Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore is pleased to announce 40,176 new employments have been reported since January 2011, among cash assistance clients. Their average hourly wage is more than $10 per hour.
“We offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of clients, to help them move from welfare to work,” Secretary Gilmore said. “We know that these jobs won’t necessarily remove all dependency on benefits, but employment is the most effective way to achieve self-reliance. With the help of our employment services, they are identifying their skills and paving a path to success.”
Earlier this month, Kansas was recognized by the federal Office of the Administration of Children and Families as one of only 12 states in the country to meet the federal work participation rate for both overall and two-parent families receiving cash assistance. The participation rate measures how many adults are actively working toward preparing and searching for work. These activities include short-term vocational training, job searching and readiness training, high school or GED education and employment.
As of November, there were 5,222 open Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cases in Kansas. This represents an 8.6 percent decrease from this time last year, and a 70.7 percent reduction since 2011.
In 2015, Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the most comprehensive welfare reforms in the nation, known as the Kansas HOPE Act. Additional reforms were enacted this year to strengthen existing measures. Among other changes, the HOPE Act codified common-sense work requirements and established fraud penalties.
“We are confident that through our services and the hard work and dedication of low-income Kansans, we can break the cycle of poverty so that future generations never need to have contact with our agency,” Secretary Gilmore said.