Work Barriers in the Context of Pathways to the Employment of Welfare-to-Work Clients

Wayne State University, 4756 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 01/2008; 40(3-4):301-12. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-007-9144-x
Source: PubMed


The ability of welfare-to-work clients to leave the welfare rolls and stay in the labor force is often limited by the work barriers they face. Using a sample of 1,404 female welfare-to-work clients we first examined the structure of work barriers and then tested their contribution to current work status in the context of a structural equation model that incorporated other central pathways to employment. Whereas work barriers included diverse factors ranging from lack of transportation to low quality jobs, they were shown to constitute a uni-dimensional construct. Furthermore, work barriers had a net adverse
effect on employment outcomes, controlling for job search self-efficacy and employment intention. We conclude with discussion of implications for the development of welfare-to-work programs and interventions that target low-income women.

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Available from: Shawna J Lee
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    • "Throughout media and political discourses before welfare reform, so-called " promiscuous " and " lazy " African-American women on welfare were prime targets in America's battle to overhaul the AFDC system (Hancock 2004). Today, time limitations and work requirements stipulated by TANF rules have created significant conflicts in the practice of workfare programs, as many " harder-to-employ " welfare recipients suffer from limited education and work skills, a lack of child care and transportation, as well as mental health and domestic abuse problems (Kissane 2010; Gooden 2005; Sandoval et al. 2011; Lee and Vinokur 2007). Additionally, due to the several other notable administrative policy changes instituted by TANF, such as sanctioning penalties, greater client supervision, work mandates, and heavily loaded administrative tasks, welfare caseworkers have less time to solve the problems of individuals with significant barriers to employment (Abramowitz 2005; Taylor and Seale 2013). "
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    DESCRIPTION: This study aims to compare and contrast service delivery procedures and organizational arrangements of two for-profit welfare-to-work programs. This examination focuses its comparison on one program's whose contract with state and local municipalities is evaluated by performance-based measures while the other program's contract uses non-performance-based outcome metrics. Using grounded theory, I plan to analyze 20 in-depth interviews of female welfare recipients presently participating in these programs, along with observations at the program offices, and conversations with program workers. I will also analyze the administrative data provided by the programs in order to have a better understanding of the scope and outcomes across each work agency.
    Full-text · Research · Nov 2015
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    • "The identification of personal barriers of low education and lack of skills was consistent with previous research (e.g. Giles, Park, & Cai, 2006b; Heflin, 2003; Lee & Vinokur, 2007; Luo & Li, 2001; Ma et al., 2004). The findings were understandable because low education and lack of skills were likely to be associated negatively with the productivity and employment of workers, especially when new technologies, such as computers, were increasingly used in workplaces. "
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    ABSTRACT: This research adopted a qualitative research method to explore work barriers perceived by 36 welfare recipients of a community employment program in Beijing, China. The barriers identified included personal and family factors of low education, lack of working skills, poor physical health, mental health problems and family care burden, along with interpersonal factors of weak social networks and social factors of high competitiveness in the job market and age discrimination. The findings were discussed in Chinese social contexts. The practice and policy implications of the study were noted and further research was recommended.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Asia Pacific journal of social work
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    • "It is therefore unclear if measures capture the extent to which barriers exist in their lives or the degree to which one perceives these barriers. Fourth, survey research with smaller samples have approached employment barriers with either the focus on client perception (Barclay, 2004; Brooks, Martin, Ortiz, & Veniegas, 2004; Lee & Vinokur, 2007) or the comprehensiveness of covering wider domains of employment barriers (Seigel & Abbott, 2007), but it has not been able to do both in one study. Moreover, only one study has been identified as having grouped multiple barrier items into categorical domains that could better inform practice (Ovwigho et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to (a) validate the psychometric properties of the Perceived Employment Barrier Scale (PEBS) and (b) investigate the effect of perceived barriers on employment hope. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA), a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and a series of invariance tests were conducted to validate PEBS using two independent samples. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesized relationship. The latent factor structure generated by EFA failing to fit efficiently in CFA, the model was revised to a 5-factor, 20-item structure. This model demonstrated a common latent factor and item structure in both samples. And SEM results suggest a significant negative effect of perceived employment barriers on employment hope. PEBS is a reliable and valid measure that could be used as an evidence-based tool for comprehensively assessing client-centered employment barriers and providing appropriate support services to low-income jobseekers.
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