ReWORKing Welfare Technical Assistance for States and Localities. VI. Work First in Context: Advice on Related Policies


Work first programs do not exist in a vacuum. Other rules and policies, both within and outside the welfare system, create the environment in which the program operates. Thus, they affect the way participants experience the program's services and mandates and how participants view the trade-offs between welfare and work. Part VI of this guide (sections 37-40) discusses some of these related policies, explains how they affect the design and operation of a work first program, and offers suggestions on how they can support efforts to move welfare recipients into jobs. For example, transitional benefits can cushion the jolt of leaving welfare for work by extending some supports through the first year or years of employment. Other policies-such as financial incentives and the Earned Income Credit (EIC)-can make work pay for participants who get jobs. Finally, time-limit policies put pressure on both participants and work first programs to succeed.