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Abstract

The underclass has become a prominent issue in American social welfare, yet welfare professionals have focused on maintenance as opposed to mainstreaming strategies in working with this population. A mainstreaming strategy would emphasize individual incentives, community reconstruction, and program reorganization, focusing on the social disorganization of underclass communities. The essay details specific programs in each of these areas: transitional benefits, Community Enterprise Zones, and Integrated Service Agencies, among others. Welfare professionals must find ways to stretch existing public resources and identify new private resources if they are to pose plausible programs for the underclass. The public image of welfare professionals will be enhanced if effective programs to reduce the underclass can be implemented.

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