Separating faith-based services can be beneficialcomment (0)
August 8, 2002
A recent study of welfare-to-work initiatives found that about half of faith-based programs receive government-funding and that few of those programs reduced their religious emphasis after getting government money.
The study, by the Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, studied 500 welfare-to-work programs in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Overall, faith-based programs comprised about 24 percent of the programs studied, while 40 percent of those programs integrated religious elements into the services they provided.
“The providers that integrate religious elements into their programming were actually less likely to be run directly by a congregation itself than were the providers that do not integrate religious elements into their services- the exact opposite from conventional wisdom,” wrote Stephen V. Mosma, a political science professor at Pepperdine University and author of the study, titled “Working Faith: How Religious Organizations Provide Welfare-to-Work Services.”
Eighty percent of the faith-based programs that integrated faith in their work were run by a legally separate entity supported or sponsored by a religious congregation, several congregations working jointly, a national denomination or individual sponsors, he said.
The study examined the current status of social service programs in light of the Bush administration’s desire to expand charitable choice, a provision of welfare legislation that allows faith-based social service programs to receive government funding.