Jehlen also said she favors the idea of helping people attain employment, though she said she has some questions on how the program would work and whether there are suitable jobs to employ people who are receiving benefits.
“The question is, are there jobs for the sorts of people… who are currently receiving benefits. I certainly know a lot of people who aren’t receiving benefits who are having a hard time getting jobs,” Jehlen said.
Rebekah Gewirtz, director of government relations and political action for the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter, said the association supports reforms that will break the cycle of poverty.
“If the changes help people to get out of poverty, then that’s a good thing. If the changes are punitive, then that’s more problematic,” Gewirtz said. She said, “At the moment, there’s a lot of evidence that the program actually does work effectively.”