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WILSON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS KICK OFF 'WORK PAYS' CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE WORK AMONG WELFARE RECIPIENTS

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to get the word out about new welfare rules taking effect this month, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) today kicked off a multi- media campaign to send the message to welfare recipients that "Work Pays."
 "Many welfare recipients have become skeptical about working, and have learned it's not worth it to take a low-paying job," Eloise Anderson, CDSS director, said. "Now that we've changed welfare so it pays to work, we must do more to convince recipients that getting a job -- any job -- is the first step toward self-sufficiency."
 Reforms signed into law on June 30 by Gov. Pete Wilson dramatically increase the incentive for individuals who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to work while on aid.
 Starting this month, an AFDC recipient who works while on aid -- even at a minimum wage job -- will be better off by several hundreds of dollars each month. Last year, the same AFDC recipient would have had $200 less to spend each month if she worked.
 "Research shows that AFDC recipients who work are much more likely to leave welfare than those who do not," Anderson said. "Getting a job is the key to building self-esteem, building a work record, learning skills and planning for the future."
 In addition, Anderson said the success of Riverside County in helping AFDC recipients find jobs was due in part to the enthusiasm county staff built around finding jobs.
 "In Riverside, county officials convinced participants in the state's job training and education program that any job was a good job, and would lead to better things," Anderson said. "This effort is an attempt to carry that message statewide."
 The "Work Pays" campaign will include television and radio PSAs, brochures, posters, a toll-free number, and outreach activities to counties to inform AFDC recipients and county welfare staff about the new welfare rules. In addition, the department will provide "Work Pays" materials to community organizations who work with AFDC recipients such as child care resource and referral agencies, Salvation Army outlets and food banks, among others.
 The "Work Pays" campaign, which is expected to cost about $140,000, is sponsored jointly by the Department of Social Services, the Employment Development Department and the Department of Economic Opportunity.
 "The cost of the Work Pays campaign amounts to less than 16 cents per AFDC case -- five one-thousandths of one percent of the amount the state spends on AFDC grants," Anderson said. "But the potential benefits are inestimable. If even a small fraction of the total caseload responds by taking a job, we will have succeeded."
 Other welfare reforms enacted and soon to be implemented as a result of the 1993-94 budget include cash incentives and sanctions for school attendance for teens; new savings allowances; increased efforts to fight welfare fraud; and expansion of the job training and education program.
 More than 2.6 million people in California receive monthly cash assistance through the AFDC program at a cost of roughly $7 billion each year.
 -0- 11/18/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: This is press release no. 93:185/
 /CONTACT: Amy Albright of the California Department of Social Services, 916-657-2268/


CO: California Department of Social Services ST: California IN: SU:

LW-RB -- SF014 -- 6321 11/18/93 18:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1993
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