Skip to main content
Back to Top


Taylor & Francis

Publisher ID: 

Welfare reform and the empowerment of poor women

Individual Author: 
Caragata, Lea
Hutchinson, Susan
Marcus, Myra
McPhee, Debra M.

The following paper provides an analysis of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the specific impact of this legislation on poor women and children. It is argued that the current political/policy climate demands that helping professionals need to rethink their intervention methods in working with poor women. Proposed is an innovative response to the needs of this constituency which utilizes Freire's (1971) theories of popular education and “conscientization” as a model.

Welfare reform, personal narratives and the media: How welfare recipients and journalists frame the welfare debate

Individual Author: 
Lens, Vicki

As TANF comes up for reauthorization in 2002, stereotypes of welfare recipients must be challenged so that public animosity can be transformed into public support. This article explores strategies for doing so, drawing on a study describing the stories welfare recipients told about their lives and experiences with welfare in the New York Times and the Washington Post during the 1996 debate over welfare reform. The role of journalists in framing the welfare debate is also explored.

Declaring welfare "reform" a success: The role of applied social science

Individual Author: 
Nelson, Margaret K.

This paper considers how applied social science has simultaneously helped to create the social change known as welfare “reform” and actively participated in the positive evaluation of its effects. It takes as its specific case study Vermont’s welfare restructuring project and the evaluation of that project as completed by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. The analysis covers the goals of welfare restructuring, the ethics of experimental design, the consequences of reporting that focus narrowly on experimental effects, and issues of presentation in MDRC reports.

Immigrants' use of welfare after welfare reform: Cross-group comparison

Individual Author: 
Lim, Younghee
Resko, Stella M.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 represented a significant shift in U.S. public policy, rendering immigrants ineligible for most federal means-tested programs. We use the 1999 Current Population Survey (CPS) data set to provide the cross-sectional description of immigrants’ use of public transfer programs, particularly focusing on Asian American immigrants. Little is currently known about the economic well-being of Asian immigrants and their program participation in the wake of recent welfare reform.

Welfare policy, welfare participants, and CalWORKs caseworkers: How participants are informed of supportive services

Individual Author: 
Bartle, Elizabeth
Segura, Gabriela

One aspect of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 was explored through focus group interviews with public welfare (CalWORKS/TANF) participants in Los Angeles County. Women were asked how they learned about domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health services from their caseworker in an effort to begin to evaluate implementation of the PRWORA in regards to these supportive services.

A syndemic perspective of negative childhood outcomes: Parenting in a “perfect storm” of disadvantaged conditions

Individual Author: 
Leurer, Marie Dietrich
Abonyi, Sylvia
Smadu, Marlene

Families raising children in circumstances of disadvantage face multiple challenges. In this research, service providers working with this population in Regina, Canada, shared their perceptions regarding the challenges experienced by these families and strategies that would effectively address them. Parents then provided their view of the service provider's perceptions.

The "other America" after welfare reform: A view from the nonprofit sector

Individual Author: 
Sommerfield, David
Reisch, Michael

This article examines the experiences of private, nonprofit social service agencies and their role in the “social safety net” following the 1996 welfare reforms. Among other concerns, the research suggests that declining welfare rolls are not indicative of widespread poverty reduction and increased self-sufficiency, as many nonprofits, especially those providing emergency food and shelter services, have experienced increasing demands during this time period.

Welfare reform in rural Missouri: The experience of families

Individual Author: 
Pandey, Shanta
Porterfield, Shirley
Choi-Ko, Hyeji
Yoon, Hong-Sik

This paper documents the impact of the 1996 federal welfare legislation on rural families in Missouri. We analyze primary data obtained from interviews with 162 single-mother families with children residing in six rural counties in Missouri who are either former or current welfare recipients. This information was substantiated by focus group interviews with current or former welfare recipients conducted between 1998 and 2000. The results provide useful insights into the impacts of welfare reform on families in rural America.

Conceptualizing housing instability: Experiences with material and psychological instability among women living with partner violence

Individual Author: 
O'Campo, Patricia
Daoud, Nihaya
Hamilton-Wright, Sarah
Dunn, James

Although recent research has documented that partner violence places women at risk of homelessness and material housing instability, sparse evidence yet documents the existence or importance of psychological housing instability for this group. We draw from 45 women's reports of their experiences of housing instability across three periods: while living with their abusive partner, immediately after leaving the partner, and long after leaving.

Identity paths: Women's experiences on and off welfare

Individual Author: 
Cheek, Cheryl
Piercy, Kathleen W.

A qualitative study using McCracken's (1988) multistage process for data analysis examined common events leading into and out of welfare receipt for women. In semi-structured interviews, twenty female former welfare recipients who are currently human service workers discussed their experiences leading to welfare receipt and the multiple barriers they overcame to become economically self-sufficient. They discussed common paths taken in and out of the welfare system and related identity changes they underwent.