chapter  9
22 Pages

Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Programs: The St. Louis POWER Demonstration

In August 1996, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and

Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, more commonly known

as the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The act calls for drastic reductions in

national spending in the areas of Aid to Families with Dependent Chil­

dren (AFDC), Medicaid, and food stamps, and it dramatically shifts re­

sponsibility for the administration of these programs from the national

government to state governments. While this act symbolizes the most

dramatic policy shift in the area of social welfare in recent history, the na­

tional mood was beginning to shift away from welfare as an entitlement

program and toward welfare as a privilege in the 1980s. Congress had al­

ready passed the Family Support Act of 1988, which mandated that states

establish programs to move welfare recipients into the work force

through job training, educational assistance, and transitional child care,

transportation, and medical benefits.