Career options in health and social care: The welfare trap: two mothers, two choices and two struggles for self-sufficiency

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Welfare rolls in Erie County have grown by nearly 8,000 recipients in the past 10 years, according to Erie County Social Services data. Even accounting for a decline in 2016, the numbers remain higher than a decade ago. Even more telling, the number of residents receiving long-term safety net assistance has fluctuated far less, suggesting a core of benefits recipients that has been unsuccessful in making the leap to economic independence, even in a healthy economy with falling unemployment rates.

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