Making the Transition to Re-Employment: Social Networks and Their Impact on Social Assistance Recipients
Keywords:transition, employment, social networks, social assistance
This study focused on the role of social networks in the transition from social assistance to employment. The study consisted of a field experiment that was built into the training program that agencies normally deliver to persons on social assistance as part of the Ontario Works ‘work-for-welfare’ program. Participants were randomly assigned to a control or experimental group and the sample consisted of 92 in the control group and 40 in the experimental group. For the experimental group, a supplementary treatment, a ‘job search management system’ was added to the program that social assistance recipients normally receive. A Social Network Job Search Scale (SNJSS) was created and served as the dependent variable in a pre-test/post-test design. A positive correlation between strength of an individual’s network and re-employment was found. Understanding the value of social networks is important not only for reentering the labour market but also for obtaining employment that is above the minimum wage.
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