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EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO AFDC RECIPIENTS
SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
4339 California Street
San Francisco, California
October 15, 1968





Prepared under contract to:
ASSEMBLY RULES COMMITTEE
LCB #13110







Dorothy Miller, D.S.W.
W. Tay Vaughan, B.A.
Don E. Hiller, M.A.


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SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
San Francisco, California
October 15, 1968

EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO AFDC RECIPIENTS

SUMMARY AND FINDINGS

The California State Department of Social Welfare in conformance with federal law is now attempting to provide social services for AFDC families. Social service caseloads have been limited to sixty cases per worker. The mandate for these services is stated as follows:

Timely and appropriate services shall be provided to individuals and families who need protection, or help to maintain or achieve self-care or self-support - - - Services are any activity provided by social work staff - - - primarily counseling and use of appropriate social work method.(l)

For each AFDC case, a "service plan" must be developed by the social worker.

The statement of objectives shall include identification of the individual's problems which must be resolved - - - and the specific activities to be undertaken with or in behalf of the individual to solve the problems identified.(2)

These new requirements have been recommended by professionals in the field of public assistance. They were enacted in the belief that increasing social services to welfare families is the best way to cope with dependency.

Just how additional social services might actually be expected to change the conditions of poverty has never been made fully explicit, but presumably it is felt that by motivating impoverished individuals, some means can be uncovered to find such persons alternative sources of income.

Such an approach seems to rest upon the assumption that poverty results from an individual's own behavior (so called "case-poverty")(*) and that the way
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(1) California SDSW Manual - PSS - Issue 327 (1/1/68)
(2) California SDSW Manual - PSS - Issue 357 (1/1/68)
(*) Gailbrath, K., The Affluent Society, Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1964.


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to cure such poverty is to change the behavior of individuals who are poor. Unfortunately we found little evidence that the condition of poverty is being remedied on an individual basis.

In order to carry out an expanding social service program within AFDC, federal reimbursement of 75% was made available. Approximately ten cents out of every welfare dollar spent in California goes for the provision of social services to recipients. That is, for the average AFDC recipient with four children who receives $200 per month, an additional $20 is spent to provide that family with social services. These services are intended to help the AFDC recipient provide a better life for the family and, whenever possible, to move the recipient into the labor market.

As defined by the California State Department of Social Welfare, a social service is that which a social worker does, i.e., counseling, referral, environmental manipulation, etc. Such services are directed at solving recipients' problems and thus helping them raise themselves out of poverty. The services are intended to lead to the "strengthening of family life, to motivating selfsupport and to the prevention of dependency."

How well do these problem-services-solutions plans work? What is a problem? Does the recipient mutually agree with the social worker upon the nature of the problem? What is a social service? How is it delivered? Does it resolve the problem? Does it help? How effective are social services in solving the problems of AFDC recipients?

MAJOR FINDINGS

Most evaluative studies rely upon the measurement of objective "outcomes," i.e., observable change such as finding employment or leaving the AFDC caseload. The problem with studies which measure the effectiveness of social


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services by using objective behavior-change data is that empirical results are extremely difficult to trace, since so many situational variables intervene aside from the social service factor. In other words, it is almost impossible to learn whether the reason for change was related to the influence of social services, to a change in marital status or a rise in the labor market.

The theory underlying social casework holds that people are "helped" who feel "helped." The belief is that a change in a person's behavior occurs after personality changes have occurred. In other words, if a person's attitude and feelings about managing a problem undergo a favorable change, then one might expect a favorable behavioral change to follow(*)

Evaluation of social service effectiveness in this study utilized the social workers' own criterion. We attempted to learn to what extent AFDC recipients believed they had been helped by the social services offered.

In our study to examine the effectiveness of social services to AFDC families, interviews were conducted with matched pairs of social workers and AFDC recipients. They were each asked identical questions. As a result, we have two versions of the same set of events, that of the social worker and that of the AFDC recipient(**) The findings are summarized as follows:
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(*) This view differs, of course, from many sociological or behavioral theories of behavior change. In such theories the position is that "the appetite comes with the eating," i.e., put a person in a new role and he will behave in conformance with the new role's actions and attitudes. Most social work theories try to encompass both approaches; but in working with "poorly motivated" groups, subjective change is generally considered the first step toward behavioral change. For example, an AFDC mother must become subjectively aware of her need to accept employment and place her children out for care before she can move to enter job training. This subjective awareness is developed by establishing a casework relationship with the client, so that subjective change might be possible and objective behavior will follow.

(**) The method used was that of a multivariant analysis as developed by Edward Suchman, Evaluative Research, in N. Sussman (ed) Sociology and Rehabilitation New York: Amer. Soc. Assn. 1966, p 53


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• Ninety-five percent of the social workers were not professionally trained. Many were white, young, and single: Many recipients were older, of a minority group, had less than a high school education, had four or more children, had been on public assistance for two years or more and lived in an urban ghetto, on the average, on $217 per month. Social worker-recipient pairs are highly transient. Social workers had worked with an individual recipient, on the average, for only eight months. In fact, during the two month period of this study, nearly one-third of the pairs were broken by either the social worker or the recipient moving, transferring, etc.

• Social workers saw recipients on the average, once every other month, (one-half of the recipients were actually seen only twice in six months). Two-thirds of the workers stated they spent more than 60% of their time determining eligibility -- not in giving social services.

• Social workers and recipients viewed identical events very differently. There was little similarity between social worker and recipient about the nature of the problem, the type of social service that had been offered, or the helpfulness of that service.

• If recipients did not believe they had a problem, they did not feel that they had received any help regardless of the social worker's view of the problem.

• Few of those who felt "helped" had undergone any major change which was measurable in objective terms. Thus, it is difficult to evaluate the nature or the results of such "help."

• Only one-third of the recipients stated that the social workers had "helped" with a problem. In contrast, the social workers thought they had helped in over one-half of the cases.

• In only 15% of the cases, did the recipients and social workers agree that help had been provided.

• Most recipients viewed their primary problem as a shortage of money. Seventy-eight percent stated they did not have money enough to get through each month. Recipients viewed non-financial services as irrelevant.

• Recipients saw their primary non-financial problem (if they saw one at all) as bad housing, unemployment or illness. Social workers saw their recipients' primary problem as personal or emotional difficulties, even though one-fourth stated their recipients did not have enough money to get through the month.


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• There was little relationship between the recipient's problem and the type of service given, i.e., counseling was often the only service given for bad housing, unemployment and illness.

• There was little relationship between the type of service delivered and whether or not recipients believed they had been "helped." In fact, those recipients ,.;rho said they received no social service felt "helped" to a somewhat greater degree than those \.;rho acknowledged a social service delivery.

• Only 17% of the recipients stated they would go voluntarily to a social worker for "help." Many indicated they would not use the service of a worker from public welfare due to a lack of trust and feeling of invasion of privacy. In fact, three-fourths of the social workers stated that recipients should not go to a social worker for help with their problems. One-half of the social workers stated that the recipient should go to psychiatric, medical or educational agencies for help with their problems.

