As a legally mandated grievance mechanism, welfare fair hearings provide a formal recourse for applicants and recipients of welfare dissatisfied with agency decisions. Fair hearings may be viewed as an example of one agency's attempt to foster fairness and to control administrative discretion. However, as a mechanism for redressing grievances, welfare fair hearings have a number of severe limitations. Social workers practicing with potential and actual recipients of public welfare are in a position to reduce these limitations through client advocacy.

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