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Earning potential

Need to Know travels to Memphis, Tennessee to cover the Family Rewards Program – an initiative that aims to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty by offering cash incentives. The program rewards low-income families with cash payments for good attendance, good grades, steady employment and going to the doctor and dentist. The goal is to increase self-sufficiency, create healthy habits and promote savings.

Such payments are known internationally as “conditional cash transfers” because the payments are contingent upon individuals making certain efforts to build their human capital. Unlike conventional approaches to poverty reduction which focus on social services, incentive-based strategies increase participation in targeted activities and programs that decrease factors that contribute to poverty and long-term dependency.

Conditional cash transfer programs are currently being implemented in over 20 countries around the world.

Find out from Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs about New York’s version of the controversial program: Opportunity NYC.

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      Certifiably employable
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  • Dan Morris

    0f the $900,000. that went to the program in Memphis, exactly $93,000. went to the families and children. The rest of the money went to the administrators. This sounds like another great program for government workers, when they are able to suck 90% of the benefit into their pockets. Funny how this was never mentioned in the story. Yeah, PBS, you are a great new organization in the distorted way that you, ADVOCATED, for this utopian give away to the government workers, but then again, you are all quasi-government workers, also.

  • Coach Mitch

    Although Mr. Dan Morris’ comment has validity; I am curious to know, if asked, what one of the family members who received support from the 93K has to say about the program. It’s easy to criticize, but its just as easy to praise. I’m sure those families who were helped by the program in Memphis and aboard are in a better position and frame of mind when it comes to acquiring information, education and financial stability. However, my question is, “How does one quantify the affect of the help that leads to mental transformation” (i.e. If you feed a person a fish, that’s one thing, but if you teach him how to fish, then you’ve provided a means for that person to be fed for life.”