• Many social workers were frustrated by the present welfare system. Their suggestions for improving the welfare system varied between recommending administrative changes in the present program to recommending a total attack upon poverty (i.e., some type of guaranteed annual income).

• In general, recipients were unable to see much potential for change or improvement in their lot. They were often fearful and distrustful about any suggestions made by the social worker.


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THE STUDY OF EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO AFDC RECIPIENTS

METHODS

A study was developed based upon interviews held with AFDC workers and their recipients. Each recipient and her social worker was asked about a specific contact, i.e., an appointment during which they had discussed the recipient's problem and during which social services had been rendered by the social worker.

SAMPLE:

The social worker sample was randomly selected for the month of June from a monthly social service report. As each social worker was selected for the sample, one of her recipients was then randomly selected from that worker's list for that month. Thus a matched pair of recipient and social worker was formed for our interview sample. We drew 230 matched pairs, 80 in San Francisco and 150 in Los Angeles (See Appendix I). The sample was selected randomly; and it is representative of the AFDC social worker-recipient pairs in two large urban areas, i.e., San Francisco and central Los Ange1es.(3) A total matched pair sample of 230 was drawn and attempts were made to interview each selected worker and the AFDC recipient(4) whom she saw and to whom she gave social services to during the month of June, 1968. Inter views were conducted during August and September, 1968. At the close of the study 316 persons (158 matched pairs) had been interviewed. Thirty-one percent of the matched pairs could not be interviewed as there was a large turn-over within a two month period in matched pairs of recipients and workers--a serious casework problem.
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(3) Since 80% of all AFDC recipients reside in California's urban centers, we focused upon an urban sample for this study.
(4) The AFDC cases excluded child welfare and Protective Services cases.


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THE INTERVIEWS:

Duplicate interview's were conducted by trained social research interviewers who matched, as far as possible, the race of the interviewee. Most of the questions in the schedule were structured ones, but several key questions were left open-ended to elicit the widest possible content in the response. (See Interview Schedule in Appendix II.) For example, both workers and recipients were asked, "In June, what did you discuss with your (client)(worker)?" These questions elicited problem-oriented responses which were content analyzed (5) in order to develop relevant problem categories. Each worker and recipient were asked the same questions about their social and demographic backgrounds, about the recipients' problems, the social services given, the outcome of that service (did it "help"?) as well as questions about the welfare program in general. The interview data were carefully coded, with high inter-coder reliability (r=.89) among the independent raters. (See Appendix II for coding methods.)

THE DESIGN:

The analytical design for evaluating the effectiveness of social services (*) to AFDC families is that proposed by Suchman which is a multi-variant analysis of the relationship between a chain of variables.

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(5) Berelson, B., "Content Analysis," in Gardner Liddsay, Handbook of Social Psychology, Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc.
(6) Suchman, E., Op. Cit


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Since matched-pairs were used, it was possible to examine each of the four variables about each case from two perspectives, i.e., the social worker's and the recipient's. Did they have any social characteristics in common (race, age, marital status)? Did they both agree on the recipient's problem? Did they each understand the social services as delivered? Did they agree upon the effectiveness of these services for the recipient? How are all these related to each other? That is, what kind of worker-recipient pairs defined what kind of outcome? Or to reverse the analysis -- what "helped" what problems in the context of two-matched perspectives, the worker and recipient?

This study focused upon this analytical model in order to examine the effectiveness of social services upon the recipients' problems, taking a given point in time when both worker and recipient met and discussed the recipients' problem and when the worker had reported that a social service had been rendered to that client. (6)

The findings presented in this report are based upon a computerized analysis of this multi-variant design, tracing preconditions to the independent variable, through the intervening variable as related to the dependent variable.

Certain cautions must be taken about the over-all generality of these data. While this sample is large enough to be statistically representative of the urban AFDC service load in the areas sampled, it is numerically too small for a complete multi-variant analysis on all factors. A considerably larger sample would be necessary to trace all effects upon outcome, as garnered from our interview items. It is hoped that the findings from this gross analysis will be sufficiently stimulating to produce large studies of the over-all effectiveness of social services in the AFDC program.
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(6) As previously stated, the matched-pair sample was drawn from the social workers June Social Services Rendered Listing. In this way, we narrowed our focus to a specific time and place in order to study the outcome of a specified service for a specific problem.


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ANALYSIS OF DATA

The paired interviews produced data regarding each respondent's social characteristics, their view of the recipient's problem, the services offered in a specific encounter, and the consequence of that social service. In addition each social worker and each recipient responded to a number of attitudinal questions about the welfare program and their suggestions for changing the present system.

As we examine the findings, it is imperative to understand the characteristics of the matched pairs, the social workers and the recipients. Host social services depend upon the amount of understanding between workers and recipients. Communication is a basic ingredient of any relationship. Many scholars have found that differences in social class, racial identities and status create some degree of communication blockage. It is therefore of considerable interest to compare some of the social characteristics of social workers and recipients.

Ninety-five percent of the social workers were not professionally trained; many were young, white and single: Many recipients were older, of a minority group, had less than a high school education, had four or more children, had been on public assistance for two years or more and lived in an urban ghetto, on the average, on $217 per month.

Effective delivery of social services are thought by some to be related to social workers' training and experiences. In this study, only 5% of the social workers had professional training (i.e., a Master's Degree in Social Work) and 95% had only a Bachelor's Degree (often not in a content-relevant field). Yet, social workers without formal social work training were seen by recipients as having "helped" in one-third of the cases, while trained workers "helped" in but 13% of the cases.(*)
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(*) Due to the small number of professionally trained workers in this sample the reader is cautioned not to draw a final conclusion; this finding is only suggestive of the need for further research in this area.


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The sex of the worker relative to the sex of the client is sometimes viewed as a determinant for the establishment of a meaningful relationship. The findings did not reveal a significant difference between the sexes. Most AFDC recipients are females. Ninety-four percent of the recipients in our sample were females; 73% of the social workers were female. Women social workers "helped" in 35% of the cases and male social workers in 28% of the cases, yielding a statistically non-significant difference.

Race is thought to be another important factor in communication between worker and client. When the social worker was white, one-third of the recipients were helped; when the worker was black, the recipient felt helped in 36% of the cases, a non-significant difference. However, when the race of the client and the social worker was matched, that is, when white social workers served white clients and black workers served black clients, a surprising difference emerged; i.e., matched white pairs were more effective than matched black pairs. (X2 = 3.79; 1 df; p < .05). However, when the worker was white and the recipient black the recipient felt helped to the same degree as when her worker was black. That is, black clients in general felt "helped" less often than did white clients. In no instance, did we find a situation where a black social worker was seeing a white client, although in 44% of the cases white workers were seeing black clients.(*)

In the sample, 9% of the workers were black, 84% ,white; among recipients 55% were black and 13% white. Among clients 29% were Mexican-American, while only three social workers were Mexican-American. Yet, in general, the race of the worker, per se, did not make a significant contribution to the amount of "help" recipients received from social services.
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(*) Do black workers only get black AFDC cases? There have not been any definitive studies of the effect of racial differences between worker and client or patient and doctor, when the "helper" is of a minority group.


