For Better and For Worse

Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children and Families


Author: Greg J. Duncan,Lindsay P. Chase-Lansdale

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610448286

Category: Social Science

Page: 344

View: 4454

The 1996 welfare reform bill marked the beginning of a new era in public assistance. Although the new law has reduced welfare rolls, falling caseloads do not necessarily mean a better standard of living for families. In For Better and For Worse, editors Greg J. Duncan and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and a roster of distinguished experts examine the evidence and evaluate whether welfare reform has met one of its chief goals-improving the well-being of the nation's poor children. For Better and For Worse opens with a lively political history of the welfare reform legislation, which demonstrates how conservative politicians capitalize on public concern over such social problems as single parenthood to win support for the radical reforms. Part I reviews how individual states redesigned, implemented, and are managing their welfare systems. These chapters show that most states appear to view maternal employment, rather that income enhancement and marriage, as key to improving child well-being. Part II focuses on national and multistate evaluations of the changes in welfare to examine how families and children are actually faring under the new system. These chapters suggest that work-focused reforms have not hurt children, and that reforms that provide financial support for working families can actually enhance children's development. Part III presents a variety of perspectives on policy options for the future. Remarkable here is the common ground for both liberals and conservatives on the need to support work and at the same time strengthen safety-net programs such as Food Stamps. Although welfare reform-along with the Earned Income Tax Credit and the booming economy of the nineties-has helped bring mothers into the labor force and some children out of poverty, the nation still faces daunting challenges in helping single parents become permanent members of the workforce. For Better and For Worse gathers the most recent data on the effects of welfare reform in one timely volume focused on improving the life chances of poor children.

Welfare Reform and Beyond

The Future of the Safety Net


Author: Isabel V. Sawhill,R. Kent Weaver,Ron Haskins,Andrea Kane

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 9780815798828

Category: Political Science

Page: 228

View: 5790

The Brookings Institution's Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative was created to inform the critical policy debates surrounding the upcoming congressional reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and a number of related programs that were created or dramatically altered by the 1996 landmark welfare reform legislation. The goal of the project has been to take the large volume of existing and forthcoming research studies and shape them into a more coherent and policy-oriented whole. This capstone collection gathers twenty brief essays (published between January 2001 and February 2002) that focus on assessing the record of welfare reform, specific issues likely to be debated before the TANF reauthorization, and a broader set of policy options for low-income families. It is a reader-friendly volume that will provide policymakers, the press, and the interested public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed as Congress considers the future of the nation's antipoverty policies. The collection covers the following topics and features a new introduction from the editors: - An Overview of Effects to Date - Welfare Reform Reauthorization: An Overview of Problems and Issues - A Tax Proposal for Working Families with Children - Welfare Reform and Poverty - Reducing Non-Marital Births - Which Welfare Reforms are Best for Children? - Welfare and the Economy - What Can Be Done to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Out-of-Wedlock Births? - Changing Welfare Offices - State Programs - Welfare Reform and Employment - Fragile Families, Welfare Reform, and Marriage - Health Insurance, Welfare, and Work - Helping the Hard-to-Employ - Sanctions and Welfare Reform - Child Care and Welfare Reform - Job Retention and Advancement in Welfare Reform - Housing and Welfare Reform - Non-Citizens - Block Grant Structure - Food Stamps - Work Support System - Possible Welfare Reform in the Cities

Flat Broke with Children

Women in the Age of Welfare Reform


Author: Sharon Hays

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195176018

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 4768

This text explores the impact of recent welfare reform on motherhood, marriage, and work in women's lives. It also focuses on what welfare reform reveals about work and family life, and its impact on us all.

American Dream

Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare


Author: Jason DeParle

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780143034377

Category: Political Science

Page: 422

View: 5787

Provides an in-depth study of the conflict between government social policy and the realities of life in post-welfare America, focusing on the lives of three women in a single extended family.

