The shift to the workfare state has brought about ways of governing welfare subjects, the practical implementation of which has often been delegated to private state agents and their street-level bureaucrats. In the neoliberal paternalist state, the words and deeds of these street-level agents become even more relevant in order to understand the impact of contemporary social policies. This article focuses on the case of migrants in the Netherlands, who are problematised in particular as (potential) welfare subjects. By analysing the civic integration programme content for migrants, it reveals the responsibilising and disciplining discourses and practices used to promote the ideal of citizen-worker. That the task of inculcating the virtues and skills demanded by neoliberal policies has been transferred to private course providers makes state ideology all-invasive. While the lack of integration and participation is linked to individual failure, the state loses its social face in the process.