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Communication patterns are social, rather than racial. Black workers are college-educated, most black clients are poorly educated; these social class barriers exceed the race factor , as Herzog and others have previously shown. (The same observation is equally true for all other "racial" groupings.)

Other social or demographic factors were also studied, i.e., age; marital status, religion, etc., for their effect upon the recipients' feelings of being helped.

Communication between worker and client may be affected by age differences (the "generation gap"). The average age of the social workers was 29 years; the average age of the recipients, 35 years. This difference becomes more meaningful when pairs were matched by young (less than 30), mature (30-40) and old (40 years or more). We found that when the recipient was "younger" and the worker "older" the recipient felt "helped" to a greater degree than in cases where the worker was younger or the same age as the recipient. These findings must be considered against the distribution of workers and clients by age, as shown in the table below.

TABLE I: DISTRIBUTION OF WORKERS AND RECIPIENTS BY AGE

Age Social Workers Recipients
Young (to 29-years) 70% 32%
Mature (30-40 years) 19% 31%
Old (40+ years) 11% 37%

Seventy percent of the social workers are "young," while two-thirds of the recipients are over 30 years of age. Thus, the age-differences between workers and recipients appear to further block communication and may be seen as a further hindrance to "helping."



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AFDC mothers are generally from one-parent families; they have children but no spouses. Among social workers, nearly one-half have never married and 10% have experienced a "broken" marriage. Single social workers were significantly less likely to "help" recipients than were either the married or the separated workers. (X2 = 7.815; 1 df; P < .001)

Three-fourths of the social workers had no children, while the recipients had, on the average, four children. However, the number of children the social worker had did not have a significant relationship to the recipients' evaluation of the service.

What is to be expected from a juxtaposition of such social workers with such recipients?
Social services are most likely to be received and understood if communication patterns are clear. Social workers base their work upon the development of a meaningful relationship with the recipient, so that services can be acceptable. One component of a relationship is based upon the length of time a worker and a client have seen each other. With regard to this dimension, we found:

Social worker-recipient pairs are highly transient. Social workers had worked with an individual recipient, on the average, for only eight months. In fact, during the two month period of this study, nearly one-third of the pairs were broken by either the social worker or the recipient moving, transferring, etc.

Host social workers would agree that the length of worker-client relationship would have some relevance to the ability to help. One-fourth of the social workers had seen the recipient for less than three months; 52% for less than six months. In fact, social workers in 94% of the cases had been seeing the recipient for less than a year. However, there was no statistically significant relationship between the recipients' feeling of being helped and the length of contact with the social worker.


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Social workers servicing AFDC families may contact other people regarding their recipients' situation. In Table II, the social workers are compared with the recipients' knowledge of outside-persons having been contacted.

TABLE II: OUTSIDE PERSONS CONTACTED AS DESCRIBED BY SOCIAL WORKERS AND BY RECIPIENTS (Percentage)

Other Person(s) Contacted Social Worker Recipient
No other 22% 52%
Children of recipients 58% 31%
Relatives in household 25% 7%
Relatives outside household 15% 1%
Others (friends, professionals, etc.) 20% 4%

As can be seen, social workers do not contact a significant number of other persons about their recipients. However, there was no statistically significant relationship between social workers' outside contacts in behalf of the client and the clients' feeling of having been helped.

In summary, it does not appear that the number of contacts or the amount of outside referrals improved the recipients' chances of feeling "helped" by the social services.

Social workers saw recipients on the average, once every other month. One-half of the recipients were actually seen only twice in six months). Two-thirds of the workers stated they spent more than 60% of their time determining eligibility -- not in giving social services.

During a seven months period, 27% of the workers had seen their client only once, while one-half had seen their client twice. In only 10% of the cases had visits been made monthly. (See Appendix page 4) Thus, there was very little "intensive" service given.

The first analytical focus was that of the relationship between problem, service and outcome. We asked each pair to define the recipients' problem.


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Our focus was upon the recipient's non-financial problems, i.e., those problems for which social services would be given. However, both social workers and recipients gave high priority to the recipients' financial problem.

In fact, nearly one-half of the recipients insisted that money was their primary problem despite the fact that our questions focused upon non-financial needs. Seventy-eight percent of the AFDC recipients stated that they actually did not get through each month on their current income and needed, on the average, at least an additional $100 a month in order to eke out an existence. Both workers and recipients agreed in 59% of the cases that the recipient did not receive enough money for the recipient's needs. These recipients were asked about those shortages brought about by the lack of adequate income.

TABLE III: "What don't you have enough money for?" BY PERCENT OF "Not enough" RESPONSES MADE BY SOCIAL WORKERS AND RECIPIENTS ABOUT RECIPIENTS' NEEDS

SW (N=158) R (N=158)
Clothing 53% 71%
Food 28% 42%
Furnishing and Appliances 36% 37%
Credit payments 23% 16%
Rent 29% 15%
Insurance 27% 21%
Medical-dental expenses 12% 9%
The "Better things" 49% 27%
Other things 20% 18%

As can be seen, recipients reported that the shortage of money was most acute for food and clothing, while social workers reflected their recipients' lack of the"better things" in life, as well as clothing needs. Many recipients had little expectation that their life style would improve in any way. Social


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workers indicated that only one-fourth of their clients received enough money to get them through the month. In their meeting, however, only 30% of the pairs discussed the recipients' need for more money.

Yet, throughout our interviews which were specifically tailored to focus upon the non-financial and social services aspects of AFDC, recipients (and workers to some degree) continued to refer both overtly and covertly to the massive impact of poverty upon recipients' lives.

A marked finding was the general lack of optimism and hopefulness among recipients about their chances for bettering their condition. This general feeling of futility can be seen in Table III. Only one-fourth of the recipients felt they needed additional funds for the "better things" in life -- they did not seem to ever expect being able to support anything but the barest essentials of life maintenance.

Social workers and recipients viewed identical events very differently. There was little similarity between social worker and recipient about the nature of the problem, the type of social service that had been offered or the helpfulness of that service.

Aside from the need for money, what primary problem did the recipients and workers discuss at the June session? An analysis of both the social workers' and the recipients' description of the problems discussed at the June meeting was made. Table IV presents the perspective, as well as the amounts of agreement between matched pairs of workers and recipients.

