Training Public Assistance Workers in Policy and Interpersonal Helping Skills

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth W. Lindsey, Professor Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Although social work has traditionally been concerned with economically disadvantaged populations, separation of income maintenance and public social services functions in the 1970s resulted in a decrease in social work influence and involvement in public assistance programs. In an effort to incorporate certain social work principles and practices into the public assistance function, a school of social work and a state agency collaborated to develop a program to train Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) and food stamp eligibility workers in policy and casework skills. The purpose of this article is to present findings of the evaluation of this innovative program. In addition to assessing the efficacy of training, this study also surveyed caseworkers' and supervisors' attitudes about the use of certain interpersonal skills within the context of the eligibility determination interview. Data on the extent of policy learning and information on trainees' final course grades was also collected. Results indicate that the programs are effective in teaching both policy and casework skills. Caseworkers and supervisors have positive attitudes about the relevance of casework skills for the public assistance interview. Barriers to the use of casework skills are discussed, along with implications of the findings for future research and training programs.

Additional Information

Research on Social Work Practice
Language: English
Date: 1995
Social Work, Public Assistance Workers

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