Magazine article Policy & Practice

Managing Welfare Reform in New York City

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Managing Welfare Reform in New York City

Article excerpt

Managing Welfare Reform in New York City Edited by E.S. Savas. Softcover/375 pages/Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. First edition. 2005/ISBN: 0-7425-4928-3 List Price $35.00

There has been much debate whether welfare reform was a huge success in New York under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The debate was especially spectacular in the context of the city's history of liberal social programs and its entrenched welfare system. The city managed to reduce the number of people on welfare from 1,120,000 to 460,000. It changed the welfare program's organizational culture, insisted on work first, adopted information technology, protected against fraud, and contracted for job placement. Along the way, the city made complex systemwide changes as part of its welfare reform strategy.

There are different perspectives on what the changes have actually been and how successful they have been. Understanding the various issues and perspectives is important because together they represent the reality of the outcome and emerging system in the largest city in the country. "Managing Welfare Reform in New York City" is a book that attempts to shed light on what part of the city's welfare system the city government reformed and how it did it.

The scope and scale of change in welfare were dramatic and wide-ranging. But there were also concerns about the work-centered policies. Some advocates and community groups continue to worry that the strict procedures and work requirements, as well as the sometimes complicated logistical arrangements involved in traveling among offices, may hinder some eligible individuals from receiving benefits and services. …

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