The number of residents who are on welfare assistance in Crow Wing County has dropped since 1998.
There are 404 Minnesota Family Investment Program cases in the county compared with 515 in 1998.
Dale Parks, Crow Wing County Social Services supervisor, updated the county board Tuesday on the program and how it is working.
MFIP is a welfare reform program that encourages people to work. The program began in July 1997 and so far a third of the cases have succeeded.
Twenty-five percent of the people who are on MFIP have been in the program for two years or more. There are 80 cases that have households with no adult caretaker, 46 individuals are exempt from employment services and 76 need additional assistance. There are 278 cases of people who work with the employment services and 202 of them are currently employed and 64 only use food stamps for assistance.
Parks said of the 278 cases, 15 percent of them have two parents.
Sue Beck, county welfare director, said some individuals do what is required for the program, but make minimum wage so they still need assistance. She also said some cases are different because one household may have a child with a chronic illness while another could have a chemical dependency problem.
Commissioner Ed Larsen commented on the problems with child care and transportation.
"Even if they have a good job these are two main issues," he said. "We need to get the private sector involved."
Beck said the department is looking at these issues.
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