In addition to the recipients' primary problems (*) discussed at the June meeting workers and recipients also discussed other problem areas: that is, they
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(*) In this study, we defined the primary problem as the one which the respondents stated in the first open-ended question. That is, we have assumed that the problem given there represented the most salient and relevant problem in the eyes of both the worker and the recipient. This open-ended question was followed by a series of "probes," i.e., "in addition, did you discuss ______?" These problems listed were originally derived from our pilot interviews which were coded by content-analysis techniques. We assume the responses to these closed questions represent secondary problem areas -- not the most cogent or salient problems facing the recipient at that time.


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also "talked about" additional problems, although neither may have seen these as current or pressing "problems." Table V shows these additional subjects and the amount of agreement between workers and recipients about that discussion.

TABLE IV: RECIPIENTS MAIN NON-FINANCIAL PROBLEM AS VIEWED BY SOCIAL WORKER AND RECIPIENT

Problem Discussed Social Worker Recipient
Physical illness or handicap 20% 22%
Housing, rent, living situation 6% 17%
Job training, employment 21% 18%
School problems 10% 3%
Trouble with children 9% 12%
Family conflict or trouble 7% 1%
School plans for recipient 2% 4%
Legal problems or assistance 4% 3%
Trouble with the law 1% -
Birth control 2% 1%
Psychiatric problems 1% 3%
Child care or babysitting 3% 3%
Financial management 11% 4%



TABLE V: ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS DISCUSSED BY RECIPIENT AND WORKERS

Problems Discussed Social Worker Recipient Agreement
Physical illness 70% 52% 46%
Housing, rent, living situation 67% 49% 39%
Job training, employment 70% 47% 42%
School problems 41% 29% 16%
Trouble with children 34% 10% 6%
Family conflict or trouble 36% 13% 8%%
School plans - adult 42% 28% 15%
Legal problems 27% 14% 7%
Trouble with the law 9% 3% 1%
Birth control 25% 6% 4%
Psychiatric problems 22% 7% 6%
Child care 29% 23% 16%
Financial management 19% 4% 1%


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As can be seen, a wide range of problems were discussed,(*) although the communication between the worker and the recipient was of low agreement. Never did the percentage of agreement between the two reach even 50%. That is, what the worker reported as being the recipient's problem discussed at the June meeting waS not, in half of the cases, viewed as the problem by the recipient. The highest amount of agreement between the pairs (**) occurred when the problem under discussion wa money, illness, or housing. Personal, emotional, or behavioral problems had very low levels of consensus between workers and clients. For example, social workers reported that a discussion of family conflict was held with over one-third of their recipients; while recipients agreed that the problem was discussed in less than 8% of the cases. One-fourth of the social workers reported they discussed birth control with the recipient, but the recipient agreed that birth control was discussed in only 4% of the sessions. Workers stated they had discussed a psychiatric or emotional problem with their recipients in nearly one-fourth of the cases , but only 6% of the recipients agreed that an emotional problem had been discussed. In general, clients did not agree that they had, in fact, discussed personal or emotional problems with their worker, but stated rather that they had talked about money, illness, rent or employment.
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(*) It must be remembered that these problem-categories arose from the open-ended responses made by workers and recipients and are not the researcher's categories. These are empirically derived categories, drawn from a series of pilot interviews with workers and recipients.
(**) By "agreement" between recipients and workers, we mean that the view held by the worker was the same as the view held by the recipient in each of the matched pairs studied. We do not infer that worker-client pairs "agreed" after a mutual discussion, only that they reported, in separate interviews, the same phenomenon.


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In summary, 15% of the recipients did not feel they had discussed any problem with the social worker, and in 43% of these reported sessions the social worker and the recipient did not agree that they had discussed a similar problem.

This finding may be a strong indicator that little consensual communication had transpired between worker and recipient. This finding forms the basic framework within which the rest of the findings must be evaluated.

If recipients did not believe they had a problem, they did not feel that they had received any help regardless of the social worker's view of the problem.

In this report, we have operationally defined "effectiveness of social services" to mean whether or not AFDC recipients perceived that they had, in any way, about any problem, with any service, been helped in (aside from financial aid) by her contact with her social worker, we classified that situation as one in which some type of social service had been effective. In one-third of the cases, the AFDC recipient reported that she had been helped in some manner with some problem by some type of social service given by her social worker.

Few of those who felt "helped" had undergone any major change which was measurable in objective terms. Thus, it is difficult to evaluate the nature or the results of such "help."

If a somewhat more objective criterion for effectiveness were utilized (i.e., employment, training, actual changes in some area of the recipient's life), very little effect would have been visible in the cases we interviewed. We therefore chose to accept the most subjective criterion of effectiveness, i.e., that the recipient felt "helped" in some way by her contact with the social worker. Thus, the finding that so few recipients registered any effect from social services rendered raises many questions in view of the considerable expenditure of funds and personnel allocated to the social service program.


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Only one-third of the recipients stated that the social workers helped with a problem. In contrast, the social workers thought they had helped in over one-half of the cases.

The problems which recipients received "help" with are shown in Table VI. As these findings are examined, the reader must recall that, in fact 18% of the recipients had stated they had not discussed any problem with the social worker, and that each of the problems were discussed by less than one-half of the recipients, as reported in the following table.


TABLE VI: RECIPIENTS' MAIN NON-FINANCIAL PROBLEH COMPARED WITH RECIPIENTS' VIEW OF WHETHER OR NOT HE/SHE HAD BEEN HELPED

Recipients View of Problem % of R/with Problem % of R who were helped
Physical illness 23% 52%
Rent, living situation 17% 26%
Job training, employment 18% 28%
School problems with children 3% 60%
Other problems with children 13% 30%
Family conflicts 1% -
Adult school plans 4% 67%
Legal problems 3% 50%
Trouble with law - -
Birth control 1% -
Psychiatric problems 1% -
Child care 3% 25%
Other problems (including management of money) 4% 42%

While 17% had discussed their living situation with their worker, they felt helped in only one-fourth of the cases. While 18% had discussed employment or job training with their worker, they had been "helped" in 28% of the cases.

In only 15% of the cases, did the recipients and social workers agree that help had been provided. Both worker and client agreed that the client had been


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helped in only 15% of the cases. That is, often when the client thought she had been helped, her worker did not agree. Likewise, the social worker often thought she had helped, when the recipient did not agree.

As previously documented, only a few recipients discussed personal or emotional problems with their social workers, but, as can be seen, in those cases when they did discuss such problems, they indicated some degree of "he1p." The same finding holds for those few who discussed family conflicts and legal problems. The disappointing finding, however, lies in the fact that the social worker often was unable to establish adequate communication with her client about these personal and social problems, as previously noted in Table V. That is, while workers saw their client's having an emotional problem in nearly one-fourth of the cases, the clients agreed in only 7% of the cases even though, when recipients and social workers did agree on this problem, they indicated they were helped to a considerable degree.

The strong finding emerges from all these findings that social workers and recipients do not have a common view of recipients' problems, and this lack of consensus seems to forecast the failure of the effective delivery of social services to the recipients. Without a commonly-held definition of the problem by both worker and recipient, most communications seem to wither away, and little or no effect emerges from the delivery of social services. Indeed, social services are not delivered at all. (*)

Most recipients viewed their primary problem as a shortage of money. Seventy-eight percent stated they did not have money enough to get through each month. Recipients viewed non financial services as irrelevant.

