Since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) and the creation of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, many states have struggled to determine the type of skills and training necessary for front-line workers. While many clients were still clearly in need of social work services, funding and the shift in focus of the TANF program challenged welfare agencies to determine what was both necessary and feasible. While the long-term goal of PRWORA may have been to reduce dependency on government benefits, the short term mandate was to move people into employment.

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