Does Wisconsin Works Work? Perspectives of Participating Women and their Employers Academic Article uri icon


  • Using a qualitative approach, this study explored the experiences of African American women in Milwaukee, WI as they transitioned from welfare to work and the barriers and challenges that impeded their movement to a position of economic self-sufficiency. The study also sought the perspectives of employers on their experiences with post-welfare African American women in the workplace. The study found three systems of barriers to impede the women's progress. These barriers were the work-first philosophy and case management practices at the local level, labor market conditions and employment practices, and personal history and responsibility. These findings suggest that any reform effort must address both the personal and structural barriers that inhibit movement towards economic self-sufficiency. 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

author list (cited authors)

  • Alfred, M. V.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Alfred, Mary V

publication date

  • September 2005