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Addressing Health Needs Helps Women Move from Welfare to Work

Assisting women receiving welfare with their health needs can help them to more quickly gain employment, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing. The study also offers insight into how the recession affected employment for these women.

Shawn M. Kneipp, Ph.D., R.N., an associate professor at the School of Nursing, led the study, which appears online in Social Science & Medicine, an international and interdisciplinary journal that publishes social science research on health issues.

Welfare reform legislation in 1996 created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which requires participants to immediately search for a job or take part in job training or education. When trying to secure a job, women in the TANF program face various challenges, and health problems are one of the most significant.

“Our study is the first randomized control trial to test an intervention aimed at reducing the health-related barriers to employment,” said Kneipp. “The findings show that health is an area where we can intervene to achieve positive results, and this knowledge could be used to shape future policy.”

You can read more about Dr. Kneipp’s results by clicking here.