Utah has been asked by a Washington official to host a national conference to educate states on its emergency work program.
Charles Hobbs, chairman of the White House Inter-agency Low Income Opportunities Advisory Board, recently visited Utah with associate board member Delores Martin to look at the Department of Social Services' program.Hobbs and Martin visited Utah after a Utah official testified before a congressional committee. As a result of that testimony, the Senate adopted Utah's Emergency Work Program as an alternative to a mandatory Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Unemployed program in the welfare reform bill.
Utah discontinued the AFDC-U program in 1981. Bill Biggs, program specialist for Assistance Payments, helped develop the Emergency Work Program in conjunction with the Utah Legislature and community groups. The program was adopted in 1984 to serve children in two-parent families.
The cost of running the work program is 8 percent of the cost of AFDC-U and the average client is on the program only 10 weeks, compared to 10 months to a year on AFDC-U.