf rakers in the 
park, and those cutting the grass off the interstate or picking up 
paper or whatever? Are there enough case workers and managers? 

Mr. Greenberg. This is a tremendous concern, and there are 
two different kinds of issues to keep in mind. One are capacity is- 
sues, and another set of issues involves the effect on the rest of the 
work force. 

On the capacity side, the best indications from the figures from 
1991 are that States were involving something like about 30,000 
people a month in work experience programs while on AFDC. So 
to envision going from 30,000 to 2.3 million plainly involves an ex- 
traordinary increase in the numbers of 

Chairman Ford. In the Republican bill, that is what they are 
calling for. Do you have any idea what the cost of socialworkers 


would be to manage such a program? What transportation costs 
would be? What work clothes costs would be? 

Oftentimes, the Republicans talk up their plan and put it out 
there among the American public and lead you to believe that wel- 
fare recipients are being sent to the private job market. I think re- 
cipients should work, but they ought to have meaningful jobs. I 
think that is what we are talking about today. 

All four of you testifying before this committee, have looked at 
the JOBS programs from the 1988 Family Support Act. We have 
oftentimes trained people for low-skilled jobs. We have not offered 
the types of skills that would match up with good-paying jobs in 
our society. 

Mr. Greenberg. It is my understanding that the preliminary 
staff estimates from the Congressional Budget Office are that when 
phased in, that the cost of a work slot in H.R. 3500 would be ap- 
proximately $6,300 a year. That is why I try to emphasize the 
point that we have to make decisions about scarce use of limited 

Chairman Ford. How did you come up with the $6,300 per year? 

Mr. Greenberg. This is the figure that is in the preliminary 
staff estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, reflecting 
costs of supervision and administration and child care and 

Chairman Ford. In addition to the other benefits? 

Mr. Greenberg. That is correct. 

Chairman Ford. It is $6,300 additional, and that would be for 
social workers, caseworkers, managers? 

Mr. Greenberg. And the cost of child care. 

Chairman Ford. In other words, the recipients receive no addi- 
tional benefits, we don't offer skills for high-paid wages, we are 
going to offer $6,300 per recipient participating in the program? 

Mr. Shaw. Would the gentleman yield? 

Chairman Ford. Yes, I would be nappy to. 

Mr. Shaw. Work is a benefit, and this is investing in people. 

Chairman Ford. Absolutely. 

Mr. Shaw. I am not familiar with the cost figures you are using, 
but the Republican welfare reform program is paid for and creates 
a $20 billion surplus over a 5-year period, and this comes out of 
the Congressional Budget Office. 

Mr. Greenberg. Plainly, one question that every bill is going to 
have to face is the question of how it is paid for, but regardless of 
how it is paid for, we also have to ask, what is the best use of 

Chairman Ford. That is the point. We want to find good jobs for 
the welfare population. As chairman of this subcommittee for the 
past 11 years, I have not found that the welfare population does 
not want to work. To tag that disclaimer on welfare recipients and 
try to imply that they don't want to work is absolutely a falsity. 

In the welfare population, the adults want jobs. We want them 
to have jobs. But the JTPA has not worked. We have not found 
other training programs to work. 

Mr. Shaw, I gladly join you and the Republicans in saying, we 
want jobs, but we want meaningful jobs. There is nothing wrong 
with training someone and offering them the skills necessary to get 
good-paying wages or jobs in the job market. 


Mr. Greenberg. Mr. Chairman, if I may make one additional 
point. I had indicated one issue is the capacity to create these jobs. 

Another issue that has to be given consideration is what is the 
effect on the rest of the labor market? If, in fact — and there is a 
lot of uncertainty about the numbers, whether it be V2 million or 
1 million or 2 million — but if, in fact, we had 2 million people who 
were working essentially 35 hours a week and getting a welfare 
check in return and were doing public jobs of some sort in order 
to do that, what is the likely effect in terms of displacement of 
other public employees? 

What is the likely effect going to be for any public entity that is 
trying to decide, should it ever hire another person? Why should 
it ever hire another person and pay $5 or $6 or $7 an hour if it 
can call the welfare department and get a 35-hour-a-week-for-free 

So there is a real concern that as we expand work opportunities 
and work requirements for AFDC families, that it not be done in 
a way that drives down wages for other workers. 

Ms. Gueron. Mr. Chairman, I would mention that most employ- 
ment and training programs for women on AFDC have been shown 
to work to some extent; they have been moderately successful. All 
of the evidence that we have to date about the implementation of 
the Family Support Act and the JOBS program suggest some effec- 
tiveness of that program in increasing earnings and reducing wel- 
fare receipt in the States where it has been evaluated. 

Chairman Ford. But oftentimes, we find those same recipients 
coming back onto the welfare rolls. 

Ms. Gueron. We find some return to the rolls, but we find a net 
increase in the number that, in fact, leave the rolls and a reduction 
in receipt of welfare. So there is some impact. It is not revolution- 
ary, but 

Chairman Ford. It is not reducing the numbers by any large 

Basically, the point that I was trying to bring before the commit- 
tee is that the Republican work program does not reduce the 
amount of the AFDC payment. It does not reduce the food stamp 
allotment. It does not reduce any of the health benefits under Med- 
icaid. The 20 or 30 percent who receive housing subsidies, it does 
not reduce that. But, there is an additional $6,300 in costs attached 
to the community work program that the Republicans and some 
others have suggested that we ought to do in this country. 

For these women who are trapped into this vicious cycle of wel- 
fare, are we, in fact, offering the type of skills that are needed for 
them to be placed in meaningful jobs with the benefits that are 
necessary for them to leave and stay away from the system itself? 

Ms. Gueron. That is right. I was referring to programs that offer 
job search or other services. 

Chairman Ford. Yes. 

Ms. Gueron. So far, we haven't seen evidence that community 
work experience directly leads to a reduction in the rolls. That is 
what you end up 

Chairman Ford. I am not criticizing the training programs. I am 
saying, as we review the Family Support Act of 1988 and job train- 
ing, that we ought to try to closely identify the jobs that are out 


there in the private sector and try to match up those jobs with indi- 
viduals with skills, similar to what the Secretary of Labor is talk- 
ing about in the Reemployment Act. Under that Act, the programs 
are being merged into a one-stop program that will really train 
people and place them in meaningful jobs. I iust want that to apply 
to tne welfare population as well, if we possibly can. 

Mr. Kopetski? 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I have a couple of questions, but first, a comment by Mr. Green- 
berg. In reconciliation, we did change the EITC law so that people 
can take advantage of it on a monthly basis, but apparently there 
is some problem with getting people to go forward or ask their em- 
ployer. Perhaps it is the paperwork involved in the front. I don't 
know if you folks have taken a look at that and see if there is some 
refinement that we might need to do here in that area or not. 

Mr. Greenberg. It is possible to receive advance payment under 
current law, and there were a set of changes in the reconciliation 
bill around that. At the same time, the experience has been that 
virtually no one does, that less than 1 percent receive advance pay- 
ment. There are a number of complicated administrative reasons 
that account for part of it. A part of it may be familiarity. A part 
of it may be hesitance to ask employers. A part of it, in some in- 
stances, may be employers not understanding the requirements. 

So one cluster of questions may just involve outreach, but an- 
other cluster may involve actually making some changes in the law 
to make it simpler to have advance payment go out on a regular 

Mr. Kopetski. In this discussion about mandating work for folks, 
we have to have jobs for them in the economy. We can't lose sight 
of the fact that, I think, under President Bush, the economy under 
his administration generated only about 500,000 new jobs in 4 
years. If you are in a recession and in part of a world recession, 
it is a little difficult to convince employers who are going bankrupt 
that they have to hire somebody. 

That sort of leads to some questions about priorities. If the per- 
son is required to work, are we going to insist on our employers 
that they give preference to somebody on welfare, or do they give 
a second set of preference to somebody who is on the unemploy- 
ment rolls? Are we going to have the Federal Government start in- 
sisting in these priorities as well? 

I have another legal question for you, Mr. Greenberg, and that 
is, suppose that we did mandate that we will take away or substan- 
tially diminish people's public assistance rights after 2 years, but 
the government failed to provide them the opportunities, i.e., the 
transportation to a training program and the child care and also 
this touches on some of the funding issues. 

Is legal services or somebody going to come in and sav, wait a 
minute, you, the government, didn't provide your part of the bar- 
gain. How can you expect us to provide ours? We are willing and 
able to participate, but the State program, the Federal program, 
wasn't there. What are your thoughts? 

Mr. Greenberg. Many of the legal questions will, of course, de- 
pend on how the law is written. What I want to emphasize this 
morning is that sometimes in the discussions of welfare reform and 


in the discussions of 2-year limits, people suggest that if we just 
run a good enough program, hardly anyone will reach the 2-year 

When we look at the available data from programs that have 
done any tracking, there is much reason to believe that that is just 
flatout wrong, that there will be a significant number of people who 
will reach a 2-year point. 

So if the vision is one of requiring work at the 2-year point, there 
is going to be a cluster of questions about what kind of work. Will 
it be work for welfare or work for wages? There will be this cluster 
of questions about what is fair compensation for work, about 
whether those who work will, in fact, be entitled to the earned in- 
come credit when they do work. 

There will be a whole set of difficult administrative questions. If 
the vision of the system is one that says, we will provide the serv- 
ices you need for 2 years and then require work, what about situa- 
tions where the services aren't provided? In the existing structure, 
if about 10 percent of people are receiving services right now, do 
States really have the ability to reach the point where everyone re- 
ceives the services they need for 2 years? 

In the welfare reform discussion so far, it is easy for one to say, 
"I am in favor of moving people from welfare to work," but the 
question of how to actually put together a program that does it and 
how to do it within the budget constraints that are going to be 
there are enormously difficult questions, and that is really what 
has to be faced in the next round. 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you. 

Dr. Gueron, you have done some studies, apparently, on capacity 
issues and intensive training programs that try to place people in 
jobs. Could you share some of your findings? 

Ms. Gueron. In terms of the effectiveness of such programs? 

Mr. Kopetski. Yes, participation and effectiveness. 

Ms. Gueron. In terms of participation, there was a demonstra- 
tion that the Federal Government sponsored in the 1980s in San 
Diego called the Saturation Work Initiative Model, which tested 
the capacity of a local program to, in fact, involve everybody in a 
participation requirement. 

What the SWIM program found was that on a monthly basis — 
this was for women with children 6 or over only — about 50 percent 
of people could be involved either in the program or part-time 
work; about 22 percent, in program-arranged activities about 33 
percent if you added self-initiated education and training, and 
about 50 percent if you included work that occurred while people 
were in the program. 

So the best information we have is that if you had all of the re- 
sources you needed and this program was fully funded, on a 
monthly basis for women with children six or over, you could 
achieve that kind of activity rate. It included participation and 
work for people on the welfare system. 

Mr. Kopetski. On the other 50 percent, what are some of the 
reasons why they couldn't or didn't? There must have been 

Ms. Gueron. I am glad you raised that, because there is a tend- 
ency, I think, particularly in Congress, to think that if participation 


falls short of 100 percent, the program operator isn't doing a good 
job. You must be able to get 100 percent of the people active. 

One other example can help explain why this isn't the case. We 
did a study of a program for men, primarily men heading two- 
parent families in West Virginia, where there was a very strong de- 
sire to get men involved in a work program, and where, again, 
there was, because of this demonstration environment, full funding 
to create as many slots as you could. It was a straight community 
work experience program. 

Even under those conditions, where you had, long experience 
with public service employment and a strong commitment toward 
involving men in such activities, monthly participation rates were 
about 65 percent. 

Why wasn't it 100 percent for men in West Virginia? Case- 
workers determined that some of the men, they simply couldn't 
send to employers, that they had various problems, alcoholism, var- 
ious things. So there are unemployable people. 

There is a kind of frictional inactivity that occurs each month. It 
takes time to get people in and out oi activities. There are people 
moving on and off of welfare. 

So we did a case-by-case review and talked to caseworkers about 
every nonparticipant and asked, why isn't this person active in the 
program? In San Diego, one reason that turned up was people 
waiting for classes to start. You are assigned to go to this activity. 
It hasn't started. So you are waiting for that to happen, or waiting 
for child care arrangements to be made or not participating be- 
cause of illness. 

So there are a number of reasons that met program-accepted cri- 
teria for nonparticipation. In fact, in San Diego, as I recall, only 
about 10 percent of the people, in effect, slipped through the 
cracks. Everybody else had legitimate reasons for nonparticipation. 

Mr. Kopetski. Let me ask Mr. Jackson and Ms. Lurie, on the 
funding issues, about what is currently going on out there in the 
States, are States really just moving moneys around to further the 
goals of the Family Support Act, to take advantage of some of the 
new opportunities there? I noticed in, I think it was Dr. Lurie's tes- 
timony, you talked about how States are just borrowing heavily 
from JTPA funds to finance this. Are there new moneys coming in? 

Ms. Lurie. Certainly in the case of the JTPA, it is not new mon- 
eys coming in because that has been fixed for several years. 

Virtually all of the States that have recently increased their 
spending for jobs to draw down more Federal funding are doing 
that by using funds from education programs. It is my sense that 
some of those funds had already been appropriated to the edu- 
cation agency and they were now being refocused onto JOBS par- 
ticipants. So there is some amount of money that is being used dif- 
ferently by education agencies to pull down Federal JOBS money. 

Mr. Kopetski. For example, in Salem, with our teen parent pro- 
gram, we take the money from the school district, move it over to 
this program, and then that is the match. 

Ms. Lurie. That is exactly right. 

Mr. Kopetski. So if we look at the participation rates today in 
the JOBS program, it looks like it would bust the bank. We have 
all these local government people running around the Hill saying, 


no unfunded mandates. I don't know how the States and local gov- 
ernments are going to pay for that, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. I think that is one of the reasons why the APWA 
proposals ask for 90 percent Federal participation, to help States 
over that particular hump. 

But relative to moving the money around, that has not been done 
in Virginia. We haven't taken from education to put into the JOBS 
program, but the legislature has had difficulty, as has in most 
States, in coming up with all of the general fund money to match 
those Federal dollars. We are slowly getting there, but we have not 
reached that point yet. 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you. Let me just ask you, then, is Virginia 
going to hit the targets in terms of the mandatory participation? 

Mr. Jackson. Virginia has always exceeded the targets relative 
to the mandatory participation. 

Mr. Kopetski. Thank you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Ford. Thank you very much. 

I have a couple of questions to ask the members of the panel for 
the record. There seems to be a consensus that funding is one of 
the major issues, if not the major issue, confronting the JOBS pro- 
gram that we are talking about. 

As Mr. Greenberg points out, the barrier to greater participation 
in the JOBS program is not Federal rules but resources. What is 
your sense of the role that States should play in financing an ex- 
panded richer JOBS program? 

Mr. Jackson. I think that I wouldn't sit here and say that the 
States have no financial role in this at all, but I do think there has 
got to be some recognition on the part of the Congress on what is 
going on in the States, all of our States right now. There are three 
things that are driving State budgets. The first is Medicaid. The 
second is building new prisons relative to the crime issue. The 
third is education. 

Those are State mandates. In the corrections instance and in the 
education instance and on the Medicaid side, I think the States 
would and have argued that those are some unfunded Federal 
mandates that come down to the State, at least in terms of them 
having to come up with 50 percent or some amount of that money. 

So then when a JOBS program is put into place, or a similar pro- 
gram, the State general assembly and administrator are sitting 
there looking at what their opportunity for revenue is, and new 
revenue increases, and like at the Federal level, no one is running 
around campaigning on tax increases. There is only so much money 
that is there that has to be spread around for so many things. 

The three prongs, corrections, education, and health care, I 
would argue, are mandatory, and those programs that are not man- 
datory, whether they are Federal or not, are going to be where the 
cuts take place. That is part of the reason why JOBS has not been 
fully funded in a vast number of States. 

As you look at the national numbers, that failure to not draw 
down all the Federal money is being reduced dramatically each 
year, but we are not there yet and there are going to be a number 
of States who are going to be caught in that situation. As new, ex- 
pensive welfare reform proposals come forward, the States are 


going to argue vociferously that that is, in large part, a Federal re- 

The new welfare reform legislation just passed by the Virginia 
general assembly calls, in terms of case management, for a case- 
load of 45 for an AFDC worker in order to effectuate the JOBS pro- 
gram or the work requirements that are in that new legislation. 
We have workers not too far from here, across the river, carrying 
caseloads in the 200s at the present time. 

Child care costs in Virginia, 3 years ago, we spent $9 million. 
This vear, we are going to spend $49 million, and that is only the 
tip of the iceberg here. This isn't going to be cheap, but I think it 
is going to be necessary if we are going to build on the future. 

We have to quit thinking in terms of 3-year increments or 4-year 
increments. Let us start thinking about 20-year increments and 25- 
year increments. I would argue the system got broken about 1973 
and it has just continued to get worse since then. At one time, it 
was a viable system. It is not any longer because the economics 
have changed. 

Mr. Kopetski. Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Ford. Yes. 

Mr. Kopetski. If I might, I agree with a lot of what you have 
to say particularly about when we started going down the wrong 
path, but historically, it was welfare programs that were treated at 
the local level. It was really only until trie 1950s, maybe the early 
1960s, that we as a Nation said, Well, maybe the Federal Govern- 
ment ought to be helping out a little bit, to help the local govern- 

We are participating at around 62 percent of the costs of many 
of these kinds of programs today. I think we have to keep in mind 
that what originally was a local responsibility has grown now to 
over 50 percent a Federal responsibility, but that doesn't take away 
the local responsibility. For people to talk about 90 percent fund- 
ing — and I have worn both hats, a State legislator's hat and a Fed- 
eral legislator's, and I think we have that nice mix. 

People need to understand in the local governments that when 
they send their local representative to Congress and tell him to bal- 
ance the Federal budget, that that means that the State is going 
to have, at the least, to continue that local responsibility. 

Mr. Jackson. And all States do operate with a Federal budget, 
by constitution, a balanced budget, and that is an issue that they 
are faced with. At the same time, you face the voters. 

Mr. Kopetski. We are going to vote on the balanced budget 
amendment this week. Everybody that votes for it, take your State 
representative's name down and then write them a letter and say, 
thanks a lot. By your voting for this, if it passes, you are telling 
us to raise our State taxes. That is what you are telling them to 

Mr. Jackson. I think the point I am trying to make, Mr. 
Kopetski, is that the States are caught in a real situation here. 
Most welfare reform initiatives that are going on today initiate at 
the State level, including the JOBS program. It was experimented 
with at the State level back in the 1980s. I can't think of a State 
I can name right now that is not doing something about welfare 
reform. I think everyone has that in mind. 


I think the issue is going to be if we are going to come up with 
a Federal, national plan on how to do welfare reform, we have to 
think very carefully about how big that is going to be and what it 
is going to cost and how we are going to pay for it. 

Mr. Kopetski. Exactly. 

Ms. Gueron. You are on to a very important question, because 
the funding mechanism here is going to be critical in determining 
whether the program becomes real or not. The JOBS program is 
only real if State legislatures put up the money to draw down the 
available Federal money. What is going to be the engine of change 
in any future program. 

It is useful to remember that when the Social Security Act set 
up AFDC as a Federal-State partnership, it was a partnership and 
both levels of government contributed. 

When you look at the savings from programs like the JOBS pro- 
gram, a lot of those savings go to the Federal Government — reduc- 
tions in food stamps as well as reductions in the shared programs 
like AFDC and Medicaid. So there is a real logic for a substantial 
Federal contribution. 

Our estimates in the 1980s showed that the savings from pro- 
grams conducted during that period went 60 percent back to the 
Federal treasury and the rest to States, so there is surely a good 
argument for substantial Federal funding. Whether there is an ar- 
gument for a greater contribution really comes down to whether 
you want to grow this program or not. If you want to do that, it 
is going to be very hard to do it under the current funding arrange- 

Chairman Ford. Let me follow up on that. You stated, Doctor, 
that a stronger Federal vision for a JOBS program must be articu- 
lated. Does this mean choosing between a human capital develop- 
ment approach or an immediate job placement approach? 

Ms. Gueron. That is also a very sharp question, because the 
JOBS legislation really finessed that, in some sense, and threw 
that back at the States. It had both things in it. 

At this point in the evaluation of JOBS, we don't have solid re- 
search evidence to push in either direction. Indeed, the JOBS eval- 
uation is going to look directly at that question. 

We do know from the earlier studies that programs that push 
people quickly into jobs using job search work, they are cost effec- 
tive, but they don't work for long-term welfare recipients. The big 
challenge and statement of faith, really, in the JOBS program is 
that investments in education and training will do better in that 

There is some evidence from a study that we did in Baltimore 
during the 1980s that a program that included some education and 
training was able to get some people into better jobs and did have 
more lasting impacts. It is only one piece of evidence, but it is fa- 
vorable in that regard. 

A very important issue we will be looking at in our evaluation 
of California's GAIN program and that I know HHS will look at in 
the JOBS evaluation is whether the strong investment in education 
and training pays off, and in particular, whether it reaches the 
most disadvantaged in the caseload and moves that group out of 
welfare. After all, that was the target of the JOBS program. 


Chairman Ford. How much of this is dependent upon the broad- 
er system of supports available to welfare parents? 

Ms. Gueron. I am sorry? 

Chairman Ford. I mean, to what extent is this dependent upon 
the support that is given to the welfare parents? 

Ms. Gueron. You mean support beyond the employment and 
training services? 

Chairman Ford. Yes. 

Ms. Gueron. Clearly, to participation in JOBS and to work, child 
care has been a critical support service. There has been a lot of 
focus recently in the research, and I know in the administration, 
on the fact that we are learning increasingly that many people 
leave AFDC but that many return. It is a point that you raised ear- 

There are a lot of reasons for that. Some of them may be the eco- 
nomic incentives that generally argue against work rather than for 
it, but also access to child care and funding for child care and for 
health insurance. 

Chairman Ford. Dr. Lurie, would you like to respond to any of 

Ms. LuRffi. I would like to respond just to a point that was made 
a bit earlier about State funding versus Federal funding. What we 
saw in our States was that most States did not increase the num- 
ber of case managers and other people working in the welfare agen- 
cy, but rather chose to use their funds for education and for em- 
ployment and training services. 

As a result, there was very little increase in the number of work- 
ers in the welfare agency, even though the lack of workers was 
seen as a major bottleneck in operating the program. 

From the State's perspective and from State residents' perspec- 
tive, I think they see growth in the welfare bureaucracy as a nega- 
tive, so that if we want to change the culture of the welfare agency, 
we need to do it in a way that isn't going to meet resistance from 
residents of States who see that as a growth in the welfare bu- 

So I think the Federal Government should, perhaps, target some 
money on welfare agencies so that we ensure that they have the 
workers there to provide the case management services and other 
encouragement that people are going to need. 

Mr. Kopetski. Mr. Chairman, what you say is right on, but the 
Republican party in my State pushes like you can't believe our 
Governor about the number of State workers. It gets tied up into 
this superficial politics that politicians use to get elected. They at- 
tack just the broad number of government, or they attack the num- 
ber of increased workers in the welfare system, so there is not a 
lot of education going on out there about how can you effectively 
help somebody get through the training programs and all the pa- 
perwork and bureaucracy and hopefully get them a job someday if 
you have a caseload of 200 or 180, which is about what Oregon has. 

I think you have to talk to the Republican party in the States 
and tell them to get off of this issue if they are truly interested in 
welfare reform. Now that is a pretty partisan statement, and I am 
sorry for doing that, but that is political reality out there. 


Chairman Ford. Mr. Greenberg, I have one final question for 
you. I was not here when you gave your testimony, but I read over 
it. You testified that the JOBS program is being judged based on 
the participation numbers but not outcomes or impacts, such as 
employment and earnings. 

One of the panelists here today has testified on the concept of 
coverage, to replace the current fixation with participation. If we 
were to do that, how much would we know about the success of the 
JOBS program in enforcing a reciprocal obligation? 

Mr. Greenberg. The concern that I raised in my testimony is 
that, at this point, the program essentially solely measures partici- 
pation. It is the primary message sent by the Federal Government, 
is that of meeting participation rates and meeting targeting re- 
quirements, which is who is participating. 

In terms of Federal data collection, there is virtually no informa- 
tion sought about outcomes. There is virtually no cue sent to States 
about the importance of outcomes of program participation. The al- 
most exclusive focus is on 

Chairman Ford. Is that really critical, the outcomes, the earn- 
ings, the employment? 

Mr. Greenberg. When we talk about a vision for the JOBS pro- 
gram, certainly one part of a vision may be changing the terms of 
AFDC receipt, to build in the concept of reciprocity and social con- 
tract. But another part of the vision has to be about reducing the 
need for welfare and about reducing the poverty of the families who 
are in the system. 

If that is part of the vision, then we have to have some way of 
knowing whether we are coming closer to reaching it, and in the 
existing structure, we don't. We have the evaluations from MDRC 
which provide enormously valuable information on those programs 
for which they do evaluations, but for the country as a whole, there 
are major things that we simply are not looking at. And in terms 
of sending cues to States about the importance of reducing family 
poverty and increasing family income, right now, the Federal Gov- 
ernment is not sending that message. 

Chairman Ford. Early on, I guess, in the Reagan administration, 
they certainly sent a welfare reform message, that work was not 
valued. Now we see in the Republican bill and all over the country 
people are saying that we ought to revisit that area. Would you 
agree with that? 

Mr. Greenberg. One of the ironies of the current situation is 
that a number of States are looking again at the earnings rules of 
the welfare system, and seeking to move away from a system 
where when a family earns a dollar, they lose a dollar. Those basic 
rules, which many States are now trying to move away from, were 
put in place in 1981 as a major initiative of the Reagan administra- 
tion as a means of targeting assistance to the truly needy, at least 
as it was talked about at that time. 

The effect that that initiative has had over time in States has 
been devastating. It has meant that a family entering into a low- 
wage job faces enormous penalties, either immediately or within 4 
months, on work. Many of the State initiatives now reflect a real 
interest in trying to revisit that decision and to think about how 


the welfare system could be used as a way of supporting those who 
enter low-wage work. 

Chairman Ford. Do any of the other panelists agree that we 
should revisit this commitment made by the Reagan administra- 
tion, since we hear most Governors and States now saying that we 
should revisit the area of work? 

Ms. Lurdz. I think that unless there is a financial incentive to 
work, it is very hard to expect people to work. If work is the mes- 
sage, a way of conveying the message is to enable people to come 
out better off when they work than when they don't work. 

Ms. Gueron. It is always striking when you look at the data, 
how many people on welfare do go to work, even under the current 
set of incentives. Receiving public assistance is a fairly stigmatized 
state in this country, and many people leave it and choose employ- 
ment. Many people return, but when you look at the data, there 
are plenty of people still working. 

At the State level and at the caseworker level, there is a sense 
that it is very hard to convince people to make the trade-off be- 
tween welfare and work in some States where the economics don't 
seem to suggest it, and a very large number of States are trying 
to change the disregard structure within AFDC to increase the re- 
ward for working. 

It will be important to see whether such changes do, in fact, in- 
crease work. Increasing work incentives within AFDC will do two 
things at the same time. It will encourage some people to work. It 
will also keep some people on AFDC who would have been off 
AFDC, because now they will be able to combine work and welfare. 
That has the advantage of getting more income to families. It has 
the disadvantage of not reducing the AFDC rolls. 

I think it will be very important to find out how successful these 
State initiatives are in encouraging work, and there are studies un- 
derway to do that. 

Chairman Ford. Do you find it unacceptable to offer training 
and education at a higher level when you find welfare recipients 
who could, in fact, obtain those types of skills and move into the 
work force with high-paying wages? 

Ms. Gueron. Mr. Greenberg talked before about the choices that 
you have to make about resources. People have different goals for 
welfare reform. Some people favor getting people into better jobs 
with higher earnings and moving families out of poverty. Invest- 
ments in education and training may be the thing that does that. 
Getting people quickly into jobs doesn't seem to do that. It gets 
them into jobs, but it doesn't get them into better jobs. 

How you assess the importance of getting people better jobs with 
higher wages, reducing poverty or reducing dependency, obviously, 
that is an issue where people will differ a great deal on the relative 
value to give to those different objectives. 

Chairman Ford. How appropriate would it be for us just to focus 
on low-paying jobs for the welfare population in a training program 
or in an educational program? 

Ms. Gueron. I think in many ways it could be quite appropriate, 
if you think that the earned income tax credit and health insurance 
are a mechanism to try to turn a lower-paying job into a somewhat 
better-paying job. It is hard to argue sometimes for welfare recipi- 


ents being able to leapfrog over the many other people looking for 
those better-paying jobs. 

But beyond what one's philosophical view on this is, we don't 
have a lot of evidence in this country of the transforming quality 
of education and training services for welfare recipients. 

Chairman Ford. We do have evidence, though, that shows a lot 
of the welfare adults have lost jobs in which they were earning de- 
cent wages, and certainly would not have been at the minimum 

Ms. Gueron. Yes, but we don't know whether services that can 
be provided are able to transform people's earnings capacity. Most 
women on public assistance are not on their own going to earn 
their way out of poverty. Other measures, like the earned income 
tax credit, if you will, are very important if you are going to bring 
families out of poverty. 

Also, the panel coming up talking about child support enforce- 
ment is very important to do that, because kids on welfare have 
two parents, and they should be getting money from both of them. 

Chairman Ford. We know in a majority of the welfare popu- 
lation, the adults move off of welfare in the first 15, 18 months. 
They identify and locate their own jobs, oftentimes low-paying jobs, 
but it is not confined to low-paying jobs. 

I think one of the problems we might be faced with is that if we 
are paying for $4.50 and $5 an hour jobs, we are missing some- 
thing. I just have to believe that the welfare population offers more 
than to think that everybody must make minimum wage or imme- 
diately above minimum wage. If we are going to train people on 
welfare, we ought to train them in office skills at a level that we 
could place people in the private sector in jobs that would pay more 
than $4.50 an hour. 

What I am afraid of in my own home town is that public trans- 
portation is not available, and if we are talking about these com- 
munity work jobs, certainly clothing or a uniform is going to have 
to be provided. 

We conducted a profile in two of the largest public housing units 
in my district. We, in a sense, put in place a demonstration to do 
job search, job placement, and job training. We are finding jobs on 
the front end with Federal Express in Memphis and other compa- 
nies. We are going to train people for $9 and $10 an hour jobs. We 
are not going to limit it to the welfare population at all. Anyone 
who is out of work or those who are working on other jobs is eligi- 

Some have said, you mentioned, that flipping hamburgers was 
not the type of job for welfare recipients. I really didn't imply that. 
I was saying that yes, my son worked once at McDonald's, out he 
drove my car to work. When he came home, he had health insur- 
ance through my job, and he didn't have to worry about it. He 
earned good money that way. He saved his money and he is in 

But that wouldn't necessarily fit the welfare mother with three 
children. In many cases in the demonstration, I didn't find that all 
of them are hardcore welfare recipients. Many of them are locked 
into this vicious cycle, but many of them left $18,000 and $20,000 
a year jobs. They were divorced, or they lost child support through 


a juvenile court system, or lost their jobs and were forced back on 
the welfare rolls and it is difficult to come back off. 

I am not convinced that we ought to train someone for low wages 
who graduated from high school, who is going to a junior college, 
who has children who has been in the work force for 2 or 3 years 
but has been caught by this recession the last 5 years, and who is 
now trapped into this cycle again. 

She can't get out of it. Why? No health care, no child care, and 
the only jobs that she can find are the fast food chain jobs. But in 
my area, you can't even find them, and even when you get out on 
the other side of town where they are, people reject you before you 
knock on the door. So we have a lot to do as it relates to trying 
to offer skills to place the welfare population in jobs. 

For those who want to read it the wrong way when we talk about 
meaningful jobs and high skills, there is nothing wrong with the 
welfare population being trained with the proper skills to go out 
and compete. Even for those who are working and making mini- 
mum wage and right above minimum wage, there is nothing wrong 
with it. The Federal Government has to train people for good jobs. 

That is not to say that they will all land $8, $9, $10, and $12 
an hour jobs, by no means. But I don't see why we have to continue 
to train for low wage jobs without looking at the total makeup of 
the welfare population; we should not treat every recipient the 

In the profiles that we have conducted in the public housing 
units, we don't find them all to be the same. We find that many 
of these recipients really just need some job search and job place- 
ment and they'll move into the work force, with a little child care 
and maybe some transportation funds. We are putting about five- 
point-whatever it is million adults in one category, ana I think we 
have to divide it out and take a closer look. 

We should not have States focused narrowly on trying to meet 
goals relating to the number of welfare recipients in a training pro- 
gram. Take note of the Republican approach, trying to win political 
games in the limelights of the political arena. There is no need for 
us to play games with this population and to think that welfare re- 
cipients are three-fifths of a human being. 

We are going to have to focus on this population and realize that 
they are citizens and we have to train them and offer them the 
skills, and educate them to make them productive, tax-paying citi- 
zens. I think that we can do it with the current welfare reform ap- 

We can replace welfare with the JOBS program. There is nothing 
wrong with it. People want to work. To place them on some com- 
munity work program is not really getting to what we are trying 
to accomplish in this welfare reform effort. To spend an additional 
$6,300 a year per person, added on to whatever the cost of aid 
might be, $7,000 or $8,000 per year; why would we spend $15,000 
a year to create a social workers' bill and not really try to focus 
on the 8 million children who live in these poverty-stricken families 
who are on welfare? 

That is how you breed one generation to another into the welfare 
cycle, and if we want to break it, I think we have to break it with 
trie parents and also focus on the children at the same time. 


If there is no response, let me thank each panelist. Thank you 
very much for coming out. 

I would like to call on the next panel, panel two, State and local 
JOBS strategies and experiences. We have with us a representative 
of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Wanda Moore, 
director of the JOBSWORK program, Family Assistance Division; 
Mary Deyampert of the North Carolina Department of Human Re- 
sources, the director of the Division of Social Services; also Gary L. 
Kemp, from the Department of Human Services in Hawaii, admin- 
istrator of the Self-Sufficiency and Support Services Division; and 
we also have Lawrence E. Townsend, Jr., director of the Riverside 
County, Calif, Department of Public Social Services. 

Ms. Moore, the committee will recognize you now. 


Ms. Moore. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate very much 
being invited to present some views about how Tennessee has used 
the Family Support Act to implement the JOBS program. 

We appreciate very much your involvement and the involvement 
of this committee in passing the Family Support Act and giving us 
the opportunities that we have had over the last 3 or 4 years to 
develop what we believe is a very fine program. 

The Family Support Act allowed us a lot of flexibility, which we 
appreciate very much, to integrate self-sufficiency into the edu- 
cation, training, and employment community. We approached the 
task of implementing the JOBS program and ending welfare not as 
a job for the welfare agency alone. We believe that it is also a job 
for JTPA and for private industry councils, for adult education pro- 
grams, for vocational-technical schools and community colleges, for 
higher education, for public housing agencies, for economic develop- 
ment agencies, and for the employer community itself. 

We decided early on to focus our JOBS program on education 
and training, because we wanted to invest in real jobs and not 
make-work jobs. 

We chose not to create another education and training bureauc- 
racy, partly because of what has been said here today. There is a 
real effort in our State to keep State government lean, and we have 
contracted the JOBS program through many other agencies in the 
State of Tennessee. 

By sharing this responsibility and ownership for the JOBS pro- 
gram, we have gained valuable partnerships and massive amounts 
of support and cooperation. The Family Support Act made all of 
this possible. 

We contract the primary part of our JOBS program through the 
JTPA system in the private industry councils across the State. 
Seven of these are community colleges. We have gained extensive 
support from the community college community for the JOBS pro- 

We also contract through local school systems and post-secondary 
schools. Our State Department of Education contributes matching 
funds, which we use to draw down Federal dollars. Even our State 
universities, the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Board 
of Regents System, has joined forces in contributing matching dol- 


lars to help us provide direct services and valuable research for our 
JOBS program. 

In Tennessee our JOBS program is basically voluntary. We have 
stuck to the voluntary program and been able to meet our partici- 
pation rates thus far. Each month, 200 AFDC mothers in Nashville 
volunteer for the JOBS program, and 400 volunteer in Memphis, 
your home town. 

Seventy percent of all of our JOBS dollars are spent on the tar- 
geted population, which dispels the myth that we are creaming our 
population. Because JTPA serves as a gatekeeper for our JOBS 
participants and maintains all of our data, it also helps to dispel 
a myth that JTPA is creaming from the welfare population. 

