Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) – Sustaining – Making the Transition From Welfare to Work

July 2004


This working paper records the lives of several single mothers in the Self-Sufficiency Project as they attempt to make the transition from welfare to work. During in-depth interviews recorded over a period of two years, the mothers speak about factors that influenced their ability to leave welfare for long-term employment. The women discuss working conditions, the roles that their children’s fathers and others play in family well-being, and for most of the women, how they cope with the after-effects of spousal abuse. Taking these factors into account, the study ultimately focuses on the role of resilience in welfare exit and the implications of resilience in work transition policies.