Families on TANF in South Carolina: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Major Objectives of the Study


The study of TANF recipients in South Carolina was designed to address a number of key policy issues, as follows:
  • How common are different types of employment barriers in the TANF caseload?

Understanding the nature and extent of the different types of barriers among the TANF caseload can help inform decisions about resource allocation and program planning for “hard-to-serve” recipients.

  • Which barriers are the most important in terms of employability?

The relative importance of different barriers as factors in the employability of TANF recipients is assessed. Certain barriers are more difficult for case managers to recognize and may require more intensive or specialized interventions to help people become and stay employed.

  • Are some sub-groups of TANF recipients especially “at risk” for certain barriers toemployment?

Previous research has shown that some welfare recipients are on welfare for short periods of time due to job loss and/or personal crises, some are “long-termers,” and others cycle on and off welfare. Less is known, however, about whether common employment barriers, such as physical and mental health problems, are more prevalent among some sub-groups of welfare recipients than others. Information on “high risk” groups can be very valuable to case managers in identifying barriers that may not be readily apparent during an assessment interview.

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