If a recipient defined a problem in some manner similar to the social worker's definition, there was some likelihood that the social service might
------------------------------------------
(*) See the report of NASW symposium on the delivery of social services, San Francisco, 1968.


Pg. 21

"help." However, "when the worker and the recipient did not view the recipient's problem in a similar way, the recipient did not feel the worker's services had been helpful. If services were not received (i.e., not delivered) then it was not surprising that they had little appreciable effect.

The recipients' definition of the helping situation emerges as a strong determinate of the outcome of social services.

The Welfare and Institutions Code (*) states a specific expectation of behavioral change in the client (e.g., that he attain a strong family life or that he acquire work skills and the "good" values of a working person. The means of bringing about such behavioral changes are at best imperfectly understood. (**) What can be understood, however, is that little or no change can occur without a clear understanding of the expectation and direction of change, of the area to be changed, and of the positive "pay-off" from changing. Such a process requires clear consensus between helper and helped, an open communication and stable support throughout the period of change. The data from this study found little evidence of the existence of either a clear and consensual understanding of the recipient's problem, or the systematic expectation, by either the worker or the recipient, that real change would occur in the recipient's situations.
------------------------------------------
(*) State of California, Welfare and Institution Code, 1593.
(**) See Elizabeth McBroom's excellent study, Adult Socioloization: A Basis for Public Assistance Practice, University of California, School of Social Welfare, Berkeley, 1967. She states: "There is some question as to whether today's' public assistance agency qualifies as an organization which can teach clients to be more competent. It is difficult to find evidence of long range plans for systematic changes, or learning, on the part of the clients." (p. 2)


Pg. 22

In one-half of the cases, when there was some problem that the recipient felt he needed help with, the type of social services rendered by the worker did not seem to be relevant.

Recipients saw their primary non-financial problem (if they saw one at all) as bad housing, unemployment or illness. Social .workers' and their recipients' primary problem as personal or emotional difficulties, even though one-fourth stated their recipients did not have enough money to get through the month.

As previously noted, the recipients saw three prime non-financial problems. They described physical illness or handicap (23%), housing, rent or living situation (17%), or job training, employment (18%) most frequently as being their major non-financial problem. What services did the workers offer these recipients and how much did these services help recipients with each of these problems?

About one-fourth of the recipients indicated that they discussed physical illness as their primary problem with their worker in June. In 58% of those cases, the worker offered counseling as the primary social service; over one-third of the recipients who received counseling indicated the service helped. In one-fourth of the cases, the worker made a medical referral; the recipient felt helped in only one-fourth of the cases.

There was little relationship between the recipient's problem and the type of service given, i.e., counseling was often the only service given for bad housing, unemployment and illness.

Seventeen percent of the recipients saw their housing situation as the primary problem. Workers offered them counseling in 44% of the cases, referral in 19%, and environmental manipulation in only 19% of those cases. Counseling helped in 14% of the cases. referral in none. In two-thirds of the cases where environmental manipulation was offered, the recipient was helped. In short, when the problem was housing, and the social worker offered real help, i.e.,


Pg. 23

helped the client move or seek redress (i.e., environmental manipulation) the recipient was helped. But it must be remembered that only 19% of the cases where the recipient viewed his problem as housing, did the worker select environmental manipulation as the social service of choice.

Job-training or employment was seen as the primary problem by 18% of the recipients. Counseling was given in nearly one-half of the cases, and when counseling was given, the recipient was helped in 31% of the cases. Referrals were offered to the recipient in 40% of those cases, but the recipient was helped in only 8% of the cases.

There was little relationship between the type of service delivered and whether or not recipients believed they had been "helped." In fact, those recipients who said they received no social service felt "helped" to a somewhat greater degree than those who acknowledged a social service delivery.

Thus, the type of service offered to these recipients were often only tangentially related to the problem, as the recipient saw it, and were then in general ineffectual in the recipients' view.

A social service is classified as involving 1) counseling (i .e., information-giving, supportive or encouraging discussion, clarification of emotional problems, etc.), 2) referral (i.e., advising of or sending the client to another source of help or service), or 3) environmental manipulation (i.e., actually changing a client's environment, such as helping him find a new home, purchase a refrigerator, etc. (*)

In Table VII the social worker's and the recipient's view of the social services given is reported.
------------------------------------------
(*) See examples of content-analysis codes for each of these three service groupings in Appendix II


Pg. 24

TABLE VII: TYPE OF SOCIAL SERVICES DELIVERED AS SEEN BY SOCIAL WORKER AND RECIPIENT

Type of Service Delivered SW's View R's View
No answer or don’t know 2% 18%
Counseling 58% 38%
Referral 25% 19%
Environmental manipulation 11% 6%
Nothing done 4% 18%

As can be seen, in over one-third of the cases where a problem was discussed, the recipient did not see any type of social service being given. Further, social workers saw counseling being offered in nearly one-third more of the cases then did the recipient. According to the social workers, counseling was the social service rendered in 58% of the cases. Social workers referred recipients in one-fourth of the cases, although few recipients thought that they had been referred.

One might assume that service is not a service until it has been delivered to the recipient, i.e., that no real social service is delivered unless the recipient recognizes that 80=e sort of service has in fact been made available. If one accepts this assumption, it would seem that very few recipients actually received social services.

Social services are always related to a specific problem, or to a particular social or personal need; they do not exist in limbo. Social services are real only when they connect with need and are delivered in such a way as to relate to that need. A "social service" remains an intangible abstraction until placed within the context of a problem. The service delivery can then be evaluated as to its effectiveness in meeting that specific need.


Pg. 25

Thus, all "social services" are not relevant for all problems or for all clients. What problems, then, called forth what services? How were these perceived by both workers and recipients?

If the worker offered a service or made a recommendation to the recipient about solving his problem, the recipient may or may not have accepted that service. As seen in Table VIII, the recipient accepted a service or a recommendation in 41% of the cases.

TABLE VIII: RECIPIENTS' ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE AS VIEWED BY SOCIAL WORKER & RECIPIENT

SW' s View R's View
No answer, not applicable 11% 41%
Recipient accepted 3% 41%
Recipient did not accept 30% 18%
Outcome unknown 16% 1%

Thus, in one-half of the cases, the social service or the specific recommendation was not accepted or followed by the recipient, as reported by both the worker and the recipient.

Only 17% of the recipients stated they would go voluntarily to a social worker for "help." Many indicated they would not use the services of a worker from public welfare due to a lack of trust and a feeling of invasion of privacy. In fact, three fourths of the social workers stated that recipients should not go to a social worker for help with their problems. One-half of the social workers stated that the recipient should go to psychiatric, medical or educational agencies for help with their problems.

