CWEP's (Community Work Experience Programs) Implementation Results to Date Raise Questions About the Administration's Proposed Mandatory Workfare Program.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DIV
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Community Work Experience Programs CWEPs provide work experience and training to Aid to Families with Dependent Children AFDC recipients. The administration now proposes to make CWEPs mandatory in all states and to phase out the Work Incentive Program WIN. The aim of this workfare proposal is to reduce AFDC program costs and to provide benefits to recipients and their communities. GAO surveyed current CWEP implementation in all 16 states that had operational programs as of February 1, 1983, and found that evidence is lacking on whether CWEP reduces the long-term costs of the AFDC program. Problems in implementation are likely because the CWEPs now in operation are unlike the intended workfare in important ways. Most of the states operating CWEPs do not require participants to work off their AFDC grants most employable adult AFDC recipients are not in CWEPs because most programs are not statewide many adults are exempted by the states from participation and many who are not exempted are still not required to participate. These implementation findings suggest considerable variance from the requirements of the national workfare program being proposed by the administration and decrease expectations of success are grounded in the recent CWEP experience.
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