September 30, 2011
Poverty is caused by a number of issues, primary among them unemployment or low-wage employment - not laziness or lack of personal responsibility. Far from it. Those exist, but it's safe to say the "working poor" work long hours often at two or more jobs for subsistence-level compensation. Because of their income, or lack of it, the poor cannot afford health care, making them more susceptible to disease and less likely to work full or part-time. The remedy is not welfare hand-outs of the past, meager and demeaning as they are, or welfare reform, which does nothing to ensure a living wage for newly hired workers.
July 28, 2011
While Rep. Chris Van Hollen may wish that a deal to fix the federal government's fiscal problems could leave Medicaid untouched, the reality is that if the federal deficit is to be addressed, entitlement programs like Medicaid must be fundamentally reformed ("Debt crisis could hurt Maryland," July 17). Under the current Medicaid system, in which the federal government gives Maryland a dollar-for-dollar match for every Medicaid dollar the state spends, there is little incentive to control costs.
October 2, 2009
Two days after a state senator said Maryland Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald's signature child welfare program was "not working," Donald received a warm reception - even applause - when she appeared before another group of lawmakers Thursday. At a briefing for the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, Donald summarized how she believes "Place Matters," which she launched two years ago, is working to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. Under this new approach, the department focuses on reuniting foster children with their own families or keeping them in family settings, which has reduced the state's reliance on group home beds by nearly half.
September 13, 2008
Gary MacDougal can provide circumstantial evidence that welfare reform in Maryland reduced poverty, but only by ignoring the eyewitness accounts that indicate otherwise ("The welfare reform model," Commentary, Sept. 8). Since 1996, the University of Maryland School of Social Work has, at the behest of the state, engaged in a comprehensive longitudinal study of those who exit the welfare rolls. This information indicates that roughly half of the "welfare leavers" are employed in the three months after they leave welfare.
September 8, 2008
When the Republican Congress and Democratic President Bill Clinton agreed to "end welfare as we know it" in 1996, it stood to reason that states would need time to recover from decades of policies that undermined work incentives and encouraged family breakups - or never forming two-parent families in the first place. After more than a decade with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 in place, however, we now can see success has been widespread and deep, and we can assess how some states effectively capitalized on the freedom offered by this landmark national welfare reform, and how some failed embarrassingly.
August 3, 2008
Connie Tolbert Public information officer Maryland Department of Human Resources, Baltimore Salary $48,000 Age 47 Years on the job 15 How she got started As a former welfare recipient, Tolbert was asked to serve on a welfare reform commission during the early 1990s put together by then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Tolbert was working then as an administrative assistant for a nonprofit organization, but she had been on and off welfare for a number of years. After her work on the volunteer commission, she got a job with the Department of Human Resources certifying nursing homes.