December 20, 2012
Research by Thomas Chalmers McLaughlin, Ph.D., UNE professor of social work, was noted in a Dec. 19, 2012 Bangor Daily News editorial titled "Shame on Maine leaders for scapegoating the poor."
The editorial cites a number of studies to argue that there is no evidence that welfare recipients move to Maine from other states for better benefits or that recipients are on welfare because they are "lazy."
The editorial states: "In a report of preliminary findings from an analysis of long-term General Assistance recipients, University of New England researcher Tom McLaughlin, who also worked on the 2010 TANF survey, reported in September to the General Assistance working group that 80 percent of those surveyed had worked within the past five years. Both studies identified health problems, either suffered by recipients or their children, as major barriers to independence. The General Assistance study indicated that 90 percent of respondents suffered from adverse childhood experiences such as homelessness, hunger, abuse or lack of medical care." Read the editorial.