August 21, 1998: Welfare Caseloads Continue to Decline


"We've got to prove that we did the right thing in welfare reform for all the American people that are willing to do the right thing by themselves, their children, and our country."

-- President Bill Clinton

An Unprecedented Decline In Welfare Rolls. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala has announced that welfare caseloads have declined to roughly 8.4 million recipients and slightly over 3 million families as of June 1998. These caseload numbers continue a trend of dramatic reductions in welfare recipients since President Clinton took office:

A New Initiative To Help States Devise Welfare To Work Strategies. The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the issuance of grants to 13 states to provide technical assistance on sharing information about existing job retention strategies for welfare recipients and the methods for evaluating these strategies with current and former welfare recipients. In addition, a contract has been approved for a private sector company to provide: (1) technical and evaluation assistance to grantees for the purpose of defining, developing, and refining job retention and advancement intervention strategies, (2) expert technical and evaluation assistance, (3) review of the field operations of grantees to document job retention/advancement focused program elements.

Building On A record Of Achievement. In 1996, President Clinton signed sweeping welfare reform legislation aimed at moving welfare recipients onto the payrolls. Since then, efforts to move people off the welfare rolls and onto the payrolls include: