Nearly half a century after Lyndon Johnson coined the phrase, America continues to fight the war on poverty, especially as such modern realities as the global economy, job outsourcing, and the recession contribute to the numbers of the unemployed and the working poor. As social welfare and reform efforts are debated in Congress and local agencies, facts regarding past programs are often elusive.

U.S. Social Welfare Reform: Policy Transitions from 1981 to the Present, (Springer, 1st Edition, 2011), written by Dr. Richard Caputo, director of the doctoral program at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, examines the evolution of major Federal cash assistance programs to low-income families, from the advent of the Reagan administration to the early Obama years. Written for the professional (but not requiring expertise in quantitative analysis to understand it), U.S. Social Welfare Reform details which programs succeeded, analyzes why others failed, and highlights the need for further reform in the context of today’s economic climate.


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