Family and Child Well-Being after Welfare Reform


Author: Douglas Besharov

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412813999

Category: Social Science

Page: 305

View: 2885

Since their historic high in 1994, welfare caseloads in the United States have dropped an astounding 59 percent--more than 5 million fewer families receive welfare. Family and Child Well-Being after Welfare Reform, now in paperback, explores how low-income children and their families are faring in the wake of welfare reform. Contributors to the volume include leading social researchers. Can existing surveys and other data be used to measure trends in the area? What key indicators should be tracked? What are the initial trends after welfare reform? What other information or approaches would be helpful? The book covers a broad range of topics: an update on welfare reform (Douglas J. Besharov and Peter Germanis); ongoing major research (Peter H. Rossi); material well-being, such as earnings, benefits, and consumption (Richard Bavier); family versus household (Wendy D. Manning); fatherhood, cohabitation, and marriage (Wade F. Horn); teenage sex, pregnancy, and nonmarital births (Isabel V. Sawhill); child maltreatment and foster care (Richard J. Gelles); homelessness and housing (John C. Weicher); child health and well-being (Lorraine V. Klerman); nutrition, food security, and obesity (Harold S. Beebout); crime, juvenile delinquency, and dysfunctional behavior (Lawrence W. Sherman); drug use (Peter Reuter); mothers' work and child care (Julia B. Isaacs); and the activities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Don Winstead and Ann McCormick). When welfare reform was first debated, many people feared that it would hurt the poor, especially children. The contributors find little evidence to suggest this has occurred. As time limits and other programmatic requirements take hold, more information will be needed to assess the condition of low-income families after welfare reform. This informative volume establishes a baseline for that assessment.

Battered women, children, and welfare reform

the ties that bind


Author: Ruth A. Brandwein

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc

ISBN: 9780761911487

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 185

View: 4820

"Battered Women, Children, and Welfare Reform provides an invaluable service for those interested in the realities of reform efforts. The text's four parts place many realities in perspectives, identify gaps in reform efforts, and map alternative paths to reform. The text undeniably bridges several disciplines and policy areas that others typically address separately. The reader most likely will remain impressed with the text's compelling, clear voice in an era of policy making in which agreement seems assumed and the proper direction for reform remain uncontested." --Journal of Marriage and the Family "The historical role of welfare in helping women free themselves from domestic abuse and children from child abuse has long been obscured. Despite its many flaws, welfare offers women a lifeline with which to climb out of an abusive relationship, and the repeal of welfare threatens to chain abused women and children to their abusers. This important and pioneering collection explores the connections between welfare and family violence, and it should be read by all concerned with women's and children's welfare." --Linda Gordon, University of Wisconsin, Madison "Ruth Brandwein has brought together a series of essays that analyze the intersection between domestic violence against women, poverty, and welfare cutbacks. Together the essays make clear that while poverty contributes to abuse, so does abuse perpetuate poverty. Moreover, the policies introduced under the banner of ‘welfare reform' are likely to further endanger women who are already acutely vulnerable, both by introducing new occasions and provocations for abuse, and by reducing the scanty economic protections that welfare once provided. A fine book about an enormously important issue." --Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, City University of New York "This book hits squarely the RISKS that accompany welfare (and systems) reform, not debating the need for reform, but the DANGERS to spouses within the current system and in the approaches that ‘experts,' who frequently have no clue about their clients, present as further abuse in the name of reform and cost-saving." --The World Pastoral Care Center Resources Hotline '99, June 1999 This tightly edited book links two timely topics -- domestic violence and welfare reform. Developed by leading interdisciplinary academics, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers, Battered Women, Children, and Welfare Reform explores various threads that tie family violence to welfare. Chapters examine how public assistance can provide the financial support necessary for escaping domestic violence; how batterers restrict their partner's job and educational opportunities, preventing them from leaving the welfare rolls; how child support regulations require disclosure of information that may increase the danger of family violence; and how child abuse is linked to the need for welfare. A key chapter, written by survivors of abuse who were also welfare recipients, completes this much needed addition to the sparse literature and research available on the connection between family violence, child support, child abuse, and welfare. The macro approach of this book lends insights that will assist practitioners in understanding their clients' objective reality. In addition, academics involved in law, social work, public policy, public administration, and women's studies will appreciate this unique study.

Mothers' Work and Children's Lives

Low-income Families After Welfare Reform


Author: Rucker C. Johnson,Ariel Kalil,Rachel Elizabeth Dunifon

Publisher: W.E. Upjohn Institute

ISBN: 0880993561

Category: Political Science

Page: 147

View: 7570

This book examines the effects of work requirements imposed by welfare reform on low-income women and their families. The authors pay particular attention to the nature of work, whether it is stable or unstable, the number of hours worked in a week, and regularity and flexibility of work schedules. They also show how these factors make it more difficult for low-income women to balance work and family requirements.