We know that our AFDC mothers, at least in Tennessee, want 
to work. In 1986, our State legislature passed a law that allowed 
them to fill the gap between our low AFDC grant of $185 and our 
standard of need. At that time, within 1 year, almost 9 percent of 
our AFDC caseload was working. Since the Family Support Act al- 
lowed us to start paying child care for AFDC mothers who work, 
we now have 20 percent who work every month to fill that gap. 

We believe that our new TennCare Medicaid waiver, which went 
into effect January 1, will encourage many of these mothers to 
work themselves off welfare for good, because Medicaid has been 
their biggest concern. Medical concern is one of their biggest con- 
cerns and one of the reasons they tend to stay on AFDC. 

Memphis State University has been following our JOBS partici- 
pants at 13 weeks, at 26 weeks, and at 52 weeks, after they leave. 
We have found that over 50 percent finish their activities. Their 
average wages after 1 year is over $5.50 an hour. Twenty-five per- 
cent are earning over $6 an hour. 

We serve over 5,000 participants each month. Most of them are 
in educational activities, because we feel very strongly that if we 
are going to get them off welfare and into $8 and $9 an hour jobs, 
as you mentioned earlier, we are going to have to get them trained 
and educated. They function around fifth and sixth grade level. 
This is going to take more than 2 years, in most instances. It may 
take 3 or even 4. 

Funding for JOBS in Tennessee has been difficult. If it were not 
for the partnerships with other agencies, Tennessee would not have 
been able to meet our Federal participation rate. 

May I continue just 1 minute further? 

Chairman Ford. You may. 

Ms. Moore. I want to make some recommendations that have 
been mentioned today. It is going to be very important in any wel- 
fare reform process that the entire eligibility process be refocused 
away from an error rate mentality. People have to start looking at 
welfare departments as a place to get out of welfare and not on 

We have not been able to achieve the goals that we would like 
to have achieved in Tennessee in changing this focus in our own 
welfare agencies primarily because in many counties, our case 
loads run between 500 and 600 cases per counselor. 


Another plea is that we must change the way that both the 
JOBS and the AFDC unemployed parent participation rate is cal- 
culated or all States are going to lose their enhanced Federal 
match by this next year. I don't believe any State is going to meet 
its Federal participation rates for the AFDC unemployed parent 

Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 



Mr. Chairman and members of the House Sub-Committee on Human 
Resources, Committee on Ways and Means. 

I am Wanda Moore, Director of the JOBSWORK program for the 
Tennessee Department of Human Services. I also direct Title IV-A 
Child Care programs and the Food Stamp Employment and Training 

I am pleased to be asked to provide comments concerning the 
implementation experiences and effectiveness of the JOBS Program, 
called JOBSWORK in Tennessee. My statements reflect what we have 
learned and experienced over the past six years about our ability 
to promote, provide and realize success in welfare self- 
sufficiency programs. 

Mr. Chairman, my testimony will focus on Tennessee's efforts 
to promote collaboration and integration of the JOBS program with 
existing education, training and employment efforts; our 
experiences with a strong educational focus; the voluntary nature 
of our JOBS program and on our efforts to study and learn through 
follow-up and research of our JOBSWORK participants. 

Mr. Chairman, I want to express our sincere appreciation to 
you and this committee for your role in the initiation of the 
Family Support Act and for your continuing efforts to strengthen 
and enhance this very fine legislation. Never before have states 
had the incentives currently available to help reduce welfare 
dependency. While resources are still woefully inadequate, the 
framework you provided has given states many of the tools needed 
to create innovative approaches for welfare to work programs. 
Coordination between JOBS and other Agencies 

Mr. Chairman, as a Tennessean, you are already aware of the 
strong coordination and collaboration efforts created between 
state and local agencies as a result of the strong Family Support 
Act requirements for inter-agency partnerships. The Tennessee 
Department of Human Services chose not to create another layer of 
education, training and employment bureaucracy for the JOBS 
program but to attempt to integrate it into the existing systems 
such as the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) programs. Adult 


Education and the state's Vocational education, technical and 
community college system. We approached JOBS as a shared 
responsibility between welfare and other federal, state and local 
agencies whose missions meshed with Family Support Act goals. 

By sharing responsibility and ownership for the task of 
welfare self-sufficiency, we garnered massive amounts of support 
and cooperation statewide. Our philosophy is that welfare 
dependency is not just a problem for the welfare agency to solve. 
It is a public housing and a public education responsibility as 
well. Other federal programs such JTPA, The Carl Perkins 
Vocational Education programs, adult education programs and 
higher education share in the responsibility to help end welfare 

All of these agencies and organizations already target 
funds, both state and federal, to reach and serve the welfare 
population. The JOBS program coordination requirements gave us 
the opportunity to pull agencies together, to promote true 
collaboration and to design programs with a shared resource 

In Tennessee, JOBS services are delivered through 
partnerships with numerous agencies. The JTPA Private Industry 
Councils (PICs) serve as the primary contractors for JOBS 
services. Seven PICs have State Community Colleges as their 
management entity. These relationships have helped build strong 
partnerships between JOBS and the Tennessee Board of Regents' 
college systems. 

The Tennessee Department of Education serves as a JOBS 
partner by providing 55 twenty hour basic skills classeB using 
state education dollars to generate federal JOBS funds. 

The University of Tennessee College system provides local 
case management services, research and training. UT at Martin 
funds a 4 year JOBS college program on campus through 
partnerships with HUD and two Private Industry Councils. 
Numerous county and city governments, as well as public, and 
private agencies deliver exciting and innovative JOBS services. 


United Way Agencies, the Kellogg and Levi Strauss Foundations as 
well as other private donors have contributed funds to innovative 
JOBS programs. Public Housing agencies provide a mechanism to 
freeze the rent of JOBSWORK participants for a year to give them 
the opportunity to save money for a car or other investments. 

Tennessee's JOBS program is a melting pot of experimentation 
and innovation designed to promote community designed programs 
best suited to the needs and resources of each community. It is 
far from standardized and reflects regional, ethnic and diverse 
differences in our state's make-up. What works in upper east 
Tennessee doesn't necessarily meet the needs of rural middle 
Tennessee or Memphis. 

A reflection of the interest and commitment of other 
agencies to JOBS is being demonstrated this very day in Nashville 
where we start a 3 day JOBSWORK conference. Over 650 individuals 
from JTPA, Adult Education, Human Services, Mental Health, Higher 
Education, Public Housing, the employer community and many other 
agencies have convened to learn more about helping welfare 
recipients achieve self-sufficiency. 
Educational Focus 

One reality most states must face is the low literacy 
functional level of our AFDC population. In Tennessee nearly 
one-half have completed high school and 20% are currently 
employed, AFDC recipients in Tennessee function between 5th and 
7th grade level when assessed by JOBS. This requires a strong 
basic skills framework to bring these skills up to an acceptable 
level. We encourage each participant to get a GED or to achieve 
a 10th grade functional level if they plan to enter 
post- secondary education. 

We have found that self-sufficiency means different wage 
levels for different families but generally at least a $6.00 an 
hour beginning wage is needed for entry level employment. By 
setting this goal six years ago, we set a standard for JOBS 
components that targeted post- secondary training in high demand 
occupations. Our plans are beginning to pay off as evidenced by 
our continuous follow-up on every participant for a 52 week 


Currently the beginning wage averages $5.79. This wage 
increases by at least 4% over the first 12 months of employment. 
One year later we found 50% of those who participated were off 
welfare and 34% were off Food Stamps. While JOBS probably cannot 
take credit for all of these, we plan to conduct research to 
determine exactly how many we have helped. We believe our 
research proves we have made significant gains in reducing 
welfare dependency. 

Further research of JOBS participants in Community Colleges 
by Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), have 
demonstrated that they participate more in class, do more outside 
reading, interact more with instructors and classmates, work 
harder on writing skills and perceive far greater gain then other 
Voluntary Participation 

Thus far, Tennessee has met each federal JOBS participation 
measure through a voluntary program. Each month 400 AFDC mothers 
in Memphis and 200 in Nashville volunteer for JOBS. This 
demonstration of their desire to find a way off welfare is 
further enhanced by the fact that 20% of the parents work "Fill- 
the-gap" between our low grant of $185 per month and our Standard 
of Need. 

We have found the AFDC-UP population less willing to work or 
go into training or work experience. By mandating participation 
of this population, 31% have left the rolls since July 1, 1993. 
Because of this experience and the public demands for more 
mandatory components we are moving to a mandatory life skills or 
Survival Skills Behavior Modification component with a strong 
introduction to the world of work. After 1 month of mandatory 
participation, we expect a high number to volunteer for further 
JOBSWORK activities. 

Our greatest challenge is meeting our AFDC-UP work 
participation requirement. Unless the rules are changed for 
calculating this participation, most states will lose their 
enhanced matching funds. 

Since 1991, Memphis State University (now the University of 
Memphis) has conducted follow-up and research on JOBS 


participants. Our baseline data shows improvement and movement 
in entry wages, entered employments and job retention. The data 
from FY 1993 shows that: 

- 29% left with a job 

- 48% received a GED 

- 46% had serious barriers to participation 
In any given, month of the 5,000 participating: 

- 35% receive Basic Skills instructions 

- 40% are enrolled in Vocational/Technical Schools or 

2-4 year colleges 

- 25% are enrolled in OJT or another work activity 
One year of follow-up from the first year of JOBS shows 


- 50% were still employed one year later 

- 50% are off welfare 

- 24% are off Food Stamps 

- Wages averaged $5.50 or 18 cents more than entry 

- 25% earn more than $6.00 per hour 

A common myth is that serving a large number of welfare 
mothers causes JTPA agencies to "fail" their federal performance 
standards. In Tennessee, Private Industry Councils will tell you 
that serving large numbers of welfare mothers helps them do 
better on their performance standards. In some Service Delivery 
Areas, welfare mothers out perform the regular JTPA population. 
This occurs in spite of the fact that most JOBSWORK participants 
in Tennessee meet one or more JOBS target group criteria. 
Seventy percent of all JOBS funds are spent on the target group 

Tennessee is like many other states in that K-12 education 
and Medicaid has left few dollars for other programs. The JOBS 
program used less than 25% of its federal allotment for the first 
two years. We are gradually moving upward and expect to use 48% 
this year and 65% for FY" 1995. 

These increases are made possible by containment of Medicaid 
coot through a federal waiver. TennCare, the states' new managed 
medical care program, went into effect January 1, 1994. 


Were it not for the shared resources of JTPA, Adult 
Education and local agencies and colleges, Tennessee would not 
have been able to meet federal participation rates. 

Last year 70% of all JOBS funds were spent on the Family 
Support Act's targeted population (i.e., those parents on AFDC 
for 3 years; those parents under 24 with no high school diploma 
or GED or little or no work history and individuals in families 
where the youngest child is age 16 or 17). This service level 
dispels the myth that the "hard to serve" will not volunteer, 
can't be readily helped and that JTPA programs "cream". In 
Tennessee, this 70% of all JOBS dollars was "spent" by JTPA 
Child Care 

Child Care for JOBSWORK is treated as an entitlement in 
Tennessee. Every person enrolled in a JOBSWORK activity is 
entitled to child care. Welfare mothers learn quickly to 
appreciate good quality child care. Their children love it and 
they start seeing the changes it makes in their children's lives. 
JOBS mothers all want their children in regulated centers. 
Unfortunately, this is not always possible but most of the time 
we can get them into regulated care. Only 12% use unregulated 

More child care dollars are needed to subsidize child care 
for those mothers who leave welfare to work as well as to prevent 
welfare dependency. 
Recommendations for Change 

1. While Tennessee has had a lot of success in getting the 
full cooperation of JTPA, Adult Education and higher 
education, other states have been less fortunate. It 
is my recommendation that stronger mandates be 
legislated for other education and training programs to 
address the issues of welfare dependency. It is not 
sufficient to tell agencies to co- locate or to just 
encourage coordination. Incentives must be put in 
place to entice other agencies to serve a larger 
percentage of the welfare population in support of the 


JOBS performance criteria. For exam ple, adult 
education programs should operate for at least 20 hours 
per week. JTPA agencies should willingly serve a 
larger portion of JOBS participants. 

2. Education and training infra-structures must be 
expanded to provide adequate spaces for JOBS 
participants. This may require more federal dollars 
for state vocational education programs at the post- 
secondary level . We must not settle for quick fix 
programs that fail to build basic skills, job skills 
and life skills. Private-f or-prof it training schools 
need to be forced to meet quality standards if they 
participate in federal financial aid programs. We 
refuse to use them in Tennessee because of their poor 
track records. 

3. We must be allowed adequate time to prepare AFDC 
recipients for the work force. For many, this is a 
minimum of 3 years. There are few quick- fix training 
programs that can produce a truly workforce ready 
participant. Those individuals who can and want to go 
for baccalaureate degrees should be allowed to do so. 

4. The employer community should be allowed to contribute 
to the training cost of new employees. Current 
"reversion to the donor" prohibitions mean that JOBS 
program must bear the full financial burden of training 
individuals for a job. Many employers would be happy 
to contribute to the training cost if federal law did 
not prohibit the leveraging of private dollars to match 
federal dollars when the benefit reverts to the donor. 
Incentives should be given to employers to provide work 
place literacy, life skills and job training on-site 
for welfare recipients. 

5. Funding for the JOBS program must be increased and the 
states matching share reduced - not only for JOBS 
services but for IV-A Child Care to complement JOBS. 

6. States must continue to receive maximum flexibility to 
design and create JOBS programs most suited to their 
needs and the needs of individual communities. 


7. Economic and Community Development funds should target 
job creation for welfare recipients and inter-city 
public housing developments. 

8. Child Support is critical to increasing the family 
income of welfare families. Unfortunately, non- 
custodial fathers face many of the same barriers to 
employment as do the mothers. The Parents' Fair Share 
Demonstrations, one of which is operated in Memphis, is 
proving that education, training, life skills and 
parenting training can turn around the lives and 
employability of absent non- supporting fathers. This 
population must be targeted just as strongly as the 
custodial mothers for education and training services. 
JOBS mothers should be given priority for Child Support 
enforcement. When increased Child Support enforcement 
results in collections sufficient to close the AFDC 
case, mothers should be allowed to complete education 
and training as a JOBS participant. 

9. Eligibility Counselors must be refocused away from an 
auditor/investigator role to a self-sufficiency case 
manager whose focus is helping people out of, not on 
to, welfare. The end result will be less welfare 
dependency and fewer errors. This will require a 
drastic change in eligibility rules for all benefit 
programs. This is one area where the Family Support 
Act failed to achieve the desired goals primarily 
because benefit programs remain driven by an "error 
rate mentality". This will not change until 
eligibility rules are changed and simplified. 

10. HUD rules should be changed to require all Housing 
Agencies to provide a year (or more) of "transitional 
rent" for families who lose AFDC due to employment. At 
uic same «,iine priority should be given to these 
families for Section 8 housing certificates and other 
HUD housing opportunities . 


11. Our greatest challenge in JOBS in Tennessee is meeting 
our AFDC unemployed participation rate. Unless the 
federal rules are changed for calculating this rate, 
most states will lose their enhanced JOBS funding. 
This will mean fewer recipients can be served. In 
Tennessee, we stand to lose $3 million for next year. 
This formula must be changed to allow states to 1) take 
credit for those individuals sanctioned, 2) subtract 
those individuals with good cause and 3) subtract 
those who are exempt. Unless these changes are made 
quickly, all states will be dropped to a 50/50 match 
rate - Tennessee included. 

12. We support the 20 hour rule generally and don't have 
any difficulty meeting it. We would, however, like to 
see full-time college students automatically granted 20 
hours of participation. 

13. Headstart programs must be expanded to provide full- 
day, full-week, full-year child care programs with the 
ability to use Headstart transportation vans to 
transport JOBS mothers to education and training 
programs . 

14. Welfare Reform must be an integral part of the mission 
of every federal agency that remotely touches the lives 
of disadvantaged families. It is not just a Health and 
Human Services problem, but a problem for USDOL, HUD, 
Education, USDA and others. These agencies must join 
forces at the federal level as we have at the local 
level to mesh resources, forge new ideas and promote 
change at every level of the bureaucracy. 


Chairman Ford. Thank you very much. 
Ms. Deyampert. 


Ms. Deyampert. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. 

I appreciate very much the invitation to come today from North 
Carolina to appear before this subcommittee and to talk to you as 
you deliberate in your oversight hearings on the Family Support 
Act. In my testimony this afternoon, I will provide an overview of 
how we in North Carolina are implementing our JOBS program. 

In North Carolina, we implemented our JOBS program in 75 of 
our 100 counties. We will take that program Statewide to all of our 
100 counties by July of this year. We in North Carolina have 
looked at our program and we have developed it in terms of what 
we call an interagency human capital investment strategy, de- 
signed to help welfare families get off of long-term dependency. We 
take our program seriously. We did an 18-month comprehensive 
planning at the State level. That planning included 155 individuals 
with 51 agencies involved to help us. 

We carefully crafted that program so that we would recognize 
three things: The diversity of our community resources. We looked 
at the variability of local economies in our counties, and the needs 
of our AFDC population. 

We take tremendous pride in what we do with our program in 
North Carolina. Some of our particular features about the program 
are that everything is individualized. We worked on an employ- 
ability plan and tailored it to the individual needs of the recipient. 
Our attention has been focused on building the broadest possible 
base that we could in terms of education, training, and employment 
activities to help develop a creative program for our participants. 

We also have clear measures. We often talk about what is ex- 
pected of families. We have clear outcome measures of what we ex- 
pect counties in our State to do, and we distribute funds to those 
counties based on those performance outcomes. 

Also counties have to, each year, engage in an annual com- 
prehensive planning process. The annual planning process in- 
cludes, but is not limited to, community colleges, public schools, 
JTPA, which is done in conjunction with the Employment Security 
Commission. So it is a comprehensive process based on outcomes 
and clear expectations. 

We have contracted in North Carolina with the University of 
North Carolina Research and Design Laboratory to conduct a study 
which will help us determine what is working in our program in 
North Carolina. 

Also, one of the strong features, that we hear so much about, 
which we believe very strongly in, is that we prioritize custodial 
teenage parents. We believe that there is a strong correlation be- 
tween teen pregnancy and education. 

When we look at our first year participation for 1992-93, we 
served over 4,000 teenagers. That participation rate was over 37 
percent of our total teenage custodial population. When I went 
back and looked at our information in terms of our first 6 months 


for 1993-94, we have served over 3,100 teenagers, which is, cur- 
rently right at about 33 percent of our total teenage custodial popu- 

I have already mentioned that our JOBS program will be going 
to our 100 counties by July of this year. In North Carolina, we 
have a total of 100 counties. We are a county-administered system. 
Eighty-five of our 100 counties are considered rural. Right now, 50 
of those counties have been classified by our Department of Com- 
merce as economically distressed counties. 

Under the leadership of Governor Hunt, North Carolina has ini- 
tiated an extensive effort to put about $85 million into a develop- 
ment of business capital, water and sewer facilities, and housing in 
rural communities. He has also put together the Workforce Pre- 
paredness Commission, a commission that is looking very com- 
prehensively at developing economic possibilities for North Caro- 
lina, and JOBS is a part of that big feature. 

I would like to mention that in addition to our doing the perform- 
ance outcomes with counties and providing moneys based on that 
performance, we also offer what we call component development 
strategies for counties. Component development strategies are in 
addition to the comprehensive planning and doing other kinds of 
creative things. We also offer moneys on a competitive basis to do 
nontraditional kinds of things, to do new things and form partner- 
ships and new partnerships with agencies out there. 

In conclusion, I would like to say that, we believe JOBS is a suc- 
cessful program in North Carolina. We believe it has potential and 
even more potential than what we have been able to realize so far. 
We believe that there are certain things that have to happen, 
which we would like to see, and that is that the cap would be 

We also believe — may I please just say a couple of final things, 

Chairman Ford. You may proceed. 

Ms. Deyampert. Thank you very much. 

We also believe that we are going to have to continue to hit hard 
at the teenage population. We believe that the JOBS program 
needs to recognize that teenagers need to be able to be helped and 
to work in the JOBS program prior to their having to either drop 
out of school or to have a child before we are ready to help them. 

We believe that there has to be a realization and a correlation 
between simplification in order for families to get better. Transpor- 
tation is an issue for us in North Carolina. Families must have ac- 
cess to transportation. Families need cars; families need to be able 
to carpool. Additional strategies are needed in order for families to 
get better. 

Finally, let me just say that we in North Carolina do not believe 
that anything in the JOBS program should be further passed or 
mandated without an appreciation of the fact that different strate- 
gies work in different States. They also work in different counties. 
We believe in the model that we are implementing in North Caro- 
lina. We believe those kinds of models are critical and have valid- 
ity, and we would like to see them have a place in the success and 
the continuation of the JOBS program. 


Mr. Chairman, I really do appreciate the opportunity to be here. 
I think that this is essential and it is important, and I think these 
kinds of deliberations are what we need as we continue to debate 
and revisit welfare reform in our country. 

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement and attachments follow:] 



Remarks by Mary K. Deyampert, Director of the North Carolina Division of 
Social Services, before the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the 
Committee on Ways and Means, U. S. House of Representatives. 

Mr. Chairman, I am Mary K. Deyampert, (State Welfare Director, North 
Carolina Division of Social Services). I appreciate the invitation to appear 
before this Committee and participate in your oversight hearing on the 
Federal Family Support Act. 

In North Carolina, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) 
program is in operation in 75 counties and will be in place in all 100 counties 
effective July 1, 1994. The JOBS program in North Carolina is an interagency 
human capital investment strategy designed to reduce the risks of long-term 
welfare dependency. It is a program in which we take great pride. 

Following an 18 month interagency planning process at the state level, we 
carefully crafted a program that recognizes the diversity of community 
resources, the variability of local economies, and the needs of the AFDC 
population. Some of the important features of the North Carolina JOBS 
program are: 

Everything is individualized to the needs of the recipient : There are no 
pre-determined treatment streams or sequence of activities. Our 
attention has been focused on building the broadest possible base of 
education, training and employment activities to enable creative, 
individualized planning for each participant. 

We have clear measures of program outcomes and distribute JOBS 
funds to counties based on program performance : Each county is 
assigned specific outcomes for which it is accountable and which affect 
its program funding. (Copies of the goals are attached.) 

We have contracted for an aggressive, longitudinal, family tracking 
study with the University of North Carolina as part of our 
determination to document program effects. (Progress of evaluation is 

We prioritize teenage custodial parents for program involvement , 
particularly high school drop-outs. 

In North Carolina, 85 of the state's 100 counties are considered "rural"; 50 of 
these counties are designated by the state Department of Commerce as 
"economically distressed". 

Under the leadership of Governor James B. Hunt, the state has initiated an 
extensive effort to provide more than $85 million for the development of 
business capital, water and sewer facilities, and housing in rural communities 
across the state. The Governor has also created a Commission on Workforce 
Preparedness to spearhead his administration's workforce development efforts 
and coordination in order to build a comprehensive, performance-driven state 


system on workforce development. Indeed, an impressive infrastructure for 
local economic development has been implemented. The JOBS program, 
therefore, is a part of this broad workforce preparedness effort that is a 
critical element of economic development, particularly in the state's rural 

Also, with the clearly documented relationship between educational attainment 
and long-term dependency on public assistance, AFDC recipients should have 
equitable access to education and training activities, even though the nature of 
these activities may vary from a rural to an urban community. The argument 
that education, training, and employment services are poor investments for 
public assistance recipients in rural areas with high unemployment is a 
"Catch-22" proposition that has the effect of "writing off' the hope that this 
population will ever become competitive for existing employment opportunities 
at the very time that public concern about long-term dependency is soaring. 

Additionally, the Division of Social Services offers JOBS counties an 
opportunity to develop innovative activities for program participants through 
Component Development Projects (CDP). These project funds have been 
made available in an effort to challenge county JOBS staff to expand 
collaboration efforts and to pilot activities designed to meet local participant 

JOBS offers the funds through a competitive process, to further develop 
community resources for recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent 
Children (AFDC). To be selected for project funding, the Department of 
Social Services and an education, training, and/or employment agency must 
form a "partnership" to provide new opportunities for recipient families. 

Thirteen (13) counties were awarded CDP projects in state Fiscal year 1992-93, 
while twenty-two (22) counties received project funds for SFY 1993-94. 
Examples of the projects include: 

partnerships with local community colleges to integrate 
vocational and basic skills training; 

partnerships with public schools, Job Training Partnership Act 
(JTPA), Employment Security Commission (ESC), and other 
community agencies to provide teen parents with labor market 
information and vocational exploration opportunities to support 
high school completion, and preparation for 
education/employment opportunities; 

partnerships with the local Employment Security Commission 
(ESC) to provide individualized On-the-job Training 


The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program has proven successful in 
North Carolina in promoting employment and self-sufficiency for thousands of 
AFDC families. We would encourage building upon this success. 

The cap on federal JOBS allocation should be lifted . This action will 
enable us to reach a greater percentage of recipients and expand 
creative service delivery in communities. 


Federal AFDC and JOBS regulations must be made more friendly with 
the goal of avoiding long-term dependency . For example, federal AFDC 
regulations should facilitate the resolution of transportation problems 
through personal vehicle purchase, carpooling, etc. Current regulations 
inhibit creative resolutions of barriers to employment faced by 
recipients. Likewise, federal JOBS regulations should allow the 
participation of teenage recipients who are enrolled in school and have 
been identified by school officials as being of significant risk of dropping 
out. If our purpose is to avoid long-term dependency, shouldn't these 
students be allowed to volunteer for program participation before they 
have actually dropped out of school, and participation becomes 
mandatory? Teenagers should not be required to either have a baby or 
drop out of school before they can be counted as JOBS participants. 

Improvements in the JOBS program must not involve federal mandates 
that have the effect of discourag in g a human capital investment strateg y 
in the provision of education, training, and employment services for 
public assistance recipients . We believe that this model is critical to 
JOBS program success. 

Again, I very much appreciate the opportunity to participate in this hearing on 
the Federal Family Support Act. I agree that such a discussion is critical and 
indeed provides a solid foundation for the subcommittee's deliberations on 
welfare reform. 

79-657 0-94-4 


SFY 1992-93 

Purpose: The purpose of the JOBS Program is to assure that AFDC 

recipients obtain the education, training, supportive services and 
employment that will help them avoid long-term welfare dependency. 
The information below summarizes program outcomes during the 
SFY 92-93; 16 of the 75 JOBS counties had only six months of 
program operation prior to beginning the SFY 92-93. 

Thru 06-30-93 
Goals For SFY 92-93 

1. Participation Rate - to achieve the eleven percent 16.59% 

(11%) federal Participation Rate requirement 
for each quarter in the FFY. 

2. Target Group Expenditures - to achieve the fifty-five 74.0% 

(55%) federal Target Group expenditures 
requirement in the FFY. 

3. Satisfactory Participation - to achieve an average, monthly 85.2% 

statewide successful participation rate of 75% 
(this is the percentage of active participants in 
an education or training activity who satisfactorily 
complete 75% of their scheduled hours). 

4. Teenage Custodial Parents - to enroll 40.0% of all 36.8% 

eligible teenage custodial parents in the 
program during the fiscal year. 

5. Teen-Aqe High School Drop-outs - to enable 868 participants 921 

who are teenage school dropouts to return 

to school or other type of educational training. 

6. High School Diploma Completions - to enable 750 participants 1,106 

to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent; 

to enable 609 participants identified as being 926 

most at-risk of long-term welfare dependency 

(target group) to obtain a high school diploma or 

its equivalent; 

to enable 94 participants identified as teenage 126 
school drop-outs to obtain a high school diploma 
or its equivalent. 

7. Postsecondary Degrees Obtained - to enable 369 participants 436 

to obtain a postsecondary education degree. 

8. Skill Training Completions - to enable 745 participants to 1,114 

obtain a certificate of successful completion of 
a vocational skills training course. 


Thru 06-30-93 
Goals for SFY 92-93 (cont'd) 

9. Recidivism - Confirm that 75% of the participants who 70. 0^ 

terminate from AFDC due to employment after 
at least 120 hours of JOBS activity are not 
receiving AFDC twelve months later. 

10. Employment - to enable 1,019 JOBS participants to enter 1,623 

full-time employment (i.e. at least 30 hours per 
week) after participating in a JOBS education 
and/or training activity; 

to enable 590 JOBS participants identified as 1,015 

being most at-risk of long-term welfare dependency 
to enter full-time employment. 

11. Improved Access - to enable 14,596 AFDC participants to 17,445 

participate in educational and training activities 

that they would not be able to take advantage of 

without the assistance of JOBS supportive services 
(including child care). 

12. Penetration Rate - to achieve an average monthly 13. 5^ 

statewide Penetration Rate of 15.0% (this is the 
percentage of eligible participants actually in an 
education or training activity or JOBS-countable employment 
during the month) . 







The purpose of the JOBS Program is to assure that AFDC recipients 
obtain the education, training, supportive services, and 
employment that they need to avoid long-term welfare dependency. 

OUTCOME GOALS - these goals describe "what" participants in the 
JOBS program actually accomplish. Statewide and 
county-specific measures are established annually 
in each goal area. 

Teen-Age High School 

High School Diploma 

High School Diploma 
Completions - Target 

High School Diploma 
Completions - 
Teenage Dropouts 

to enable 1,190 participants who are teenage 
school dropouts to return to school or 
other type of educational training. 

to enable 1,485 participants to obtain 
a high school diploma or its equivalent. 

to enable 1,276 participants identified as 
being most at-risk of long-term welfare 
dependency (target group) to obtain a high 
school diploma or its equivalent. 

to enable 173 participants identified as 
teenage school drop-outs to obtain a high 
school diploma or its equivalent. 



Degrees Obtained 

Skill Training 


to enable 644 participants to obtain a 
post-secondary education degree. 

to enable 1,468 participants to obtain a 
certificate of successful completion of a 
vocational skills training course. 

to enable 3,000 JOBS participants to 
enter full-time employment (i.e. at least 30 
hours per week) after participating in a 
JOBS education and/ or training activities. 

8. Employment 
Target Group 

to enable 1,876 JOBS participants identified 
as being most at-risk of long-term welfare 
dependency to enter full-time employment. 



to confirm that 70% of the participants who 
obtain full-time employment after 
participating in a JOBS education and/or 
training activity maintained employment for 
at least nine of the subsequent 12 months. 

to confirm that 70% of the participants who 
terminate from AFDC due to employment after 
at least 120 hours of program activity 
are not receiving AFDC twelve months later 
and received AFDC (money payment) no more 
than three of the intervening months. 


PROCESS GOALS - these goals describe "how" the JOBS program will 
be operated in relation to special points of 
emphasis in the state. Statewide and 
county-specific measures are established annually 
in each goal area. 

1. Participation Rate 


Target Group 


Federal Requirements 

to achieve the federal "Intensive 
Participation" standard of fifteen percent 
(15%) for each month in the SFY. 

to achieve the federal "Target Group" 
expenditures standard of 55% during the 

to achieve the federal ATOC-UP Participation 
Rate requirement of 40% during the SFY. 

Hen-Federal Requirements 

Penetration Rate 

2. Teenage Custodial 

to achieve an average monthly statewide 
Penetration Rate of 15.0% (this is the 
percentage of eligible participants 
actually in an education or training 
activity or JOBS-countable employment during 
the month) . 

to enroll 45.0% of all eligible teenage 
custodial parents in the program during 
the fiscal year. 

3. Improved to enable 20,742 AFDC recipients to 

Access participate in educational and training 

activities that they would not be able to 
access without the assistance of JOBS 
supportive services. 

to achieve an average, monthly statewide 
satisfactory participation rate of 75% (this 
is the percentage of active participants in 
an education or training activity who 
complete 75% of their scheduled hours) . 

to achieve a high, statewide standard of 
Staff Productivity during the fiscal year. 

Method A: Average monthly number of participants who "count" 
in the Participation Rate calculation per "pure 
Case Manager equivalent". 

Method B: Average monthly number of participants who "count" 
in the Participation Rate calculation per direct 
charge staff member.- 





North Carolina 

uCTff' i 


In-Progress Brief 

Human Services Research and Design Laboratory 
School of Social Work 

University of North Carolina m Chapel 1 1 ill 
Spring, 1993 


What is JOBS? 

An inter-agency human capital 
investment strategy designed 
to reduce risks of long-term 
welfare dependence. 



How Does JOBS Work in 
North Carolina? 

• Targets AFDC recipients 

• Enables maximum economic 

• Emphasizes education and training, 
job search, and economic development 

• Provides supportive and 
transitional services 


What is Special about 
JOBS in North Carolina 

• Strong commitment to interagency 

• Human resource investment strategy 

• Focus on those most at risk for 
welfare dependency 

• Comprehensive monitoring and 



Why Evaluate JOBS? 

Determine if program is successful 

Identify successful approaches 

Assess participant progress toward, and 
ability to maintain, self-sufficiency 
Inform policymakers at State 
and local levels 



What Has the 
Study Found So Far? 

Program Start-Up 

• Consistent with Federal guidelines 

• Strong appreciation for State assistance 

• Adequate JOBS child care supply 

• Inadequate transportation 

• High case manager morale 

• High participant interest and involvement 


What Has the 
Study Found So Far? 

Participants Coming Into JOBS 

Median number of 
children — 2 

4/5 don't like we(fare 

1/2 without high 
school diploma 

Median ase — 26 

4/5 worked full-time 

1/2 without 
driver's license 

Ilcalih care is critical 



Next Steps 

Comparison between JOBS 
families and other AFDC families 

Cost analysis of JOBS in North Carolina^ 

Case studies of JOBS families 

Analysis of the differences 
JOBS programs make 


What Has the 
Study Found So Far? 

Participant Progress in JOBS 

• Commilirjcnl to working 

• Confidence in solving tough problems 

• Hope for the future 

• Confidence in personal abilities 

• Rating of dependability 



Chairman Ford. Thank you very much. 
Mr. Kemp. 


Mr. Kemp. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the oppor- 
tunity to testify today on this oversignt hearing on the Family Sup- 
port Act. I am here representing the State of Hawaii. I administer 
the JOBS program for the State of Hawaii as part of my duties. 

I think one of the things I would like to start off by saying, in 
listening to the testimony this morning, is that as far as State in- 
vestment goes, just to help frame my comments, the State of Ha- 
waii has a capped entitlement of approximately $4 million, another 
approximately $1 million that we draw down under IV-A for child 
care. Our current State investment is $8.5 million in this program. 
That, I think, demonstrates the commitment that Hawaii has to 
helping welfare families. 

Also, just to give you an idea of the number of people participat- 
ing, we have 8,000 families in the State of Hawaii that are manda- 
tory to the JOBS program. We currently have 3,000 of those fami- 
lies in our program, or approximately 37.5 percent. 

The Family Support Act embodies a set of human values and 
principles that offer meaningful opportunities for families on 
AFDC. We also believe that it offers us in the State of Hawaii a 
chance to address the multiple needs of the many low skilled and 
often dysfunctional families that are on AFDC today. 

In the comments that I have heard so far today and in other 
meetings that I have attended at the national level, very often, we 
do not hear very much about the dysfunction that is present in the 
AFDC families. I would just like to go on record as saying that I 
think the debate that Congress has had in the IV-B area relating 
to child abuse and neglect and the new initiative in the family sup- 
port area, that many of the families that we are serving in the 
JOBS program are exactly the same families that we are talking 
about there, that have experienced a history of abuse in the family, 
and that they have a number of issues facing them that they need 
to overcome before education and training becomes meaningful and 
before job placement can become a stable way of existence for the 

The other thing about the Family Support Act that we are very 
positive about is that we like the fact that the program goal has 
been changed under the Family Support Act to one of seeking self- 
sufficiency for the family. As part of that, we would like to believe, 
as I have heard here this morning — I was very encouraged by your 
comments, Mr. Chairman, when you indicated that there is nothing 
wrong with training people for $9 and $10 an hour jobs. In fact, 
we think it is critical if we expect these families to get off welfare 
and to stay off welfare in this Nation. 

There are many people for whom they will not be able to achieve 
this level, but still, we should be emphasizing this type of employ- 
ment for those who can do it, because in many cases, the edu- 
cational system in our State, and I suspect in a number of States 
across the country, has in a variety of ways failed these families 


and they have not been able to get the necessary skills that they 
need and, therefore, need our assistance at this time. We are cur- 
rently offering them, we think, a second chance. 

The final thing about the Family Support Act that we really like 
is that this offers families hope, the hope to get out of poverty and 
to become self-supporting and to be able to care for themselves and 
their children without government assistance. 

