The welfare “workfare” system has been discontinued in most states. It never did what it was meant to do, but they could have made it a great program.
For those who don’t know, the workfare system was supposed to provide work experience for people on food stamps and other welfare, so that they’d be able to gain employment and support themselves. To my knowledge, the workfare system has been discontinued in most states as of this year. I’m not terribly surprised, but I feel that giving it an overhaul would have been far better than getting rid of it.
I know from personal experience how flawed the system was. When I was required to participate in the workfare program some time back, I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was absolutely no job education. Participants were taught nothing that would help them gain employment. We were simply given tedious manual labor tasks which required no intelligence whatsoever. Depending on where you were sent, some people didn’t even have to work at all, since their “supervisors” would simply sign off on the paperwork and send them home.
I was appalled. I got myself reassigned (which was no easy task) to a local youth center. I tried to use my knowledge to at least do something useful. I wrote up lesson plans and tried to start a program for adult computer literacy. The city and state both refused to aid us with the program. It seemed the state was uninterested in providing people with any way to actually get themselves off welfare.
With the removal of the workfare program, now people need to nothing to receive their food stamps and state aid. It’s a sad state of affairs. The workfare programs should be reinstated, and they should actually make it work. If the program provided useful skills, such as computer literacy, organizing skills, or other job-related tasks, people would become more able to find jobs.
Another problem with the workfare system was that it claimed to help people find gainful employment. They did no such thing. All they did was provide the locations of job search centers, and nothing more. Without proper job skills or knowledge of how to present themselves in an interview, most people had no ability to change their situation.
The government and DFCS should really take a good long look at the workfare system, and find a way to repair it. If they could provide welfare recipients with useful skills, more people would be able to find employment and no longer be a drain on the system. While there are some people content to live on welfare forever, many people simply have no other choice. With a better workfare system and help with job placement, those people could find work and take pride in being productive members of society again.