- Report Published -
|A Study on the Implementation of the Virginia Independence Program and the Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare (VIEW) in the Culpeper and Lynchburg Regions|
|Department of Social Services|
|SJR 356 (Regular Session, 1997)|
|Virginia began implementation of its welfare reform initiative more than two years ago on July 1 , 1995. Through the Virginia Independence Program (VIP) and the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW), Virginia has shifted the underlying principle of cash assistance away from the long-term income maintenance program of the past toward a time-limited employment-based program leading to self-sufficiency.|
At the request of the 1997 General Assembly, this report discusses the implementation of VIEW in the Culpeper and Lynchburg areas--the first two regions to implement VIEW more than two years ago.
The study focuses on five main issues in the implementation and operation of the VIEW program:
• Education and Training,
• Health care, and
• Child care.
Each of these issues are key to the success not simply of the VIEW program, but the participants in the program. For the first time, welfare recipients are seeking to leave behind dependence on government aid and become self-sufficient. However, the public assistance system has operated programs as pure entitlements for years, and the transition to the new spirit of personal responsibility, independence, and self-sufficiency is a difficult one. These five aspects of the VIEW program are crucial in order for VIEW participants to experience continued success.
This report is the first of two required by Senate Joint Resolution 356; the second and final report will be presented on November 15, 1998. For this preliminary report, the researchers decided to gather data from those who had experienced the program first-hand: local agencies and recipients. Through the local director's survey, issues and solutions were documented in the areas of employment, education and training, transportation, health care and child care. Additionally, input from clients that was gathered from client focus groups is included. From these two sources, proposals for future recommendations are presented in each of the five areas.