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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Linking Faith and Welfare Families: A New Role for Congregations in Austin, Texas
De La Mare, Janette Johnson.
REPORT 1999 D373 Public Affairs Library

In 1996, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation that imposes new time limits and work requirements on welfare beneficiaries. As a result of the new welfare law, some policymakers proposed that faith-based organizations could act as the safety net for families who would exit the welfare rolls. This report analyzes this proposal by examining the roles of faith-based organizations before and after welfare reform of 1996. It begins with a history of government and church partnership in providing welfare services in the United States. It then discusses the legal implications of Section 104 of the welfare law, or charitable choice provision, on church-state partnerships. The report emphasizes a new role for congregations in delivering services to welfare recipients. Examples of congregation-based programs in different states are provided as models. Next, the report focuses specifically on Austin, Texas, to portray one cityís experience of linking congregations with welfare recipients. It concludes by providing suggestions for government and congregations in assisting welfare recipients in Austin, Texas.