W-2 in 2001: Wisconsin Works at Welfare Reform
August 6–8, 2001
Jennifer Ryan & Randy A. Desonia
This site visit took federal participants to Wisconsin, widely regarded as one of the pioneers of welfare reform. This site visit focused on Wisconsin Works (W-2), a statewide effort to reduce the state's welfare caseload and send clients to work. In particular, site visitors examined welfare reform policy, service delivery, and financing issues in Milwaukee, at that time the home of 85 percent of W-2 participants. Site visit participants heard from state officials, private-sector representatives, researchers, and advocates on the structure of W-2, its operating policies, and the effects of program implementation on low-income families. They toured a variety of facilities providing services to W-2 participants, including a homeless shelter, and met with several groups of current or former W-2 participants. In addition, the group met with representatives from the Milwaukee W-2 agencies who discussed successes and challenges in program implementation. Site visitors also had the opportunity to meet with state policy officials to raise questions and discuss issues about the future of W-2 and the state's priorities for the reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.
For details on participants' impressions, see the Site Visit Report.