There have been a number of statements made in recent months 
about AFDC families needing to go to work. We agree very heartily 
with that statement. However, in order for this to be meaningful, 
a number of issues facing these adults must be addressed. 

The Family Support Act gives States the flexibility to design the 
JOBS program in a way to best meet the needs of its families. In 
Hawaii, there is a strong feeling in the community that the JOBS 
program could not just focus on minimal investment efforts with 
JOBS participants that lead to low-paying jobs. Rather, there is a 
push to offer real opportunity that will make a difference. 

This means in Hawaii that the program needs to be two- 
generational to meet the needs of both the adults and the children 
and to offer human capital investment educational programs for cli- 
ents. I was very encouraged by the comments of the lady from 
North Carolina. We, too, support this approach as one of the most 
viable ways to help families get off welfare and stay off welfare. 

In Hawaii, we also believe it is important to focus on indepth 
family assessment, supported by family functioning treatment serv- 
ices. To accomplish this, the Hawaii JOBS program uses a multi- 
disciplinary assessment approach utilizing a social worker, a public 
health nurse, and an employment counselor to fully identify family 
strengths and needs. 

As many as 60 to 70 percent of the women on AFDC in Hawaii 
have been abused. Whether it is physical, psychological or sexual, 
they have all had histories of abuse that leads to dysfunction with- 
in the family. Dealing with these issues, we believe, is the best way 
to ensure long-term self-sufficiency in these families. 

The Family Support Act offers States the flexibility to emphasize 
a broad range of education and training. As many as 70 to 80 per- 
cent of the AFDC adults in Hawaii have below 12th grade achieve- 
ment levels. We believe that these levels must be raised if they are 
to compete adequately in the labor force. 

As far as the impact of the JOBS program in Hawaii, we think 
one of the main things is that it offers new hope for families, the 
hope that they, too, can become self-sufficient and be competitive 
with the other people in the community seeking employment. 

Therefore, we would encourage there to be continued broad offer- 
ings of educational investment in these families if we expect fami- 
lies to exit AFDC and not to return to welfare. 

I would like to note, Mr. Chairman, that many of our AFDC fam- 
ilies that are in our program not only want to educate and train, 
but they want to go to work and they want off AFDC. They do not 
want to stay there. 

In looking at the specific — may I continue for a moment, sir? 

Chairman Ford. You may. 

Mr. Kemp. Thank you. 


In looking at some of the specific provisions of the Family Sup- 
port Act, I would like to say that most of the provisions of the act 
are excellent. We think that it is a very good piece of legislation 
as written and offers States tremendous flexibility in addressing 
the needs of its families within its community. 

However, there is, and it has been mentioned this morning, some 
difficulty, I think, with the way the 20-hour rule under the act has 
been required and forced States like ours to implement. The basic 
problem is not the fact that it requires activity. We support and en- 
courage high levels of activity in our population. But the way in 
which this rule is calculated, I think, leads to a source of frustra- 
tion for both staff and clients in the sense that we end up chasing 
participation rates rather than working on the issue of helping 
these families become truly self-sufficient. 

Finally, I would like to just say in closing that Hawaii is cur- 
rently seeking a waiver from HHS that would lead to the imple- 
mentation of a work immersion program for families that are 
awaiting education and training. Under this work immersion con- 
cept, an additional 1,600 adults would be brought into this program 
and asked to work while they are waiting for their education and 
training services. 

My point in bringing this to your attention is to say that not all 
programs have to focus simply on entry-level employment as a 
means of introducing savings to government. This work immersion 
program, while it will not take these families off AFDC at this mo- 
ment, will produce the kind of savings that could be produced 
under the same approach if that were its only focus. 

So I think a combination of approaches in trying to help families 
become self-sufficient would be more effective than one which is at- 
tempted to apply to all States, if you will. 

Finally, we believe that the Family Support Act offers the flexi- 
bility that the States need to meet the needs of their families. We 
think we have an excellent program in Hawaii and we hope that 
we will continue to be able to make progress, as we currently are, 
in the implementation of this Act. 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 




Thank you for this opportunity to testify on progress that 
is being made in the implementation of the JOBS Program as 
provided for under the Family Support Act of 1988. My name is 
Garry L. Kemp and I serve as the Administrator for the Self- 
Sufficiency and Support Services Division, Department of Human 
Services for the State of Hawaii. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to be here today to share 
the experiences of our State in the implementation of the JOBS 
Program. From the time that the Family Support Act was passed, 
we believe that it embodies a set of human values and principles 
that offered a meaningful opportunity for us to offer much needed 
assistance to the many families who receive Aid to Families with 
Dependent Children (AFDC) in Hawaii. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 allows for educational and 
training that offers opportunities for financial self-sufficiency 
for the family. Prior programs, like WIN (Work Incentive 
Program), had the goal of helping the AFDC adult to find a job. 
This change in program goal, under the Family Support Act, is 
extremely significant and recognizes the importance of assisting 
welfare families to exit AFDC and to get out of poverty. 

For years, welfare-to-work programs had very little funding 
and expected large numbers of low-skilled, dysfunctional 
families, to exit AFDC with little or no help. The premise, 
presumably, was that families on AFDC have sufficient work 
skills, but do not expend adequate work effort. This approach 
has resulted in AFDC families being required to participate in 
numerous government programs that offer little or no treatment 
services, have limited educational and training opportunities, 
and do not address family functioning or self-esteem issues faced 
by AFDC families. 

The effect of programs like WIN has been to add to the 
discouragement of the AFDC family. These efforts, mostly 
unsuccessful, erred because it did not recognize the needs of its 
clientele. As such, instead of empowering the AFDC family, it 
has added to their burden, disappointment, and sense of despair. 

The Family Support Act of 1988 has offered us a way to more 
properly meet the needs of AFDC families. In Hawaii, we now 
recognize that AFDC families have needs and that they are not all 
simple to resolve. We also recognize that many AFDC families 
suffer from years of abuse, whether physical, psychological, or 
sexual, and that these issues need to be addressed. Finally, we 
recognize that even though families on AFDC have a wide range of 
skill levels that must be addressed, that they each have one 
thing in common. They have the desire to set their lives 
straight and to be able to re-capture their hopes and dreams. 

This recognition of the hope that the Family Support Act 
offers AFDC families we hope will not be lost or overlooked. The 
Act provides sound principles that emphasize work, and yet gives 
States the flexibility to design programs that meets the needs of 
its people. 

Planning The Program 

When the Hawaii JOBS Program was in the early planning 
stages, many community members asked how the State could 


guarantee them that the JOBS Program would be different from 
prior welfare-to-work efforts? This question hinged on the 
promises that the Family Support Act seemed to make in terms of 
helping families to become self-sufficient rather than pushing 
recipients into low paying jobs that barely took them off 
welfare. It was argued that prior programs, like WIN, resulted 
in the recipient dropping out of the workforce and returning to 
AFDC assistance after a short time because welfare benefits were 
worth more than what the recipient could earn in the community. 
Also, there was strong feeling that the State would not work with 
the family in a way that would give them real opportunity and 
make a difference. 

These comments, from our own community, were very disturbing 
because we had intended to implement the Family Support Act true 
to its apparent intent, and give Hawaii families broad 
opportunities. Thus, at the end of the first local conference on 
the Family Support Act held in 1989, Winona E. Rubin, the 
Director of the Hawaii Department of Human Services, assured 
community representatives that the JOBS Program would be planned 
with their input and that it would make every attempt to deliver 
on the promises of the Family Support Act. Further support was 
received from Governor John Waihee and the Hawaii Legislature in 
providing needed funding. 

The events that followed proved to be very important to the 
development and implementation of the JOBS Program in Hawaii. 
Over 200 community representatives from both the private and 
public sectors, as well as private industry participated in the 
planning. Representatives came from every major island within 
the State, and included about 10 recipients that were on AFDC at 
the time. 

The result of this planning process included recognition 
that the JOBS Program needed to be a two-generational program 
that focused on both the adults and the children. Further, that 
family functioning problems and issues are at the heart of 
helping AFDC families becoming self-sufficient. 

Additional plans were developed to provide for in-depth 
assessment to identify potential barriers to employment and 
treatment services were provided for. These plans finally led to 
a process of career planning where the emphasis is on choice, and 
the recipient has the chance to seek education and training with 
up to a four year college degree as a maximum benefit. This 
human capital investment approach was considered critical as a 
way of opening a wide range of choices for the recipient. 

Program Philosophy 

Program philosophy is extremely important in the JOBS 
Program. When JOBS was started in Hawaii, one of the things that 
was so encouraging was the positive point of view that the Family 
Support Act brought to services. Similarly, there was a strong 
desire locally to make sure that those positive concepts were 
brought to life. In evaluating the Hawaii service environment, 
it became clear that the basic approach of being client centered 
and customer service oriented had eroded over the years. Thus, a 
very conscious effort was made to return to client-centered 

Customer service has become one of the basic principles of 
our program in Hawaii. This philosophy is one which starts from 
the time a client walks in the door. Staff are asked to greet 
clients in a positive manner as soon as they walk in. Then, the 
client is asked to have a seat and the worker is called to the 
front to greet their client. Also, our units have no counters or 
barriers to give the clients the appearance that the unit is 
closed to them. This appearance of openness gives the unit a 


positive and motivational emphasis. 

Beyond the initial contact and impression that we try to 
give the client, we emphasize personal respect for the client, 
co-workers, service providers, and all others with whom staff 
have contact. This approach gives high priority to high quality, 
customer friendly service. Thus, we encourage staff to view 
their service as one that they would want the client to purchase 
if it were for sale. In this way, we have successfully changed 
the image of Hawaii government services in the JOBS area. 

The customer service concept is further supported by 
providing for motivational training for both staff and clients. 
We have found that if the workers are positive and up-beat about 
their own work circumstances, then we have a better chance of 
getting staff to motivate the client to success. To motivate 
staff, we use a combination of a positive office environment, in 
conjunction with the staff motivational training. 

On the client side of the equation, we provide motivational 
opportunities at a number of different points. The first 
opportunity to motivate the client is part of orientation. The 
design is to give the AFDC adult a positive view towards success. 
Later opportunities include the Ho'ala (Awakening) activities 
which are designed to be six weeks of self-development 
programming which deals with issues surrounding abusive 
histories, self-esteem, goal setting, and other job readiness 
activities . 

Overall, the philosophy of the program is key to clients 
wanting to be a part of the JOBS Program. To date, there are 
about 3,000 clients in the Hawaii JOBS Program of which about 93% 
are mandatory. Of these mandatory clients, it is exciting to not 
that about 80% chose to volunteer to participate so that they 
could take part in the JOBS Program sooner. We have a similar 
situation for the JOBS Pool or waiting list where there are about 
6,400 clients and about 5,000 or 78% have volunteered to enter 
JOBS as soon as possible. We feel that the positive, customer 
service oriented program, coupled with strong services and broad 
educational opportunities can be credited for the enthusiastic 
response by our clients. 

Family Functioning Services 

JOBS Program services in Hawaii are essentially separated 
into three groups. The first group of services deals with 
services related to family functioning. One of the most 
important aspects of working with AFDC families in the JOBS 
Program is to make sure that the family as a whole is at a 
satisfactory level of functioning. To determine the functioning 
level, each adult receives an in-depth assessment interview. 
This interview process includes reading and math testing, along 
with a close look at psycho-social, health, and employment issues 
that the client faces. The purpose of this assessment is to 
ensure that there are no major obstacles facing the family that 
would detract from the adult's ability to be successful in 
education and training activities. 

To accomplish the in-depth assessment, the Hawaii JOBS 
Program uses a multi-disciplinary team made up of a social 
worker, a public health nurse, an employment counselor, and a 
generic case manager. The case manager collects a variety of 
family background information on the AFDC adult, the children, 
other members of the household, as well as significant others. 
The purpose of this examination of the adult and other members of 
the household is to ensure that any barriers to employment are 
detected early on in the process. 

The results of the assessment process determine if treatment 
services are necessary. If so, then the multi-disciplinary team, 


chaired by the social worker will draw up a suitable treatment 
plan that can be used in helping the client to resolve or bring 
the barriers under control. 

The combination of activities in the family functioning area 
give the JOBS Program staff an excellent view on personal 
counseling and health related problems that exist. Thus, in 
accord with the findings of the assessment process, services for 
adults and children can be delivered in a positive way and 
constitute true two-generational support for families. 

Under program policies, this assessment is conducted with 
all families and is designed to limit failure and disappointment 
on the part of the participant. In prior program efforts where 
there was no emphasis on family assessment, the adults were 
assumed to be functional unless they demonstrated extreme 
symptoms of dysfunction. Under such programs, the adult was 
assigned to job search, education or training and the success of 
the client was largely dependent on their ability to function 
without difficulty. 

It is widely known in the Social Services field that AFDC 
families represent some of the most dependent families and many 
have: long histories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse; had 
children since they were teenagers; extensive drug and alcohol 
abuse dependence; and are the products of generations of family 
instability. Knowing these factors, it is instructive to 
recognize that these types of problems are common reasons for 
failure in the education, training, and job arenas. Families 
with problems, especially disadvantaged families, have a 
difficult time dealing with the stress that is associated with 
family dysfunction. It is similarly true in the health field 
that disadvantaged families are more likely to have ignored 
health signals of problems that they have. Common problems 
related to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and 
nutrition are prevalent. All of these issues are faced by JOBS 
families in one way or another at a prevalence of about 70% and 

We believe, therefore, that it is critical to address family 
functioning issues to ensure that the adults can properly focus 
on the education, training, and employment activities that will 
lead them down the path to self-sufficiency. Without this 
assistance, the risk of failure is high and such failure is 
damaging to the participant, staff, providers, and employers. 

Human Capital Investment Programming 

The second group of services for JOBS clients deal with 
education and training. From the outset in Hawaii, there was a 
feeling that since the cost of living is high, work force 
entrants would need strong skills to compete for employment 
positions. To enhance the chances of recipients being able to 
compete, it was felt that a high school diploma would be the 
minimum education level needed to be able to gain self-sufficient 
employment. Beyond this minimum, there was further thought that 
college education offered the greatest likelihood of higher paid 
employment and the most stable road off AFDC. 

Given these thoughts, it became clear that the program had 
to consider the characteristics of AFDC families as part of 
program development. In testing JOBS participants, between 70- 
80% of the adults that enter the program have less than a twelfth 
grade achievement level. Many of the adults have fifth grade or 
lower reading levels. This information made clearer the 
challenge faced by the AFDC family. Many families had the 
combined attributes of family dysfunction and low achieved 
educational levels. 


With these criteria in mind an important decision was made. 
We decided that the fullest range of educational and training 
opportunities would be made available with the goal of a high 
school diploma as a minimum for as many AFDC adults as possible. 
While this is a challenge, if we are to embrace the Family 
Support Act as fully as possible, then there has to be broad 
opportunities for self-sufficiency. The same is true for skills 

To facilitate a broad range of educational opportunities, it 
was decided to offer up to a four year college education as a 
maximum benefit. This meant that a wide range of education 
options could be offered to clients. While most JOBS clients do 
not choose four year college, many choose post-secondary 
education opportunities at the Community College level. Examples 
of career goals being pursued by post-secondary students include: 
social worker, nurse, teacher, business administration, travel 
agent, various kinds of health field related technical jobs like 
x-ray technician, lab technician, and so forth. 

To similarly, address the needs of lower functioning adults 
that are on AFDC, the participants are counseled on the types of 
employment opportunities that can lead to financial self- 
sufficiency. Many of these adults have proven capable and with 
increases in their functioning level have obtained employment 
positions in areas like: food service, cosmetology, electrical 
work, clerical, bookkeeping, and truck driving. 

The main point here is that true self-sufficiency depends on 
the AFDC adult developing skills that will carry them through. 
In this vein, the more skills that can be offered, then the more 
probable self-sufficiency becomes. Nominal efforts at building 
skill levels offers the prospect of low paying employment and a 
likely path back to the welfare system. 

Some AFDC adults will not be able to become independent of 
the welfare system. Despite this it is appropriate for as many 
as possible to enter the workplace and to work within their 
ability. By doing this, it offers hope for the future because 
now the head of household works. This will change the way that 
children think of their parent (s) and could very well motivate 
the child to want to be off welfare when they become adults. 

We believe that in order to break the cycle of poverty, we 
must recognize that the hope is in the children. It will be 
possible to get many families off AFDC under the JOBS Program, 
but most will not get out of poverty. Thus, we have to maintain 
our patience with welfare families and help them to build for the 

Supportive Services 

Supportive services is the third and final group under the 
JOBS Program. Under this area, child care, transportation, and 
work related expenses are covered. These services are 
indispensable to the AFDC family in trying to become self- 

Trends in the use of these services have varied. In the 
early stages of the JOBS Program in Hawaii, child care services 
were not requested frequently. Now, in FY1994, over 600 children 
are in care daily at an annual cost of about $1.7 million. We 
expect the usage and reliance on this service to continue to 
rise. This increase in usage is believed to be tied to the AFDC 
parent becoming more comfortable with utilizing the service. In 
the area of transportation, everything has gone smoothly with the 
exception of some of the more rural areas of the State where 
there is no bus service. Efforts have been made under the JOBS 
Program to enter into leased bus agreements for transportation 
services just for JOBS clients. This is an area where increased 


Federal assistance would be desirable. Finally, in the work 
related expense area no significant problems have been 

Impact of the JOBS Program in Hawaii 

The JOBS Program in Hawaii has fostered a positive sense of 
pride among staff, clients, welfare advocates, and agencies in 
the community. This positive result is because the program 
represents the thinking of over 200 representatives in the 
community who assisted in planning the JOBS implementation, and 
that result can now be seen in the final product. This sense of 
pride has prompted agencies in both the public and private 
sectors to join together and work towards the common goal of 
helping JOBS participants and their families to become self- 

In terms of exits from AFDC, the number of JOBS participants 
to exit each year is modest, but is on the rise. During State 
fiscal year 1993, there were a total of 75 participants that 
exited AFDC due to employment. In the first six months of fiscal 
year 1994 this number has already been exceeded and promises to 
approach 175-200 families by year end. While this growth is 
gradual, the JOBS Program was phased in over a three year period 
and it has taken time for many families to deal with family 
functioning issues, receive education or training and to exit 
welfare. Part of this phenomenon is that progress is incremental 
for some adults, but for many more they have educational skills 
to build before they will be ready for job placement. 

For the adults that have exited AFDC to date, it has been 
found that those who exit by way of program goal completion 
average wages at about $8.55 per hour. Recipients that leave the 
program without completing their job goal tend to average about 
$6.50 per hour. These figures show a distinct advantage in 
completing training goals. For those clients who are in 
technical and professional education programs, salaries and wages 
are expected to be higher which will raise the overall pattern of 
earnings. For example, one of our JOBS participants recently 
graduated from the JOBS Program and became employed as a nurse at 
a local hospital. This individual is earning in excess of $2,200 
per month starting salary, with many employee fringe benefits, 
including health insurance. 

Perhaps the most important impact is what JOBS participants 
say the program has done for them. Almost without exception, 
comments are made about how valuable the child care and the 
support services from staff are. One young JOBS participant 
commented that she always tells her friends not to give up and to 
stick with JOBS. She tells them that she knows they can do it, 
if only they will try. This is wise counsel from someone who 
feels like they hit rock-bottom before JOBS came along. 

Success in Meeting Participation Rates 

The participation rates provided for in the regulations for 
the JOBS Program have been the subject of some controversy over 
the past three years. It was a new concept to have a 20 hour 
participation requirement. Most employment counselors in Hawaii 
found this to be a very new concept. In addition, many people 
felt that 20 hours of participation was more than many welfare 
recipients were capable of performing. 

The good news is that the idea of having high levels of 
activity are very good. It helps a welfare adult to become more 
active and to move towards self-sufficiency faster by having a 
demanding schedule. We therefore support the idea of requiring 
participation at a high level. 

What is difficult about the participation rate concept is 


that it is fraught with all kinds of problematic rules regarding 
its calculation. For example, a participant must average 20 
hours a week for an entire month or there is little chance that 
they will count in the State's participation rate. There are 
other difficulties, like the fact that studying for post- 
secondary does not count as participation, unless it is under the 
supervision of someone. Finally, there is limited opportunity to 
count work as participation under the program. It only counts 
for the month entered and month after, with a limited opportunity 
to count part-time work hours as long as it does not exceed the 
number of component hours. 

What all this means is that the idea of high activity (i.e. 
20 hours per week) is good, but the way that the rate is 
calculated and the decision about what counts and what doesn't 
needs to be reviewed. If not, the current trend will continue 
where alot of time is spent chasing satisfactory participation 
rates rather than spending the time helping the client become 

Lessons Learned Under JOBS 

One of the major things that is becoming clear in operating 
a JOBS Program is that system inadequacies in the areas of 
education and breakdowns in the AFDC family structure cause 
tremendous problems and present significant barriers to 
employment. In the education area, because 70% and more of the 
AFDC adults need Adult Education Services it was disheartening to 
discover that the program is funded at a low level in Hawaii, has 
low participation intensity which causes the adult to move 
towards higher levels of functioning at too slow a pace, and is 
not necessarily aimed at assisting adults to move towards 
financial self-sufficiency. The result of this is that the JOBS 
Program in Hawaii has to fund its own adult education 
programming. Further, the quality of the educational system 
itself within the State is such that the needs of many 
disadvantaged youth are not met. This results in drop-outs or 
graduation with lower than desired achieved levels. 

Problems associated with breakdowns in the family are even 
more pervasive. Because the extended family is disappearing 
rapidly in Hawaii, many problems for youth are exacerbated when 
there are family problems. The supports that were once there 
through the family is eroding and many young people are having to 
make it on their own. Also, these supports have not been 
replaced in the community through either formal or informal 
services. These factors add to the complexity of helping 
families to become self-sufficient. 

Thus, through the Hawaii JOBS Program, we made an effort to 
promote family stability much in the same way that Congress has 
envisioned for Title IV-B Services. This approach is the one 
that offers the most hope for long-term self-sufficiency. 

Program Expansion 

The State of Hawaii has been negotiating a waiver proposal 
with the Department of Health and Human Services. This proposal 
looks at adding 1,600 families to the JOBS Program who are 
currently on the waiting list. This program, entitled JOBS 
WORKS! is a work immersion program designed to provide work 
experience to recipients while they are waiting for their 
education and training. 

In an effort to encourage more AFDC adults to be a part of 
the JOBS Program and to give those AFDC adults an opportunity to 
get work experience as a part of the program, this waiver has 
been formulated with the idea that many AFDC adults that might 


normally sit at home while waiting for the JOBS Program could 
profit from working instead. Work experience assignments, early 
in the welfare-to-work process, followed by education and 
training offerings is felt to be an effective method of assisting 
families to move up in the work force. 

This approach, adopts the assumption that effective 
employment and training programs must employ a variety of 
learning experiences that can lead families to self-sufficiency. 
Over the years, models which rely on little or no education and 
training offerings have proven to be short-term, ineffective 
methods of helping families to exit welfare and to stay self- 

This approach appears to have substantial empirical validity 
as well. Most members of the workforce have adopted a work- 
educate-and work again philosophy over the years. Welfare 
families seem to need the opportunity and perhaps the 
encouragement to utilize similar employment patterns as a way of 
increasing their earnings and maximizing their potential. 

In view of the changing nature of welfare policy, it seems 
prudent to continue to look for ways to enhance opportunities for 
AFDC families to become active and work affirmatively on 
attaining self-sufficiency. Accordingly, discussions have been 
under way within the JOBS Program to see if there is a way to 
continue to increase the activity of the AFDC adult in the 
pursuit of self-sufficiency and yet not compromise the overall 
goal of the program in terms of properly addressing personal and 
financial self-sufficiency issues. 

The program change identified offers an opportunity to 
increase the number of participants in the JOBS Program. The 
basic design of this option would be to extend services to AFDC 
families that are on the waiting list to get into the JOBS 
Program. At present these families have to wait their turn to 
get into the program and most end up being inactive until they 
are called to participate. At present, there are 6,404 families 
waiting in the pool, compared to about 3,000 families actively 
participating in the program. 

This proposal intends to offer work experience job 
placements to persons waiting in the selection pool. Under this 
proposal, a special unit devoted to job development and placement 
would seek employment opportunities for members of the selection 
pool. These placements would be for about 18 hours per week on 
the average. Pool members that are placed under these 
arrangements would work until they are called to participate in 
education and training where they could gain greater skills that 
would facilitate job placements witn higher earnings. 

The advantage to this approach is that many welfare families 
could become employed immediately, albeit in low paying 
positions, and begin to get some generic experience working, 
taking the children to child care and so forth. Also, it avoids 
the traditional dichotomy of whether or not to offer short term 
or long term employment services. This approach draws from the 
best of both concepts in that the immediate employment is another 
type of experience that leads to longer term education and 
training which is believed to be the key to breaking the cycle of 
poverty. This advantage is very important because it has been 
well established that short term efforts by themselves do not get 
families out of poverty which is essential to reducing long term 
dependence. Further, human capital investment models, which 
offer the most hope for total self-sufficiency take time to 
produce results in large quantities. Thus, this proposal would 
bring a large number of families into the work force which 
produces immediate gains due to the reduction in welfare subsidy 
needed for large numbers, but preserves the longer term results 
that ultimately policy makers are looking for. 



We are very pleased with the flexibility that the Family 
Support Act provides. It has allowed the State to develop a 
program that matches the values and service principles of the 
community. It has also allowed us to create a welfare to work 
program that has the largest percentage of AFDC families 
participating in history. This fact places the state in the 
unique situation of being able to address the needs of many AFDC 
families as they strive for self-sufficiency. 

The JOBS Program has also allowed the State to address many 
of the Family Support needs that Congress struggled with over the 
last year in relation to the Title IV-B funding for the nation. 
Now that Title IV-B funds are about to be increased, the Hawaii 
community will be in even a better position to leverage resources 
on behalf of families. The JOBS Program in Hawaii has laid the 
foundation for much of this work. 

We think it very important to reiterate, that the keys to 
long term self-sufficiency lie in the combination of family 
functioning or support services and the educational opportunities 
that are offered to JOBS participants. The family functioning 
services help to focus the client towards stable family life, and 
the educational services give the client the best opportunity for 
success. We look forward to continuing to implement Family 
Support Act provisions and helping Hawaii's neediest families to 
become independent of the welfare system. 


Chairman FORD. Thank you. 
Mr. Townsend. 


Mr. Townsend. Good afternoon, Hon. Chairman Ford and the 
Subcommittee on Human Resources. 

I am Larry Townsend, director, Department of Public Social 
Services, Riverside County, Calif. 

In California, the JOBS program, we call it GAIN, which stands 
for Greater Avenues for Independence. Riverside is one of the six 
counties included in the MDRC Research Corporation study. Be- 
cause the MDRC has already testified on that, I will not summa- 
rize those results. 

Our county is about 1.3 million in population. It is 200 miles 
long, and we have about three different economies. One is service 
industries out in the desert, we have agriculture, and we have light 

I would like to point out that the MDRC is going to be doing a 
third study, and that will include a cost-benefit analysis. However, 
we have been doing our own internally, and we are rather hopeful 
that the results will be somewhat similar to ours. 

We expended in 1992-93 about $8 million in the program. By our 
own internal tracking, we find that we are reducing AFDC benefits 
by about $14 million. That has significant implications when you 
are talking about a Federal balanced budget and a need to expand 
the JOBS program. 

It costs us about $1,400 to make a job placement. We have about 
4 percent of all the welfare recipients in the State of California, 
and we have been getting between 15 and 19 percent of all job 
placements in the entire State of California. We have about 3V2 to 
4 percent of the States GAIN appropriations. 

While we do not profess to have a final solution to welfare de- 
pendency, we do believe that our design and the way we have im- 
plemented it in Riverside County is different than that of the other 

Basically, we decided to do a high-performance job placement 
model. It is mixed with kindness and motivation, we have an ori- 
entation process, we have an appraisal process, we have job club, 
job search, we have remedial education, and some training for cli- 
ents that need it. 

We believe that several things have contributed to Riverside 
County's success in the first 2 years. First is philosophy and ideol- 
ogy. That is a real basis of beliefs which helped us to focus our pro- 
gram. We believe that work is inherently good for individuals, and 
each day in employment is a good day. Employment provides indi- 
viduals with pride in earning all or part of their support and the 
opportunity for them to discover unsuspected skills and abilities, a 
chance to be a better role model for their children, and a hope for 
a better future. You won't find that sitting at home on welfare. 

There is no magic bullet or ultimate job for a client. There is job 
turnover in every occupation. We believe that the initial wage on 
the first day of employment is just the beginning of opportunity 


and a new story. It is a chance to prove his or her worth to an em- 
ployer, earn pay increases, promotions, or maybe have a basis for 
a new job. 

In America's past, there was a belief that if you worked hard, did 
good work, and were reliable, you would eventually prosper. This 
belief is still valid today. Proof of this is evident in the success of 
our GAIN clients. 

Employment is a gradual socialization process. You don't prepare 
them and all of a sudden they are going to be a wonderful em- 
ployee. One of the best things that can happen to somebody is to 
be fired, if you have done it wrong. It is a learning experience. 

Employment, however modest, teaches and reinforces very basic 
and essential skills that some of us take for granted — listening to 
an alarm clock, accepting supervision, retaining instructions so 
they complete the task reliably, getting along with coworkers, and 
dressing appropriately for work. 

If an initial job placement is not successful, we don't view it as 
a failure in our GAJN program. We sit down and we debrief it with 
the client, with how they might be more successful and what they 
ought to do differently in the next job. 

Most AFDC clients don't want to be on AFDC, and we really be- 
lieve that. One of the things that is really crucial as an issue in 
our country is that you need to serve clients in a cost-effective way 
if you are going to serve the majority of your clients. 

We use the Pareto Principle as part of our infrastructure. This 
19th century economist said that in any human activity, organiza- 
tions spend 20 percent of their time on the items and things that 
produce 80 percent of the results. So we instead tried to say, we 
are just going to try and work on those things that get us outcomes 
or results. 

We think that is also compatible with the concept of the greater 
good for the greater number. If we keep our expenditures down, we 
can therefore reach more welfare clients and we can help to work 
with the client in arranging for them a new future. 

Some clients need more encouragement to participate than oth- 
ers. Some need a nudge, just like a baby bird needs to be moved 
off the branch by its mother bird. We try to do that. We try to build 
up their self-esteem, but we need to be firm and we consider the 
program to be mandatory. 

If we do have to, after extensive counseling, we do have to sanc- 
tion a client, we will do that, but we consider that the client is 
choosing to sanction themselves, because we are giving them about 
a month of opportunity to work with us. 

There are three points I wanted to make in terms of focus, if I 

Chairman Ford. Go right ahead. 

Mr. Townsend. We focus our program on getting employment. 
Each member of our staff knows that, and we have written per- 
formance standards for our GAIN counselors. They are separate 
from our AFDC counselors. They are selected because their atti- 
tudes are positive, they are upbeat, and many of them have track 
records that they have never failed. We wanted special skills to 
deal with our clients. 


I mentioned before that participation is a requirement. We also 
use a sales and marketing approach. We talk about the responsibil- 
ities of the recipient to tneir families. We mentioned that it is a 
mandatory program and it is going to turn out to be very successful 
for them, and after a while, a little excitement starts to occur when 
they start to actually believe that. 

We have specialized job developers, and this is really crucial for 
sustained results. We screen our clients. We teach tnem how to 
find jobs, how to interview and believe in themselves, but also, we 
do a proper thing called matching of the GAIN participant with an 
employer. This is business. If you don't give a business person a 
good product, you aren't going to get repeat business, and those 
doors will be closed in your face and we will be unable to help wel- 
fare recipients in the future. So we have to have a good product. 

A number of recommendations I have, very briefly. We don't pick 
on targets nor groups of participants. We serve all clients equally 
and we believe that they all have value. Our success with long- 
term recipients in Riverside County has really been surprising to 

We think with our cost-benefit ratio there is sufficient money you 
are now spending on the AFDC if the Federal Government would 
focus on outcome results, like job placements. You utilize the AFDC 
savings to expand the JOBS program and change welfare. 

I would suggest that you nave an incentive program. You have 
done that for JTPA, but not for JOBS in this way. Pay for your out- 
comes. Our costs are $1,400. Give me $2,500 and I will show you 
what results really are. 

I am concerned very much that in the JOBS program, there is 
no expectation for job placements. There is none in California for 
job placements. We did this focused on job placement in a research 
program because we wanted to see what the results would be in 
order to provide input to committees such as yours. 

The JOBS program is focusing on a process. We haven't said 
what we really want. I think in this country, we need to say what 
we really want to happen with our AFDC recipients. It is theoreti- 
cally possible for a person to spend their entire life in the JOBS 
program and get credit under the participation requirement, but 
they will never move out. We need to move our clients through the 

That concludes my comments. 

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Chairman Ford. Thank you very much. 

Let me thank each one of the panelists. I have a few questions 
for you, and I will come back to you, Mr. Townsend, in just a few 

Ms. Moore, let me thank you, coming from my home State of 
Tennessee, from the capital city of Tennessee. Earlier, Mary Jo 
Bane of Health and Human Services testified before' the sub- 
committee that State welfare agencies that rely heavily on existing 
education and training services, such as JTPA, for the JOBS pro- 
gram have not been as successful in changing the culture of wel- 

The question that I have is, when a family walks into an AFDC 
office in Tennessee, is the emphasis on establishing eligibility, or 
is the emphasis placed on helping the family avoid welfare or be- 
come self-sufficient of the welfare system itself? Has contracting so 
much of the JOBS program to JTPA made it more difficult in Ten- 
nessee to change the culture of welfare? 

Ms. Moore. Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned, I think an area 
where at least our State has failed, partly because we did not have 
the resources to hire a lot of new case managers for the JOBS pro- 
gram and the decision was made to contract this program out, I 
don't think that we focus enough when a person walks in our office 
on getting them off welfare. 

Certainly, because the Federal laws and rules that govern the 
AFDC program and the food stamp programs, we have generic 
workers in Tennessee who do food stamps, AFDC, and Medicaid 
eligibility. That whole system is very much driven by error rates 
at the Federal level. The eligibility process is very complex. It 
needs to be greatly simplified. 

The rules for these programs need to be consolidated in such a 
way so that States can take and spend more time with people when 
they walk in the door, whether it be an AFDC recipient or a food 
stamp recipient, and to spend more time with them to talk to them 
about their responsibilities, as is done in Riverside, Calif., to focus 
on their responsibilities to support their children and to provide 
some of that case management that is so desperately needed. 

The fact that we contract with JTPA and with other entities in 
Tennessee has had some very positive effects, in that these individ- 
uals go through training programs and education programs and 
they are basically intermingled with the general population. They 
are main streamed into training programs. 

If someone goes to State Tech Institute in Memphis, for instance, 
to work on a GED prior to going into training, they are going to 
college. They may be in a GED program, but they are very proud 
of the fact 

Chairman Ford. But Tennessee only drew down 15 percent of its 
share of the Federal funds in 1991 and about 30 percent in 1992. 
You have already mentioned that we are a very poor State, but 
there are other Southern, poor States. 

What factors explain the small appropriation for JOBS made by 
the Tennessee legislature? 

Ms. Moore. I think the same thing that was mentioned earlier, 
by one of the earlier panelists. In Tennessee, the need for funds for 
education, the need for funds for the Medicaid program, for prison 


systems have outweighed and have been focused on more than on 
the welfare system. We have one of the lowest grants in the sys- 

This year, for the first time, we in the Department of Human 
Services received the second largest increase in the Governor's 
budget, next to education, and that was for improvements in the 
AFDC program, to increase our standard of need, to allow more 
people to come onto the AFDC program. While we are not increas- 
ing our grant, we are expanding the number of people who can ben- 

It also provided a substantial number of new child care dollars 
to help welfare recipients and low-income working poor, and it also 
increased our JOBS dollars by 72 percent. 

So this next year, we expect to have about 65 percent of our Fed- 
eral JOBS dollars drawn down. 

Chairman Ford. From 30 percent in 1992? 

Ms. Moore. Yes. 

Chairman Ford. Welfare families in Tennessee, I understand, 
are much more likely than families in other States to receive public 
housing assistance. How does this affect your efforts to encourage 
and support work among welfare families? 

Ms. Moore. Mr. Chairman, about, I believe, 30 percent of our 
AFDC population lives in public housing, and probably around 45 
to 48 percent live in some sort of subsidized housing. 

We have tried to focus our JOBS program, not only as some oth- 
ers mentioned on teen parents, but also on public housing develop- 
ments. In all of our 4 major urban areas and in other larger urban 
areas, we have pilot programs running in housing developments co- 
operatively with the public housing agencies, trying to address 
those people that live specifically in those developments. 