Impact of welfare reform on children and their families

hearings before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, on February 28, and March 1, 1995


Author: United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Publisher: Government Printing Office

ISBN: 9780160471230

Category: Political Science

Page: 239

View: 5136

Welfare reform and children's well-being

an analysis of Proposition 165


Author: Michael Wald,Rene Bowser,Stanford Center for the Study of Families, Children, and Youth

Publisher: N.A


Category: Aid to families with dependent children programs

Page: 49

View: 5646

Out of Harm's Way

Creating an Effective Child Welfare System


Author: Richard Gelles

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190618019


Page: 200

View: 8346

Despite many well-intentioned efforts to create, revise, reform, and establish an effective child welfare system in the United States, the system continues to fail to ensure the safety and well-being of maltreated children. Out of Harm's Way explores the following four critical aspects of thesystem and presents a specific change in each that would lead to lasting improvements.- Deciding who is the client. Child welfare systems attempt to balance the needs of the child and those of the parents, often failing both. Clearly answering this question is the most important, yet unaddressed, issue facing the child welfare system.- Decisions. The key task for a caseworker is not to provide services but to make decisions regarding child abuse and neglect, case goals, and placement; however, practitioners have only the crudest tools at their disposal when making what are literally life and death decisions.- The Perverse Incentive. Billions of dollars are spent each year to place and maintain children in out-of-home care. Foster care is meant to be short-term, yet the existing federal funding serves as a perverse incentive to keep children in out-of-home placements.- Aging out. More than 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year, and yet what the system calls "emancipation" could more accurately be viewed as child neglect. After having spent months, years, or longer moving from placement to placement, aging-out youth are suddenly thrust intohomelessness, unemployment, welfare, and oppressive disadvantage.The chapters in this book offer a blueprint for reform that eschews the tired cycle of a tragedy followed by outrage and calls for more money, staff, training, and lawsuits that provide, at best, fleeting relief as a new complacency slowly sets in until the cycle repeats. If we want, instead, to trysomething else, the changes that Gelles outlines in this book are affordable, scalable, and proven.

Welfare, the Family, and Reproductive Behavior

Research Perspectives


Author: National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Committee on Population

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 9780309174015

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 1407

The design of welfare programs in an era of reform and devolution to the states must take into account the likely effects of programs on demographic behavior. Most research on welfare in the past has examined labor market issues, although there have also been some important evaluations of the effects of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program on out-of-wedlock childbearing. Much less information is available on other issues equally central to the debate, including effects on abortion decisions, marriage and divorce, intrafamily relations, household formation, and living arrangements. This volume of papers contains reviews and syntheses of existing evidence bearing on the demographic impacts of welfare and ideas for how to evaluate new state-level reforms.

Immigrants and Welfare

The Impact of Welfare Reform on America's Newcomers


Author: Michael E. Fix

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610446224

Category: Social Science

Page: 244

View: 1420

The lore of the immigrant who comes to the United States to take advantage of our welfare system has a long history in America's collective mythology, but it has little basis in fact. The so-called problem of immigrants on the dole was nonetheless a major concern of the 1996 welfare reform law, the impact of which is still playing out today. While legal immigrants continue to pay taxes and are eligible for the draft, welfare reform has severely limited their access to government supports in times of crisis. Edited by Michael Fix, Immigrants and Welfare rigorously assesses the welfare reform law, questions whether its immigrant provisions were ever really necessary, and examines its impact on legal immigrants' ability to integrate into American society. Immigrants and Welfare draws on fields from demography and law to developmental psychology. The first part of the volume probes the politics behind the welfare reform law, its legal underpinnings, and what it may mean for integration policy. Contributor Ron Haskins makes a case for welfare reform's ultimate success but cautions that excluding noncitizen children (future workers) from benefits today will inevitably have serious repercussions for the American economy down the road. Michael Wishnie describes the implications of the law for equal protection of immigrants under the U.S. Constitution. The second part of the book focuses on empirical research regarding immigrants' propensity to use benefits before the law passed, and immigrants' use and hardship levels afterwards. Jennifer Van Hook and Frank Bean analyze immigrants' benefit use before the law was passed in order to address the contested sociological theories that immigrants are inclined to welfare use and that it slows their assimilation. Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Everett Henderson track trends before and after welfare reform in legal immigrants' use of the major federal benefit programs affected by the law. Leighton Ku looks specifically at trends in food stamps and Medicaid use among noncitizen children and adults and documents the declining health insurance coverage of noncitizen parents and children. Finally, Ariel Kalil and Danielle Crosby use longitudinal data from Chicago to examine the health of children in immigrant families that left welfare. Even though few states took the federal government's invitation with the 1996 welfare reform law to completely freeze legal immigrants out of the social safety net, many of the law's most far-reaching provisions remain in place and have significant implications for immigrants. Immigrants and Welfare takes a balanced look at the politics and history of immigrant access to safety-net supports and the ongoing impacts of welfare. Copublished with the Migration Policy Institute

Changing Welfare


Author: Rachel A. Gordon,Herbert J. Walberg

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 144199274X

Category: Social Science

Page: 255

View: 1959

This book is concerned with the sweeping changes that took place in public assistance programs at the end of the 20th century and the way in which the original and reformed versions of these programs relate to the well-being of children and their families. It is a valuable reference for practitioners and policymakers who are concerned with children and child-related issues, psychologists, sociologists, social workers, social program administrators, and students in psychology, social work, sociology, political science, and education.

