Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need by Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)

By Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)

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Extra resources for Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden

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This strategy provided both the means for women to juggle their responsibilities as mothers and workers and good-paying, protected state jobs that helped keep unemployment low and labor force participation rates among the highest in the world (as well as among the most gender segregated). Further public employment growth, though, is no longer a viable strategy, due to the significant financial burden it already places on government budgets. 34 AGENTS OF THE WELFARE STATE By contrast, in Continental countries with strong Christian Democratic parties, expanding public employment was neither fiscally nor politically acceptable, as policymakers were reluctant to expand government involvement in the traditional jurisdiction of family and charitable service providers.

As a result, conclusions tend to be few or relatively general in nature. This book addresses many of these limitations through a smaller, more in-depth comparative approach. In recognizing that it is often at the point of delivery where we see how welfare states actually work and how they work differently, it utilizes street-level observations and interviews in 36 AGENTS OF THE WELFARE STATE addition to policy-level data. It also looks at social assistance as a whole, examining how program officials contend with complicated issues raised both by needs assessment and the promotion of recipient self-sufficiency.

Given the poor educational levels of most of those on welfare, these educational resources may be a significant feature of welfare-to-work program efforts in specific-skills countries (such as Germany and Sweden). In general-skills countries where such education systems are neither well developed nor central to LINKING WELFARE CASEWORKER DECISION MAKING 33 labor market entry at the lower end, we could expect education to be less relevant or important in welfare-to-work approaches. The post-industrial service sector trilemma Since the 1970s there has been a gradual, but inexorable shift in the developed world from manufacturing to the service sector as the driving force of economic growth.

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