It is very difficult, because as the panelist from Hawaii men- 
tioned, many of our AFDC recipients face substantial barriers. 
There is a lot of family domestic violence, there is a lot of drug 
abuse, there is a lot of dysfunction among these families that cre- 
ates substantial barriers to being able to move them directly into 
the work force. It is not as easy as one might think to tell an AFDC 
mother that she has to go out and get a job. 

Many times, we have to try to address some of the same things 
that he mentioned, and we are trying to incorporate some family 
counseling and drug and alcohol treatment programs and some of 
those programs, especially in the programs that we are running in 
public housing agencies. 

Chairman Ford. I want to make sure that we have a distinction 
here, Ms. Moore, when we talk about the violence, crime, and the 
drug problems. You are not suggesting that this is a welfare prob- 
lem, are you? 

Ms. Moore. No, I am not. It is a societal problem. 

Chairman Ford. You are not suggesting that the welfare popu-i 
lation is 

Ms. Moore. No, I am not suggesting that. I am suggesting that, 
just like the rest of the population, this population also faces some 
of those same problems. 

Chairman Ford. I am the first to admit that they are confronted' 
with it more often than many other citizens because they live in 


the rat-infested shacks that are unfit for human habitation 
throughout America. But even in the demonstration program that 
I have underway in my own hometown, I don't find any evidence 
to suggest that the welfare population is inflicting the violence 
upon others and having a pride of ownership on any of the drug 
problems in the community. They happen to be inflicted because 
they live in it. 

Ms. Moore. That is right. 

Chairman Ford. Oftentimes, you find that their children are 
caught up into these situations because they have not been exposed 
to any other type of culture, other than that which they see and 
which they are a part of every day. 

The two largest public housing units in our State happen to be 
the two that I am speaking of, and they are only 4 blocks from Riv- 
erside Drive, which is on the banks of the muddy Mississippi River. 
Kids the age of 13 and 14 have never seen the river, 4 blocks away. 
They have only seen those things that take place in the commu- 

No businesses are in the community, in the 17-square-block area. 
There are absolutely no businesses, but 20 years ago it was like 
downtown. There are no jobs in the area, period. What is in the 
area are drug problems, but by no means should anyone suggest 
that it is the welfare population that is 

Ms. Moore. I am not suggesting that, Mr. Chairman. I am say- 
ing that these are factors that we have to take into account when 
serving this population, because as you mentioned, like the general 
population, they are going to suffer some of these problems and it 
is something we can't ignore. 

Chairman Ford. Let me move on. Mr. Townsend, your program 
emphasizes labor force involvement. Do you consider it a win if an 
individual on welfare begins to work while on welfare? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, because we believe that there is pride, there 
is development. You are developing employment skills, you are de- 
veloping a resume. You are out there with people who are on a 
growth curve, and you are associating with people who are self-suf- 
ficient. We think those are all good factors to expose our clients to, 
and it is ultimately beneficial for them. 

Chairman Ford. What would be the limitations on your JOBS 
approach in an urban district with high unemployment? Would it 
be successful? Your program strongly emphasizes immediate job 

Mr. Townsend. That is right. 

Chairman Ford. I am wondering what happens in an urban set- 
ting when the jobs are scarce, what I have really just described to 
Ms. Moore in talking about an area right in my own hometown 

Mr. Townsend. I believe that we have areas in our county which 
we can call urban. Our unemployment rate has been 50 percent 
higher than in Los Angeles County, who many describe as having 
difficulties. We have run the program all the way up to 15 percent 
unemployment. Right now, it is 10.8 percent. That is a challenge, 
and yet we are finding jobs. 

There is always jobs turnover, and it really concerns me when we 
have a high unemployment rate and I am seeing "help wanted 


signs in the windows. I turn them in myself every week. They ar 
available. Jobs are always available. 

Chairman Ford. But what role does education and training pla; 
in your program, given that so many JOBS participants are in- 
volved in education and training in Riverside County? 

Mr. Townsend. We run into many clients tnat have been 
through many federally subsidized training programs who have 
never gotten a job. They have been trained in I don't know how 
many different occupations, and we tell them, welcome to the work 
force. We believe in education. We believe that training is good for 
people, provided that it actually results in something. 

But a person has to be cooperating with us in met. If they are 
going to education in our county, they had better attend or have 
a very good reason why not. If they are attending and they are not 
getting any results, then we find out with the school, is there a 
particular problem that we need to address? If it is attitude, we say 
to them, welcome to the work force. 

We have to make some progress in education. Sending them 
there and sitting them on a seat is not the answer. We insist on 
progress. We insist on results. When that is not forthcoming, it is 
time in fairness to the taxpayers, the opportunity for the recipients 
to support themselves. 

Chairman Ford. What about training and offering skills for the 
wages that would be above the minimum wage? I am making ref- 
erence to the $8, $9, $10 an hour jobs. 

Mr. Townsend. We place many of our clients in $10, $12 jobs. 

Chairman Ford. Is that right? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. Our average is $5.80. 

Chairman Ford. Are they successful once they are placed in 
these jobs? 

Mr. Townsend. It is absolutely incredible when the clients come 
back to us. See, this is just the beginning of the story. You get the 
foot in the door and we tell them, you work hard, and you do good 
product on time, and they are going to be dependent on you. Then 
they are going to be afraid they are going to lose you, so they are 
going to give you a pay increase, or they will give you more respon- 
sibilities if they can count on you. 

And they come back and bring a picture of the whole unit they 
are supervising. Their chests are sticking out. Their chins are out. 
They are happy. The counselors are the ones that are the most sig- 
nificant person to show their progress to. They have never gotten 
that anywhere else. 

Chairman Ford. Are they former welfare recipients? 

Mr. Townsend. Oh, yes. 

Chairman Ford. They couldn't be. 

Mr. Townsend. Oh yes. Welfare recipients are some of our best 
employees we have ever had, too. We take them in our own busi- 
ness, in our own organization, because they have a lot of abilities. 
If you groom them, you invest in them, you give them mentoring 
and give them feedback of what is good and what is not so good, 
most people want to do a good job. 

Chairman Ford. From what I have heard in testimony and from 
different ones who have introduced their bills, is that you have not 
described the welfare population, or some members of the welfare 


population. It just doesn't sound right, that people can go in and 
earn wages over $9 an hour and really be successful in those jobs. 
They start at $4.50 an hour and work themselves up? 

Mr. Townsend. Some start at minimum wage, and that is just 
a beginning. Later on, when we make the job placement, about 27 
percent of them get off welfare immediately. Six months later, that 
is moved to 58 percent of those that got that job placement. It dou- 
bles, and it is because they progress on the job. They do have abili- 
ties, and some of them have no idea of what they can really do in 

Chairman Ford. When they make about $9, $10, or $11 an hour, 
they usually come off of AFDC? 

Mr. TOWNSEND. That depends on the size of their family. 

Chairman Ford. The average size of a family is three or three- 
and-a-half, so when you look at the poverty threshold, $10 an hour, 
oftentimes that would bring one 

Mr. Townsend. Quite often, that would do it, but also, some of 
these jobs lead to other jobs. They get a recommendation. We say, 
even if this job isn't what you really want 

Chairman Ford. Do you foresee, like someone indicated on an 
earlier panel, that the group of people sweeping leaves in the 
neighborhood community park would have opportunities to move 
on to other jobs from there? 

Mr. Townsend. If you build a good resume — we found that em- 
ployees want to know a couple of things. Can I count on you? Will 
you be reliable? Will you show up, and will you not be doing sick 
leave and Workmans Comp problems with me? If you do those 

Chairman Ford. You don't have to be on welfare for the em- 
ployer to look for that. That is usually what all of us would want 
out of our employees. 

Mr. Townsend. You don't have to have a great gift of previous 
skills. A lot of the employers want to start with somebody that they 
can shape, mold, and give some instruction to themselves on the 
job. But what they want is somebody that will be reliable and lis- 
ten to the instruction and be there when they need them. 

Chairman Ford. Mr. Kemp, it is so rare these days to hear about 
children on welfare, who make up two-thirds of all the recipients. 
Hawaii has made children a priority by developing a two- 
generational strategy for welfare reform. Let me just ask you a cou- 
ple of questions. 

If we expect many more welfare parents to participate in work- 
related activities, yet fail to address underlying family problems 
like abuse and family instability, to what extent will we be working 
in the best interest of the children on welfare, and what outcomes 
should we expect in situations like this? 

Mr. Kemp. I think what we found in our program is that many 
of the adults that are in our JOBS program were abused as chil- 
dren, and that while they are on AFDC, we find that they also 
have abused their own children. So you see generation-to-genera- 
tion patterns of adults who were abused as children also abuse 
when they become adults. So it is a perpetuating pattern. 

The other factor that enters into it is that an individual who has 
had a history of abuse tends to have an extremely poor self-image. 


When you were asking Mr. Townsend about some people don't al- 
ways present as a positive employee or as a positive participant in 
a program like JOBS, it is our belief that many of these problems 
that tney have faced over the years are responsible for a lot of that, 
because they don't have good self-image. 

We ourselves have a very strong customer service kind of ap- 
proach to the way we do things. In the course of trying to address 
these problems, underlying family problems, you have to motivate 
people to want to be successful. That is a very big key, I think. 

So in answer to your question, if we leave tnese problems 
unaddressed, I think what you are going to see is continuing pat- 
terns of families continuing to break down. If you look across 
America today, beginning in the early 1970s, under the social serv- 
ices block grant under title XX, there was a very sharp departure 
away from the general social services model in this country to sup- 
port families, and we focused more on child welfare and preventing 
abuse of children in this Nation. 

Twenty-one years later, we are returning to it under IV-B with 
a special emphasis on family support. It is our belief that that is 
no coincidence. That is a gap. That is a 21-year gap in this Nation, 
where there have not been comprehensive social services for the 

Under the JOBS program, we feel that it is critical to address 
these issues if we expect them to focus on their education, focus on 
their training, be good students, and be good employees. We think 
it is critical. 

Chairman Ford. So the Family Support Act of 1988 was not a 
bad reform bill for the welfare program, is that correct? 

Mr. Kemp. We believe it is very good legislation. It has tremen- 
dous flexibility. As you can see, I think on this panel alone, we 
have some very different approaches in our jurisdictions. I think 
that is as it should be. I think each community embraces the Fam- 
ily Support Act in a slightly different way, but I think we all have 
the goal of wanting our families to be self-sufficient, to get off 
AFDC, and to work. I don't think there is anybody here who 

Chairman Ford. But social services are needed. 

Mr. Kemp. Absolutely. 

Chairman Ford. There are times that I talk about welfare re- 
form and I say we ought to take the welfare policies today and re- 
place them with a jobs program, but you are telling me that 
wouldn't work. The social services aspect of it is very critical for 
the poor and the downtrodden in this country, is that correct? 

Mr. Kemp. Yes, we see it as being a combined effort. It is sequen- 
tial. The first thing you have to do, like any of us, if we are dis- 
tracted by problems that we have, it is very difficult for us to focus 
on other things around us. It is no different for the poor. 

All we are saying, I think, is that it is a critical piece to the puz- 
zle of success. If you don't feel good about yourself, if you don't 
have dreams of what you can do, what you are capable of, if you 
are not confident, you are not going to do as well. So you need that, 
we think, in combination with broad educational opportunities and 
training opportunities. 

Out of that will come, as I think the lady from North Carolina 
mentioned, individualized success, based on what those individuals 


are capable of. Everybody is not going to be a nuclear physicist, ev- 
eryone is not going to be a truckdriver. People are going to aspire 
to what they are capable of, and I think that is important. To me, 
that is very important. 

Chairman Ford. If you provide high-skills training at a level 
that links to $9 and $10 an hour jobs, Mr. Townsend, do you find 
nonwelfare recipients wanting to quit their jobs and get on welfare 
so they can come into your program or get some of those good jobs 
that you are placing people in? 

Mr. Townsend. Regarding your latter comment, we have, unfor- 
tunately, found some people getting on welfare just so they can 
participate in our successful job placement module. But we have 
found that 

Chairman Ford. You don't accept nonwelfare recipients into the 

Mr. Townsend. We only serve AFDC clients, but we have found 
a few cases where they have gotten on AFDC just so they could get 
a job with us. 

Chairman Ford. Were they working prior 

Mr. Townsend. The word has gotten out that we can get them 
into employment, period. 

Chairman Ford. Were they working prior to that? Did they quit 
a job to come into the program? 

Mr. Townsend. They had lost a job, couldn't find one, but went 
on welfare rather deliberately, probably sooner than they would 
have had to. 

Chairman Ford. But you didn't find any evidence that they quit 
a $5 an hour job to enter into your program, is that right? 

Mr. Townsend. Not necessarily. It could happen, but not nec- 
essarily. We find that there is a full spectrum of abilities among 
our clients, just like there is in the general population in the 
United States. Again, we think all work is honorable, and some 
will go into lower-paying jobs and some will make rapid advance- 
ment into an organization and a higher paid status. 

Chairman Ford. Thank you very much. I thank each panelist. 

I am going to call our third panel: Barbara Paulin, the director 
of the Division of Child Support Enforcement for the Delaware De- 
partment of Health and Social Services; Gordon Berlin, senior vice 
president of Manpower Demonstration Research Corp. of New 
York; Margaret Campbell Haynes, attorney and director of the 
Child Support Project, the Center on Children and the Law of the 
American Bar Association; and also Robert Williams, president of 
Policy Studies, Inc., in Denver, Colo. 

Let me welcome you. I want to apologize for having you wait like 
this all day, but there are times when it is difficult to move right 
through everything. Let me thank each one of the panelists for 
coming, and thank you in advance for the testimony that you are 
going to give before this committee. Hopefully, you will stay to en- 
tertain a few questions. 

I will recognize you starting with Ms. Paulin. 



Ms. Paulin. Good afternoon. My name is Barbara Paulin. I am 
the director of the child support enforcement program for the State 
of Delaware. 

Mr. Chairman and honorable members of the committee, I am 
pleased to have been invited to address you on this important occa- 
sion. I think the fact that there is a child support panel here today 
certainly witnesses what I believe is a very critical element of wel- 
fare reform, and that is the recognition tnat both parents have a 
responsibility and an obligation for the care and support of their 
children. In that regard, the child support plays a very critical role 
in moving us to a better state of welfare reform. I applaud you for 
that decision. 

It has frequently been said and probably will be repeated here 
today that the child support program is not working in this coun- 
try, and in fact, that it is the major reason why we are not able 
to make a lot of gains in the welfare system. 

One of the things I would like to convey to you today is a sense 
that that is not true at many levels in many States. Delaware is 
unique in some instances because it is a small State, but it is not 
unique in terms of the fact that it has large caseloads and it faces 
the same challenges as some of my larger sister and brother States. 

What I thought I would do today for the committee would be to 
share with you Delaware's experience, recognizing that that is one 
State's perspective, but with the hope that it would give you some 
indication that the provisions as mandated by the Family Support 
Act have been very valuable tools for States and have been used 
very effectively in many ways across the country to improve the 
child support enforcement system. I would encourage you on the 
committee to talk to other child support directors as you deliberate 
these issues. 

I will move very quickly through the major provisions, with an 
idea of giving you some sense of how we have moved in terms of 
implementing those provisions, but first let me put my remark in 
some context. 

I said that Delaware is a very small State. Our population is 
about 700,000 people. Our caseload breaks down roughly into about 
39,000 non-IV-D cases. Those are the cases that are served by my 
agency. Sixty percent of the cases are not receiving AFDC. I think 
that is a significant indication in our State, and I will talk about 
why that is later in my testimony. Thirty-nine percent of the cases 
we serve, in fact, do receive AFDC. 

The agency is very small, 137 positions for a budget of slightly 
over $6 million. That includes Federal funds as well as State funds. 
We collected $33 million in 1993. That is compared to $12.5 million 
in 1985. I think it demonstrates that with the correct infrastruc- 
tures, with some strong legislative mandates, and with a staffing 
compliment that is committed to moving the program forward, we 
can see significant accomplishments in this program, and I think 
that has been demonstrated across this country. 

The first provision I would like to talk about is that of immediate 
wage withholding. Delaware approached this provision in two 


phases. The first phase dealt with a category of cases that we call 
the IV-D cases. Those are the cases that are served by our agency. 
In that regard, we passed legislation to deal with that group in the 
first phase of our implementation. 

We believe that wage withholding is a very effective tool in terms 
of enforcing child support. About 47 percent of the collections in 
our State come through wage withholding. As of May 1993, we saw 
about 19,000 of our cases, in fact, had existing wage withholding 

Since the Family Support Act was implemented, we have in- 
creased the wage withholding orders by 79 percent. That is, be- 
tween 1990 and 1993, we have effectively increased the number of 
wage withholding orders in our State by over 79 percent. I think 
that is significant and it speaks very clearly to the fact that this 
provision of the Family Support Act is a very, very effective remedy 
and it can serve States very well in that regard. 

The second phase had to do with the implementation of those 
cases that we call non-IV-D cases, those cases that are handled by 
private attorneys that don't necessarily come through the public 
agencies like ours. We implemented that as phase two. In fact, the 
legislation around that was passed last year in June, and the law 
became effective in January 1994. We have moved very aggres- 
sively in implementing the provisions of that legislation because we 
see that there is a great potential in terms of improving wage with- 

There is one aspect of this provision I would like to speak to with 
regard to how the regulations issued by the Office of Child Support 
Enforcement have interpreted the requirements under that provi- 
sion, and that has to do with the need for the establishment of a 
State agency to monitor and track compliance with non-IV-D pay- 

I would be remiss as a child support director if I didn't tell you, 
sir, and the committee, that many of these demands that are im- 
posed on States without their ability of Federal funding impede our 
ability to move forward with the program. Although our State is 
very small, there are a number of States with very Targe caseloads, 
and when you implement these mandates such as this one, States 
are left in a position of either not meeting the mandate and run- 
ning the risk of failing an audit or trying to comply with a mandate 
using State dollars. 

In this instance, the Child Support Council of Directors has 
looked at that single provision and has estimated that it will cost 
the State about $10 to open each case and about an annual cost 
of $200 per case simply to monitor and track the payment on these 
cases. In Delaware alone, we are expecting that this cost will be 
$37,000 additional. These are funds that are not matched at the 
Federal level. I would ask the committee and the Office of Child 
Support Enforcement to reconsider that requirement. 

Another provision related to immediate wage withholding and 
the timely processing of payments has to do with something we call 
the $50 disregard. Without getting into a lot of details, it was envi- 
sioned that by giving AFDC clients some share of child support 
payments, that we would, in doing so, encourage those clients to 
cooperate with the child support agency. I think most States have 


found this not to be very effective and that it is very costly to ad- 

It is particularly difficult to administer in those instances where 
payments are being made by another State or payments are coming 
through an employer where the information that is needed to dis- 
tribute the money timely does not appear on the wage withholding 
check. Again, it is anotner one of those procedural issues. I think 
that it has some merit in terms of providing additional income to 
the AFDC family, but the burden on the child support agency, I 
don't think, warrants the cost at this point. 

Another provision has to do with the establishment of guidelines. 
Prior to the passage of the Family Support Act, many States estab- 
lished child support orders without the value of guidelines. Again, 
Delaware was a leader in that regard. We have had guidelines 
since 1979. They are commonly called the Melson Formula, after 
Judge Melson. They have been used in a number of States and 
they have been very, very effective in terms of setting child support 
orders that are fair, consistent, and equitable. We think that is 
very important in improving the child support program. 

A major, major change of the Family Support Act had to do with 
an issue regarding review and adjustment of child support awards. 
Many of you might know that child support awards frequently are 
set when the child is very, very young, and in many instances, 
those awards are not adjusted until the child is long out of high 
school, perhaps 18 years of age before there is any change in that 
order. Any of you who are raising children know that the cost of 
raising a child certainly changes over that period of time. 

One of the very positive aspects of the Family Support Act, from 
my perspective, is the fact that it allowed States to look at review 
and adjustment in a more serious way. In fact, it mandated that 
States periodically examine the child support orders with an eye to- 
ward determining whether the circumstances in the families have 
changed significant enough to warrant those orders to be adjusted, 
that is, upward or downward. 

Delaware decided that we could use it as an opportunity to get 
ahead of some of the Federal mandates, and we joined four other 
States in getting a Federal demonstration grant which we use to 
establish some procedures and processes for reviewing modifica- 
tion. There is a report available on the findings from that project, 
and I won't belabor it here, but I would like to point out a couple 
of things regarding that. 

The other States involved, by the way, were Colorado, Florida, 
and Illinois. Delaware was the only State among those that imple- 
mented review and modification in the demonstration project on a 
Statewide basis, and we did that for a number of reasons. 

We wanted to test a lot of the issues floating out there about 
what this would mean in terms of additional workload for the 
court. One of the things that we found was that a large percentage 
of the cases that were old enough to meet the requirement for re- 
view and modification, in fact, did not end up in family court. 
About 60 percent of the cases never went to court for review and 

One of the major reasons for that had to do with the fact that, 
in many instances, the children had already reached the age of 18, 


but the most significant reason, surprisingly enough, was the fact 
that in non-AFDC cases, many of the families opted not to have 
their child support award reviewed, even in the face of the fact that 
the award might, in fact, increase substantially. 

I would encourage the committee to review the findings from 
that 2-year demonstration project. I would also encourage the com- 
mittee to consider further such demonstrations as you deliberate 
the issues of welfare reform. I believe these demonstration projects 
provide valuable data that could be useful in terms of moving for- 
ward with these initiatives. 

I think we benefitted in a number of ways. We benefitted be- 
cause we learned a lot about things that we thought we knew 
things about, but we did not, in fact, know about. I think the thing 
that we benefitted most significantly is the fact that we are far 
ahead of the game in terms of meeting the Federal mandate with 
regard to reviewing AFDC cases. 

There was a Federal mandate to have substantially reviewed 
your AFDC caseload by 1993, and as a result of this demonstration 
project, Delaware has reviewed the majority of the cases that are 
eligible. Under the project, we selected about 5,000 cases. We have 
selected about 7,000 since then, and about 13,000 of those, in fact, 
have been selected altogether. 

Many of the orders went up in terms of the amount of the order. 
A few went down. The compliance rate did not drop, as some would 
have expected. In fact, the compliance rate increased, and the net 
result was that there were increases in collections. It is a very 
time-consuming process. It is cost effective. I think that in examin- 
ing it in terms of its future application, one would want to consider 
probably targeting it to those instances in which there is the great- 
est potential for benefit. It is a valuable tool, and I think it was 
very critical that it be included among the Family Support Act 

Another provision of the Family Support Act has to do with pa- 
ternity establishment. Paternity establishment is the very first step 
in establishing child support orders and, in fact, collecting child 
support. Many of the cases we are talking about here today, the 
welfare cases, are cases in which children are born out of wedlock 
and for which paternity has not been established. 

In many States, Delaware included, that process is very lengthy 
and time consuming. It requires an appearance in court, and in 
many instances, repeat appearances in court. 

We believe that we have accomplished a lot of things in the area 
of paternity establishment and we have a number of things 
planned. In Delaware, our paternity establishment rate in 1992 
was 73 percent. In 1993, it was slightly less than that, about 72 
percent. According to, I think, the most recent report out of Con- 
gress, the national average is about 43 percent. 

We are envisioning some changes in the program consistent with 
what the Family Support Act suggested and, in fact, what OBRA 
mandates. One of the major provisions of OBRA is the fact that 
States are going to be required to implement laws that will stream- 
line the process of paternity. What that means, very simply, is a 
State will have to have on the books some laws that will allow the 


parties to acknowledge paternity in a simple affidavit process, as 
opposed to having to go to court and adjudicate it in a court of law. 

Another aspect of tnat law has to do with inhospital paternity, 
and Delaware plans to include those provisions in its law as well. 
Under those provisions, the father would be able to acknowledge 
paternity through an affidavit at birth in the hospital without the 
need to go to court. Our plan is to work closely with the Bureau 
of Vital Statistics and the hospitals to set up an inhospital pater- 
nity project. My hope is that we will further improve our perform- 
ance in that area. Between 1990 and 1993, we have seen our pater- 
nity establishment rate increase by 97.4 percent in our State. 

Further, there were requirements in the Family Support Act that 
had to do with procedures. While procedures may not be viewed as 
the glitzy kinds of things you want to talk about in welfare reform, 
I think they are very important as we deliberate how to shape and 
reshape the welfare reform system, particularly as it relates to 
child support. 

Many States are faced with meeting established time frames. 
There are a number of time frames that were set forth in terms 
of how fast these cases need to move. I applaud those time frames. 
I believe there need to be yardsticks against which States need to 
be measured, but I would encourage you to look at those time 
frames in the context of growing caseloads and the lack of re- 
sources that currently exist at the State level. 

I would further encourage you and the Office of Child Support 
Enforcement to look very carefully at the possibility of looking at 
caseload studies. There has been a lot of discussion around what 
are acceptable caseloads. When we talk about 200 and 300 cases 
per worker on the AFDC side, I would remind you that on the child 
support side, the AFDC caseloads run about 1,200 cases per worker 
in our State, and that is probably pretty true in many of the other 
States as well. It is impossible to do the job we are faced with 
doing with the kinds of caseloads and the lack of resources that we 
are experiencing in this program. 

The issue of automation is one that comes up every time we talk 
about improving the child support enforcement system. 

Chairman Ford. Ms. Paulin, I am going to have to cut you off. 
It has been 15 minutes. We want to hear 

Ms. Paulin. They didn't put the light on. I am sorry, I missed 

Chairman Ford. As chairman 

Ms. Paulin. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Ford. I will come back to you in 1 minute, but I want 
to go on to the others on the panel. 

Ms. Paulin. Definitely, I apologize profusely. I didn't see it. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 





Thomas Carper, Governor 
Carmen R. Nazario, Secretary Barbara Paulin, Director 

Testimony for the 

Subcommittee on Human Resources 

Committee on Ways and Means 

U. S. House of Representatives 

Provided by 

Barbara A. Paulin, 

Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement 

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services 

March 15, 1994 

Mr. Chairman, honorable members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to have been 
invited to address you at these important hearings and to give you Delaware's perspective on the 
Family Support Act of 1988. Delaware has moved aggressively to implement the Child Support 
provisions of the Family Support Act of 1988. I believe that this Act has had great significance 
for the child support program and more importantly promotes self sufficiency for families. 

To put my testimony in perspective let me provide some background information. 
Delaware is a small state with a population of approximately 700,000 people. The caseload 
breaks down as follows: 

Table 1 - Delaware's Caseload 

Case Type 

Number of Cases 


AFDC Cases 



Non AFDC Cases 



Total IV-D Cases 



Non IV-D Cases 


Total Cases 


The IV-D agency has 137 positions and an annual budget of 56,062,000 in State Fiscal 
Year (SFY) 1994. Collections for SFY 1993 were $33.3 million. Collections have risen by at 
least ten percent in each year since 1985. 

For each child support related provision of the Family Support Act, I will provide 
information on what has been done in Delaware to implement that provision. I will also 
provide, where possible, figures to quantify our results. 


FAMILY SUPPORT ACT OF 1988 - Subtitle A- Child Support 

Section 101: Immediate Wage Withholding 

Currently 47% of Delaware's collections are made through wage withholding'. It is by 
far our most effective enforcement tool. As of May 1993, over 19,000 cases had existing or 
prior wage withholding provisions. Table 2 contains wage withholding data for those state fiscal 
years after the passage of the Family Support Act. 

Table 2 - Wage Attachments 

State Fiscal 

No. of Wage 

% Increase over 













Delaware implemented the provisions for immediate wage withholding in two phases. 
The first phase involved immediate wage withholding for IV-D cases. On July 18, 1990, 
Michael Castle, then Governor of Delaware, signed into law an Immediate Wage Withholding 
Bill that applied to IV-D cases. The law requires the Delaware Family Court to automatically 
attach the income of the non custodial parent, except where one of the parties demonstrates, and 
the Court finds, good cause not to require immediate wage withholding, or in the case where 
there is a written agreement between both parties which provides for an alternative arrangement. 
This law was implemented November 1, 1990. In January 1992, the Office of Child Support 
Enforcement for Region III conducted an on-site assessment of the effectiveness of Delaware's 
immediate wage withholding process. The findings, issued in September 1992, revealed that 
Delaware was meeting most of the Federal Requirements for implementing immediate 
withholding in new and modified child support orders. Several recommendations were made to 
improve the immediate wage withholding process. The Delaware Division of Child Support and 
the Delaware Family Court developed and implemented corrective action to address the 
recommendations made in the Region III report. 

Immediate Wage Withholding for Non-IV-D cases was required under legislation passed 
by the Delaware Legislature in June of 1993. This law, which became effective January 1, 
1994, requires immediate wage withholding for all new and modified Non IV-D child support 
orders. The Delaware Family Court has implemented the provisions of this law by incorporating 
an immediate wage withholding order into all new or modified child support orders regardless 
of whether or not payments are in arrears. The court may not order immediate wage 
withholding for the following reasons: 

1 .) The Court finds that there is good cause not to require immediate withholding and 
provides a written determination explaining why it would not be in the best 
interest of the child. 

2.) There is proof of timely payment of previously ordered support in cases involving 
modification of support orders. 

3.) A written agreement is reached and signed by both parties which provides an 
alternative arrangement. The Court will accept an arrangement which provides 
for other automatic payment (such as a military allotment). 

Prior to the implementation of the new law. Family Court orders for child support 
contained a provision for a wage attachment, but the provision was routinely stayed and not 
activated unless the Court received a Verified Notice alleging that the payer was seven or more 
days late with a payment. 


The regulations tor this section of the Family Support Act require that Non IV-D wage 
withholdings be routed through a public agency. This creates an additional burden for the state 
agency, particularly if that agency is the IV-D agency. This regulation imposes an additional 
workload on the IV-D agency while precluding the possibility of Federal Financial Participation 
(FFP). The National Council of State Child Support Enforcement Administrators (NCSCSEA) 
has examined this issue in detail. Mr. Jerry Fay, IV-D Director for the State of Massachusetts 
conducted a detailed analysis which concluded that administration of Non-IV-D wage 
withholding will cost states $10.00 to open each case with an annual price of $200.00 per case 
thereafter. In Delaware I estimate the costs of implementing Non-IV-D wage withholding to be 
just under $37,000 per year. I believe that IV-D agencies should be reimbursed for 
expenditures related to complying with federal mandates. I urge the Subcommittee to 
consider this issue. 

It is my belief that the impact of wage withholding will be further enhanced by the use 
of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The electronic deposit of the payment will accelerate 
receipt of the payments. In this regard, Delaware has begun a pilot project with a major local 
employer, Scott Paper. For each pay period the company deposits into our agency bank account 
the child support monies that are being withheld from their employees. We receive a hard copy 
listing of the amounts paid and the name of the employee who should be credited. I 
recommend that the Subcommittee examine the effectiveness of utilizing EFT more 
extensively in complying with this provision of the Act. 

Section 102: Disregard Payments Made Applicable to Timely Child Support Payments 

The First $50 of a child support payment on AFDC cases for the month in which it is due 
and received is disregarded and sent to the custodial parent. There have been some problems 
in this regard. The First $50 of payments for prior months received in the month, if made by 
the absent parent in the month when due, is disregarded when DCSE is aware that the payments 
were made in the month due. The difficulty occurs when other states send payments collected 
in prior months or employers send payments which were due and deducted from wages in the 
prior months, and the dates collected and deducted are omitted. While I support the need to 
ensure full payment on child support cases, this provision has been difficult to implement 
and exposes states to potential audit exceptions. The potential benefits to clients are 
marginal. I recommend that it be reexamine. 

Section 103: State Guidelines for Child Support Award Amounts 

Delaware was the first state to develop and implement a formula or guideline for 
determining child support awards. The Delaware Child Support Formula, better known as the 
Melson Formula after its creator. Judge Elwood Melson, was developed and implemented in 
1979. The child support award which is yielded by the guideline does create a rebuttable 
presumption that the amount of the award determined by the guideline is correct. 

Delaware's Guideline has been used as a model by a number of other states. In March 
of 1991. Delaware became the first state to make its guideline an integral part of its automated 
system for child support enforcement. 

Delaware's guideline is reviewed and updated as necessary on a four year cycle in 
accordance with the terms of the Family Support Act. The guideline was last revised effective 
April 1990. The next review mandated by the cycle began in September 1993. A 
recommendation from the panel charged with this task is expected in the next few weeks. 

One of the major changes required by the Family Support Act of 1988 was that requiring 
states to review and adjust child support orders on a cyclical basis. Delaware, along with 
Colorado, Florida, and Illinois were awarded federal grants to conduct demonstration projects 
to test and evaluate procedures for reviewing child support awards. Delaware was designated 
as the lead state for the purpose of the evaluation. The projects were conducted between 

79-657 0-94-6 


October of 1989 and the end of September 1991. The Delaware project was the only one of the 
four to be conducted on a statewide basis. In order to ensure a steady flow of cases, Delaware 
opted to randomly select cases and refer them to the staff of the unit that reviewed and adjusted 
cases. Over 5.700 cases were selected for review which constituted between 40% and 50% of 
all eligible cases at the time. In Delaware Court orders are established and modified through 
processes which occur at Family Court. Prior to filing petitions for modification, cases were 
screened for appropriateness. During the screening phase the notice required by the Family 
Support Act were sent as appropriate. For those cases involving Non-AFDC clients, letters 
were sent to the client asking whether or not they wanted their case to be reviewed. Over 60% 
of cases selected for review did not reach the stage at which a petition was filed. Some of the 
most common reasons for cases to drop out of the process were as follows: 

The youngest child on the order was at or near the age of emancipation. 
The review was not authorized by the custodial parent (Non-AFDC) 
The order was not modifiable in Delaware 
The obligor had an existing unexecuted capias 
A modification was already in progress 

Petitions were filed on just over 30% of cases. In order to help streamline the process, 
the Delaware Family Court permitted the Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement to 
file petitions based on the age of the order. This meant that the allegation made on the petition 
was that it had been more than two and a half years since the guidelines were last applied on the 
case, and the prayer for relief was that the order be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate. 

Once a case reached the Delaware Family Court, it was channeled through the Mediation 
Process. In Mediation, the parties attempt to reach agreement on a child support order under 
the guidance of a Family Court Mediator and in conjunction with the Delaware Child Support 
Formula. If parties reach an agreement a modified order is issued, making Delaware's process 
an integrated one. If the parties cannot reach agreement in Mediation the case is referred to a 
Master who examines the facts and issues a decision. If one of the parties appeals the Master's 
decision, the case is scheduled for a de novo hearing before a Family Court Judge. Of those 
cases reviewed by Family Court, 61% were resolved at Mediation, another 30% were resolved 
at the Master's level, 5% were resolved by a Judge, and 4% were the result of default judgments 
issued by Masters. 

Modified orders were achieved on 619 cases by the end date of the project. 82% of 
those orders were modified upward and 13% were modified downward. The remaining 5% 
were modified to add medical support only. The average modified order yielded an increase in 
support of 66%. Average compliance rates also increased from 58% to 61% yielding a 72% 
increase in collections. Medical support was a focus of the project. Less than 10% of the 
orders reviewed contained provisions for medical support prior to the review. After the review 
that figure had jumped to over 40%. 

Review and Adjustment was determined to be cost effective. Estimated steady-state 
benefits and costs were calculated to adjust for inefficiencies associated with project start-up and 
shut-down. The resulting calculation revealed that for every dollar spent, $2.53 in benefits were 

Since the end of the project, Delaware has continued to select and process cases for 
review and adjustment. Nearly all of the 5,700 cases selected for review have been completed 
with a total of 958 modifications (as opposed to 619 modifications at the time the project ended). 
To date over 13,125 cases have been selected. Table 3 on the next page contains statistics as 
of late January 1994. It should be noted that review and adjustment can be a lengthy process. 
Cases need to be screened, notices sent, consent obtained (if necessary), petitions filed and court 
time scheduled. The case may need to be rescheduled for Mediation or scheduled for a Master's 
hearing depending on the outcome of the first Mediation Conference. For cases adjusted during 
the project, 166 days elapsed from selection to review. Because Delaware's review and 
adjustment process is integrated, an average of only ten additional days elapsed between the 
review and the adjustment for a total of 176 days elapsing between selection and adjustment. 


Some adjustments to the process have been made since the end of the project. The most 
significant of these changes was the development of a letter which is sent to absent parents 
requesting whether or not they would like to have their case(s) reviewed. 

