The purpose of this research was to describe the transition from welfare to workfare in the context of a case study of Baltimore City. The success of workfare programs in facilitating this transition was observed under two different forms of legislation: the Work Incentives (WIN) program under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1981 and the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) under the Family Support Act of 1988.Two theories were used in the pursuit of this objective. Lawrence Mead's theory that welfare recipients should be required to work for their benefits and Michael Harrington's theory that if full employment were achieved, workfare would not be needed. A synthesis of the two theories was used to support the implementation of workfare to reduce the welfare rolls. Baltimore City was specifically looked at to compare and contrast their Options Program of the 1980's, and their Project Independence Program of the 1990's. The conclusions reached for Baltimore were that Options provided a well grounded base for the introduction of JOBS. Options was successful in reducing dependency on welfare. Due to the newness of the JOBS legislation, data were not yet available for Baltimore, however, projections were made as to possible future outcomes of the program.


Godek, Stephen C.

Second Advisor

Fitz Gibbon, Heather


Urban Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Eliza R. Culbertson