Families on TANF in South Carolina: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Chapter IV. Employment Assets and Liabilities

10/01/2004

This chapter presents findings on employment assets and liabilities among the 1,120 survey respondents. In terms of assets, the chapter presents findings on the skills that respondents used in their current or previous jobs, such as using computers, supervising other people, and communicating with people in person or by telephone. In addition, information is presented on respondent involvement in job training, education, and employment programs. Employment liabilities discussed in this chapter
include health problems and caring for sick or disabled family members, learning disabilities, substance dependence, domestic violence, criminal records, and problems with child care, transportation, housing and neighborhoods. (Two potential human capital liabilities, low work experience and low levels of education, were both discussed previously, in Chapter III).
 
Importance of Sub-Group Analyses
 
In this chapter, we examine the prevalence of employment barriers among different demographic sub-groups, including analyses by age group, marital status, ethnicity, and
education. We found that several of the major barriers were mu ch more prevalent among certain sub-groups than others. For example, physical and mental health problems are more prevalent among older, divorced, white recipients. In this chapter, we briefly examine why these differences in prevalence rates may exist.
 
In terms of policy, it is not expected that local welfare program managers will develop policies and programs based on demographic differences. However, it is
important for local case managers to know which sub-groups of welfare recipients are at risk of physical and mental health problems and other personal barriers. Some of these barriers, such as mental health problems, learning disabilities, or domestic violence, may not be apparent to the case manager in an assessment interview or in subsequent meetings with the client. Clients at high risk of such personal barriers to employment may require more specialized interventions and may not be responsive to a traditional mix of services involving job search assistance, job clubs, job placement, or work readiness, without the needed treatments or interventions.

 

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