Delaware benefitted greatly from the demonstration project. We were able to complete 
the bulk of the first round of reviews on AFDC cases by early 1992. well ahead of the Office 
of Child Support Enforcement's October 1993 deadline. We gained a great deal of insight on 
such issues as the role of the IV-D attorney and coming to terms with downward modifications. 
Initially both os these issues were of great concern, but after a series of discussions involving 
Family Court, the Department of Justice, the Division of Child Support Enforcement and the 
Office of Child Support Enforcement, those concerns were resolved. I would urge the 
Subcommittee, however, to reexamine these provisions in light of the findings of the four 
state demonstration projects. I would also encourage you to consider limiting these 
requirements [at the state's options] to those cases where with the greatest potential. 

TABLE 3 - Review and Adjustment Statistics 

For Cases 
Selected During 
the Project 

For Cases 
Selected since 
the project 

Totals for 
All Cases 

Cases Selected 




Cases Pending 




Cases Disposed 




Cases Disposed via Family Court 

Upward Modification 




Downward Modification 




Modification - Medical Support Only 




No Modification 












Pre-Court Dispositions 

Review Not Authorized 




Not a Delaware Order 




Child Emancipated 




Absent Parent Incarcerated or Capias 




Modification in Progress 




Not Appropriate - Age of Order 




Other 2 



2.1 16 





Contains cases disposed due to dismissal, withdraw, issuance of a capias, or deemed inappropriate for review by Family Court. 

Contains cases disposed if DCSE was unable to locate one of the two parties, if good cause was requested, if 
services were terminated, or if for some other reason the review was not deemed appropriate. 


Section 104: Timing of Notice of Support Payment Collections 

The Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement complies with the requirement that 
families receiving AFDC be notified of the amount of support collected on their behalf on a 
monthly basis. The notification letter, now generated by the automated system, was 
implemented in January of 1993 with the issuance of letters covering collections made in the 
previous quarter. The letter has been issued on a monthly basis since then. It contains the 
amounts paid by the non custodial parent, and the amount of disregards paid for the month. It 
further contains a total of payments made to the client while he/she was on AFDC, and the 
amount paid while the client was not on AFDC. 

FAMILY SUPPORT ACT OP 1988: Subtitle B - Establishment of Paternity 

Section 111: Performance Standards for State Paternity Establishment Programs 

a) Section (a) requires states to meet Federal standards for the establishment of 
paternity . Delaware submitted the necessary data to the Office of Child Support 
Enforcement in December of 1990 to establish the baseline against which to 
measure Delaware's performance in establishing paternity. The paternity 
establishment rate for FFY 92 was 73 % and for FFY 93 was 72 % . The national 
average are reported in the Sixteen Annual Report to Congress is 43%. 

b) Section (b) requires states to require the child and other parties (except in good 
cause cases) to submit to genetic tests in a contested paternity case. Delaware 
law supported the requirements contained in this section prior to the passage of 
the Family Support Act. 

c) Section (c) permits states to charge individuals not receiving AFDC for the costs 
of genetic tests to establish paternity. Delaware law supported the requirements 
contained in this section prior to the passage of the Family Support Act. In 
calendar year 1993, blood tests were ordered on 968 cases in Family Court. This 
means that a substantial portion of the adjudications of paternity (approximately 
50%) involved blood testing. 

d) Section (d) encourages states to establish and implement a simple civil process for 
voluntarily acknowledging paternity, and a civil procedure for establishing 
paternity in contested cases. In recent years paternity establishment has been the 
domain of the Delaware Family Court. The only way to establish paternity was 
for it to be adjudicated. The process could be lengthy and was generally 
adversarial in nature. Recognizing that a simpler process is needed, and in order 
to comply with the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1988, Delaware is planning 
to introduce legislation providing for voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and 
in-hospital voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. Although the process is titled 
"in-hospital," since that is where the emphasis will be at the time of the child's 
birth, parties will be able to voluntarily acknowledge paternity at any time during 
the minority of a child. This process is expected to be implemented by January 
1, 1995. 

e) Section (e) requires states to implement laws requiring the use of procedures 
which permit the establishment of paternity of any child at any time prior to such 
child's 18 birthday. Delaware law supported the requirements contained in this 
section prior to the passage of the Family Support Act. 


Section 112: Increased Federal Assistance for Paternity Establishment 

The federal matching rate for laboratory testing to establish paternity is set at 90 percent. 
This additional funding has provided the necessary financial support to carry out the mandates 
of the Act and I encourage continued funding at that level. Table 4 contains paternity 
establishment data for Delaware for the last several state fiscal years. 

Table 4 - Paternity Data 

State Fiscal Year 

No. of Paternities 

% Increase Over 













FAMILY SUPPORT ACT OF 1988: Subtitle C - Improved Procedures for 
Child Support Enforcement and Establishment of Paternity 

Section 121: Requirement of Prompt State Response to Requests for Child Support 

I support the need to establish timeframes to govern the processing of child 
support cases. The process can be very lengthy and needs yardsticks against which to measure 
performance. However, these standards as currently defined will be difficult to meet given 
rising caseloads, increased federal mandates, and insufficient resources at the state level. 
I encourage the Subcommittee to reexamine these standards. 

Section 122: Requirement of Prompt State Distribution of amounts collected as Child 

I strongly support this provision. A major entire goal of the IV-D system is to collect 
child support and see that it is distributed to the custodial parent. This strengthens families, 
promotes self sufficiency and reduces the need to depend on welfare. In Delaware the average 
turnaround for disbursement of collections is one business day. Payments received in the 
morning are batched, logged into the system, and deposited into our bank account. That evening 
the system issues checks which are mailed the following morning. 

Section 123: Automated tracking and monitoring systems made mandatory 

I am very strongly in favor of this provision. Delaware's automated system, the 
Delaware Automated Child Support Enforcement System (DACSES), was implemented in March 
of 1987. Delaware was the second state to have a federally certified system for child support 
enforcement and the first state to have level I certification. DACSES handles case initiation 
including automatic referrals from the IV-A agency, case management including a built in 
"tickler" capability to monitor cases, and forms generation including the production of all 
documents necessary to support the filing of petitions in Family Court. It further supports our 
court based process with a court scheduling function. The system supports enforcement of 
orders through prioritization of delinquencies, facilitation of automatic interception of 
unemployment benefits, plus federal and state income tax interception. DACSES also supports 
accounting functions such as payment posting and payment distribution. Currently DACSES 


interfaces with the Delaware Department of Labor, and the State Bureau of Vital Statistics. 
These functions help support location of absent parents. Finally, the system contains an 
automated guidelines calculation. 

In order to meet the systems requirements of the Family Support Act, DACSES will 
require a significant number of enhancements. A systems enhancement contract was signed 
effective November 1. 1993, and work on the design phase is well advanced. I am confident 
that Delaware will meet the October 1995 deadline for certification under the Family Support 
Act guidelines. I do, however, recommend the Subcommittee consider extending that 
deadline for states that have made a reasonable effort to comply, but have been unable to 
do so because of circumstances beyond their control. 

Section 124: Additional Information Source for Parent Locator Services 

I agree that the Department of Labor database provides a very valuable source of 
information for parent locate. Making this information available to Federal Parent Locate is 
important in ensuring that locate is accessible and available to State Parent Locate. Although 
this provision does not specifically address the value of information from the Department of 
Labor pertaining to the interception of unemployment compensation, I wanted to call this aspect 
to the Subcommittee's attention. 

In the past Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) had no consistent method of 
identifying which absent parents were receiving unemployment compensation. DCSE had on- 
line inquiry with the state's Department of Labor (DOL) which gave worker's information on 
unemployment compensation. A worker could check this data if he or she suspected that an 
individual was receiving unemployment compensation. This process resulted in delays in 
securing child support payments via unemployment compensation. In 1987 an automated 
interface between DCSE and DOL was developed. DCSE sends a tape weekly of all open cases 
with wage attachments to the Department of Labor. In this way DOL has a record of valid child 
support wage attachments before a person comes in to file for unemployment compensation. 
This process has substantially accelerated the attachment of unemployment compensation. Table 
5 contains data pertaining to collections made through interception of unemployment 
compensation. Our automated interface with the Department of Labor has also given DCSE 
increased access to the Social Security Numbers of non custodial parents, and access to wage 

I encourage the Subcommittee to examine additional parent locate sources and 
consider making IRS data available to states. 

Table 5 - Unemployment Compensation 

State Fiscal Year 























Section 125: Use of Social Security Number to Establish Identify of Parents 

Delaware complies with this requirement. 

Section 126: Commission on Interstate Child Support 

I am pleased to support the recommendations made by the Interstate Commission. 
Delaware House Bill 1 1 which would implement UIFSA in Delaware was introduced into the 
last session of the Delaware legislature and is expected to pass this year. Delaware was ahead 
of the Commission in some areas. A central registry or clearinghouse for interstate cases was 
established in August of 1988. This unit handles all incoming requests for IV-D services from 
other states. Delaware is also moving to implement the Child Support Enforcement Network 
(CSENet) which will facilitate the transmission of case information between states. I am 
currently facilitating the establishment of the necessary agreements and procedures that will 
permit the implementation of one of the first regional "hubs" involving CSENet. I encourage 
the Subcommittee to support funding for full implementation of CSENet. 

Section 127: Costs of Interstate Enforcement Demonstrations Excluded in Computing 

I support any provisions that will allow the use of demonstration projects to test 
innovative procedures without creating a negative impact on a state's ability to collect 

Section 128: Study of Child Rearing Costs 

I support any studies that would provide for the equitable establishment and 
enforcement of child support orders. 

Section 129: Collection and Reporting of Child Support Enforcement Data 

I encourage the Subcommittee to reexamine all of the current reporting 

In closing, I would like to thank the Subcommittee for providing me with the opportunity 
to brief you on where Delaware stands with respect to the child support provisions of the Family 
Support Act. I realize that this is only one state's perspective. I strongly encourage you to 
speak with other state IV-D Directors, particularly those from larger states to ensure that the 
Subcommittee gets a balanced perspective on the issues states face in implementing these 


Chairman Ford. That is quite all right. It is good testimony. 
Mr. Berlin, go right ahead. 


Mr. Berlin. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

As you know, the Family Support Act includes a provision that 
instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to allow a 
group of States to provide JOBS services to noncustodial parents 
who are unemployed and unable to meet their child support obliga- 

The States that received the waivers and are participating in 
this project are part of a national demonstration called Parents' 
Fair Share. Participants in this project are the noncustodial par- 
ents of children receiving AFDC, the group that welfare reformers 
will be counting on to generate welfare savings from increased 
child support collections. 

During the 18-month pilot phase, the program has served 5,000 
noncustodial parents in 11 locations in 9 States. When these 
noncustodial parents said they could not pay child support because 
they were unemployed, the child support enforcement systems, 
usually at a hearing, asked them to fulfill their obligation by par- 
ticipating in Parents' Fair Share. 

The project is designed to answer two simple questions. Is it fea- 
sible to provide JOBS services to noncustodial parents? And do 
these services result in increased employment earnings and child 
support paid? 

The pilot phase of the project is designed to answer the feasibil- 
ity question, and the demonstration phase we are now entering is 
designed to answer the impact questions about increases in em- 
ployment and earnings and child support paid. 

The project's pilot phase offers lessons in four categories. First 
are lessons about who the nonpaying parents of AFDC children 
are — their demographics, their education backgrounds, their em- 
ployment backgrounds, and the like. 

The second set of lessons are about the limits of enforcement- 
only strategies for increasing child support payments from this 
group of parents. 

The third set of lessons are about the institutional challenge and 
the feasibility of getting the agencies involved to mount this pro- 

The fourth set of lessons have to do with the program's success 
in actually engaging these parents in activities. 

Who are the noncustodial parents of AFDC children that are par- 
ticipating in Parents' Fair Share? They are overwhelmingly men. 
Nearly 60 percent have never been married. Most report very little 
recent employment, and nearly two-thirds said they had worked 3 
months or less in the last year, while one in seven said that they 
had been unemployed for more than 2 years. Nearly half did not 
have a high school diploma. 

Many of the noncustodial parents said they were having trouble 
meeting their basic needs. Many faced staggering debts, including 


average child support arrearages of $4,200 per person when they 
started in Parents' Fair Share. 

Contrary to popular stereotypes, most of the noncustodial par- 
ents referred to Parents' Fair Share during the pilot phase reported 
having only one or two children, and the majority reported having 
had tneir children with only one partner. In addition, most re- 
ported having had regular contact with the youngest child. 

In short, many of the noncustodial parents of AFDC children are 
also poor. While they have limited education and skills, they do 
work periodically, although not regularly. They do see their chil- 
dren and they are involved in their lives. 

What are the limits of enforcement only strategies? First, under- 
standing who these nonpaying fathers of children in AFDC are un- 
derscores the challenge for child support enforcement agencies. 
That challenge is not simply to get child support paid once at a 
court hearing, but to get these parents to pay month after month 
after month. 

The challenge has two dimensions: What to do when 
noncustodial parents say they are unemployed at a child support 
hearing and how to change a noncustodial parents' willingness to 
cooperate with the child support system. 

Unfortunately, the system is ill-equipped to handle cases in 
which noncustodial parents cite unemployment as the reason for 
their failure to pay child support. Yet unemployment and low earn- 
ings are common in this group. 

When the child support system does locate noncustodial parents 
who say they are unemployed, the system really only has two op- 
tions. It can hold them in contempt and send them to jail, or it can 
admonish them to get jobs and to report back. 

Given the lack of constructive alternatives for handling these 
cases, agencies often choose not to expend resources pursuing 
nonpaying noncustodial parents when there is no immediate evi- 
dence of income. 

The second part of the challenge has to do with the lack of incen- 
tives for either the custodial or noncustodial parent to cooperate 
with the system. Both parents find that their children are Detter 
off if child support is paid under the table and outside of the regu- 
lar system, because any payment above $50 a month goes to offset 
AFDC payments. In addition, noncustodial parents often feel the 
system is fundamentally unfair because arrearages build even 
when they are unemployed or in jail or otherwise unable to pay. 

Whether or not their perspective on fairness is accurate, or 
whether the larger society agrees with it is less important than the 
reality that when these fathers do work, they often work tempo- 
rarily or in off-the-books jobs, making it very, very difficult for the 
child support system to locate them. Because these parents can 
avoid the child support system it is important to also think about 
ways to turn around their willingness to cooperate with the system. 

How does the Parents' Fair Share project respond to these prob- 
lems? PFS offers an alternative set of services and activities for 
cases the child support system would not normally work. Instead 
of sending them home or to jail, the child support enforcement sys- 
tem can ask them to participate in Parents' Fair Share's employ- 
ment and training, peer support, and other services. 


In effect, it makes the child support mandate real in a way that 
it is not now for this particular group of fathers. They are no longer 
ignored. They are asked to participate in this program. For those 
who are working off the books, asking them to participate every 
day effectively calls their bluff. They can not both participate in 
PFS and continue working off the books and not reporting income, 
and not paying child support. 

But, of course, the overwhelming majority of the fathers that we 
have seen are not lying. The hard truth is that they need a job be- 
fore they can pay child support. Parents' Fair Share services are 
an attempt to help them get good jobs and thus to improve their 
ability to pay child support. 

While Parents' Fair Share services will never change their dis- 
like of the child support enforcement system, if the program affects 
the ways in which they demonstrate their commitment to their 
children and to work, it could also result in more cooperation. 

The project also tries to address some of their concerns about the 
system s fairness. An enhanced child support component seeks to 
make the system more responsive to their actual ability to pay. 
While they are participating, because they are not working, child 
support orders are lowered to a minimum amount, so arrearages 
don't build. Once they leave the program, hopefully for jobs, their 
child support orders increase and immediate wage withholding is 
put in place. 

Now how has Parents' Fair Share overcome the institutional ob- 
stacles in getting the various agencies to work together? Virtually 
all the pilot sites were able to successfully mount the program. 
They were able to get JOBS, JTPA, child support enforcement 
agencies, and various nonprofit agencies to cooperate together to 
make the program work. 

The child support system, especially, has had to revamp the way 
it does business in order to make the program effective. In most 
sites, these enhanced CSE efforts were facilitated by dedicating 
specific CSE staff to work with these cases. In addition, PFS staff 
were outstationed at the CSE office and at the courts and dedicated 
court dockets were created to process these cases on a regular 

Interestingly, once the CSE system began calling in fathers with 
no apparent income and asking them to participate in PFS, 14 per- 
cent of the fathers announced that they were working and could 
pay child support. 

Was the program successful in engaging this group of mostly 
men in services? The participation rates were quite high. Sixty-six 
percent of those referred to the program actively participated in its 
services. Within the first 4 months of the program, 20 percent got 
jobs directly through the program, and at that point, 4 months in, 
42 percent were still actively engaged in the program's services. 

Attendance rates in the peer support component, which provides 
information on parenting and child support rights and responsibil- 
ities, have also been very high. In fact, this component has turned 
out to be the core of the program. 

Equally important, the agencies were able to work together suffi- 
ciently so that very few of the noncustodial parents fell through the 
cracks. Of those referred to the program 83 percent, either actively 


participated or were pursued by the child support enforcement sys- 

To sum up, Parents' Fair Share focuses our attention on the 
noncustodial parents of children on AFDC, many of whom are un- 
employed or working off the books. By providing the system with 
an option for fathers who say they are unemployed, Parents' Fair 
Share participation requirements make the child support mandate 
a reality for many parents that the system is currently unable to 

But providing opportunities to help noncustodial parents fulfill 
their responsibility requires government to make investments, and 
we don't know yet whether these investments will pay off in in- 
creased earnings and increased child support payments over the 
long haul, and that is the role of the next phase of the project. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 





Good morning. I am Gordon Berlin, and I am here representing the Manpower Demonstration Research 
Corporation (MDRC). MDRC is an intermediary organization created to develop and evaluate programs 
designed to address some of the nation's most pressing social problems: teenage parenting, welfare 
dependency, youth and adult unemployment, and school dropout. I am pleased to have the opportunity 
to appear before this Committee today to present what we have learned about the feasibility and promise 
of the Parents' Fair Share program, which was authorized by the Family Support Act of 1988 (FSA), and 
is supported by a consortium of private and public funders including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Ford, 
AT&T, McKnight, Northwest Area, Charles Stewart Mott, and Annie E. Casey foundations, and the 
federal departments of Health and Human Services and Labor as well as nine state and local social service 
and employment departments. 

Parents' Fair Share (PFS) is a challenging national demonstration project designed to increase the 
employment, earnings, and child support payments of noncustodial parents (usually fathers) who owe 
child support for their children receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) but who are 
not paying because they are unemployed. In the spirit of mutual obligation embodied in the Family 
Support Act, PFS matches the responsibility noncustodial parents have to pay child support with 
employment and training and other opportunities that could help them to become employed and pay 
support. In the eleven locations in nine states where PFS programs operate, the child support system asks 
unemployed, nonpaying, noncustodial parents to fulfill their obligation by participating in a program of 
peer support, employment and training, enriched child support enforcement, and dispute resolution 
intended to lead to more stable employment and child support payment. 

MDRC has just completed the first stage of the Parents' Fair Share Demonstration: a pilot phase designed 
to test the operational feasibility of the PFS approach for meeting the needs of noncustodial parents who 
say they are unemployed. An initial feasibility study was seen as critical because successful 
implementation of Parents' Fair Share requires profound institutional change involving the development 
of close linkages between agencies charged with collecting child support and those that provide 
employment and training and other services to the disadvantaged. My remarks today summarize the key 
lessons we have learned from the pilot phase experience about the feasibility of operating employment 
and training programs for noncustodial parents who owe child support, and about the limits of 
"enforcement-only" strategies for increasing the child support payments of the noncustodial parents of 
children receiving public assistance. 


The main lesson from the Parents' Fair Share pilot phase is that it is feasible to operate this program 
model, which requires Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), child support enforcement 
(CSE), AFDC, and Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) agencies to work cooperatively. We have seen 
substantial institutional change in all of the participating sites. The agencies shared information and 
developed new ways of doing business to accommodate each other's needs. As a result, the vast majority 
of those referred either participated in services, found a job on their own, or were followed up by child 
support enforcement officials. Equally important, PFS successfully engaged the noncustodial parents 
referred to it. Participation rates in services (66 percent of those referred) are high relative to the rates 
we have seen in state JOBS programs for adult AFDC recipients, and attendance rates in the peer support 
component are very high. In addition, "smokeout" effects - where noncustodial parents admit they are 
working when faced with PFS's participation requirements - appear to be substantial. 

In addition to lessons about operational feasibility, the PFS pilot experience, involving more than 5,000 
noncustodial parents, lays bare several sobering realities about the potential of "enforcement-only" 
strategies for increasing child support collections from the parents of AFDC children. For example, 
many noncustodial parents of AFDC children, usually fathers, are themselves poor, with intermittent 
work histories and limited education. While many of these fathers do work periodically, frequently their 
jobs are temporary, involving off-the-books construction and similar arrangements. The child support 
system is ill-equipped to enforce payment when parents are unemployed, change jobs frequently, or work 
off the books. Simply put, it has no way of knowing when these fathers are working. With little 
likelihood of learning about earnings, no viable options when the noncustodial parent says he is 
unemployed, and staff caseloads approaching 1,000 or more cases per worker, the child support system 
generally does not work with these cases. 

But working these cases with traditional enforcement tools is not the answer either. The hard truth is that 
many noncustodial parents do not pay because they have no income. Before they can pay, they need 
jobs. The second hard truth is that fathers who want to avoid paying, and whose jobs are in the off-the- 
books economy, can do so. The real challenge in child support is not simply a matter of getting these 
fathers to pay once, but getting them to pay month after month. For the child support enforcement 


system to be successful with the nonpaying parents of AFDC children, it will also need to change their 
willingness to pay. In this regard, the PFS pilot phase experience shows promise. 

Determining whether there is a net increase in employment, earnings, and child support paid (above and 
beyond what might have happened if PFS did not exist), and whether these differences are large enough 
for the program's benefits to exceed its costs is the purpose of the demonstration phase of the project, 
which is scheduled to be fully operational in seven sites this April. During this phase of the project, a 
random assignment research design will be used to identify what net difference the PFS program makes. 

Child Poverty and the Family Support Act 

Today, a child born in this country stands a better than 50 percent chance of spending part of his or her 
life with just one parent, and children living in these families stand an equally great chance of being poor. 
Many of these families receive public assistance through AFDC, the nation's largest cash welfare 
program, which primarily serves single mothers and their children. 

Growing rates of poverty and welfare receipt among single-parent families point to the vital importance 
of child support as both a source of additional income for these families and a means to reduce public 
welfare expenditures. Efforts to improve child support enforcement are essential. It has been estimated 
that as much as $34 billion in potential support goes unpaid each year, and almost two-thirds of single 
parents currently receive no child support. 

In response to these concerns, Congress passed the Family Support Act (FSA) in 1988, a landmark bill 
aimed at improving the economic well-being of parents and children receiving AFDC. Central to the Act 
is the idea of "mutual obligation." With two incomes increasingly necessary to support families, parents 
- both mothers and fathers - should be the primary supporters of their children. At the same time, 
government must provide services to promote self-sufficiency when individuals are unable to find jobs 
on their own. 

To this end, FSA expands resources and requirements for state programs providing employment and 
education services to adult AFDC recipients, who are generally custodial parents. It created the JOBS 
program, the keystone of national policy to help welfare recipients help themselves. Building on several 
legislative initiatives of the past decade, FSA also increases the federal role in child support enforcement 
(CSE). The objectives are to improve states' performance in establishing paternity for out-of-wedlock 
births and to establish and enforce adequate child support orders. 

FSA enhancements to the CSE system, such as automatic wage withholding and presumptive guidelines 
for setting orders, should improve the collection of child support owed. However, the rapidly declining 
economic circumstances of young men, particularly those with limited skills and education credentials, 
suggests that the payoff from tighter enforcement may be constrained by the inability of some 
noncustodial parents to pay. It is likely that some noncustodial parents who do not pay child support are 
unemployed and need help finding jobs before they can meet their obligations. 

Currently, few states are operating programs designed to assist unemployed noncustodial parents to obtain 
employment. Although these men may be eligible for programs funded through other sources, such as 
the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), they are usually not AFDC recipients and are therefore not 
normally eligible for JOBS services. In addition, mechanisms do not generally exist to link participation 
in employment programs to the CSE system. 

Recognizing these facts, the FSA includes a provision that instructs the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services to allow a group of states to provide services under the JOBS program to noncustodial parents 
who are unemployed and unable to meet their child support obligations. This provision of the Act 
attempts to match the obligation of noncustodial parents to pay child support with an opportunity to 
receive services that could lead to gainful employment, much the way JOBS does for custodial parents 
on AFDC. Parents' Fair Share builds on this provision through additional funding, technical assistance, 
and a set of core services that may be critical for the noncustodial parent population. 

The Limits of Enforcement-Onlv Strategies 

In the design and implementation of Parents' Fair Share, MDRC staff visited child support systems in 
a number of states and completed an independent review of a county child support enforcement system, 
titled Child Support Enforcement: A Case Study . We were especially interested in understanding how 
child support systems operate and interact with nonpaying fathers. While it seems clear that the reforms 
contained in the FSA are making a difference in the performance of local child support systems, when 


it comes to the noncustodial parents of children on AFDC, the group whose payments are crucial to the 
generation of welfare savings, we are also beginning to see the limits of enforcement strategies. Two 
shortcomings stand out. 

First, the child support enforcement system is ill-equipped to handle cases in which noncustodial parents 
cite unemployment as the reason for their failure to pay child support. Yet, unemployment and low 
earnings are common among this group of mostly male noncustodial parents. For example, the average 
annual earnings of 25- to 29-year-old men without a high school diploma fell by 35 percent between 1973 
and 1991. Declining earnings leave fewer resources available for child support. At the same time, child 
support staffs caseloads are extremely high, court dockets are full, and there are not enough court staff 
to keep up with the flow. In addition, the child support system has difficulty locating these parents, and 
there are long lags before they obtain matching tax, bank, or unemployment insurance wage reporting 

When the child support system does find noncustodial parents who say they are unemployed, judges and 
child support enforcement staff have few means at their disposal to assess whether these nonpaying 
noncustodial parents are in fact telling the truth. With their enforcement options limited, courts are often 
forced to resort to stopgap measures such as setting a "purge payment" - an amount the custodial parent 
can clearly pay - and ordering him to pay this sum or go to jail. The noncustodial parent may produce 
the payment to gain his release, and then return to the cycle of nonpayment. In other cases, judges may 
order noncustodial parents to seek employment and report back to court periodically, but many courts 
and child support enforcement agencies are overwhelmed and unable to carefully monitor such "seek 
work" orders. Given the lack of constructive alternatives for handling these cases, CSE agencies often 
choose not to expend resources pursuing nonpaying noncustodial parents when there is no evidence of 

Second, there are few incentives for either noncustodial parents or custodial parents who are receiving 
AFDC to cooperate. Noncustodial parents feel that the child support system is unfair because arrearages 
build while they are unemployed, in jail, or otherwise cannot pay, and they build before paternity is 
established. In some places, fathers start off owing $10,000 or more, being held responsible for all 
Medicaid costs for the birth of a child plus all accrued AFDC costs. In addition, if he pays anything 
more than $50 per month under the table, his children on AFDC will be worse off if he establishes 
paternity and pays child support through the formal system. Poor fathers also feel that the payment 
guidelines leave little for them to live on after paying child support, and they often pay disproportionately 
more than well-off fathers. Finally, the system is cumbersome, slow, and unresponsive to the ever 
changing ability of these fathers to pay child support. 

In summary, success in increasing the amount of child support collected on behalf of children receiving 
AFDC benefits hinges on the child support system's ability to address two fundamental problems: What 
to do when noncustodial parents say they are unemployed and how to change the willingness of some 
noncustodial parents to cooperate with the child support enforcement system. 

The Parents ' Fair Share Response 

When noncustodial parents say they are unemployed, the child support system currently has only two 
options: admonish them to find work and then send them home, or hold them in contempt for failing to 
search for work and put them in jail. Neither option is satisfactory. Parents' Fair Share offers an 
alternative set of services and actions for cases the child support system would not normally work. 

In most cases, noncustodial parents are referred to Parents' Fair Share during court hearings or 
appointments scheduled by CSE agencies in response to the parents' failure to make court-ordered child 
support payments for children receiving welfare. Noncustodial parents who cite unemployment as the 
reason for their nonpayment are ordered to attend PFS activities. 

Parents' Fair Share programs are built around four core components that were identified by MDRC's 
background research as critical to serving the PFS population: 

• Employment and training. The centerpiece of PFS programs is employment and training 

services designed to help participants secure long-term, stable employment at a wage level that 
will allow them to support themselves and their children Since noncustodial parents vary in their 
employability levels, sites are strongly encouraged to offer a variety of services, including job 
search assistance and opportunities for education and skills training. In addition, since it is 
important to engage participants in income-producing activities quickly, sites are encouraged to 
offer on-the-job training (OJT), paid work experience, and activities that mix skills training or 


education with part-time employment. 

• Enhanced child support enforcement. A primary objective of Parents' Fair Share is to increase 
support payments made on behalf of children living in single-parent welfare households Parents' 
Fair Share will not succeed unless increases in participants' earnings are translated into regular 
child support payments. To do this, PFS creates a more responsive child support enforcement 
system. The child support enforcement systems in PFS base their orders on ability to pay, both 
during and after participation in PFS. This generally means lowering orders temporarily to a 
minimum amount so long as the noncustodial parent participates in PFS services, and responding 
quickly when noncustodial parents obtain employment ( r fail to participate in PFS as ordered. 

• Peer support. MDRC's background research and the pilot phase experience suggest that 
employment and training services, by themselves, will not lead to changed attitudes and regular 
child support payment patterns for all participants. Thus, Parents' Fair Share includes regular 
support groups for participants. The purpose of this component is to inform participants about 
their rights and obligations as noncustodial parents, including rights to visitation, and to 
encourage positive parental behavior. 

• Mediation. Parents' Fair Share programs also provide opportunities for parents to mediate their 
differences. This is important since disagreements between custodial and noncustodial parents 
about visitation, household expenditures, lifestyles, child care, school arrangements, and the roles 
and actions of other adults in their children's lives influence child support payment patterns. 

Parents' Fair Share makes the child support mandate real in a way that it is not now, particularly for 
fathers who are unemployed or who work off the books. These fathers are no longer ignored. The child 
support enforcement system can ask them to participate in PFS. Because Parents' Fair Share offers 
positive services, CSE staff feel as if they are being more proactive, and not just child support police. 
At the same time, PFS provides CSE staff with a means of calling the bluff of men who work off the 
books. So long as they have to participate actively in PFS, off-the-books work is hard to maintain 
without being discovered. 

However, Parents' Fair Share also seeks to do more than that. Its employment and training services 
attempt to increase noncustodial parents' ability to find and hold jobs and, thus, their ability to pay child 
support. Because child support enforcement cannot succeed in providing regular support in the long run 
without cooperation. Parents' Fair Share also seeks to reinforce participants' interest in their children 
through peer support. While it will never change their dislike of CSE, if the program affects the ways 
in which they demonstrate their commitment to their children and to work, it could result in more 

Lessons from the PFS Pilot 

MDRC's overall conclusion, based on data collected during more than a year and a half of pilot 
operations in nine states and reported in Matching Opportunities to Obligations: Lessons for Child 
Support Reform from the Parents' Fair Share Pilot Phase , is positive: Although the pilot programs 
confronted a range of implementation issues, the Parents' Fair Share program served a diverse group of 
individuals, the approach has proven to be operationally feasible, and there are clear signs that it has 
generated changes in both bureaucratic systems and individuals. 

• The PFS noncustodial parents are a diverse group; however, many appear 

to be living in poverty and facing critical barriers to employment. 

The vast majority of the noncustodial parents who were referred to Parents' Fair Share during the pilot 
phase are men. Almost half were 30 years old or older, but more than one-third were 25 years old or 
younger. Nearly 60 percent had never been married. 

Most of the noncustodial parents reported very little recent employment. Nearly two-thirds of the parents 
said they had worked three months or less in the past year, and one in seven said they had been 
unemployed for more than two years. Moreover, many of the parents faced important barriers to success 
in the labor market. For example, just over half had earned a high school diploma or General 
Educational Development (GED) certificate. On the other hand, there was a group of noncustodial 
parents with somewhat more extensive work histories. 

Many of the noncustodial parents said they were having trouble meeting their basic needs. Many faced 
staggering debts owing to fines, medical bills, and child support arrearages (which averaged more than 


$4,000 per person at the point of referral to Parents' Fair Share). Despite their ages, less than 5 percent 
of the noncustodial parents reported that they were living alone when they entered Parents' Fair Share. 
Many had no stable address or lived in complex households, including a variety of extended family 
members spanning several generations. 

Most of the noncustodial parents referred to Parents' Fair Share during the pilot phase reported having 
either one or two children at the point of referral, and the majority reported having had children with 
only one partner. In addition, most reported having had regular contact with the youngest child for 
whom the parent reported bejng behind on support payments. More than half said they had seen the child 
at least once a week, and only about 7 percent said they had not seen the child at all in the past year. 

At the same time, program staff reported that, while most of the noncustodial parents had strong feelings 
for their children, many did not fully appreciate or understand a father's role. For example, staff noted 
that many fathers defined their role in purely financial terms. Similarly, some peer support facilitators 
reported that, while most of the parents in their groups saw their children frequently, the time they spent 
together was often not "productive. " Staff attributed these attitudes and behavior patterns in part to a lack 
of positive male parental role models; fewer than half of those referred to Parents' Fair Share said they 
had lived with their own fathers at age 14. 

• The key institutions changed in important ways. 

All sites were able to mount the complex program successfully, and they succeeded in building multi- 
agency partnerships to run the program. The networks included JOBS programs, JTPA agencies, CSE 
agencies, courts, private nonprofit organizations, and school districts and community colleges, among 

PFS presented daunting institutional and operational challenges. The two main organizational players - 
employment and training providers and child support enforcement agencies — had little history of 
collaboration and few incentives to expend resources on the PFS target population. 

The greatest changes were demanded of child support enforcement agencies. Since the national CSE 
program was created, a mix of financial and organizational factors has pushed the system to focus on 
maximizing immediate support collections. Child support enforcement agencies are generally unfamiliar 
with the notion of making short-term investments in noncustodial parents in the hope of increasing their 
ability to pay later. In fact, these agencies are likely to de-emphasize cases that seem unlikely to yield 
immediate payoffs. Parents' Fair Share pushed the system not only to identify and take action on these 
cases, but also to invest in the noncustodial parents by temporarily reducing their child support obligations 
during the period of PFS participation. 

Most of the child support enforcement agencies began "working" cases that were at times ignored before 
PFS provided a constructive option for handling them. In addition to generating large numbers of 
referrals to PFS, this new focus uncovered a substantial amount of previously unreported income. One 
site found that at least 14 percent of the nonpaying noncustodial parents identified as potentially eligible 
for PFS quickly acknowledged that they were employed, agreed to pay child support, and were never 
referred to the program; other parents "found" (or acknowledged) employment just after the referral but 
before receiving any program services. 

Most of the sites also developed procedures to routinely reduce the child support obligations of 
noncustodial parents during the period they were participating in PFS, and to raise these orders quickly 
if the parents failed to cooperate or found employment. This represented a major change because support 
orders were rarely changed in this manner in the past. Child support enforcement systems have had to 
revamp the way they do business in order to effect these changes. In most sites, these enhanced CSE 
efforts were facilitated by dedicating specific CSE staff to work with PFS cases. In addition, staff from 
Parents' Fair Share sites were outstationed at the CSE office and at the courts, and dedicated court 
dockets were created to process these cases on a regular basis. 

Employment and training systems were more difficult to change, perhaps because these agencies 
perceived that they were already prepared to serve the PFS population. Each of the Parents' Fair Share 
sites developed a range of employment and training options for participants. Several sites developed 
innovative organizational approaches to integrate employment and training services provided by multiple 
agencies. For example, several sites stationed staff from a number of different providers in a central PFS 
program office. 

Particular emphasis was placed on on-the-job training (OJT), which was seen as an ideal vehicle to 


combine training with income-producing work. During the early months of the Parents' Fair Share pilot, 
almost all sites had difficulty placing PFS participants in OJT positions or other JTPA-funded training. 
Initially, most sites focused instead on relatively short-term job search or job-readiness training. 

