Welfare mothers are being unfairly forced to make a choice between mandated training programs and the safety of their children, according to a report by Public Advocate Mark Green.
Under the new federal welfare law, employable parents with children over the age of three are required to be enrolled in work-related or approved educational training programs. For parents with children who are under the age of 13 or disabled, this also means they must find suitable child care for their children. New York State has the largest public child care system in the country, but Green–a likely Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate next year–says the state’s employment office isn’t up to the task.
The state Office of Employment Services, is supposed to help parents find available, well-regulated child care. Instead, Green charges, OES gives its clients a bum’s rush–failing to inform working welfare mothers that they don’t even have to register for job training until they find good child care. Instead, parents are encouraged to place their children in easy-to-find but potentially dangerous unregulated child care.
Calls to the state OES were not returned on Friday. But officials with the city’s welfare agency deny that any cleints are being short-changed.
For a copy of the report, call 212-669-7200.