Home News Local news V.I. Human Services Seeking Input on Welfare Progress

V.I. Human Services Seeking Input on Welfare Progress


Jan. 31, 2007 — The V.I. Human Services Department wants your input on how it's helping to move V.I. residents from welfare to work and is soliciting comment on its 2006 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Caseload Reduction Report.
Lennox Zamore, the department's acting administrator of financial programs, said Wednesday that because 100 percent of the money that goes to recipients comes from the federal government, the local department is required to make its draft report available to the public.
"We never get it, though," he said of the public comments.
The report is necessary to determine the credit Human Services gets for reducing its welfare rolls. The formula is complicated, but in essence it calls for a 5-percent reduction each year.
Zamore said that when the welfare program, called TANF, d the Aid for Families with Dependent Children program in 1995, the Virgin Islands had 1,200 people collecting welfare. Today, the number stands at 420.
He said Human Services was able to reduce the number by finding jobs and providing training for its clients.
He said that 99 percent of the cases are young single mothers with multiple children. He said the average age on St. Croix stands at 20. In the St. Thomas-St. John district, he said the average age was about 26.
"With training, many are quite employable if we work with them," Zamore said.
He said Human Services has a program in which employers can sign on a TANF recipient for three months without paying a salary in order to provide training.
However, Zamore said that Human Services hopes that at the end of three months, the employer will give the TANF recipient a job.
The draft report is available through Feb. 25. Call 774-7125 to obtain it.


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