As the demonstration progressed, sites made real progress broadening the menu of employment and 
training services that was envisioned by MDRC. Several sites strengthened their capacity to develop OJT 
slots and unsubsidized employment for PFS participants. In some cases, this responsibility was brought 
in-house: The lead agency hired a job developer directly on its own payroll. A few sites added new 
activities designed to prepare more participants for OJTs. Additionally, most of the sites took steps to 
broaden and strengthen their skill-building offerings beyond OJT and to help identify participants who 
might be interested in these programs. It seems clear that the general employment and training approach 
sought by MDRC is feasible, albeit difficult and time-consuming to implement. 

• A substantial share of the parents who were referred to PFS were actively 

engaged in program activities. 

Few of those referred fell through the cracks. Coverage rates within the first four months averaged 83 
percent. That is, 83 percent of those referred to Parents' Fair Share either participated actively, found 
a job on their own, or were followed up for enforcement by the CSE system. 

Participation rates in services were high relative to the rates we have seen in state JOBS programs for 
parents in AFDC households. Around 66 percent of those referred to Parents' Fair Share participated 
in an activity for at least one day. Participants were usually expected to attend at least three days a week. 
Within four months of referral to Parents' Fair Share, noncustodial parents who participated in PFS 
attended an average of 26 activity sessions, including peer support and employment and training activities. 
Almost one-fourth of these participants attended 40 or more sessions, and 42 percent were still active in 
the final month covered by the data, which suggests that the average number of sessions per person would 
be considerably higher if additional months of follow-up information were available. More than 20 
percent of those referred to PFS reported employment to program staff within four months, another figure 
that will increase with longer follow-up. 

Attendance rates in the peer support component were higher than expected. On average, participants 
attended 12 peer support sessions, which was near the total number of peer support sessions they were 
expected to complete. In fact, the most dramatic signs of change appeared during the peer support 
sessions, which emerged as the heart of most PFS programs. Many noncustodial parents were extremely 
angry and frustrated when they entered PFS, seeing the program as an extension of a child support 
enforcement system that they perceived to be fundamentally unfair. Sites quickly learned that the peer 
support component, which was designed to engage the noncustodial parents around their interest in their 
children, while allowing them to air grievances in a supportive environment, was able to quickly soften 
participants' hostility and give the PFS program credibility. Many participants quickly developed a strong 
attachment to this activity, and both group members and staff insisted that profound attitudinal changes 

Overall, more than three-fourths of all employment and training participants attended job-readiness or job 
search activities, and about one-third attended basic education. Less than one in ten received skills 
training or OJT. The average number of sessions attended was 21 across all types of employment and 
training activities. Over 40 percent of participants in these activities were still active in these components 
at the end of four months of follow-up. 

During the course of the pilot, MDRC's technical assistance focused on helping sites expand their 
employment and training service offerings. As a result, several sites restructured the employment and 
training provider network or sequence of activities to focus more heavily on skill-building activities. At 
the same time, better training and newly hired job developers accelerated the pace of OJT placement. 

Few Parents' Fair Share participants obtained mediation services. Mediation was included as a PFS 
component primarily as a "safety valve." Disputes between custodial and noncustodial parents over 
visitation, custody, childbearing. and other issues, though legally separate from child support, 
nevertheless affect support payment patterns. Moreover, it was assumed that the peer support component, 
if successful, would lead many noncustodial parents to seek increased contact with their children, which, 
in turn, might trigger additional conflicts. Little evidence of increased conflict arose. But even when 
mediation was suggested to resolve long-standing conflicts around visitation, relatively few noncustodial 
parents expressed interest and, when they did, it was difficult to persuade custodial parents to participate. 

Some have speculated that mediation is unfamiliar to these parents and that they may doubt its 


impartiality. This may explain why a few sites appear to have had some success with more informal 
mediation efforts assisted by program staff. In any case, low utilization rates - particularly among low- 
income parents - have been found in other studies of mediation initiatives. Nevertheless, during the 
coming months we will be working with the sites to make this component more accessible. 

Challenges Ahead 

The next phase of Parents' Fair Share will feature a random assignment evaluation that will provide the 
data necessary to determine whether Parents' Fair Share is indeed making a difference as compared to 
normal CSE practices. In this design, a pool of eligible noncustodial parents will be assigned randomly 
to either a "program" group, which will be eligible for Parents' Fair Share or a "control" group, which 
will not be. Because the two groups will be similar in every way except that one will be eligible to 
participate in PFS, any differences between the two groups over time in employment, earnings, or child 
support paid will be attributable to the program. 

Key questions that the Parents' Fair Share evaluation will address are: Does PFS increase the 
employment and earnings of noncustodial parents who are unemployed and unable to adequately support 
their children? Does PFS increase child support payments by noncustodial parents? Over time, do 
regular child support payments lead to a reduction in poverty among children receiving public assistance? 
Does PFS lead to the provision of other forms of support by noncustodial parents to their children? 

If PFS is successful, it will provide a model for meeting the employment and training needs of 
disadvantaged unemployed men, while simultaneously helping to complete the vision of shared parental 
responsibility for children at the heart of current national welfare reforms. It will show how a broader 
attack on poverty among children in single-parent families can be mounted by involving both custodial 
and noncustodial parents. 

Program operators have amassed a substantial body of program information suggesting that PFS 
participants increase the amount of contact they have with their children. Noncustodial parents who see 
their children are more likely to pay child support. Hopefully, the combination of participants having 
more contact than previously with their children and the receipt of the program's training and job 
placement services will lead to increased earnings and child support payments, not just once, but month 
after month. 

By providing the CSE system with an option for fathers who say they are unemployed, Parents' Fair 
Share's participation requirements make the child support mandate a reality for many parents the system 
is currently unable to serve. Fathers without income can fulfill their responsibility by participating in 
PFS activities. Fathers with income from off-the-books jobs will likely be forced to admit they are 
working and, thus, to begin paying child support. But, providing opportunities to help noncustodial 
parents fulfill their responsibility will require government to make investments. We do not know yet 
whether these investments will pay off in increased earnings and increased child support payments. That 
is the role of the next phase of this important demonstration. 


Chairman Ford. Thank you. 
Ms. Haynes. 


Ms. Haynes. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for 
the opportunity to testify. 

My name is Margaret Campbell Haynes. From 1990 to 1992, I 
chaired the U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support, which 
was created by the Family Support Act. I am a former prosecutor, 
and since 1987 have directed the American Bar Association's Child 
Support Project. 

Given the expertise of my copanelists, I would like to limit my 
oral remarks to paternity establishment and income withholding. 

First, let me voice my appreciation for OBRA. I think it is a 
needed extension of the Family Support Act's encouragement of 
civil procedures in paternity cases. OBRA's emphasis on 
nonadversarial expedited procedures for the establishment of pater- 
nity is exactly where we need to be focusing. But to ensure States 
meet paternity establishment standards, I have two recommenda- 

One recommendation addresses interstate cases. The best way to 
handle an interstate case is to prevent it from ever becoming one, 
yet many States lack a specific long arm provision authorizing local 
jurisdiction in paternity cases. The result is either no action or all 
the delays associated with the two-State process of URESA. Con- 
gress should require every State to enact a long arm provision ap- 
plicable in paternity cases. A model for such a provision is in the 
Uniform Parentage Act and the new Uniform Interstate Family 
Support Act. 

The second recommendation is an extension of OBRA's require- 
ment that a paternity acknowledgment create a presumption of pa- 
ternity upon which a support order can be based. I think that is 
a very important provision of OBRA. However, in some administra- 
tive process States, this has unexpectedly led to some problems. 

What has happened is because there is no expressed adjudication 
of paternity in the support order, courts are allowing the defendant 
to reopen paternity years down the road. Congress should require 
States to establish time frames and procedures where this pre- 
sumption of paternity created by the acknowledgement ripens, if 
you will, into a paternity adjudication that is entitled to full faith 
and credit, if there is no objection, after notice. 

Next, I would like to discuss income withholding. The Family 
Support Act strengthened enforcement by requiring immediate 
withholding without regard to arrears, except for limited cir- 
cumstances. Unfortunately, my experience as chair of the commis- 
sion and as a trainer in more than 35 States leads me to conclude 
that withholding is not the panacea originally envisioned. It is 
underutilized in interstate cases, ineffective in self-employment 
cases, and very time intensive, despite the legislative intent that 
it be a speedy enforcement remedy. 


The General Accounting Office did a study on interstate income 
withholding for the commission and identified many problems in 
the States — lack of uniformity, missing or inaccurate locate infor- 
mation, relocation of the obligor prior to service of the withholding 
order, overwhelming case loads, lack of training, and long delays. 
In fact, in interstate cases, it took over 13 to 20 weeks to get serv- 
ice on an out-of-state employer. 

To improve enforcement, the Interstate Commission rec- 
ommended a three-part reform — State registries of support orders, 
a national computer network, and so-called W— 4 reporting. I would 
like to highlight a few points, some of which are slightly different 
from the commission's recommendations. 

First, I think that States should operate State registries of sup- 
port orders. This registry should include all support orders, regard- 
less of their IV-D status. 

In addition, I think there should be a national registry of support 
orders, which would not duplicate these State registries but basi- 
cally serve a pointer function, so that you could contact the na- 
tional registry, find out John Smith has support orders in Ten- 
nessee and South Carolina, and then go directly to those States. 

Congress should create an expanded Federal parent locate serv- 
ice that is based on linkages among the Statewide automated child 
support systems to which Ms. Paulin referred. 

Finally, Congress should establish a nationwide requirement that 
employers report new hires for child support purposes. I would like 
to offer some suggestions, which in some cases modify the commis- 
sion's recommendations. 

This W-4 reporting should apply to all employers. There should 
be no exemption for small businesses, because they are one of the 
biggest employers of this group. 

Employers should be required to report W-4 information on all 
new hires within 10 business days. The purpose of W-4 reporting 
is not only to facilitate income withholding but to help locate obli- 
gors. For that reason, we need a quick turnaround reporting time, 
not one tied into the payroll period. 

The W-4 form should be modified to include health insurance in- 
formation. However, contrary to the commission's recommendation, 
I don't think it needs to solicit support order information from the 
employee. That, I think, is asking for inaccurate information, not 
necessarily due to lying on the part of the obligor, but because he 
or she honestly doesn't know the terms of the support order or 
which of several orders is the controlling order. You can get that 
correct support information through the network and the registries. 

Employers should be required to honor income withholding or- 
ders issued by any State, regardless of whether they do business 
in that State. Such a requirement is commonly called direct income 

Finally, Congress needs to address the problem of multiState em- 
ployers. We should establish a uniform definition of income subject 
to withholding, a uniform ceiling on the amount of income that can 
be garnished for support — it varies in the States now, and uniform 
standards regarding the priority of withholdings when you have 
one obligor subject to several withholding orders and insufficient 
money to meet all of them. 


I think W-4 reporting will greatly build upon the Family Support 
Act, which itself strengthens the Child Support Enforcement 

My written testimony also discusses support guidelines, starring 
and training needs, and the importance of training programs for 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 








March 19, 1994 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for this 
opportunity to discuss states' implementation of the child support provisions of the 
Family Support Act of 1988. My name is Margaret Campbell Haynes. I am testifying 
in my individual capacity, not as a representative of the American Bar Association. 
My testimony is based on 2 1/2 years of public testimony and study as the Chair of the 
U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support. It is also based on my experience since 
1988 as a trainer of child support workers, lawyers and decisionmakers in more than 
35 states. 

We owe you a debt of gratitude for the Family Support Act of 1988. Its child support 
provisions greatly strengthened important mandates of the Child Support Enforcement 
Amendments of 1984. My comments will focus on four areas: paternity 
establishment, automated tracking and monitoring systems, income withholding, and 
support guidelines. 

I. Paternity Establishment 

The Family Support Act created paternity performance standards and mandated the 
availability of genetic testing in an effort to improve paternity establishment. However, 
it did not mandate any specific paternity procedures. Rather, the Act simply 
"encouraged" states to establish civil voluntary paternity acknowledgment procedures. 

In hearings before the U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support, many witnesses 
testified about the burdensome process used by states to establish paternity. Many 
states required adversarial proceedings, despite the presence of a father willing to 
acknowledge paternity. Some states still require jury trials in paternity cases. In other 
states, one court system has jurisdiction to adjudicate paternity, but a custodial parent 
has to file a separate action in a separate court system in order to obtain a support 

These problems were exacerbated in interstate support cases, which represent about 
one-third of this country's child support caseload. 1 ' Interstate problems included lack 
of state laws expressly authorizing jurisdiction over nonresidents in paternity cases, and 
evidentiary problems when the parentage testing laboratory and witnesses are located in 
a different state from the one hearing the case. 

i' U.S. General Accounting Office, Interstate Child Support: Mothers Report 
Receiving Less Support from Out-of-State Fathers , HRD-92-39FS (Govt Printing Office 


It is no surprise then that in fiscal year 1991, IV-D agencies established paternity in 
only 45 percent of their paternity cases.-' 

Provisions in the recently enacted Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 will go 
a long way toward addressing these problems. Mandated use of expedited paternity 
procedures, voluntary paternity acknowledgment at the hospital or later during the 
child's life, presumptions of paternity based upon genetic test results or the existence of 
an acknowledgment, and the admissibility of genetic test results absent a timely written 
objection are needed legal reforms. 

As Congress is considering welfare reform, there are two other legislative mandates 
that I urge you to consider. First, all states should be required to enact a long arm 
statute authorizing jurisdiction over a nonresident who has engaged in sexual 
intercourse in the state that may have resulted in conception of the child for whom 
paternity establishment and support is sought. Such a provision is part of the Uniform 
Parentage Act, already enacted in 17 states. It is also contained in the Uniform 
Interstate Family Support Act. This comprehensive act for the establishment and 
enforcement of support in interstate cases was approved by the American Bar 
Association in 1993. The U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support recommends 
its universal, verbatim enactment by all states. - 

Second, I believe a provision in OBRA needs strengthening or it may result in harm to 
some children. OBRA requires states, as a condition of receiving federal funds, to 
establish procedures whereby the voluntary acknowledgment of parentage creates a 
presumption of parentage upon which a support order can be based without further 
hearing. The benefit of such a law is the prompt imposition of a support obligation. 
The drawback of the law is evident in Washington. In that state, an acknowledgment 
of paternity creates a presumption of paternity upon which an administrative support 
order can be based. However, the "father" may subsequently contest paternity until the 
child's eighteenth birthday since there has never been an express finding of paternity. I 
strongly recommend that federal law require states to establish procedures whereby the 
presumption of paternity "ripens" into a conclusive adjudication of paternity. For 
example, states could require that if the acknowledgment is filed with a court or 
paternity registry and there is no objection within a certain time period after notice, the 
acknowledgment becomes a paternity adjudication entitled to full faith and credit 
without the necessity for further proceedings. 

II. Automated Tracking and Monitoring Systems 

A. Current Performance 

"In a day of electronics where computers replace humans in every business, the child 
support system stands as a dinosaur fed by paper. "-' The Family Support Act requires 
states to develop operational statewide automated child support systems by October 
1995. However, a recent report by the General Accounting Office suggests some states 
may have difficulty meeting that deadline. - 

=' See U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Suppo rt Enforcement: 
Sixteenth Annual Report to Congress for the Period Ending Septembe r 30. 1991 (Govt. 
Printing Office 1992). 

5' The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) has been enacted in Arizona. 
Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas and Washington. 

l -' U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support. Supporting O ur Children: A 
Blueprint for Reform (Govt Printing Office 1992). 

8 U.S. General Accounting Office, Child Support Enforcem ent: Timely Action 
Needed to Correct System Development Problems . IMTEC-92-46 (Govt Printing Office 


Effective automated systems are crucial to child support enforcement. Such systems 
play a crucial role in the generation of legal forms, the monitoring of payment, and the 
electronic processing of interstate cases. The Interstate Commission focused on another 
crucial role systems play: communication between states of the location of an obligor 
or the obligor's income and assets. 

In 1990 17 percent of mothers reported to the Census Bureau that the noncustodial 
parent was in another state but that they were unable to obtain a support order because 
the noncustodial parent's exact location was unknown. In addition, 16% of mothers 
with awards reported that they were not receiving payments but were unable to enforce 
the order because they could not locate the obligor.-' At Commission hearings, a 
common frustration voiced by custodial parents was that the burden fell on them to 
track down the missing obligor. 2 ' 

To address the concerns of parents, Congress must take aggressive steps to improve the 
location procedures used by state child support programs. The Commission 
recommended a three-part strategy: a federal requirement that states establish state 
registries of support orders, the creation of a national computer network, and a federal 
requirement that employers be required to report new hires for child support purposes. 

B. Registries of Support Orders 

To facilitate enforcement, the Interstate Commission recommended that Congress 
require every state to establish a Registry of Support Orders. The Commission 
recommended that the registry include, at a minimum, all orders being enforced by the 
state child support program, known as IV-D orders. Commissioners envisioned that 
the state IV-D office would serve as the registry since that office already maintains data 
on IV-D orders. 

It is my view that the registry should include every support order issued in the state, 
regardless of IV-D status. Some may argue that non-IV-D orders should not be 
included since parties should not have government intervention forced upon them. 
However, it is impossible to determine all outstanding orders against an obligor unless 
the system includes both IV-D and non-IV-D cases. 

In addition to state registries of support orders which would contain detailed 
information, there should be a national registry of support orders. This national 
registry would not duplicate or replace state registries. Rather, it would serve a 
"pointer" function. A state seeking information about outstanding support orders on a 
particular obligor could use the national network described below to query what other 
states had outstanding support orders. The national registry of order abstracts would 
have the minimum information — names of parties, social security numbers, and 
state(s) that have issued an order — needed to then direct specific requests to the 
appropriate states. 

C. National Computer Network 

Current federal law requires that each state operate a state Parent Locator Service 
(PLS) for the purpose of locating absent parents in child support cases. There is also a 

-' U.S. General Accounting Office, Interstate Child Support: Mothers Report 
Receiving Less Support From Out-of-State Fathers, HRD 92-39FS (Govt Printing 
Office 1992). 

- "Responding states have never located the father of my son. In every situation, 
I've had to locate the man's address and verify his place of employment by my own 
means unless I wanted to see two and three year lapses in child support payments. 
This has been a very time consuming process. " Testimony of Connie Gerlach, 
custodial parent at hearing before U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support. 


federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) that accesses information on file with various 
federal government agencies. As recommended by the Commission. Congress should 
expand the Federal Parent Locate Service to create a national locate network based 
upon linkages among statewide automated child support systems and between state 
systems and federal parent locate resources. Through the network, child support 
agencies and attorneys could obtain address, income, and support order information for 
child support purposes 

The network would allow states to direct locate requests to a particular state or to 
broadcast the recfuest nationwide. State data bases which should be accessible include 
publicly regulated utilities, employment records, vital statistics, motor vehicles, taxes, 
crime and corrections. When a targeted state is unable to locate the person, the 
expanded FPLS would also be able to automatically reroute the request to other states, 
based on Department of Labor studies of migration patterns. 

Some have argued that the national computer network is unrealistic. However, the 
technology is already being successfully used in the criminal arena. For example, 
under NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Network), each state's 
law enforcement agency is linked with local data bases. NLETS then serves as a 
conduit linking the 50 State computers together. States can retrieve information from 
other states through the network in a matter of seconds. Therefore, a mandated 48-hour 
turnaround time for processing support information requests is certainly feasible. 

In order for such a system to be effective, the federal Office of Child Support 
Enforcement needs to identify common data elements. Additionally, the system will be 
strengthened to the extent that state data bases are automated and use social security 
numbers as identifiers. 

111. Income Withholding 

A. Current Performance 

Income withholding for purposes of child support collection was first mandated by the 
Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984. The Family Support Act 
strengthened this enforcement remedy by requiring states to provide for immediate 
withholding, without regard to arrears, unless the decisionmaker finds good cause not 
to order immediate withholding, or the parties enter into a written agreement providing 
for an alternative payment arrangement. Unfortunately, my experience as Chair of the 
Commission and as a trainer in the states leads me to conclude that withholding is not 
the panacea originally envisioned. It is underutilized in interstate cases, ineffective in 
self-employed cases, and very time-intensive despite legislative intent that it be a 
speedy enforcement remedy. 

In a report that the General Accounting Office produced at the request of the 
Commission's congressional members, GAO stated: 

Interstate wage withholding is not working in the manner that Congress 
and HHS expected, and is not working well. With more than six 
different procedures in use across the country, uniformity is lacking. 
Moreover, heavy reliance on nonuniform URESA procedures continues, 
in part because offices believe they need URESA to enforce wage 
withholding when it is coupled with requests for other congressionally 
mandated enforcement remedies. The lack of uniformity produces 
confusion that may slow timely serving of withholding orders on 
employers. It can take a few weeks to over a year. But local offices 
ranked three other factors. ... 1) missing or inaccurate information on 
the noncustodial parent or employer, 2) parents who have left the 
employer before the withholding order is served, and 3) the size of the 
caseworkers' caseloads. . . . We found four other factors that 
exacerbate the delays: a lack of computer automation in some offices; 


states' central registries that do not screen or verify as much information 
as they might; inadequate familiarity with appropriate interstate 
withholding procedures, especially among attorneys and judges; and 
courts that are too slow to hold hearings.-' 

GAO found that in interstate cases there is an average of 13 to 20 weeks between 
location of an obligor's source of income and service of the withholding order on the 
out-of-state employer.-' During the delay, the obligor may move to new employment. 

B. W-4 Reporting of New Hires 

To ensure the availability of the most current employment information on obligors, the 
Interstate Commission recommended that Congress require employers to report new 
hires through the W-4 form. The employer should be required to send a copy of the 
W-4 information to a designated state entity, probably either the state Employment 
Security Commission (ESC) or the state IV-D agency. The advantage of the ESC is 
that employers are familiar with reporting wage information to that entity. On the 
other hand, there are two advantages to designating the state IV-D agency as the 
recipient of W-4 information. First, the state IV-D agency is most likely to be the 
registry of support orders so an automated comparison of tapes would be very simple. 
Second, it would also ensure there is a state office monitoring compliance with the W-4 
reporting that has a vested interest in improving child support enforcement. 

The state IV-D agency would match orders in its Registry of Support Orders against 
the W-4 information. The IV-D agency would also broadcast the information 
nationwide through the computer network. If there was a match with an order 
maintained on any state's registry, the appropriate state agency (or person in non-IV-D 
cases) would immediately send a federally designed income withholding notice or order 
directly to the employer. 

I am pleased to report that at least 10 states have now enacted the W-4 recommendation 
of the Interstate Commission.-' Based on state experience with W-4 reporting and 
further discussions with employer groups, I would like to offer the following 
suggestions which slightly modify the Commission's recommendations. 

1 . Obligors often do not know correct information about their support orders or to 
whom payments should be forwarded. Therefore, to require the employee to provide 
such information on an amended W-4 form means there will often be misinformation. 
The misinformation becomes problematic if employers are required to begin 
withholding based on the faulty information prior to any verification. Payments may 
be sent to the wrong location and the goal of prompt receipt of support by the obligee 

What is most crucial about the W-4 reporting is the employer address information. I 
therefore suggest that the W-4 form be amended to only solicit information about the 
availability of employer-provided health insurance. It is not necessary to include 
information about support terms. Such information will be gained when the W-4 data 
is matched against the state registry of support orders and broadcast through the 
national network. 

5 ' U.S. General Accounting Office, Interstate Child Support: Wage Withholding Not 
Fulfilling Expectations , HRD-92-65BR (Govt Printing Office 1992). 

?' U.S. General Accounting Office, Interstate Child Support: Wage Withholding 
Not Fulfilling Expectations , HRD-92-65BR (Gov't Printing Office 1992). 

— Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, 
the State of Washington, and West Virginia. 


To avoid confusion, I also recommend that employers not be required to implement 
income withholding until they have received the federal income withholding 
notice/order. That ensures accurate withholding 

Finally, I recommend that federal legislation provide the employers with flexibility in 
how the W-4 information is transmitted. For example, state laws often allow 
transmission of the data through mailing a copy of the W-4 form, faxing the 
information, or electronically transmitting the information. 

2. States should not be required to store the W-4 information indefinitely. It may be 
appropriate to require retention of the W-4 information for three months after its 
receipt. At that time, the information should be appearing on wage reports from the 
state employment security commission. There is no reason to maintain duplicate data 

3. Congress and the states need to educate the public that W-4 reporting will not only 
greatly facilitate income withholding. It will also provide valuable locate information. 
For that reason, the employer reporting of new hires should not be tied into payroll 
periods but to a set period from the point of hire. Congress should set a uniform 
standard for the time within which employers must forward the W-4 information (10 
working days is suggested). 

To further facilitate income withholding. Congress should establish a universal 
definition of income subject to withholding, a uniform ceiling on the amount of income 
that can be garnished for support, and uniform standards regarding priority of 
withholdings when an obligor is subject to several state withholding orders and lacks 
sufficient income to meet all of them. 

Implementation of this one recommendation will result in a large increase in support 
for children. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Interstate 
Commission's recommendation would cost $55 million to implement nationwide, and 
result in $210 million of increased support collections. 

C. Direct Income Withholding 

In 1984 Congress required states to make income withholding available as an 
enforcement tool in interstate cases. An agency or attorney sends an interstate income 
withholding request to the state where the obligor derives income. That second state 
provides the obligor notice and an opportunity to contest. Child support is usually 
forwarded from the out-of-state employer to a collection point in the employer's state, 
then to a collection point in the custodial parent's state, and then finally to the custodial 

A number of child support agencies report success in sending an income withholding 
request directly to the out-of-state employer, despite lack of jurisdiction over the 
employer. In fact, GAO found that 75 percent of employers comply with a direct 
withholding request- Congress should legalize what appears to be working and 
require states to have laws that require an employer doing business in the state to honor 
an income withholding order or notice sent directly from any state. A similar 
provision is contained in the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which the 
Commission recommends that all states be required to enact. 

IV. Child Support Guidelines 

Although the Family Support Act required every state to establish 

presumptive support guidelines, there is no federal model. States have developed 

Wage Withholding Not Fulfilling Expectations , supra note 9. 


guidelines based on three approaches: the percentage of income formula, the income 
shares formula, and the Melson formula. Studies indicate that these different state 
guidelines can result in families with similar financial circumstances with the same 
number of children facing different support obligations.— In order to ensure 
uniformity and equity, I recommend a national support guideline. 

Although I support a national support guideline, I do not believe that the "perfect" 
guideline now exists. One area that guidelines are particularly ineffective in addressing 
are multiple families.-' I support the creation of a National Child Support Guidelines 
Commission, as recommended by the Interstate Commission. The task of the 
Guideline's Commission should be to evaluate current state support guidelines and 
develop a national support guideline for Congressional consideration. 

This is also the position of the American Bar Association's Presidential Working Group 
on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and Their Families. ABA Past-President Mike 
McWilliams created the Working Group to make recommendations on needed reforms 
to strengthen families, especially those most at risk. The report represents the views of 
the working group, and should not be considered official policy. Having made such a 
caveat, let me point out that in the child support chapter, the report identifies several 
principles that the Working Group believes a national guideline should embody: 

o both parents should support their children in proportion to their relative 

income and resources; 

o before determining a child support award, the "essential households 

needs" of each parent's household should be met; 

o after a parent's household poverty needs are met, the parent should be 

required to contribute a proportional amount that will bring the child's 
income up to the federal poverty level; and 

o children should share in their parents' standards of living by allocating 

an equitable percentage of the remaining parental income to the child's 
basic support needs. 

V. Additional Resources 

I am a strong advocate that our current state-based child support system can be an 
expeditious, effective, and equitable system for parents and children. My testimony 
presents recommended reforms that will further strengthen the great strides made by 
the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984 and the Family Support Act of 
1988. However, new laws are not enough. Nor are improved automated systems. 
States must receive greater resources to carry out existing mandates and potentially new 

A. Staffing and Training 

Even the best automated system will not replace the need for an adequate number of 
trained personnel to process child support cases. 

In fiscal year 1991, IV-D agencies collected support in only 19.3 percent of their IV-D 
cases. However, the sum collected ($7 billion) represents a 72% increase in collections 
over the past five years. Agencies are dealing with a caseload that has increased by 26 

^' See, e.g.. Maureen A. Pirog-Good, Child Support Guidelines and the Economical 
Well-Beine of Our Nation's Children , Discussion Paper No. 997-93 (Institute for 
Research on Poverty, Feb. 1993). 

— See Marianne Takas, "Improving Child Support Guidelines: Can Simple 
Formulas Address Complex Families?" 26 Fam. L.O. 171 (1992). 


percent over the past five years.^' Yet, resources have not grown with the caseload. 
The average caseload of a fulltime child support employee is over 1000 cases. ^' 

While OCSE has cited many states for failure to conform to the audit criteria requiring 
the processing of 75 percent of cases needing services, no staffing study or mandated 
staffing level has ever been imposed by OCSE. 

I join others in urging Congress to take action to ensure that the staffing levels in the 
state and local agencies are increased. The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
should conduct a staffing study in each state -- with state input -- to determine staffing 
needs. States should then be required to implement the recommended caseload staff 
ratio or face reduced federal funding. Additionally, there needs to be a stronger 
federal and state commitment to training to ensure that problems are better anticipated, 
resources are more widely used, and appropriate legal remedies are sought. 

B. Funding 

Congress also needs to reexamine the financial resources that the federal government 
provides states for the child support program. Currently states receive 66 percent of 
their funding for administrative costs from the federal government. States also receive 
federal incentives of 6 to 10 percent (based on collection efficiency) of the amount 
collected for both AFDC and non-AFDC cases. However, federal incentives are 
capped in non-AFDC cases at 115 percent of the amount collected in AFDC cases. 

Some argue that the incentive program should be maintained and retargeted to reward 
states that perform well on criteria that reflect the program's goals. Such goals may 
include the traditional duties of child support agencies: to locate parents, establish 
parentage and support orders, and enforce orders. Others argue that incentives skew 
state case-processing priorities by forcing states to work only those cases that will 
likely meet the target criteria. Most persons who want to eliminate incentives prefer to 
see the incentive money shifted to enhanced federal administrative cost funding, which 
would translate to a federal funding rate of 80 to 90 percent of the administrative costs 
incurred by states. 

I support the Interstate Commission's recommendation that Congress fund a study to 
examine funding alternatives. In the interim, I recommend three immediate changes: 
revising the federal incentive formula to reflect a balanced program that serves both 
AFDC and non-AFDC families, revising the federal funding formula to provide 
incentives for the state's obtaining health insurance coverage for dependents, and 
requiring states to reinvest incentives into the child support program. 

VI. Conclusion 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify. I have focused my testimony 
on the child support provisions of the Family Support Act. Obviously, our best efforts 
to improve support establishment and enforcement will be frustrated if noncustodial 
parents lack the means to pay support. Therefore, education, training and support 
services for obligors - especially young parents - also need to be addressed. 

J* Supra , note 2. 

& U.S. General Accounting Office, Interstate Child Support: Wage Withholding Not 
Fulfilling Expectations , HRD-92-65BR (Gov't Printing Office 1992). 


Chairman Ford. Thank you. 
Dr. Williams. 


Mr. Williams. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for 
this opportunity to testify concerning the impact of the Family Sup- 
port Act of 1988. 

My name is Robert Williams and I am president of Policy Stud- 
ies, Inc., of Denver, Colo. 

Let me say, first, there can be absolutely no doubt that the Fam- 
ily Support Act has immeasurably strengthened our Nation's child 
support enforcement system. I would like to direct my testimony to 
three specific points. One is child support guidelines; a second area 
is review and modification of child support orders; and a third is 
the general area of income withholding and payment processing. 

First, a major provision of the act, as you know, required the im- 
plementation of presumptive child support guidelines. I am pleased 
to report that States adopted presumptive guidelines very quickly 
and that the guidelines seem to be used almost universally by 
judges and hearing officers around the country. 

Perhaps the most remarkable result of the Family Support Act 
as it relates to child support is that child support guidelines have 
become so widely accepted and used. They have simply become part 
of the family law woodwork in every State. Evidence from a num- 
ber of studies indicates that guidelines have significantly increased 
the levels of child support orders and brought them more closely 
in line with the best available economic evidence on the cost of 
child rearing. 

In addition, the requirement that the States reassess their guide- 
lines at least every 4 years seems to be working very well. Of 
course, even though guidelines have become widely accepted, the 
levels and provisions of child support guidelines have become very 
controversial. But I think that that is only because all parties now 
understand guidelines and know that guidelines matter, whereas 
in the early days of establishing child support guidelines, people 
did not appreciate what their full impact was going to be. 

From our perspective, the current law is working well with re- 
spect to child support guidelines and we see no compelling ration- 
ale to make major changes. 

Some have proposed that a national guideline be established, but 
we see very little to be gained from a Federal perspective and much 
that could be lost from a measure that could intrude so deeply into 
the area of family law, an area that has traditionally been a State 

Likewise, there have been suggestions that a Federal guidelines 
commission be convened to assess whether a national guideline is 
needed, and if not to make recommendations to States concerning 
their guidelines. As one who has sat through innumerable guide- 
lines commissions meetings in many States, I have serious reserva- 
tions that such a commission could be productive unless supported 
with an intensive research program. 


Fundamentally, I believe that other areas of this program could 
benefit more from the attention of a national commission than 
could child support guidelines at this point. 

Let me go on to review and modifications. Review and modifica- 
tion provisions of the Family Support Act have been very beneficial 
also. States are now establishing quantitative guidelines-based 
standards for modifications, and this is a major breakthrough in 
the area of family law, in my view. This has made the courts more 
accessible for modifications and it has made the outcomes more eq- 

States that have tested the review and modification process, such 
as Delaware, have found that orders have increased dramatically 
for those cases where the orders have been modified, but as other 
witnesses have talked about, there are problems with the process 
being slow, cumbersome, and expensive. 

I guess our view would be that it would be good to let the current 
provisions run and for States to really settle in and see what the 
impact is. I would also suggest that some research be funded to 
look especially at some States which have had more experience 
with modification, such as Delaware, Oregon, and Michigan. The 
research then take a look at what the impact has been after a 
number of years of using these provisions. The Federal Govern- 
ment could also give some flexibility to other States to let them test 
some alternative approaches that might be more streamlined and 
more cost effective. 

I certainly agree very, very strongly with other witnesses, that 
we do need what has been called a W-4 reporting requirement on 
the part of employers. This would greatly strengthen the adminis- 
tration of the income withholding requirements. 

But I do want to raise an issue that I don't think has been raised 
in prior testimony. That is that the technology of processing child 
support payments has not kept up with the dramatic increases in 
the volume of payment transactions over time. This is something, 
I think, that poses significant problems for employers that are try- 
ing very hard to comply with the income withholding provisions of 
State laws. I think that it is also something that is driving up the 
cost of the program unnecessarily and diverting resources from the 
more critical core functions, namely paternity establishment and 
child support enforcement. 

We would suggest that Congress should at least consider man- 
dating central payment registries, of which a part would be a 
central registry of orders, as Meg Haynes has testified to, in States. 
But at a minimum, require that employers be able to remit their 
income withholding payments to one place in a State rather than 
having to go to dozens or perhaps hundreds of clerks of court in 
a given State. 

Federal funding, in addition, should be available for developing 
the capacity to handle such payments through a payment center. 

A final recommendation, but one that is not insignificant in our 
view, is that we think a study of child support payment distribu- 
tion policies should be funded with the objective of simplifying this 
excessively complex area. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement follows:] 





Robert G. Williams, Ph.D. 

President, Policy Studies Inc. 

Denver, Colorado 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity 
to testify concerning the impact of the child support enforcement provisions of the Family 
Support Act of 1988. My testimony is based on the national research, technical assistance, 
and implementation activities conducted by my firm in the area of child support 
enforcement. My firm also operates seven privatized full-service IV-D child support 
offices under contract to three states. 

There can be no doubt that the Family Support Act has immeasurably strengthened 
our nation's child support system. The Act was intended to improve the adequacy and 
equity of child support orders by mandating State adoption of presumptive guidelines, and 
by requiring the implementation of a periodic review and adjustment process. It was 
intended to tighten enforcement by extending income withholding to most child support 
cases. In the remainder of this testimony, I assess how well these legislative goals have 
been met in three specific areas: (1) child support guidelines, (2) review and modification 
of child support orders, and (3) income withholding. 

/. Child Support Guidelines 

Family Support Act Requirements. The Family Support Act specified that states 
should accord rebuttable presumption status to child support guidelines, and do so within 
a year of the law's enactment. It is important to note that, with the language "...any 
judicial or administrative proceeding...", the Act mandated application of child support 
guidelines to al] child support cases, not just publicly-enforced cases under the IV-D 

Implementation and Usage. With just a few temporary exceptions, States met the 
ambitious one-year timetable for adopting presumptive guidelines (many had already done 
so by the time the Act was passed), and all States have been using guidelines ever since. 

