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Welfare To Work Participation Doubles

Chautauqua County residents should be encouraged by a recent report that the county’s Welfare to Work participation rate has more than doubled from January 2012 to September 2014.

Christine Schuyler, county health and human services commissioner, and Marge Johnson, Health and Human Services Department certification director, recently told county legislators the county had a 20.1 percent participation rate in Welfare to Work. No one should be declaring victory yet, since Johnson admitted the county still isn’t meeting state standards for Welfare to Work participation, but a pat on the back is warranted. Participation rates hovered around 10 percent in January 2012, prompting county legislators to ask for an action plan to increase those taking part in Welfare to Work.

The increase is a sign that more strict oversight of the program by county Health and Human Services Department officials is working. Give credit for that to Schuyler the caseworkers in the county Health and Human Services department and county legislators who held county officials’ feet to the proverbial fire. Frankly, it’s refreshing to see such results when we hear so much about all of the costs that local officials can’t control.

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