Welfare Reform in Motion

Article excerpt

Welfare Reform in Motion... NYC Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services City ofNewYork, Department of Social Services. Softcover/123 pages. First edition. 2006. Price Not Listed

"It's self-evident that the best welfare reform is to keep people from needing welfare in the first place. That means directing services to the young people most at risk of becoming welfare recipients. ... It also should be a national priority to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have moved off public assistance continue to succeed"

-Mayor Michael Bloomberg It's clear what Bloomberg had in mind about social welfare for the city-and what he thought should be for the nation as a whole-when he said that in May 2002, the same year he named Verna Eggleston commissioner of the city's human resources administration. There is no domestic policy that can be more complex and complicated and more politically charged than the one in New York, the barometer of welfare programs since the federal government mandated public assistance programs through the Social security Act of 1935.

Charged with this mandate from the mayor and facing the daunting prospect of a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in the city that had just been traumatized by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack while the country was going through a recession, Eggleston led the city through this tumultuous time and came up with an effective welfare reform program that not only addressed those being helped, but also those who were helping them. …