When the Family Support Act was under consideration, there was concern that 
there would be substantial judicial resistance, and that guidelines implemented by the 
States would be frequently ignored. Our conclusion is that the level of judicial acceptance 
and usage of child support guidelines is very high. In part, this conclusion is based on 
informal interviews with dozens of judges, attorneys, advocates, and child support 
administrators in all parts of the country. Judges and hearing officers who frequently 
deviate from guidelines calculations seem to be exceptions. At least in contested hearings, 
judges and hearing officers appear to apply guidelines routinely, and allow the presumptive 
calculation to be rebutted only rarely. In fact, the most frequent complaint voiced about 
judicial behavior with respect to child support guidelines is that judges and hearing officers 
follow the guidelines too rigidly, applying them to case after case in lockstep fashion even 
when deviations might be appropriate. 

There may be a relationship between the type of guideline and the consistency of 
use. In a Wisconsin study based on data from 20 counties, guidelines were followed 


without deviation only in an estimated 64 percent of cases. 1 However. Wisconsin has one 
of the simplest child support guidelines, and the high rate of deviation may be related to 
the perceived need to adjust for some situations that are specifically addressed in other 
guidelines. Findings from Delaware, which has a much more comprehensive formula than 
Wisconsin, indicate conformance to the guidelines in 83 percent of modifications in IV-D 
cases. 2 This is a high rate of judicial compliance by any reasonable standard. 

Levels of orders. There is a growing body of research on the effects of child 
support guidelines on the levels of child support orders. Although their results have been 
somewhat mixed, the preponderance of findings have indicated that guidelines have 
increased order levels significantly. One early study of guidelines implementation 
estimated that child support orders increased an average of 5 percent in Colorado, 16 
percent in Illinois, and 28 percent in Hawaii. 3 These increases are somewhat lower than 
might otherwise have been expected. However, based on survey data, there appeared to 
be strong judicial and attorney support for guidelines in those three states. 

An econometric study by Garfinkel, Oellerich, and Robins estimates that average 
child support awards would have increased 77 to 88 percent nationally if the 1985 awards 
had been set based on one of the three major types of guidelines (income shares, Melson, 
or percentage). The study suggests that half or more of this estimated impact on awards 
results from initial implementation of guidelines rather than an updating effect. 4 

In Vermont, a survey of child support orders in divorce cases found that guidelines 
were estimated to increase awards by an average of 23.6 percent. The survey compared 
child support order levels immediately preceding implementation of child support 
guidelines with order levels following implementation. s In a pre-post comparison of child 
support orders in New Jersey, the Administrative Office of the Courts found that child 
support orders increased by 29.9 percent for one child, and by 34.5 percent for two 
children for parents with combined net income of $0 - $600 per week. 6 Anecdotally, there 
is also a widespread belief among judicial and child support administrative officials that 
child support awards have significantly increased under child support guidelines in virtually 
all states. 

1 Marygold Melli and Judi Bartfeld, "Use of the Wisconsin Percentage-of-Income 
Standard to Set Child Support: Experience in Twenty Counties, September 1987-December 
1989", unpublished manuscript, June 1991. 

2 Sharon Bishop, Evaluation of Child Support Review and Demonstration Projects 
in Four States: Cross-Site Final Report, Report to Delaware Department of Health and 
Social Services, Caliber Associates, June 1991. 

3 The Impact of Child Support Guidelines: An Empirical Assessment of Three 
Models, Report to the State Justice Institute (Grant No. SJI-87-11G-E-021), Center for 
Policy Research (Denver, Colorado), October 1989. 

4 Irwin Garfinkel, Donald Oellerich, Phillip K. Robins, "Child Support Guidelines: 
Will They Make a Difference?", Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 12, No. 4 (December 
1991), pp. 404-429. 

5 In Support of Our Children: A Survey of Child Support Orders and Divorced 
Persons in Vermont, Planning Division, Vermont Agency of Human Resources, July 1989. 

6 New Jersey Child Support Guidelines: First Year Evaluation, Draft Report to the 
Subcommittee on Child Support Guidelines, New Jersey Administrative Office of the 
Courts, December 1987. 

79-657 0-94-7 


Additional evidence that guidelines may have resulted in significant increases in 
child support awards can be derived from the biannual Census Bureau studies of child 
support based on the Current Population Survey (CPS). From 1978 through 1985, the 
constant-dollar value of average child support awards declined steadily, from $3,680 to 
$2,877. However, by 1987, when many states had already implemented child support 
guidelines, the value had increased to $3,293, and those gains were maintained in 1989. 
These results are only suggestive, but it does seem reasonable to ascribe at least part of 
the post- 1985 increase in the value of orders to the impact of child support guidelines. 

Four-year Review of Guidelines. The Family Support Act requires that states 
review their guidelines at least every four years. Federal regulations further specify that 
this review should take into account current economic data on child-rearing costs and that 
States should analyze statistical samples of cases to assess compliance rates and the 
appropriateness of deviation factors. Although many States have had difficulty with the 
sampling process due to the inadequate level of documentation in court files, states have 
found this review process to be helpful. The reviews rarely result in a wholesale change 
to the guidelines, but they usually bring about a fine-tuning of the economic tables or 
formulas, and a re-assessment of various adjustments and income definitions. 

States are examining a broad range of issues with respect to their guidelines in 
addition to reassessing their basic approaches and the economic underpinnings of their 
support schedules. One that arises most frequently is the treatment of low income cases: 
whether guidelines should have a self support reserve for low income obligors that exempts 
them from other than a minimum level of child support (usually $50 per month) below a 
given income level, such as the poverty standard. If guidelines in given states have self 
support reserves, there is often vigorous debate concerning the level at which such reserve 
should be set. 

Other issues that arise frequently include: (1) definition of income, (2) treatment 
of income from overtime and second jobs, (3) attribution of income to unemployed and 
underemployed obligors, (4) treatment of an obligor's additional dependents (following 
a remarriage, for example), (5) adjustments for shared physical custody and split custody, 
(6) treatment of child care and childrens' extraordinary medical expenses, (7) expenses for 
higher education, (8) adjustments for visitation costs, and (9) adjustments for the age of 
children. States take greatly varying approaches to these issues and they are often subject 
to heated debate. Likewise, the levels of orders set under guidelines are still controversial 
in many States. 

Implications for federal policy. Based on the limited available research findings 
and our own observations, we believe that child support guidelines have substantially 
achieved their legislative goals. Guidelines appear to have made child support orders more 
adequate. Most states have invested considerable effort in setting their guidelines at levels 
which more closely approximate the true costs of child rearing, as indicated by credible 
economic research. Guidelines have made the process of establishing child support orders 
more equitable and predictable. Guidelines have encouraged voluntary settlements and 
reduced the amount of time required for courts to resolve contested cases. The level and 
form of guidelines are still vigorously debated in many states, but this is more because 
the public now understands that guidelines matter than a rejection of the basic concept. 

From the federal standpoint, then, it is our judgment that the matter of guidelines 
can be considered as settled, at least for the time being. Now that all States have and use 
guidelines, however, there has been some interest expressed in developing and 
promulgating a national child support guideline. In the absence of a federally-funded child 
support assurance program, we do not believe that a national guideline can be easily 


justified. Promulgating a national guideline would be unnecessarily intrusive into the 
states' traditional realm of family law. Existing guidelines are grounded in the case law, 
legal traditions, and political environment of each state. Although the states have tended 
to use one of the national models for their basic framework, they have each made a 
multitude of adjustments which have been the outcome of a delicate balancing of interests. 
Implementation of federal child support guidelines could be perceived as demonstrating a 
callous disregard for States' hard fought developmental efforts. 

Although national child support guidelines would improve the consistency of child 
support orders across state lines, and would somewhat simplify interstate case processing, 
it is unlikely that national guidelines would have a significant impact on overall child 
support collections. National guidelines would probably raise child support orders in some 
states and lower them in others. Given all of the other areas of child support policy that 
could be more fruitfully addressed, we do not believe that guidelines are a pressing 
national issue. 

Likewise, it has been suggested that a national commission be established to 
recommend whether there should be a national child support guideline, and, if not, 
whether changes should be mandated to state guidelines. In our view, there are more 
important topics that could be productively addressed by a national commission, such as 
the desirability of establishing a universal program of government-enforced support, 
formulating recommendations for simplifying the IV-D program and improving its 
efficiency, or developing recommendations for restructuring IV-D program funding and 
providing an adequate resource base. Having sat through numerous meetings of state 
guideline commissions and committees in many states, it is hard to see what new insights 
could be brought to guidelines issues by a national commission, unless its deliberations 
were supported by a well-funded and long-term research program. 

//. Review and Modification of Child Support Orders 

Family Support Act Requirements. The Family Support Act added requirements 
for child support agencies to perform systematic reviews of child support orders every 
three years, beginning in 1993. This means that IV-D agencies must review AFDC IV-D 
child support orders every three years and modify the orders if needed to make them 
consistent with state guidelines. IV-D agencies must also provide non-AFDC IV-D 
obligees and obligors with the opportunity to request a review at least every three years, 
and proceed to modify these orders if appropriate. 

An important element of these requirements is that States must modify child support 
orders based on their guidelines. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 
has interpreted this provision to mean that the sole criterion for modification is whether 
the current order differs from the result that would be obtained from a current application 
of the state's guidelines. 

Impact of Review and Modification Requirements. Since the most significant 
review and modification requirements did not take effect until 1993, few states made 
substantial progress in implementing the requirements before the deadline due to the 
substantial resources required. But, in conformance with federal requirements, most 
states have changed their legal standards for modification away from vague qualitative 
criteria such as "substantial and continuing change" to quantitative guidelines-based 
criteria. An example would be that a party would be entitled to a modification if 
reapplication of the guidelines would result in a change to the order of more than ten 
percent up or down. This has brought greater predictability and fairness to the process, 
and facilitated efficient resolution of these cases. 


The Family Support Act mandated that DHHS fund four two-year demonstration 
projects to develop approaches to implementing these requirements, and to test their 
impact. DHHS funded another such project just as the Family Support Act was becoming 
law, so there were a total of five demonstration projects on this topic, conducted in 
Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, and Oregon. These provide a rich body of insights 
into the probable impact of the review and modification requirements. 

Modification Outcomes. The results from these demonstration projects confirmed 
that a periodic review and modification process would result in significant changes to child 
support orders, and that most of the changes would be upward. Of orders modified in 
Oregon, 83 percent were upward and 17 percent downward. The net result was a 63 
percent increase in levels of those orders that were modified. There was also a large 
increase in orders for obligors to provide health insurance coverage. Ninety-six percent 
had such orders after modification, compared with 33 percent of AFDC orders and less 
than 30 percent of non-AFDC orders prior to modification. 7 

While the Colorado and Delaware demonstration projects had average increases in 
the same range as Oregon (67 and 60 percent), Florida and Illinois evidenced even larger 
increases in modified orders than in Oregon (97 and 144 percent). Smaller fractions of 
modifications were downward in the other four states than in Oregon: 13 percent in 
Delaware, 7 percent in Colorado, 1 percent in Illinois, and none in Florida. Florida and 
Illinois, and to a lesser extent Colorado, were more reluctant to initiate downward 
modifications than was Oregon. The low number of downward modifications in Florida 
and Illinois contributed to their larger average increases. 8 

There were fears that the gains from higher orders would be offset by diminished 
compliance, but these fears were generally unfounded. Oregon had the longest 
measurement of compliance and found that compliance did decrease from 78 percent to 
68 percent for upwardly modified cases, and increased from 37 percent to 48 percent for 
downwardly modified cases. In the other four states, however, overall compliance was 
unaffected by the review and modification process. Average compliance rates decreased 
slightly in Florida and Illinois, but actually increased in Colorado and Delaware. 

From these results, it is apparent that periodic review and modifications of child 
support orders can substantially improve the adequacy of child support orders, while 
making them more equitable. Not only were many orders increased to bring them in line 
with child support guidelines, but a significant number were decreased to reflect a decline 
in parental ability to pay. Furthermore, despite the fact that some modifications were 
downward, the review and modification process was found to have a positive benefit/cost 
ratio. Because the projects were conducted in such a diverse group of states, there is no 
reason to believe that they would not be predictive of results to be obtained nationally. 

Drawbacks to Periodic Modification. Even though the demonstration projects 
suggest that the overall results are positive, they also identified some drawbacks to the 

7 D. Price, et al., Oregon Child Support Updating Project: Final Report, Report 
to Oregon Department of Justice, Policy Studies Inc., April 1991. D. Price and J. 
Venohr, Oregon Child Support Updating Project: Findings from the Third Year Research, 
Report to the Oregon Department of Justice, Policy Studies Inc., November 1991. 

8 Sharon Bishop, Evaluation of Child Support Review and Modification 
Demonstration Projects in Four States: Cross-Site Final Report, Report to Delaware 
Department of Health and Social Services, Caliber Associates, May 1992. 


periodic review and modification process specified in the Family Support Act: (1) few non- 
AFDC obligees requested reviews; (2) the modification rate is relatively low even for 
AFDC cases, (3) the process is labor intensive, and (4) the process is slow. I would like 
to review each one of these issues in turn. 

First, in all demonstration project states, the proportion of non-AFDC obligees 
requesting a review was surprisingly low. Only 16 percent of non-AFDC obligees 
requested a review in Oregon. The proportion was approximately twice as high in 
Colorado and Delaware, but only because those two states expended extra efforts in 
encouraging non-AFDC obligees to authorize a review. No comparable figures are 
available for Florida or Illinois, but in all states, surveys indicated a deep reluctance by 
obligees to ask for a modification. They indicated either that they did not want to rock 
the boat if the obligor was paying, or that they did not think that it was worth the effort 
if the obligor was not paying. There is also some collateral evidence from Oregon that 
obligees were deterred by the possibility that the child support award might be reduced as 
well as increased. 

Second, the modification rate was not as high as expected even for AFDC cases. 
Out of all AFDC IV-D cases selected for review, the proportion of cases with orders that 
were modified ranged from 17 percent in Colorado to 25 percent in Delaware (Florida 
results were considerably lower, but these results were anomalous for a variety of 
reasons). In many of these cases, either no change in order level was indicated (18 
percent in Oregon), or a downward modification was indicated, but the obligor did not 
authorize a modification and the agency did not proceed (15 percent in Oregon). Other 
reasons for not modifying an order were that the case was inappropriately selected (for 
example, the youngest child verged on emancipation), the obligor or obligee could not be 
located, the AFDC cases was recently closed, or there was a good cause exemption. 

Third, the process proved to be very labor intensive, despite serious efforts at 
automation under the demonstrations. Based on its experience in the demonstration 
project, Delaware estimated that it would need a 13 percent increase in IV-D staff 
positions to meet the review and modification requirements. 9 Similarly, using data from 
the demonstration projects, the Arizona Child Support Enforcement Administration 
estimated that it would need an 1 1 percent increase in staff. Part of the administrative 
burden is intrinsic to the process. It can require considerable persistence to obtain 
accurate income information from parents, perform one or more guidelines calculations, 
try to obtain an agreed order, and prepare the case for court if necessary. However, part 
of the administrative burden derives from the specifications of the Family Support Act, 
which imposes a complex scheme of notices and timeframes. 

Fourth, the amount of time required to complete the review and modification 
process was much longer than expected: for all five sites, an average of almost 200 days 
from selection to modification. The most significant contributing factors to this processing 
time were the inherent complexity of the process and the need to obtain service of process. 
But the notice requirements of the Family Support Act, particularly the "challenge" notice, 
appear to have contributed by introducing additional dead time into the process. 

Federal Policy Implications. Clearly the review and modification provisions have 
had a beneficial impact. Most states have moved toward guidelines-based, quantitative 

9 Richard Curley, Implementation Analysis of the Delaware Child Support 
Modification Project, Report to Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, 
Policy Studies Inc., September 1991. 


modification standards. These improve access to the court system by rendering the legal 
process more predictable. They also make the outcome of modification proceedings more 
fair, while reducing the court time required. Moreover, IV-D agencies and the courts 
have come to realize the value of a periodic review and modification process, rather than 
regarding modifications as unimportant demands that should be discouraged lest they 
unnecessarily clog up the system. States are transitioning into the review and modification 
process, although, by and large, their serious efforts have begun only recently. 

On the negative side, there remain unresolved problems with this process. As 
specified in the Family Support Act, the review and modification process is cumbersome. 
Part of the problem could be rectified with some technical amendments which eliminated 
some of the well-intentioned, but overly complex specification of notices and timeframes. 
But there is no clear answer to the rest of the problem, which is the intrinsic difficulty of 
getting detailed and sensitive information from individuals who are not inclined to 
cooperate, the time to get legal papers served, and the resources needed to track the case 
through a legal procedure. In addition, even though it is apparently cost-effective, review 
and modification has been shown to be a costly process. In an era of "doing less with 
more", it is all too difficult to persuade State legislatures to add more child support 
personnel, even when there is compelling cost justification behind the request. 
Understandably, State IV-D administrators are reluctant to divert staff to review and 
modification functions when their resources are already inadequate to perform other 
required functions. 

Implementing an effective periodic review and modification process is critical to 
ensuring that the adequacy of child support orders is sustained over time. The 
aforementioned econometric study by Garfinkel, Oellerich, and Robins estimated that child 
support awards would have increased 77 to 88 percent nationally if the 1985 awards had 
been set based on one of the three predominant types of guidelines in use nationally. 
Almost half of this increase would have resulted from periodic updating to keep orders 
consistent with the guidelines as parents' incomes rose. Failure to keep child support 
orders routinely updated will perpetuate an "adequacy gap" — the difference between 
existing levels of orders and the economic costs of child rearing as represented by child 
support guidelines. 

It is apparent from the results of the demonstration projects, though, that a less 
cumbersome mechanism for review and updating child support orders is needed. Ideally, 
IV-D agencies would be given routine access to IRS data to obtain verified income figures 
for both parents. Short of that, new approaches need to be developed and tested which 
are more automatic and rely less on parental cooperation. For example, it might be more 
cost-effective to combine annual presumptive cost of living increases (which could be 
challenged by an obligor whose earnings increased at a slower pace) with a less frequent 
full review based on actual parental circumstances, say every five years. Annual 
presumptive cost of living increases have been successfully used in Minnesota for many 
years. They are no substitute for full reviews, but they could potentially serve as a useful 
interim measure for preserving the value of orders pending more intensive examinations 
of parental circumstances. 

Another approach might be to combine an administrative process for review and 
modification with a default standard for non-cooperating parents. Several states, including 
Oregon, have established administrative processes for periodic updates of child support 
orders. Both California and Colorado have provisions specifying that an obligor that fails 
to provide information for a review will have an order increased by 10 percent for every 
year that has passed since the last modification. These default standards can be imposed 
only in limited circumstances, however. 


In addition to the cumbersome nature of the existing process, the limited response 
of obligees to opportunities for review and modification is another major deficiency It 
may be that this is primarily a matter of education, or developing familiarity with a novel 
process. It may also be, however, that periodic updating should be more automatic to take 
the onus off of the obligee. This is the path that has been followed for income 
withholding, for example. It would be worthwhile to conduct research on the acceptance 
of periodic updating in States that have developed a history with the process, such as 
Oregon or Michigan. This might give some insight into whether obligees (and obligors) 
participate at a higher rate when they become more accustomed to routine updating. 

///. Income Withholding and Payment Processing 

Family Support Act Requirements. Beginning in January 1994, the Family Support 
required that immediate income withholding be applied to non-IV-D child support cases, 
just as application to IV-D cases had been required no later than January 1990. There are 
two exceptions to this requirement: (1) the court or administrative hearing officer finds that 
there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding, or (2) the parties agree 
in writing that immediate income withholding shall not be required. This requirement 
represents a public policy mandate that child support should be paid routinely by means 
of payroll deduction, rather than be left to the vagaries of voluntary remittance. 

In our view, the primary issue that directly concerns the income withholding 
requirement is the frequency with which judges or hearing officers may use the good cause 
exception. This is potentially a rather large loophole, and one that can be subject to 
extraordinarily broad discretion. It is our impression that the exception is doled out 
sparingly in some jurisdictions, whereas in others it is used to frustrate the statutory 
requirements by suspending application of income withholding until an arrearage occurs. 

Income Withholding. Strengthened income withholding greatly increases the 
effectiveness of child support enforcement, but unfortunately it is not the panacea that it 
has often been perceived to be. First, many cases cannot be reached by income 
withholding because obligors are self employed, work for cash, or work in temporary jobs. 
A reasonable estimate might be that approximately one-third of all obligors are not in 
employment that can be reached readily by income withholding. Second, many obligors 
have short employment spells. Once they leave a job, it can easily take agencies six 
months or longer to locate a new employer through employment security files. In an 
evaluation of the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984, Mathematica Policy 
Research found that 40 percent of the AFDC withholding spells in the sample ended within 
6 months. The comparable figure for non-AFDC IV-D cases was 28 percent. 10 Findings 
from a different source, the Oregon Child Support Updating Project, indicated that 45 
percent of income withholding actions were no longer in effect one year after they were 
initiated in conjunction with modified orders. These figures show that action to facilitate 
income withholding for short-term employment would significantly increase the 
effectiveness of income withholding. 

Payment Processing. As the volume of child support collections continues to 
swell, and as an increasing proportion of payments is made by employers, it is imperative 
to improve the efficiency of child support payment processing. In federal fiscal year 1991, 

10 Ann R. Gordon, et al.. Income Withholding, Medical Support, and Services to 
Non-AFDC Cases After the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984. Vol. 1, 
Report to U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Mathematica Policy Research, May 
1991, p. 20. 


states reported spending $345 million on child support payment processing and distribution 
— 19 percent of total IV-D administrative expenditures. To place this figure in 
perspective, it is reported to be 39 percent more than they spent in establishing paternities, 
and more than half as much as they spent on the entire process of enforcing child support 

There are many factors contributing to this high cost. One is the infrequent use 
of advanced payment processing technologies. The function of receipting (recording and 
posting) child support is not significantly different than the receipting of credit card or 
utilities payments, yet only a few child support agencies take advantage of the high volume 
payment processing technologies used by commercial payment processing centers. 

A second is the extreme complexity of the federally-mandated payment distribution 
process, which allocates current support and arrearages between the obligee and AFDC 
reimbursement. This complexity arises from the myriad of decision rules for allocating 
arrearage payments between AFDC reimbursement and payments to the obligees. When 
overlaid with contingencies for multiple obligations on the part of a single noncustodial 
parent, and multiple orders for a single obligee -- some of whom may have been on AFDC 
and some of whom may not, these rules constitute of logical structure of Aquinian 

A third is duplicate payment handling by the courts and IV-D agencies in many 
jurisdictions. It is not unusual for all child support payments to be made to a Clerk of 
Court, but for all IV-D payments to be forwarded to a state child support enforcement 
agency for appropriate distribution. In some states, the transaction is entered twice, once 
into the Clerk's records and once into IV-D records. 

A fourth is continuing lack of sufficient automation in most states for accounting 
and disbursement functions. This is being addressed through the Family Support Act 
requirement that states develop automated systems for child support enforcement by 
October 1995. 

With the current redundant structure, pending automated solutions, one study 
estimated that it cost $8.36 per IV-D payment for collection and disbursement in 
Nebraska's dual clerk/IV-D system. In contrast, it cost an estimated $3.00 per IV-D 
payment for collection and disbursement in Iowa's central payment center operated by the 
IV-D agency. Iowa's estimated cost would be even lower if that center were handling the 
additional volume represented by non-IV-D payments. While the payment and 
disbursement functions in the two states are not identical, these estimates suggest the 
potential for reducing collection/distribution costs through centralization and use of 
advanced payment processing technologies." 

Federal Policy Implications. The income withholding requirements of the Family 
Support Act have strengthened child support enforcement, but there are two areas that 
should be addressed. First, as has been recommended by the Interstate Child Support 
Commission and others, there should be a requirement for employers to report new hires, 
so that income withholding orders can be moved quickly to new employers when obligors 

" M. Levy, et al., Analysis of the Iowa Collection Services Center: Process and 
Cost Analysis, Report to Iowa Department of Human Services, Policy Studies Inc., 
September 1988. N. Starling, et al., Child Support Receipting and Disbursing in 
Nebraska: Process and Cost Analysis, Report to Nebraska Department of Social Services, 
Policy Studies Inc., September 1988. 


change jobs. We believe that the employer reports should be made to the state 
employment security agencies (the same agencies to which quarterly reports of 
employment and earnings are made), and that the information should be made available 
promptly for purposes of child support enforcement, welfare eligibility verification, 
unemployment insurance, and workers compensation. Second, we recommend that a study 
be made of the good cause exemption from income withholding -- whether it is used so 
frequently in some jurisdictions as to undermine the intent of Congress, and whether 
tighter statutory language would be in order. 

For payment processing, we suggest that Congress consider the desirability of 
mandating the establishment of central child support payment registries in states. At 
minimum, states could be required to have a single statewide payment center for receiving 
income withholding transactions. In some states, there may be hundreds of clerks of court 
responsible for handling child support payments. Requiring a single payment center would 
gready streamline the income withholding process for employers, particularly large ones. 
It would also be beneficial if states were further required to accept remittances from 
employers in electronic form. 

It may be worthwhile to require central payment centers for all child support 
payments. This would enable states to take advantage of modern, high volume commercial 
transaction processing technologies, and thereby lower the cost of receipting and disbursing 
payments. If all child support payments in a state — not just IV-D payments — were 
required to be made through such a facility, states would be able to analyze their success 
in meeting child support needs for the entire population, not just for IV-D cases. It would 
also save substantial amounts of IV-D and court resources that are now used in trying to 
reconstruct payment histories when non-IV-D obligors become delinquent. 

Under the Family Support Act, states are required to make available a public 
payment processing facility to administer all income withholding payments, including those 
for non-IY-D cases (U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Action Transmittal, 
OCSE-AT-93-06, April 5, 1993). Yet there are no federal funds available for extending 
IV-D facilities to cover non-IV-D cases, or for operating such facilities for non-IV-D 
cases. This a necessary mandate, since it avoids the prospect that employers will have to 
deal directly with private parties (obligees and their attorneys) when questions arise about 
payments. However, it would be reasonable for federal enhanced funding to be extended 
to the development cost of such facilities, to cover the automation costs. This should not 
be expensive since states are already automating their payment processes for IV-D cases, 
and the capabilities of these automated systems could simply be extended to non-IV-D 
cases. Once such facilities were in place, there is not a compelling justification for the 
federal government to fund operating costs for non-IV-D cases, since such costs could be 
covered by a nominal user fee. 

The federal distribution requirements for the IV-D program are extremely complex 
and costly to administer. In our judgment, a modest investment in a study of this system, 
with an eye toward potential simplification, could yield large returns in the form of lower 
administrative costs and enhanced equity for program participants. For those of us with 
operational responsibilities for the child support enforcement program, few things are as 
frustrating as expending our precious limited resources on program requirements that do 
not significantly advance national goals. 


Chairman Ford. Thank you very much, Dr. Williams. 

Ms. Paulin, some concern has been expressed regarding review 
and modification of child support awards. Do you think more custo- 
dial parents are interested in having their awards modified but are 
reluctant to initiate the process for fear of retaliation from 
noncustodial parents? 

Ms. Paulin. I think that was one of the findings from the study. 
As I indicated, a significant number of the non-AFDC clients, when 
asked whether or not they wanted to participate, basically said, no. 
One of the reasons cited very frequently was the fact that they did 
not want to go through the process again because it was very cum- 
bersome and lengthy. I think there were also comments similar to 
what you suggested, the fear of retaliation. In many instances, I 
think the clients felt that they were already benefitting by assist- 
ance and help that was nonmonetary and they didn't want to jeop- 
ardize those kinds of assistance. 

Chairman Ford. Do you think we should make it automatic or 
let the custodial parents have the right to 

Ms. Paulin. I think, in the case of non-AFDC clients, I think it 
should be voluntary. If they want to make a decision to move in 
that regard, I think that it should be left that way. 

In the case of AFDC clients, a requirement is that it be manda- 
tory and that we do it periodically. I tend to support that remain- 
ing the way it is. I think without doing that, States won't have as 
much of an impetus to deal with those cases if they did not. 

Chairman Ford. Mr. Berlin, regarding the targeted population, 
many of the noncustodial parents appear to be living in poverty 
and facing critical barriers to employment. But also affecting child 
support payments was the relationship between the custodial and 
the noncustodial parents, as well as the frustrations with child sup- 
port enforcement and the welfare system in general. 

Do you think it would be a good idea to link child support pay- 
ments and visitation? 

Mr. Berlin. That is a very controversial area of child support 
policy, and a lot of work went into trying to separate the two. 

I guess I wouldn't be prepared to go far enough to say that we 
should formally tie the obligation to pay child support to the right 
to visit, but I think that we probably could take steps to make it 
easier for noncustodial parents to get visitation rights. This is often 
given as the central reason for nonpayment. 

Chairman Ford. Does that put more strain on the relationship? 

Mr. Berlin. It could. The fathers often say that they don't have 
the resources to go to court to get visitation rights, and they don't 
have access to legal aid attorneys to them to help them get visita- 

Chairman Ford. You hear it so often. 

Mr. Berlin. Right. What we have tried to do in Parents' Fair 
Share is offer mediation services to try to resolve some of these 
conflicts. Surprisingly, most of the fathers said that they didn't 
have major conflicts that needed resolution. But for the handful, 
the smaller percent that do, it is clearly an issue. 

Chairman Ford. But in most cases, when these fathers are, in 
fact, paying, the visitation rights are not that big of an issue? 


Mr. Berlin. Fathers who see their children are more likely to 

Chairman Ford. Ms. Haynes, the U.S. Commission on Interstate 
Child Support's Report to Congress offered many recommendations 
for improving the child support program. How would you set the 
priorities of the commission's recommendations? 

Ms. Haynes. A number of our paternity and medical support rec- 
ommendations, you already passed in OBRA, and those were cer- 
tainly priority. I think the recommendations that I would still say 
are priority are the State registries of support orders and possibly 
a national registry as well; the national computer network, because 
that will help locate as well as enforcement and case processing; 
the employer reporting of new hires, the W-4 reporting; and then 
I think the resources to the States, both in terms of a study of the 
staffing levels — as Ms. Paulin pointed out, the average caseload 
right now is 1,000 per worker — and training. We need to do a bet- 
ter job of training people that handle child support cases. 

From State child support directors, I think another priority for 
them would be a reexamination of the funding of the program to 
make sure that we 

Chairman Ford. Can you suggest any mechanism for that? 

Ms. Haynes. We went back and forth on the commission. Some 
people want to do away with financial incentives and just have a 
greater amount of FFP reimbursement. Other people want to main- 
tain the current funding structure but move more to a performance 
outcome rather than just an emphasis on collection. We couldn't 
find enough information to support one way over another. There 
are strengths and weaknesses to each approach. So, we took the 
compromise of recommending a study of the issue. 

But clearly, there is a problem right now. We have moved toward 
getting away from welfare recovery and emphasizing the need to 
serve everyone, yet our funding structure is still kind of schizo- 
phrenic in terms of emphasizing the AFDC collections. So there are 
some short-term things that I think we can do immediately, and 
my testimony points out a couple of tho&e. 

Chairman Ford. I want to thank each panelist for the testimony 
and the responses to the questions today at this oversight hearing 
on the Family Support Act of 1988. I thank you very much. As all 
of you know, we will probably be back here in 1 month or 45 days 
with witnesses testifying on a bill before we go into a markup ses- 
sion. That was the purpose here, to take a look at the Family Sup- 
port Act of 1988. 

Again, I want to thank all of you for your testimony. Thank you 
very much for coming out. I am sorry that I was not here to give 
my opening statement earlier today, but I am going to make it a 
part of the record. 

I am also sorry that I missed the Deputy Secretary of HHS, 
Mary Jo Bane. 

I thank all the panelists for testifying before the committee 
today. Again, thank you very much. 

Ms. Paulin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and again, my apology 
to my colleagues. 

Chairman Ford. That is quite all right. 


I would like to announce that next week we have a joint hearing 
with the Select Committee on Revenue. It will be centered around 
empowerment zones. 

We will have a continuation of these hearings, I guess, in the 
next couple of weeks, and they will be announced publicly 3 days 
prior to the committee calling the witnesses. 

We will conclude the business of the subcommittee. Thank you 
very much. 

[Whereupon, at 2:45 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] 

[Submissions for the record follow:] 



BOX 5345 

TACOMA, WA. 98415 


MARCH 28TH, 1994 





We thank you for the opportunity to submit a statement for the 
record on the beginning of welfare reform consideration by the 
House of Representatives . This is a somewhat historic opportunity 
for the institution of fatherhood in America as responsible fathers 
seek to have approval of father inclusive policies as a major 
component of new family policy and welfare reform legislation 
approved by Congress rather than the exclusively anti-father 
policies as previously occurred. 

We congratulate and publicly thank the Clinton Administration 
for putting such wide ranging policy reforms on the national 
political agenda. For too long the definition of troubled families 
meant only mothers and children. In today's world, fathers in 
most cases of separated parents, want to be involved as day to day 
parents, as much as mothers. 

Our Coalition has had three meetings at the White House in the 
past year plus a long meeting with the Welfare Reform Working Group 
in December. In these meetings we have proposed several male 
positive and father friendly policy proposals. We are pleased to 
report that a number of our proposals are expected to be included 
in the President's legislative package when it is drafted. 

The goal of the American Fathers Coalition has been to offer 
proposals from America's large majority of responsible fathers. 
These are fathers who want more day to day involvement with their 
children, but need help to do it. Already over 1,400,000 fathers 
are recognized by the 1990 census as primary residential parents. 
It is estimated as many or more fathers are custodial parents but 
who do not have legal papers to show children living with their 


The time has come to recognize the damage to children growing 
up without parenting by their fathers. Too often we believed that 
most fathers simply did not care about their children. We now know 
this is not true, at least for the majority. What we do know is 
that father love is a critical factor in the positive emotional and 
psychological development of minor children. Without father love, 
these children are disadvantaged in many ways. Government policies 
that have effectively turned children into financial hostages of 
their mothers have contributed to this national nightmare. 

Attached is a copy of a letter from the new Director of the 
Office of Child Support Enforcement. We reguest that the letter be 
included as part of our statement. The sentence about children 
needing and deserving both parents is a treasure for fathers. We 
never thought we would see such a letter from a child support 
enforcement official. We commend President Clinton for the 
appointment of Judge Ross and we wish him well. We have also 
pledged to him our commitment to work jointly for new regulations 
that are fair to both parents and meet the needs of children. One 
special area of work is regulations on paternity cases. 

Finally, we reguest that our policy reform package submitted 
to the White House Welfare Reform Working Group also be published 
as part of our statement. This will inform the Subcommittee 
members of our full agenda and areas of interest where we will be 
submitting more detailed proposals in our formal testimony later 
this year. 

America's troubled children need our help. The most cost 
effective proposals to be offered will simply be measures to allow 
day to day parenting enforcement for loving and nurturing fathers. 
This comes at no cost to taxpayers and will do the most to help 

We look forward to the opportunity to give direct testimony to 
the Subcommittee. Any written response from Committee members or 
staff will be greatly appreciated. 

MARCH 28TH, 1994 


Oltice or 

Washington. DC 20447 

January 24, 1994 

Dear Fellow Employees of the 
Office of Child Support Enforcement 

On this, my first official day in office, I wanted to write 
and tell you how excited I am about working with you in the area 
of child support enforcement. On February 18, 1965, I joined the 
Office of the Corporation Counsel in the District of Columbia and 
was assigned to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Unit. I 
have been deeply involved in the area of family law ever since. 
To be given the opportunity to administer and guide the national 
child support effort is a real challenge and privilege. 

As we begin our new adventure together, please be assured 
that I value your experience, your knowledge, and your 
commitment. At the same time, you will be pleased to know that 
this Administration is committed to trying new ways. Sometimes 
we allow ourselves to take the easy route since it has proven 
successful in the past. I encourage you to think about "new 
ways" of doing things and sharing your thoughts with others. As 
the budget dollar shrinks, we must invent new methods of 
providing improved service. 

Regarding our mission, my personal theme as a family court 
judge these many years has been "children first". Obviously, our 
mandated mission is to "collect child support". But I want it to 
be more than that. The adjudication of paternity and the 
imposition and collection of child support gives both parents the 
opportunity to be involved in the lives of their children. 
Children need and deserve two parents, four grandparents, and 
extended families. From close observation these past twenty- 
eight years, I am convinced that "where the pocketbook is, there 
the heart shall be also". To that end, everything we do must be 
done in the interest of our children. 

