During the 1990s, both the United States and Britain shifted from entitlement to work-based systems for supporting their poor citizens. Much research has examined the implications of welfare reform for the economic well-being of the poor, but the new legislation also affects our view of democracy—and how it ought to function. By eliminating entitlement and setting behavioral conditions on aid, welfare reform challenges our understanding of citizenship, political equality, and the role of the state.
Russell Sage Foundation
This book examines the experiences of 32 men participating in Parents' Fair Share (PFS), which was designed to help them get better jobs, pay child support, and become more involved with their children. All participants were low-income, noncustodial fathers who were not paying court mandated child support. Most were African American or Latino and lived in inner city, low-income neighborhoods. Data came from semi-structured interviews, informal conversations, and observations.
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.