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A task force of New York academic leaders, foundation executives and former government officials has published a comprehensive plan for reshaping the city’s welfare system and broadly expanding its welfare-to-work efforts.

The plan, drafted by Allen Kraus, the city’s former director of income support, proposes vastly increasing the number of people moving from welfare into paid employment by re-focusing resources away from workfare and into job search activities, the expansion of entry-level jobs in the private sector–in some cases with government subsidies–and education.

The task force also proposes expanding the supply of child care, vocational training and other support services for families moving from welfare to jobs, while continuing cash benefits for indigent single adults.

The report includes a useful analysis of the cost to government of adequate child care for parents on public assistance and offers a cogent assessment of research explaining how access to education is an important factor in moving people off welfare.

Kraus said the report is only the beginning of a larger attempt to change government policy in the legislature and the Giuliani and Pataki administrations. “Welfare is going to change, and I was disgusted with the debate in New York,” he said. “We wanted to form a group with a long-term view and solid analysis” rather than an ideological agenda. For copies of “Welfare Policies for New York State,” call task force chair Jack Krauskopf’s office at the New School, (212) 229-5400.

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