From self-sufficiency to personal and family sustainability: A new paradigm for social policy

Hawkins, R. L.
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 32(4), 77-92.

Current social policy that affects welfare recipients focuses on the concept of "self-sufficiency" where leaving welfare for work is the goal. While this approach has reduced welfare rolls, it has not necessarily helped low-income people improve their economic, educational, or social outlook. This paper suggests that the concept of Personal and Family Sustainability (PFS) may be a better way to evaluate and direct social policy. A definition of PFS is developed from the environmental and community development roots of sustainability and four domains for creating PFS indicators are introduced.

Wagner Faculty