The Welfare of Children


Author: Duncan Lindsey

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195136715

Category: Social Science

Page: 451

View: 2564

Takes a critical look at the child welfare system, finding that the emphasis on abuse has produced a system that serves largely as a last resort for only the worst and most dramatic cases in child welfare. This book is a blueprint for the comprehensive reform of the child welfare system.

Child welfare reform

hearing before the Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy of the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress, first session, on S. 511, S. 742, H.R. 867, May 21, 1997


Author: United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Finance. Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy

Publisher: Government Printing Office

ISBN: 9780160582592

Category: Political Science

Page: 108

View: 4419

$2.00 a Day

Living on Almost Nothing in America


Author: Kathryn J. Edin,H. Luke Shaefer

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544303180

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 7157

Thestory ofa kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't even think exists from a leading national poverty expert who defies convention ("New York Times")"

Finding Jobs

Work and Welfare Reform


Author: David Card,Rebecca Blank

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610441044

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 560

View: 1901

Do plummeting welfare caseloads and rising employment prove that welfare reform policies have succeeded, or is this success due primarily to the job explosion created by today's robust economy? With roughly one to two million people expected to leave welfare in the coming decades, uncertainty about their long-term prospects troubles many social scientists. Finding Jobs offers a thorough examination of the low-skill labor market and its capacity to sustain this rising tide of workers, many of whom are single mothers with limited education. Each chapter examines specific trends in the labor market to ask such questions as: How secure are these low-skill jobs, particularly in the event of a recession? What can these workers expect in terms of wage growth and career advancement opportunities? How will a surge in the workforce affect opportunities for those already employed in low-skill jobs? Finding Jobs offers both good and bad news about work and welfare reform. Although the research presented in this book demonstrates that it is possible to find jobs for people who have traditionally relied on public assistance, it also offers cautionary evidence that today's strong economy may mask enduring underlying problems. Finding Jobs shows that the low-wage labor market is particularly vulnerable to economic downswings and that lower skilled workers enjoy less job stability. Several chapters illustrate why financial incentives, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), are as essential to encouraging workforce participation as job search programs. Other chapters show the importance of including provisions for health insurance, and of increasing subsidies for child care to assist the large population of working single mothers affected by welfare reform. Finding Jobs also examines the potential costs of new welfare restrictions. It looks at how states can improve their flexibility in imposing time limits on families receiving welfare, and calls into question the cutbacks in eligibility for immigrants, who traditionally have relied less on public assistance than their native-born counterparts. Finding Jobs is an informative and wide-ranging inquiry into the issues raised by welfare reform. Based on comprehensive new data, this volume offers valuable guidance to policymakers looking to design policies that will increase work, raise incomes, and lower poverty in changing economic conditions.

The New World of Welfare


Author: Rebecca M. Blank,Ron Haskins

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 9780815798378

Category: Political Science

Page: 514

View: 9226

Congress must reauthorize the sweeping 1996 welfare reform legislation by October 1, 2002. A number of issues that were prominent in the 1995-96 battle over welfare reform are likely to resurface in the debate over reauthorization. Among those issues are the five-year time limit, provisions to reduce out-of-wedlock births, the adequacy of child care funding, problems with Medicaid and food stamp receipt by working families, and work requirements. Funding levels are also certain to be controversial. Fiscal conservatives will try to lower grant spending levels, while states will seek to maintain them and gain additional discretion in the use of funds. Finally, a movement to encourage states to promote marriage among low-income families is already taking shape. The need for reauthorization presents an opportunity to assess what welfare reform has accomplished and what remains to be done. The New World of Welfare is an attempt to frame the policy debate for reauthorization, and to inform the policy discussion among the states and at the federal level, especially by drawing lessons from research on the effects of welfare reform. In the book, a diverse set of welfare experts—liberal and conservative, academic and nonacademic—engage in rigorous debate on topics ranging from work experience programs, to job availability, to child well-being, to family formation. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of research on welfare reform, the contributors cover subjects including work and wages, effects of reform on family income and poverty, the politics of conservative welfare reform, sanctions and time limits, financial work incentives for low-wage earners, the use of medicaid and food stamps, welfare-to-work, child support, child care, and welfare reform and immigration. Preparation of the volume was supported by funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.