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Disjunctures for Women and Frontline Workers: Implementation of the Family Violence Option

Taryn Lindhorst and Julianna D. Padgett
Social Service Review
Vol. 79, No. 3 (September 2005), pp. 405-429
DOI: 10.1086/430891
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/430891
Page Count: 25
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Disjunctures for Women and Frontline Workers: Implementation of the Family Violence Option
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Abstract

This research uses analysis of qualitative interviews with 10 battered welfare clients and 15 frontline welfare workers to examine the implementation of the Family Violence Option (FVO) under welfare reform. States adopting the FVO agree to screen for domestic violence, refer identified victims to community resources, and waive program requirements that would endanger the women or with which they are unable to comply. The analyses find that none of the 10 clients in this study received these services. This lack of services reflects four critical disjunctures between the formal policy and the policy experienced by the clients. It also reveals several more basic structural factors that provide conflicting mandates to frontline workers. Frontline workers’ discretionary behaviors enforce core rules related to welfare eligibility and reduce welfare caseloads but do not provide violence‐related services to victims.

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