Work First Program
Johnston County's Work First program is putting welfare recipients to work. The program is built upon the belief that "all people have a responsibility to their families and community to work and provide for their children."
The program provides assistance in the form of a monthly check to families. The amount of the check depends on the number of individuals in the family and the amount of family income. There must be a child under age 18 in the home. Work First also provides Medicaid, which pays for the medical expenses of each individual in the check.
In order to receive a check, Work First requires parents to:
Work First understands that families need help to find and keep a job. That's why we provide short-term training (when needed), transportation, child care and health care. Together, these services can provide a safety net for families to remain in the workforce and off the welfare rolls.
Key Components of Work First
Welfare recipients are required to get a job--either paid or unpaid--or be in short-term job training within 12 weeks. For at least 35 hours per week.
Limited BenefitsRecipients must leave welfare rolls in two years. After three years, they may reapply for benefits. For hardship cases where families, through no fault of their own, have been unable to find work, local review boards can grant month-to-month extensions of cash benefits while the parent continues to look for work.
Personal ResponsibilityWelfare recipients must sign a mutual responsibility contract detailing their plan for moving off welfare. They must assume responsibility for their families. If they don't sign, they won't get benefits. If they break the contract, their benefits will be cut. Work First also:
Work First eases the transition into the work force by helping with transportation, the job search and providing short-term job training.
Protection of Children
Johnston County is making Work First a Success
Johnston County's welfare rolls have declined 62 percent--down from 1,382 families in June 1995 to 526 families in July 1999. More than 1,398 families have gotten jobs and gotten off welfare. 93% of these families have stayed off welfare after going to work. Of the 526 families left on the rolls, 368 are child-only cases. These cases include families whose parents may be receiving disability or where DSS has placed children from neglectful or abusive families with relatives in order to give the child a safe and healthy environment in which to grow and learn. These families are not financially able to care for these children; therefore, a check goes into the home monthly to help meet their needs. Child support is being pursued from the parents in these cases.
|© 2014 Johnston County Government