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Ain't No Trust"How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters"$
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Judith Levine

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274716

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274716.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

“The Way They Treat You Is Inhumane”

“The Way They Treat You Is Inhumane”

Caseworkers and the Welfare Office

(p.47) Two “The Way They Treat You Is Inhumane”
Ain't No Trust

Judith A. Levine

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on women's interactions with caseworkers in the welfare office. It is through caseworkers that women learn welfare rules and access welfare benefits. The nature of a woman's relationship with her caseworker determines in part her understanding of welfare rules and whether she believes they will be followed reliably. Most women interviewed for this study described caseworkers who paid inadequate attention to their needs and treated them with hostility. As a result of these difficult interactions, many women in both time periods either did not know official welfare rules or suspected that caseworkers honored only the rules that were not in a recipient's favor. Both the lack of communication of welfare rules and the distrust that they would be properly implemented undermined voluntary incentives designed to entice recipients into the labor market. Distrust thus inhibited women's positive response to voluntary incentives.

Keywords:   caseworkers, welfare benefits, welfare rules, voluntary incentives, labor market, welfare access

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