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By Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)

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Additional info for Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden

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At the same time, they must identify and, in some cases, develop a wide range of career preparation and work experience programs that give clients opportunities to develop vocational interests, learn social skills and work habits, and become more confident. This resource-brokering function can require maintaining close ties with an extensive network of LINKING WELFARE CASEWORKER DECISION MAKING 29 nonprofit, governmental, and private employment organizations in a variety of occupational areas, including construction, gardening, restaurant work, metalwork, retail services, and health care.

Social assistance policies address the behavior of recipients to a greater extent than programs in any other area of social security (Bradshaw and Terum 1997), and this additional, more in-depth focus on claimants’ situations further highlights welfare’s exceptionality. Changing client outcomes generally requires a different kind of skill and knowledge base than welfare caseworkers have and a more sustained LINKING WELFARE CASEWORKER DECISION MAKING 27 kind of interaction with clients than staff are generally able to develop in an eligibility-oriented setting (Jewell and Glaser 2006; Meyers, Glaser, and MacDonald 1998; Hvinden 1994).

However, during the 1990s these strategies have had little impact on most European economies where there has been virtually no employment growth. As a result, the differences in the volume and distribution of employment between regimes have largely continued, and the differences and gaps between regime clusters persist. This combination of similar recent policy approaches with continued national differences has been referred to by Iversen (2005) as “lasting divergence with convergences at the margins” (p.

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