George Wills column in todays Washington Post summarizes the argument of Jason Deparles book, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nations Drive to End Welfare. Will makes the point that work is an essential component of the "culture of freedom," but he also argues that "DeParles unsentimental reporting offers scant confirmation of the welfare reformers highest hope: that when former welfare mothers go to work, their example will transform the culture of their homes, breaking the chain of behaviors that passes poverty down the generations. On the street where Jobe lives today, almost every house is the home of a working mother with children but no husband."
In other words, simply getting people work isnt sufficient to rebuild the family. This is where faith-based and community groups have a bigger role to play. They can help the newly employed to think about and live up to their reponsibilities as fathers and mothers, not just as employees.
For more on the book, quite celebrated by the Left, go here.