Why didn't the recipient accept the offered service or recommendation? In Table IX, each respondent was asked why the recipient did not accept the service; the answers are reported as given by both workers and recipients. (The percentages in this table refer to those situations in which the recipient


Pg. 26

did not follow through on the service recommendation or accept the suggestions made by the social worker. This occurred in 49% of the matched pairs as seen by both recipients and social workers.)

TABLE IX: REASON FOR RECIPIENT NOT ACCEPTING SOCIAL SERVICE AS GIVEN BY SOCIAL WORKER & RECIPIENT

Reason SW Recipient
Recipient does not act 16% 12%
Recipient feels suggestion impossible 31% 46%
Recipient feels suggestion unnecessary 12% 14%
Recipient does not like suggestion 41% 28%

As can be seen, recipients are more likely than social workers to feel the offered service was impossible to carry out in their circumstance, e.g., the recipient did not accept referral for job training or employment because there was no one to care for the children. (*) On the other hand, social workers were likely to feel that the recipient did not accept the service because of apathy or hostility.

In general, recipients were unable to see much potential for change or: improvement in their lot. They were often fearful and distrustful about any suggestions made by the social worker.

In addition to a question about the specific social service delivered in June, each matched pair was asked to evaluate generally the effectiveness of social services the recipient may have received from AFDC workers in the past. Table X presents the overview of help and services received by the recipients as viewed by both the social worker and the recipient.
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(*) See Martin Warren and Sheldon Berkowitz's excellent report, "A Pilot Study of AFDC Employability," California State Department of Social Welfare, September, 1968, which found that AFDC recipients' biggest obstacle to employability was child care as well as poor job skills.


Pg. 27

TABLE X: LOOKING BACK, WHAT HELP WITH NON-FINANCIAL PROBLEMS HAS RECIPIENT RECEIVED FROM SOCIAL WORKER (Reported by both)

Help Received Social Worker Recipient
Income maintenance 8% 8%
Referrals 27% 11%
Counseling 32% 6%
Orientation, information 8% 4%
Little or none, don't know 25% 70%

As can be seen, recipients did not view social services as having been of any real help any time during their welfare career. That is, they did not see social services as relevant for dealing with their non-financial problems. One-third of the social workers felt that counseling, support, and encouragement had been of help to the recipient, while one-fourth felt referrals to other agencies had been helpful. Only 17% of the recipients saw these referral and counseling services as having been helpful. Thus recipients and social workers viewed the long-range value of social services to recipients very differently.

Each person in the matched pair was then asked what might have been done in the past to help the recipient with non-financial problems. Table XI presents the responses of workers and recipients.

Table XI: WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN DONE REGARDING RECIPIENTS’ MAJOR NON-FINANCIAL PROBLEM (Response of SW and R)

Services SW (N=158) R (N~158)
More money, guaranteed income 6% 15%
Better referrals 22% 14%
More casework service 27% 3%
Too late, recipient does not act 7% 1%
Nothing more, don't know 34% 62%
Other response 4% 6%

Pg. 28

Thus recipients again indicated that social services were not relevant to their problems (only 17% could see any value in any social service). On the other hand, one-half of the social workers indicated that the recipient might have been helped had adequate casework referrals been available. However, many of the workers seemed to be disillusioned about the value of social services when faced with the recipient's problems.

Many social workers Here frustrated by the present welfare system. Their suggestions for improving the welfare system varied between recommending administrative changes in the present program to recommending a total attack upon poverty (i. e. , some type of guaranteed annual income).

At the close of each interview, the respondent was asked what he would like to tell the California State Legislature about welfare.

Social workers responded in 90% of the cases, while three-fourths of the recipients made statements. These open-ended statements reflect much that the analysis of the data has revealed. They tell a powerful story, and we report here some of the most pertinent replies.

SOCIAL WORKER MESSAGES:

Eliminate paper work and simplify procedures; do away with bureaucratic inefficiency.

Better public relations with clients. The diet level is too low for children. More realistic training and funds for recipients. Better business practices.

Let them (sic) try to live with one child on $148 a month.

Everyone who works with welfare should spend a day in the field.

Change name from welfare to branch of the Department of Corrections -- welfare has lost its real meaning.

It is frustrating for the worker to have to deny money and then to try to counsel.

We're not doing anything to help anybody. Welfare seems to take away a recipient's pride and attach a stigma.


Pg. 29

If money were simply handed out with perhaps spot checks on eligibility, it would be as effective as the present system. The welfare worker cannot really develop a rapport with the recipient because the recipient is so afraid of losing her benefits.

Raise the maximum amount of money available to each family so that basic needs are met. This job is giving me a nervous breakdown.

Divide welfare between financial and social.

Welfare builds a feeling of disgrace in some recipients. A negative income tax would be better.

Money should be given without so much intrusion into the client's private life -- social workers should not be forced on the client.

Money and counseling incompatible.

The total system has a negative connotation. . . clients feel ashamed to be on welfare and hopeless about their whole situation.

Most of these clients just don't get enough money. Dependency is build into the system and unemployment is perpetuated. The system is lousy and just doesn't work as it is. The guaranteed annual income would be better.

Welfare system is very punitive. Recipients suffer not only from being poor -- they are unable to speak to the other side -- people outside their world.

Bring level of finance up to clients' needs. Separate social worker from money, so that he will be able to provide services. As it is, social workers are not able to have human relationships with their clients.

In addition to these general statements, social workers frequently mentioned the need to revise the amounts of money spent for housing, change the regulations governing the Food Stamp Program, do away with paperwork, delays, needless supervision, etc. Most all of the workers called for more money for the clients, better training programs, and more child care centers.

As McBroom has stated:

The organization of public assistance has in some instances been turned topsy-turvy, like an inverted pyramid so that the entire


Pg. 30

weight of its structure presses down on the client at the bottom and the worker next to the bottom rather than, as intended, forming a base to extend strong support to the client and to worker in his front-line, primary, client-serving role.(*)

RECIPIENTS HESSAGES:

The recipient statements in general reflect apathy and anomie, i.e., they had very little to say or very little hope that what they did say would have much meaning. Many recipients had only a vague idea of what the legislature was, or how it was related to them.

Their verbatim statements speak eloquently and stand alone.

I would tell the legislature that welfare should give large families more money.

Social workers should have more compassion for people.

I can't confide in my social worker; they aren't really interested, they don't help.

I need more money to make ends meet and help find my husband and make him support the kids.

Welfare is a fake! There is lots of injustice.

More money for rent so one can live where you'd like.

Not enough to live on. Long waits between my bills and my welfare check. Don't get money on time.

A mother needs a washing machine, especially a mother with children. Social workers should be more courteous as well as helpful.

Welfare is good for people who can't help themselves.

That guaranteed income (sic) that they are talking about. They should get it together as soon as possible.

Go to H---! I don't enjoy being on welfare, especially since the welfare think they are doing you a favor for the insufficient things they provide.

