December 16, 2004
ATLANTA (GA) - Department of Human Resources (DHR) Commissioner B. J. Walker is making rapid progress in her effort to have more Georgians on pay rolls instead of welfare rolls. In November, work participation rates in Georgia’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program increased for the tenth straight month, to a total of nearly 45 percent. Commissioner Walker’s goal is to have work participation rates at or above 50 percent by the end of the year.
A number of factors can be credited for the steady improvement in work participation rates; but much of the credit goes to TANF caseworkers, Walker said.
“Our caseworkers know that when they help TANF participants go to work, they’re improving the lives of Georgia’s children,” Walker said. “Welfare is not good enough for a child. Families can’t thrive on $225.00 a month so that’s why we stress work and encourage TANF participants to go to work.”
DHR’s strategy focuses on educating TANF participants about the need to work as well as constantly monitoring participants to make sure they are engaged in work or work-related activity. Participants who are not involved in some sort of work activity, risk a reduction or the possible termination of their benefits. In fiscal year 2004, DHR closed more than 60,000 TANF cases; and slightly more than 55,000 new cases were opened. Overall, work participation increased by 30 percent during fiscal year 2004.
For more information, contact:
Bryan Toussaint; 404-657-1388