In closing, permit me to say "thank you" to Bob Harris who 
has served as the Acting Deputy Director for these many months. 
I look forward to his continued counsel. 

Looking forward to working with you on behalf of the 
children of America in the days ahead, I remain, 

Respectfully, __ 

David Gray Ross 
Deputy Director 


BOX 5345 
TACOMA # WA. 98415 
206-572-7340 .,-. 

December 16. 1993 

Bruce Reed & Dr. David Ellwood, Co-Chairmen 
White House Welfare Reform Working Group 
The White House 
Washington D. C. 20500 

RE: December 16th Meeting 

Welfare Reform and Family Policy 

Dear Mr. Reed. Dr. Ellwood and Working Group Members: 

Thank you for the opportunity given to our American Fathers 
Coalition to present a number of ideas and policy proposals to assist 
President Clinton in developing a new welfare and family policy for 
America's troubled families. We appreciate this response to our 
letters requesting such a meeting and we look forward to hopefully a 
positive response as the eventual outcome in the recommendations 
submitted to President Clinton early next year. America needs father 
friendly, and father inclusive policies if these recommendations are to 
gain acceptance and approval of both Congress and the American 

Fatherless children have become a major liability to our society. 
The time has come to enact broad based father inclusive policies to 
heal the wounds of family dysfunction that now plague our society. No 
meaningful solutions can be seriously proposed to President Clinton 
without a positive father focus. 

Attached to our various proposals are copies of research articles 
and newspaper items that speak to the merits of our proposals. It is 
our hope that our proposals will be seriously considered and offered to 
President Clinton as legitimate options to meet his goal of ending 
welfare as we know it. 

■ <Jl 

National Director 

cc: President Clinton 


1 - Assign the new Commission on Child and Family Welfare to the 
HHS Policy & Planning Office for staff assistance. 

2 - Provide additional funding to the Commission on Child and Family 
Welfare to meet its assigned goals as approved by Congress. 

3 - Generate the first written family policy for America that focuses on 
the importance of family in American society and the continuing 
involvement of parents in the lives of their children. Special attention 
needs to be given to a definition of those family units consisting of 
children with separated parents living in two homes. We need to 
expand the definition of "family" beyond just mother and child as used 
in the Rockefeller Report on Children. 

4 - President Clinton should make a major family policy address to 
Congress focusing on the importance of family and give positive 
recognition to the importance of the father/child relationship. The 
address should call for all written ideas on new positive family policies 
to be submitted to the Commission on Child and Family Welfare. 

5 - Issues of Child Support Guidelines review and creation of a Child 
Support Enforcement Clearinghouse should be run through the 
Commission on Child and Family Welfare. Addition Commissions and 
independent committees would only fragment new coordinated family 
policy development. 

6 - A new "CHILD-FIRST' policy for all domestic relations Court 
proceedings should be adopted. A new positive intervention model 
should be developed, where state intervention is made at the first 
filing of separation or divorce, or child contact with law enforcement 
agency. The policy should be family preservation and assistance, not 
separation. Programs for appointment of trained Guardian Ad Litems 
should be funded to minimize trauma of proceedings upon children. 
Also, this program would offer protection to stop children from being 
used and placed in middle of conflict between parents. The goal is to 
demilitarize the proceedings, reduce the adversarial nature of the 
environment, and make parents focus on ultimate best interest of the 

7 - Abolish the words "VISITATION" and "NON-CUSTODIAL" parent 
from HHS vocabulary. These are criminal words giving rise to notion 
that parents are without rights, and not to be supported in 
relationships with their children. 

8 - Federal grants of $250,000 should be given to a FATHERS group in 
each state to advocate for importance of father/child relationships, 



conduct meetings at high schools, assist fathers in location of support 
services for questions and problems with children, to conduct 
parenting classes, to coordinate programs at the Courthouse to assist 
fathers in locating correct offices for problems of custody and child 
support, neutral pick-up and drop-off services, etc. 

9 - Federal grants should support major national "FATHERS" hotline 
for problems relation to child support, kidnapping of children, etc. 
These would be placed in Virginia, Texas, Iowa, and Washington State. 

10 - Establish a national center on family policy research studies for 
review by scholars and parent advocacy groups. 




1- New policy needs to be supported to establish that fathers are as 
important in cases of unmarried parents, as are the mothers. To help 
reach this goal, two (2) staff members from each Child Support 
Enforcement Office shall be permanently assigned to fathers and non- 
custodial parents issues and problems. This shall happen by Secretary 
directive, and to be in place within six months. The staff shall operate 
separate from existing staff, and staff members shall not rotate from 
other responsibilities. Staff in this office shall assist fathers in 
determination and obtaining initial custody proceedings and 
establishment of child support orders from the mothers. Staff shall 
also be authorized to file contempt motions for fathers and non- 
custodial parents to comply with parenting time arrangements that 
are in writing and filled with the Court. 

When vacancy occurs through resignation or firing, new 
personnel shall be hired and trained, NOT transferred from the other 
mainstream staff. 

2 - New policy shall be adopted and developed to gain approval of all 
state AFDC plans. This policy shall affect all welfare mothers who are 
capable of working but refuse to do so, after a period of six months on 

In any case, where a father is identified on the birth certificate 
as the father, or who has performed parenting responsibilities as the 
father and is willing to sign a wavier of paternity prior to filing a Court 
action, where the father has bonded with the child(ren), and where 
the father has establish a record of care, and where the father is 
gainfully employed and earning an income above the federal poverty 
level, and where the father is capable of fully supporting the child (ren) 
without any entitlement funding in any area of parenting, and where 
the mother formally refuses or fails to obtain full time employment, 
and upon a filing of Petition for Modification of Custody based on this 
provision of law, the State shall be required to support the father in 
his petition, on the basis of a campaign against poverty and 
dependency lifestyle for minor children. The mother shall then be 
denied State legal aid in resisting and objection to the proceeding. 
When completed, the mother shall then be allowed a minimum set 
residential schedule with the children. 

The mother shall then be expected to enroll in a job training 
program, go back to school, or obtain full time work as a pre- 
requirement to Petition for significant parenting time with her 
children previously covered under AFDC and subject to the 
proceeding. Any mother who is affected by this proceeding shall not 
be allowed to file a Petition until she has worked for at least one full 



calendar yeax which resulted in earned income above the federal 
poverty level. 

For each year where the father successfully completes and 
exercises his parental responsibilities, and keeps his children off the 
welfare rolls, that father shall receive an additional $2,000.00 E1TC. 

3 - When a woman first becomes pregnant and applies for pre-birth 
medical assistance, the mother shall be given a brochure on the 
importance of the father\child relationship. The mother should be 
asked to identify the name of the father at each of the first three 
sessions or medical contacts. If the mother falls to identify the name 
of the father, and give the father an opportunity to know of the birth 
development of his child, the mother shall be terminated from the 
program and be denied all other aid otherwise available to her if she 
had previously cooperated. 

4 - In cases where the AFDC father is identified, the father shall be 
asked and encouraged to declare his paternity of his child. The form, 
however, shall not be libelous in nature. No child support order, or 
any other punitive action shall be authorized, as a result of signing the 
declaration of paternity. 

5 - In all cases where the father is identified, and he is able to meet 
the childcare needs of his child (ren) himself or through his family 
members, and this childcare can occur without cost to the State, the 
State shall support the father is his request to become the babysitter 
of first resort. 

6 - Norplant contraceptive devices should be implanted for all female 
recipients who receive AFDC funding to prevent future pregnancies 
where the mother is unable to independently financially support the 
child. If the AFDC recipient refuses to allow the implant, she shall 
be terminated from the program and denied further financial 

The implant can be removed when the AFDC mother is no longer 
receiving welfare. It is assumed the mother already has one or more 
children in order to qualify for welfare to begin with and that 
continuing births under such proverty conditions are simply not 
appropriate. American taxpayers can no longer be expected to bear 
this burden. 




1 - A single child support guideline standard should be developed for 
all dependent children, including children of separation and/or 
divorce. This would be a uniform standard for children in foster care, 
AFDC programs, and divorce. Policy should be that "CHILD-SUPPORT' 
is child support for the child(ren) and is "PAID IN TRUST' for the 
exclusive benefit of the intended child(ren) and not co-mingled with 
the money held by the majority residential parent. Policy should be 
that "CHILD-SUPPORT' is for the child(ren) and is not back door 
alimony for the receiving parent. 

2 - All child support payments paid by the paying parent to the other 
parent, or paid by one parent through the State to the other parent, 
shall be placed into a checking account from which all payments shall 
be made by check. 

Any financial institution accepting such accounts exclusively 
labeled for child support payments, shall receive a $50.00 tax credit 
for not charging the account for all services that may be needed, 
including copies of checks if an audit for accountability is made. 

3 - A parent with child support payment obligations should receive a 
$2,000 tax credit if all required payments are made in full and on time 
for the previous year. Studies on surveys for ratio's of compliance 
should be taken from the paying parent, as well as the receiving 
parent, to insure the best and most accurate information. 

4 - Mothers on any entitlement program SHOULD NOT be allowed to 
receive the federal income tax deduction for the child(ren) if the 
father has taxable income over $5,000 regardless of his child support 
payment history. 

5 - Income to be used for child support shall be based on a regular 40 
hour work week, and shall not include overtime pay or bonus 
payments. Financial survivability of the paying parent should be of 
continuing importance to the child. 

6 - Child support payments should be limited to child(ren) younger 
than 18 years old and exclude graduates from high school. Post 
secondary financial support for previously dependent children should 
not be allowed. 

7 - Child Support assurance Programs should not be supported or 
encouraged as they undermine parental responsibility to get off 

pntitlpmpnt nroorams 

entitlement programs 



8 - Child support consideration for children in blended family 
situations should be structured into the guidelines on a percentage 
basis as a breakdown of family expenditures. 

9 - Parents in states with community property laws should be allowed 
to divide their incomes with their new spouses to present a more 
picture of family income in the fathers household. 

10 - OSE office staff need updated and more intensive training 
programs to learn about the rights of both parents to apply for upward 
or downward modifications of child support, maintenance, or other 
requests for financial aid. 

1 1 - Retroactive child support should be totally disallowed for any 
parent where it is shown the mother avoided notification to the father 
that he was the father, or that he was properly notified and served. 
The mother shall be required to obtain her separate legal counsel to 
make this legal argument and preparation of Court papers. The State 
shall only be allowed to argue, but not act on behalf of the petitioning 

12 - Mandatory payment program of parents paying child support 
through the state in all cases as required under 1988 Family Support 
Act, to go into effect on January 1st of 1994, shall be repealed as it 
undermines cooperation between parents needed for best interewst of 

13 - The IRS should not become involved in Child Support collection. 




3 Pleasant Street 

Concord, NH 03301 


Advocacy for Low Income Single Parents in New Hampshire 

Submission for the Record 

Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Ways and Means 
U.S. House of Representatives 

Oversight Hearing on the Family Support Act 


Sara Dustin 

Director, Parents for Justice 

Administration of the Family Support Act in N.H.: N.H. has made 
an all out attempt to implement the provisions of the Family 
Support Act. The state adopted rules making participation in 
JOBS mandatory for parents on AFDC as soon as the youngest child 
becomes three, and has aimed from the beginning at 100% participa- 
tion. The program has focused most heavily on the provision of 
education and training services, and has been eagerly embraced 
by the parents, many of who have wished to commence their participa- 
tion early. The state has consistently drawn down its complete 
federal match for the JOBS program, and this year is about to 
go over budget. The legislature has so far been willing to 
to match the federal draw and will undoubtedly, given the popu- 
larity of the program, be willing to cover this year's deficit. 
The program could spend more; some parents find themselves waiting 
7 or 8 months for a training or education slot to open. However, 
from the point of view of family advocates like ourselves, this 
may be a blessing in disguise. The programs, especially those 
providing the post-secondary education necessary to compete for 
a living in N.H., make intense demands on the parent. The delay 
gives them a little more time to usher their children securely 
into life, and given the intense objections many three year old 
boys raise to the sudden disappearance of mother for long periods, 
and the behavioral problems and physical symptoms they can 
produce under these circumstances, the delay is probably in the 
best interests of the family and, also, the state, which ends up 
paying the child psychologist or the hospital. 

Child care benefits: The child care reimbursement scale for 
AFDC parents in the JOBS program is not quite in line with true 
market costs and needs to be upgraded. Throughout the five years 
of the programs history in N.H. I have continuously heard from 
mothers who have to supplement state payments from their grants, 
which of course are already punitively inadequate to sustain 
health in their children as it is. The state claims that this is 
legal under the Family Support Act because the mothers are 
"volunteers". Since so many of them choose to start early or 
to embark on post-secondary training programs of their own design- 
ing, they technically fall into this category. However, I suspect 
this was not Congresses intent. 

Benefits for mothers moving from AFDC into the workplace are very , 
very good in NH . We provide daycare assistance to working single 
parents through a mixture of state and federal funds, with hefty 
state supplements, with out time limits, up to 195% of poverty, 
and untill her earnings top 165% of poverty, the subsidy is very 
high. The cost of providing the minimal needs of a working single 
parent family in N.H. is very high. The parent must not only 
come up with a high rent in most of the state, a very high utility 
payment due to the Seabrook settlement, but also maintain a car, 
a $300 a month proposition. We have found that in order to 
stabilize such a family at the $6.00 an hour wage generally available 
to workingclass women in N.H., it is necessary to pay almost all 
of their child care. On that step, the mother is only required 
to come up with $20 to $25 a week of what may easily be a $500 
or $600 bill, if there is a pre-schooler in the family. The 
failure to do this when women were graduating from the WIN program 


to work in the 1980's led to a high rate of failure and return to 
the AFDC program, because the mothers were unable to maintain 
shelter or the family's physical health while paying these costs. 

Child Support Collection: In this area 
thorough in its impl imentat ion of the F 
ives, although the staff of the child su 
clearly inadequate in relation to the ta 
legislation. Guidelines where adopted q 
be abiding by them, and where payors sti 
payroll level payment of child support i 
However, the Office of Child Support Col 
backlog on a current caseload of 37,000, 
diminishing. Because of the pressure, p 
to deduct child support from paychecks a 
cases where the father is difficult to d 
self employed or holds down an assortmen 
out of state or otherwise less than imme 
shunted aside and left on the back burne 
hearing many complaints from mothers who 
follow up information on the whereabouts 
they have provided, or even to speak to 
Enforcement is also very slow, which mea 
the collection of arrears , that in a po 
split with the state, rather than curren 
fully benefit the working mother and her 
extent, provisions of the Family Support 
legislation has transfomed the office in 
child support dollar, rather than an aid 

also, N.H. has been very 
amily Support Act's direct- 
pport collection unit is 
sks imposed on it by that 
uickly, judges appear to 
11 have paycheck jobs, 
s in widespread force, 
lections has a 12,000 

which shows no signs of 
apers get lost, orders 
re not sent on to employers, 
eal with because he is 
t of part-time jobs, or is 
diately accessible are 
r. Therefor, we are 
cannot get the office to 
of Dad's employment that 
them on the phone, 
ns it is more apt to be 
st AFDC case have to be 
t obligation which would 
children. To a significant 
Act and other federal 
to a competitor for Dad's 
to the single parent. 

In addition, the loss of many 
loss of manufacturing to other 
closing of defense industries 
state arrd""of :. the.- Portsmouth N 
w>>ich .occurred very shortly'af 
Support Act, has made the job 
more complicated. Many father 
term pick-up jobs that are har 
which is impossible, at the s 
incomes increased the motivatio 
accepted in the prosperous 1980 
were readily available. These 
difficult for the state to ful 
this area. 

paycheck jobs in N.H., due to the 

regions and countries, the 
in the southern portion of the 
aval Ease in the Seacoast Region, 
ter the passage of the Family 
of Child Support Collections much 
s were forced into a series of short 
d to track, or into self emploment, 
ame time that severely diminished 
n to evade child support obligations 
's when second jobs and overtime 

social changes have made it . 
lfill the intentions of the FSA in 

e to too intense partici- 
pation in JOBS act ivitie s at too young age of the children: Post 

secondary education programs are designed f 
schedules of new highschool graduates, not 
school children. Unfortunately, the struct 
in N.H., child care allowances, transportat 
books assistance, prevented parents from ta 
provisions of the Family Support Act which 
fullfill her JOBS obligation by attending s 
these benefits in NH had to be spent down i 
tried to cram as much education as they cou 
over stressing themselves and their childre 
consigned to daycare all day and then pushe 
weekends by mother so she could get her stu 

or the energies and 
the mothers of pre- 
ure of JOBs benefits 
ion assistance, fees and 
king advantage of the 
permit a parent to 
chool half time. Since 
n two years, parents 
Id into that period, 
n as well, who were 
d away at night and on 
dying done. 

This led to some very dramatic events, especially among families 
where the mother enrolled in the two year Voc Tech nursing courses 
which were available around the state, and into which many 
parents of young families were steered because of the high income 
prospects. The courses require the enrolJee to take five heavy 


scientific courses per semester, with labs, and, in addition, to 
work a 18 hour a week practicum in the second year. Under this 
pressure, the three year old son of one JOBS mother ended up in 
Boston Hospital with acute, life threatening, adrenal exhaustion. 
His mother, required by the doctors to attend at his bedside in 
order to save his life, and who was simultaneously told by her 
JOBS counselor that if she were ten minutes late for even one of her 
classes she would be sanctioned, and who tried to do it all, 
followed him shortly thereafter with a collapsed lung . In another 
nursing course family, mother thrived, and her 4 year old thrived, 
but the 16 year old daughter of her boyfriend who was saddled with 
the bulk of the off school hours child care of the pre-schooler 
attempted suicide, bringing the family to the attention of the 
child protective services. 

While the two year nursing program created the most dramatic 
disasters, it was not the only culprit. I have recently been on 
the phone with a middle aged JOBS mother of two adolescents who 
has just graduated from a two year junior college course in 
hotel management with a 4.0 average. The cost? Her 14 year old 
son has stopped bothering to come home, and her 12 year old 
daughter, who also stopped coming home during this period, is now 
the the state's Youth Detention Center. Rather than rush forth 
into the workplace, she is understandable taking a sabbatical on 
welfare, with the approval of her case worker, to rescue her 
family. "Why should they bother to come home," she explains. All 
I could say to them was "Don't bother me. I'm studying." 

Because of incidents like these, and other less dramatic but 
disturbing reports from mothers in school in the states's 
university system, the NH JOBS program has amended its rules so 
that child care and other support benefits can be spent down 
over three years, instead of two- allowing the mother to persue 
her studies on a 2/3rds time basis, instead of full time, at least 
theoretically. Due to the structure of the federal student 
grant and loan program, which finances most NH JOBS participant's 
tuition, she must still carry four courses a semester, or fail to 
qualify because she is not a full time student. In addition, the 
program instructed its JOBS Counselors to discourage mothers from 
biting off more than they could chew, especially mothers with 
children younger than three. (The mother with the collapsed lung 
had four children under 7 when she started, including a one year 
old in diapers . ) 


1. The limits which establish how many hours a week of 
participation may be demanded from a JOBS client were established 
by Congress for good reason. They are there to ensure that 
parents have enough time to properly nurture their children, 

and that children have enough attention from their parents to 
develop properly. Because we in NH had JOBS counselors who 
saw nothing wrong with urging the mother of four under age 
seven into a full time nursing course aimed at 19 year olds 
with no other responsibilities, and because of the eagerness 
of the women of the NH AFDC program to get ready for the work- 
force, we now have a body of evidence showing what happens 
when these limits are violated. Congress needs to take steps 
to make sure the participation limits are honored by the • 
states, even when the participants are eager volunteers. 

2. In order to make \ time post secondary studies a practical 
possibility for JOBS mothers, Congress needs to modify the 
student loan and grant program so that financial aid is 
available to students with family responsibilities carrying 
half time course loads. 


2. Two Years of Job Training or Post-secondary Education Does Not 
Appear to be Adequate to Command a Family Wage in Today's Economy: 
We are now hearing from the first substantial crop of parents 
who have made it through two years of JOBS training, and the 
results are not encouraging. State data shows that a working 
single parent, even without the extensive child care cost 
associated with preschool chi ldren , needs to gross $2,170 a month 
if she is to meet the minimal needs of her family, including 
providing health care at NH Medicaid rates, which are very low. 
The best job offer the graduate with a 4.0 average in hotel 
management got was a $6.00 an hour desk clerk position. She was not 
offered entry into the hotels management training program. 

$6.00 at 40 hours a week is only $1032 a month. With two teenagers 
to support, she did not dare take the job, even if her family 
circumstances had made it possible. Nor did the mother of four 
with two years training in pharmacists assistance dare take the 
20 hour a week, $4.50 an hour, benefitless job Walbaums offered her 
as a pharmacist's assistant. $387 a month would not even pay her 
rent. A third mother who has just completed a two year course in 
early childhood education finds herself back at her old job in 
the day care she worked in before her marriage came apart, at the 
same low pay, and she is going without meals so her children 
can eat. 

In order to sustain a single parent family in N.H. in a $6.00 an 
hour job, it is necessary for the state and the federal government 
to pay nearly all their child care, to provide them with medical 
insurance, and to subsidize their income with, at present, $200 
a month of cash benefits delivered through the income tax system. 
The bill for this is very high. If there are preschool children 
in the family requiring extensive day care, it will exceed $900 
a month and still leave her very pinched. The state study's 
minimum budget for this family of three is $2685 per month in 
1994. The gap between the sum of her earnings and this assistance 
(about $1960) and this minimum budget figure is too great to be 
bridged by the amount of child support that can be reasonably 
extracted from a working class man's paycheck, even at the very 
high percentages N.H. guidelines suggest (33% of net pay for 
this family or approximately $363 a month on a net of $1100). 
In the case of the mother with the two year degree in Early Child- 
hood education, the father is already paying the state so much in 
arrrears for the period she was on AFDC, that she is reluctant to 
go after him for her current child support for fear of pushing him 
under, or underground. 

If she had been permitted to attend college for four years, and 
earn her full teacher's certification, she would have been able 
to re-enter the workforce at a family wage level of $24,000 a year, 
pay her own day care, receive medical benefits for herself and 
her family as part of her job, and cover all of the day to day 
expenses of her household without federal assistance. So can 
a full four year graduate nurse or physical therapist, though a 
two year certified nurse or physical therapist^ assistant can not. 
However, the State of N.H., following the evident intent of the 
JOBS Program Rules issued by U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services 
in the late 1980 's, does not issue JOBS benefits for more than 
two years of post secondary education. 

Recommendations : 

1. Not every single parent in the JOBS program is capable of four 
year college work. But those who are able to complete these 
programs successfully can get jobs which take them off the 
the public payroll completely and permanently, as well as equip- 
ing them to make a substantial contribution to our society. 
However, Congress left the language of the Family Support Act in 
this area ambiguous, and the Rules promulgated by H & HS are 
downright hostile, in their choice of language, to the inclusion 
of a four year college option in state JOBS programs. Congress 
should clearly express its intent that the four year college 
option should be included in the menue of state JOBS programs, 
or at least insure that the states are no longer actively 
discouraged from offering this option by the tone of the JOBS 


2. New highschool and Jr. College or Voch Tech graduates who 
have no family responsibilities and who can live at home or 
share apartments with multiple roomates of the same age, can 
afford to take jobs with low to moderate entry level wages 

and stay with them untill they have proved themselves and their 
pay levels increase. Unfortunately, the gap between what 
these jobs are paying and the minimal expenses of an established 
family with small children is so great, that a single parent 
cannot take the same job without risking hopelessness and her 
children's health. In order to give the mother of ordinary 
attainments the time to work her way up from entry level wages, 
the Family Support Act needs to give the transitional AFDC 
parent levels of support which are realistic, and which are 
considerably higher than are currently being offered, even 
where the intention of the current Act is being fully carried 
out. And I do not believe we can count on child support to 
bail us out here with any regularity or reliability. 

3. The failure of the marketplace to offer the JOBS graduate 
jobs with decent pay and decent prospects is not entirely due 
to their position as entry level applicants. I believe 
that we are also looking at the workings of the long standing 
prejudice in the workplace against women, and the current 
prejudice against single parents encouraged by extreemly biased 
media coverage and re-inforced by recent statements by our 
public leaders. A woman responsible ,soley, for the support 

of children needs a wage of $11 to $13 an hour, not $4,50 to 
$6.50. If they are to be given a fair chance to achieve the 
self sufficiency that is being demanded of them, they need to 
be given the same same public support and hiring priority 
that was accorded the returning veterans after WW II. It is 
time for our nation's leaders to excercise their moral leadership 
by bringing this to the attention of the business community 
and the nation at large. 

3. The Deeper Impoverishment of AFDC Children: It is imposible 
to keep children sheltered and adequately fed on the AFDC grant 
as it is given by the states. The grant has always had to be 
doubled by the mother. For as long as I have observed the AFDC 
program, from my graduate school days in Chicago in the 1960's, 
when AFDC mothers were cleaning student apartments for 504 an hour, 
to the late 1980 's, when almost every member of my board was 
doing something, babysitting neighbor's children, to cleaning 
houses, to add earnings to her grant, AFDC parents have worked 
under the table to ensure an adequate income for their families. 

Unfortunately, because of the rules of the AFDC program which 
require that any earnings of the mother made public be subtracted from 
her grant, leaving her again unable to feed and shelter her 
children, all of this work had to be hidden. People who in fact were 
displaying enormous enterprise and industry had, in addition, 
to be very careful to give the public impression that they were 
not working at all. This not only contributed to the creation of an 
unfair public reputation for sloth, and passivity. It also hobbled 
women who could have, if their efforts had been supported and 
legitimized, used this period of part-time work while their children 
were young to get a jump on a mainstream career, and to enter the 
workforce at a higher income level when the children entered school, 
and the cost of supporting them went down with the children's daycare 
bill . 

The reason these mothers did not move off the AFDC program into fulltime 
paycheck jobs, instead of hiding work to supplement the AFDC grant, 
were twofold. First, they had very small children who needed more 
of their time and attention than fulltime participation in the 
organized workplace would permit, especially with the overtime and 
second jobs it has always been necessary for a woman to work to 
produce the equivalent of a family wage. 

Secondly, in the absence of the panoply of supports now contemplated, 
child care assistance, medical insurance and income support through 
the income tax system, the attempt to support a family on the proceeds 
of a strict forty hour a week job, which would have left some time for 


the children, was the equivalent of economic suicide. Those 
who tried it in the 1980's before N.H. developed its present 
support system, inadequate as it is, lasted between three to 
six months before they faced imminent homelessness or succumbed to a 
medical emergency, depending how long the car lasted before it 
needed a major repair and how long it took for medical problems 
that couldn't be treated with home remedies to develop. (Once 
the car went it either had to be repaired out of funds earmarked 
for rent, or imad-? it impossible for the mother to get the 
children to daycare and herself to work, closing off the possibility 
of rent money in the future.) 

Since the implementation of the Family Support Act, there has been 
a cessation of under the table work by AFDC mothers in N.H. as 
far as I can make out. Mothers actively involved in JOBS 
activities no longer have the time. It is not possible to babysit 
your working neighbor ' s children if you have to be at Project 
Second Star t at 8:30 AM five mornings a week, and the pressures of 
caring for ones own family and meeting the homework requirements 
of post-secondary education preclude cleaning the houses of more 
affluent women as well. But in addition, the mothers of infants 
and pre-schoolers under the age of three, who are usually not 
active JOBS particpants, seem to be focused on their future 
prospects under the JOBS program, which they are waiting eagerly 
to enter, rather than improving their immediate circumstances 
by finding some kind of part time work in their neighborhoods 
which they can combine with their intense chi Id rear ing duties . 

One may view this as an improvement, but I disagree. Because the 
writers of the Family Support Act failed to take into their 
consideration the interaction of that legislation with the under 
ground economy, they brought to an end an informal system which, 
while illegal, was serving the needs of children rather well, 
without replacing it with a legal system which would accomplish 
the same end. I have never seen such intense poverty among AFDC 
families, and such a high incidence of sickness among the children, 
as I have in the last few years, in which mothers are actually 
trying to live on their grants. 

I am well attuned to the condition of the families, because an 
important part of my work is to recruit parents to testify as 
to the conditions of their lives before committees of the state 
legislature. In the 1980's, when the mothers held under the 
table jobs, most mothers had things well enough in hand, their 
cars running and their children well, so they could make it 50 or 
60 miles down to the state legislature to attend hearings with 
fair reliability. Last year, I recruited five parents to testify 
for a desperatedly needed Cost of Living increase in the AFDC 
grant. Only one made it. Between Monday night when I confirmed 
earlier promises to attend, and Tuesday morning when the hearing 
was scheduled, one child's chronic bronchitis reoccured, a second 
childs brochitis deepened into pneumonia, and two cars broke down. 

The desperateness of the poverty of AFDC families under the Family 
Support Act both degrades the capacity of the children to perform 
at school, and the capacity of their mothers to suceed when they 
finally enter the JOBS program. The mother of the child with 
chronic bronchitis had just been informed by her child's elementary 
school that he had missed so many days that he would have to 
repeat first grade. In order to get the cheapest posible rent, 
she had moved into a poorly insulated old shack with an antiquated 
heating system, only to discover that her heat bils were running 
around a $1000 a month. Town welfare, which in NH has a legal 
obligation to make up the deficiencies in the income of the poor 
for vital needs, had bailed her out once, but refused to pay any 
more, It was Febuary in N.H. and she had the heat down real low. 

According to the parent with the 4.0 average in hotel management, 
she was the only mother in her building, which housed a number of 
AFDC families, who made it through their programs. The others, 
whom she characterised as not having her drive or energy, gave 
up long before they reached that point. If you take a moment to 
put yourself into their shoes, I think you can readily understand 
why. Ask how well you would do in school if you also had to 


hold off the landlord and the utility company, spend a morning 
every other week sitting in the town welfare office trying to 
extract enough vouchers from an official, whose job it is to 
protect the town budget, to satisfy these first two entities, 
scrambling up alternative ways, every time the car breaks down, to 
get two pre-school children to daycare and then make it 15 miles 
to your JOBS site in a town with no public transportation, and 
locating a neighborhood mechanic who will fix it cheap and also wait 
to the first of the month for payment, which then necessitates 
putting off the landlord again, all of this while living on a diet 
of plain spagetti and canned peas, no milk, no meat, no fresh 
fruit or vegtables for at least one week out of every month? I 
strongly suspect that as far as the JOBS program has been 
disappointing , it is due, in considerable part to the handicaps 
poverty puts in the way of performance. 


1. In order to maintain the health of children whose mothers' 
work energy is fully tied up in JOBS activities which do not 
produce income, and to give these mothers a reasonable chance 
of success, the AFDC grant needs to be supplemented by an extra 

"participation incentive grant" or stipend of some nature during 
this period . 

2. The Family Support Act accepts part-time work as fullfillment 
of the JOBS requirement for mothers with pre-school children. 
However, under the present earned income discount structure, 
this is not a practical option for the majority of these 
parents, because the proceeds of a twenty or thirty hour a 

week job are both high enough to cut her off from the AFDC 
program and JOBS benefits, and too low to come anywhere near 
supporting her family. Congress should take advantage of part- 
time work's usefullness as a path back into the workforce for 
the mother of young children, and also its effectiveness as a way to 
ensure that these children are adequately supported without 
adding to public expense, by arranging for JOBs mothers, and 
mothers waiting for JOBS slots, to be able to add a substantial 
portions of their earnings to their grant while their children 
are not yet in school. 

4. The Retardation of Re-marriaoe: Because the AFDC maother of the 
Family Support Act era is no longer participating in the underground 
economy, there is only one readily available option open to the 
woman involved in JOBS training who is' not willing to see her children's 
health and wellbeing deteriorate. She must find a new mate who 
can contribute financially to the household. This arrangement can 
be conducted in a perfectly legal fashion as far as the rules of 
the AFDC program are concerned. As long as he does not marry her. 
her grant is unaffected. So long as he pays household bills 
directly, himself, to the debt holder, rather than hand the money 
to her, she is guilty of no fraud for failure to report these 
transactions . 

Fortunately for her, the Family Support Act has created another 
group of desperately poor people who need to join forces with her, 
and share expenses with her. These are the divorced or separated 
fathers of other families, who have low wage jobs and have been 
hit hard by the the provisions of that act requiring the application 
of strict child support percentage quidelines by the courts, and the 
deduction of the resultant child support obligations at the paycheck 
level. On the assumption, understandable in the 1980's, that the 
father could always work overtime or get a second job to support 
himself, the N.H. legislature adopted a set of percentages ,( 25% of 
earnings after payroll deductions for one child, 33% for two, 40% 
for three, and 45% for any number thereafter), which produced 
reasonable results when applied to middle and upperclass incomes, 
but, when applied to the already marginal earnings of low wage 
working class men, reduced their income below the level of self 

As a consequence, I believe, the AFDC mom of the 1990 's in NH is far 
more apt to have a boyfriend who lives with her, than her 1980 
equivalent. As far as I can see, most of these relationships 




3 9999 05983 304 4 

are serious, longstanding, and of great help to both the mother 
and her children. But while in 1980, mothers would join parents '" 
for Justice, participate enthusiastically for 8 or 9 months, meet 
a man, and quickly disappear from our organization and the AFDC 
program, the mothers of the 1990 's do not marry. Of course many 
of them are halfway through JOBS supported post secondary education 
programs which they would lose, along with their AFDC eligibility, 
if they married, and to which they are deeply committed. However, 
I believe there are more fundamental reasons than this, and I believe 
they are financial. 

In 1980, judges were ordering fathers with gross incomes of $1400 
a month and net incomes of $1100 to pay $20 to $25 a week in child 
support if their family was on AFDC. The judges were aware that 
little or none of this got to the mother and children, and saw no 
point in impoverishing the father to benefit the state. And in point 
point of fact, $100 a month is about all a father at this income 
level can part with before he loses his capacity to live indepen- 
dently and meet all his essential needs, according to the 1990 
state minimal budget study. 

Consequently, the 1980's father could bring a significant amount of 
money to his second relationship. The same father in 1990 has only 
about $700 left in his monthly paycheck, $650 if he has a bad month 
and loses a few days pay to sickness or other unpaid absences. 
After subtracting out the cost of feeding him, running his car, and 
his walk around money, he is only contributing an extra $200 or 
so a month to the household expenses. In addition, in 1980, she 
was very apt to have a small underground business yeilding $300 to 
$500 a month. Between his $1000, and her earnings they had -enough 
income to risk striking out independently of the benefit system, 
especially since she, freed of the need to hide her income producing 
activities, could come out into public and increase her income 

The same couple attempting to form a second marriage in the 1990 's 
have only his $650 to $700 a month to look to, because the only 
income she can bring to the relationship once her energies are tied 
up in the JOBS program is her AFDC check, which dissapears as soon 
as they tie the knot. $700 a month in an economy that requires 
around $2500 a month to meet the minimal needs of a four person 
family with two adults, even if there is only minimal daycare 
expenses for the children, is not riskable. They stay unwed. 

Recommendations : 

1. A low income working man cannot pay the same percentage 
of income in child support that a better paid man can. Child 
support guideline percentages need to be graduated, just like 
income tax assessments. In addition, child support assessments 
must leave the father enough income to support himself, and 
this must be calculated realisticly and regionally. 

2. The loss of daycare subsidies is a deterrent to remarriage 
between single mothers and low wage fathers, because even if 
she is off AFDC and working, their combined incomes are 
inadequate to meet this expense if there are pre-school children 
in the family. Daycare subsidies should be made available to 
low income intact families with pre-school children, as well 

as low income working single parents. 

3. We need to permit the single parent on AFDC to earn and 
keep some income independently of her AFDC grant, so she can 
bring an independent resource to a prospective remarriage. 

Finally, we need to dispense with moralism in the making of family 
policy. It may be wonderfully satisfying to vent our anger at 
the "deadbeat dad." However, in practice, a large prortion of 
fathers failing to pay child support to their own children's 
mother are, because of second relationships, actively supporting 
the children of other men, who may not be paying their child support. 
If almost all fathers are supporting some children, is that such 
a bad social outcome? Family policy must be written with an eye to 
promoting the supcess of second families as well as sustaining the 
single parent family. The second family is the single parent 
families salvation, and second families are not only an important 
social reality, but also our best hope for family success and 
stability in a society with a nearly 50* failure rate on the first 


79-657 O - 94 (208) 

ISBN 0-16-044470-5