Improve Food Stamp Program.

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(*) McBroom, Op cit, page 5


Pg. 31

Not to decrease income because of decrease in rent. Some welfare workers are very arrogant and cruel. They brag of their status.

They give you just exactly enough and no more -- more would help. Rent is terrible -- people could better themselves if they could get out of the project -- provide rent supplement -- help in getting jobs.

Social workers act as if money is coming out of their pockets. They won't listen.

I'd like to get check every week. They should help people when check is stolen.

I feel it is good for people in need. A lot is needed, but children suffer.

I think its wonderful thing for people who can't help themselves. Most social workers are trying to help.

I'd rather have a job than wait on welfare.

Better social workers. They are hard to contact. The people that need the money aren't getting it.

Send me my money on time and a little bit more.

Less visits from social worker. Every six months is enough.

Almost all comments from recipients focused upon the inadequacy of their welfare income, upon poor housing and high rents and upon lack of transportation, as well as displeasure with their social workers. In general, recipients saw no real alternatives, but felt angry or frustrated by the present system.

Given the reality problems of the present welfare system, it does not seem remarkable that both workers and recipients were showing frustration and disenchantment. Their message to legislators seems to be: -- The present welfare system is not accomplishing its goals; something should be done to change it. However, there is no sustained agreement as to just what these changes could be.


Pg. 32

IMPLICATIONS

In this study, we found that among the worker-recipient pairs interviewed, there was a wide gap in the meanings and consequence of social services offered within the welfare system.

What are the value of social services to AFDC recipients? It would seem that both workers and recipients are engaged in shadow-boxing, without much consensual awareness of the problems faced by recipients and effective or relevant services are not being made available in such a way as to help the recipient deal with a problem as he sees it.

Such findings will not come as a surprise to those people we interviewed (since many of them, both among workers and recipients frankly told us this was the case). Neither should these findings come as a surprise to the profession of social work, whose leaders for some time have been raising serious questions about the effectiveness of casework services; about the social gap between professionals and the poor, and about the relevance of the traditional social services. (*)

It cannot be surprising to hear that young, untrained, but well-meaning workers do not truly make an impact upon the culture of poverty, armed with such limited weapons as a sub-standard welfare check and a few chats a year with an over-burdened mother living in an urban ghetto. It cannot be surprising that little or no effective personal relationships can evolve between a recipient and that series of strangers who administer her welfare check.
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(*) See for example Al Commoners paper delivered at NASH Symposium, San Francisco, 1968; Scott Briar, "The Casework Predicament," Social Work, Vol. 13, No.1, Jan. 1968, pp 5-11; Alvin L. Shirir, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: A Review of Girls at Vocational High," Social Work, Vol. 10, No.3, July, 1965, pp 112-113, and a host of studies on the effectiveness of various types of therapy.


Pg. 33

In a sense, the findings from this study have merely documented the obvious.

In California, 10% of the welfare budget is spent each year for social services. How better might these funds be expended?

Some professional social workers have called for the separation of services from the welfare agency structure and have urged a private entrepreneural model. (**) Others have urged separation of services from eligibility within the welfare agency, and this suggestion has been called for in the newest revisions of the Social Security Act.

In this study one major finding was that unless recipients defined a problem as real, little or no consequences would result from social services, no matter how the social worker dealt with that situation. The implications are that social services are largely applicable and relevant, in their present form, for those clients who recognize a problem and are thus able to accept "help."

Forced services are no services at all except within the authority model (such as protective services, child abuse, etc.). One might see from these findings a need for a separation of services and welfare payments, with services to be given outside the present welfare structure to recipients and all others upon their request or upon referral -- i.e., that recipients have the same right as all other citizens to receive social services, if and when they want and need them .
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(**) See, for example, Irving Paliavin, "Restructuring the Provision of Social Services," Social Work, Vol. 13, No. l~ 1968, pp 34-36; also Robert Vinter, "The Social Structure of Service," in Alfred J, Kahn (ed) Issues in American Social Work, New York: Columbia University Press, 1959, pp 242-269.


Pg. 34

Aside from the social service changes suggested by our findings, one cannot ignore the basic, over-riding finding -- i.e., that recipients do not receive enough money to live on. This finding pervades all of the data from both social workers and recipients despite the fact that we specifically focused our work upon "non-financial" problems.

A third important implication is that social services are presently being used in public welfare as a technique for moving recipients out of welfare not solely as services to recipients as individuals with social or personal problems which require social services. Social services thus become the method for controlling and manipulating the recipients' welfare fate, not (except as a by-product) services for troubled individuals. The findings from this study showed social services to be ineffectual in either moving recipients off welfare or in giving them help with social or personal problems. The question must now be raised as to the relevance of these social services to either the social control goal or to the service goal.

These findings, with the implications which emerge from them, rest upon empirical research. The sample, though statistically representative of AFDC recipients in the inner city areas, was small. There are other ways of examining and evaluating social services. But evaluate them we must, for, as Scott Briar has said, "It is only from research findings that we will be able to discover, in a definitive way, the precise effects of our methods and the relative effectiveness of alternative methods of innovation."(*)
------------------------------------------
(*) Briar, S., Op Cit, P 9


Pg. I-1

APPENDIX I: THE POPULATION, SHRINKAGE, AND SAMPLE SIZE

San Francisco:

The San Francisco sample was selected from a universe of social workers and their recipients without replacement. The universe itself is defined as consisting of all social workers and their clients under the aegis of the Family Division of the Department of Social Services, City and County of San Francisco, who serviced or belonged to caseloads carried by "Required Services" units within the Department during the month of June, 1968, (handling AFDC-FG and AFDC-U cases). Thus in San Francisco the statistical universe consisted of 132 social workers and approximately 7,900 recipients.(*}

Social workers who met the criterion of belonging to a "Required Services" unit during June, 1968, were assigned consecutive numbers. Using a standard table of random numbers, a random selection of 80 social workers, numbered individually was drawn.

Recipients were selected pursuant to the selection of social workers. Having drawn the social worker sample, the Caseload Inventory of each selected social worker for the fiscal quarter April-June, 1968, was scanned, and from these inventories were drawn at random 80 matched recipients who had had a direct contact with their social worker and received social services during the month of June, 1968.

Los Angeles County:

Nine central districts representing the majority of welfare AFDC-FG and AFDC-U cases in Los Angeles were selected for the study: Exposition Park (41 pairs), Metro North (12 pairs), Metro East (15 pairs), Southeast #1 (14 pairs), Compton (10 pairs), South Central (18 pairs), Belvedere (17 pairs), Alhambra (5 pairs) and Metro Family (18 pairs). As in San Francisco County, numbers
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(*) Estimate based upon a case load of 60 recipients per caseworker.


Pg. I-2

were assigned each name from the Roster of caseworkers with AFDC-FG and AFDC-U caseloads and a random selection of workers was made. In these nine districts, the statistical universe of social workers with AFDC caseloads was 640.

Having selected a sample of 150 caseworkers from the county roster, matching clients were drawn using the social worker's Form 638 which listed each case seen in June, 1968. One-hundred and fifty matching recipients were thus selected at random from a statistical universe of approximately 38,000. (*)

Shrinkage:

A major problem faced by survey researchers is "shrinkage." By this is meant the inevitable evaporation of predetermined sample due to inaccessibility, illness, refusal to talk, incoherence, and so forth. Reasons for shrinkage can be varied and occasionally bizarre.

A total of 230 matched pairs was drawn during the sampling process. Of these a total of 72 pairs (31%) was voided. In San Francisco we drew a sample of 80 matched pairs. Of these we were able to interview 49 during the six-week interviewing period. In Los Angeles a sample of 150 matched pairs was drawn from which we were able to obtain in the six-week period a total of 109 viable matched interviews. General categories for the reasons these 72 pairs were voided and frequencies are:

.
Reason Social Workers Recipients Total
N % N % N %
Refusal 2 8% 6 13% 8 11%
Not available 16 64% 25 53% 41 57%
Illness, death 4 16% 3 6% 7 9%
Moved 3 12% 9 19% 12 17%
Missing - - 4 9% 4 6%>
   Totals: 25 100% 47 100% 72 100%

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(*) Estimate based upon a caseload of 60 recipients per caseworker.


Pg. I-3

Thus a shrinkage of 38% was registered for the San Francisco County sample, and a shrinkage of 27% in the Los Angeles County sample.

Sample Size:

At the close of the interviewing, 49 matched worker-client pairs from San Francisco and 109 matched pairs from Los Angeles 1-,ere counted for a total of 158 matched pairs of 316 completed interviews. For an estimated variance of .25, the sample sizes in both the San Francisco County and the Los Angeles County samples was below the .05 level of Standard Error. (*)
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(*) See Leslie Kisch, Survey Sampling, New York: John Wiley, 1965, P 53.


Pg. II-4

APPENDIX II: SECTION A -THE INTERVIEWERS AND THE INTERVIEW

Interviewers represented the four major racial and ethnic groups of the sample: Caucasian, Negro, Spanish-American, and Chinese. Each interviewer was initially screened as to his or her ability to administer an open-ended schedule requiring at time probing and a measure of patience. On the basis of pre-test results, three training sessions in San Francisco and two sessions in Los Angeles were held to clarify possible trouble areas and to suggest possible methods of dealing with recalcitrant or difficult interviewees. In all, nine interviewers uere used in San Francisco for the recipient interviews and eight interviewers for the social worker interviews, while in Los Angeles 19 interviewers were used for each group.

As much as possible, interviewers were matched by race to interviewee, using generally the criteria of geographic location and name. When an unexpected language difficulty arose, the interviewer returned to "headquarters" and was replaced by an interviewer with speaking knowledge of the language concerned.

San Francisco presented far less a problem to recipient interviewers than did Los Angeles, due to its relatively compact and accessible geographic nature. Often an interviewer in Los Angeles found it necessary to drive many miles to complete an interview, and if there was a problem in timing or locating the interviewee this necessitated two or even more trips. (All unlocatable persons were visited at least four times before attempts to interview them were abandoned.)
Social worker interviews were conducted starting on August 7 in Los Angeles and on August 5 in San Francisco, and continued through August 15th [of 1968]. For the most part these went smoothly due to the cooperation of the welfare agencies in both cities, although one district in Los Angeles registered some confusion upon the arrival of the interviewers due to a communication breakdown.


Pg. II-5

Recipient interviewing began several days later in both cities and continued through September. while the interviewing started quite well, it became increasingly more difficult to complete matched pairs as the easily-locatable interviewees had been interviewed and the more difficult ones were left. The collection of recipient data went far more slowly than did social worker data, as is to be expected; on the one hand we were dealing with a "captive audience" while on the other we had a mobile and transient population.

Interviewers were briefed on introducing themselves as members of an independent research organization not associated with the welfare offices of either city. Indeed, the attempt was made to disassociate from the local welfare establishment and to align the researcher with the Social Welfare Committee of the State of California Assembly. Confidentiality was stressed and interviewers were equipped with a letter of introduction explaining the research in general terms. Every effort was made to establish rapport with the respondent.

Social workers in both cities responded to this introduction and seemed, on the whole, to accept the interviewer, although some required reassurance. Often social workers found the interview a vehicle for ventilating grievances and criticisms of the system, and some were rather pessimistic and skeptical and took a "wait and see" attitude about the legislature taking any remedial action based upon this survey.

Recipients, on the other hand, seemed to have difficulty disassociating the interviewer from the establishment or from "welfare people," and hence were often quite suspicious and guarded in their responses. Many recipients seemed to have but a vague notion of the state legislature and its role in the welfare program, and at best were not highly articulate regarding suggestions for improving the program.


Pg. II-6

Due to the nature of the research it was felt that while close-ended and coded open-ended questions would yield data necessary to the multivariant analysis of the "effectiveness" of social services, comprehensive and broad questions should be included to establish the climate in which the interview was conducted in regard to the existing welfare system. Because the research was conducted under the aegis of the California State Assembly we phrased this broad question:

"What would you really like to tell the legislature about welfare?"

This question was asked last in the interview·schedule under the assumption that maximum rapport would have been established by the end of the interview. It was also asked after the actual schedule had been "put away" on the table; responses were noted on the back leaf of the schedule (See Appendix III).

APPENDIX II: SECTION B -THE INTERVIEW SCHEDULES

The interview schedules for the social workers and the recipients were drawn up paralleling each other in form and content. Each schedule began with "hard data" items such as age, race, sex, education, etc., which were pre-coded on the basis of pretest results. The schedules also included a section called "Problem Sequence" which narrowed the focus of the interview to the problems discussed during the June meeting as well as to general long-range problems and their relation to the welfare system.

Copies of the interview schedules for both social workers and recipients follow.

--- END OF PAPER ---


Colophon
January, 2016

This paper, long considered "lost," was discovered by its second author almost fifty years after its publication. It survived in the library of Dr. Warren Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. Clarice Haylett, prominent, but by 2016, deceased psychiatrists who lived and practiced community mental health in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were the second author's father and step-mother.

The original document was typewritten in Courier font for mimeographing on letter-sized 8.5" x 11" paper in Courier. Some 40 mimeographed pages were scanned into Photoshop CS4 using a Canon9000F scanner and saved as PDF image files. Then the individual page files were stitched together into a single document which was then OCR'd using Adobe Acrobat. Not all characters were recognized, particularly the "w" and the "m." The resulting text was copied from the PDF file and exported to BBEdit as Plain Text and, using global search/replace routines, was then programmed into HTML by hand. The cleaned HTML file was exported into Microsoft Word and formatted properly for reading as a PDF, and exported. Two versions are available, the HTML version and the PDF version. Contact the second author at tay@timestream.com.

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