Four years into the implementation of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation, promising to “change welfare as we know it,” a critical question remains unanswered: How are formerly welfare-reliant families faring as they make the transition to work? Drawing on longitudinal, ethnographic data collected under the auspices of Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation's Project on Devolution and Urban Change, we examine changes in women's employment and income, and their families' well-being.
Taylor & Francis
This study examines the influence of wealth relative to income across several child development outcomes using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The wealth measures include net worth and specific asset holdings. The child outcome measures include two cognitive achievement scores and one behavior problem score. Analyses use OLS regression to test whether wealth has explanatory power distinct from income. Results show that wealth is a significant predictor for the applied problem math score and reported behavior problems.
Research Findings: This study investigated parents’ experiences using Child Care and Development Fund and other state-dispersed child care subsidies, reasons for choosing their current child care program, and perceptions of the quality of child care received from their current program.
Although there has been steady improvement in the amount of child support collected, it is estimated that about 70% of poor children eligible for child support do not receive it. There has been little formal study of mothers' interactions with child support offices and how these experiences may influence decisions about child support. This article presents a descriptive analysis of mothers' attitudes and experiences with a child support agency, giving voice to clients' perspectives about working with this system.
In 2009, 14.7% of U.S. households were food insecure, lacking consistent access to adequate food. Food insecurity increased in all residence areas with the “Great Recession” beginning in 2007, with the greatest increase in suburbs. The Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement was used to examine the likelihood of food insecurity across residence areas. Net of income and other household characteristics, suburban households were more likely to be food insecure than nonmetropolitan households and as likely to be food insecure as principal city households.
Although the Food Stamp Program provides nutritional assistance to families and individuals in need, barriers to access, eligibility, and receipt of food stamp benefits do exist. Minimizing and potentially eradicating significant barriers requires a better understanding of which barriers are the most prevalent and persistent and a plan for addressing them. Using data from 73 community based organizations in New York State over a 4-year time period, the authors identify barriers that are most frequently mentioned and do not abate over time.
Established by the Family Support Act of 1988, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program, known as FUTURES in the State of Missouri, experienced a shift in focus with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act in 1996. Once a program that emphasized educational opportunities and job skills training, FUTURES has more recently stressed short-term activities aimed at moving the welfare recipient into the workplace as quickly as possible.
The creation of welfare-to-work programs across the country has led to a number of questions about the effectiveness of this reform effort and the experiences of welfare recipients. This study of seventeen welfare recipients in the state of Oregon reports on what the welfare-to-work experience is like for women in two types of communities, one rural and one urban. Our findings suggest that women in both communities share similar frustrations, but overall assess the welfare-to-work program ideology positively.
Despite large welfare caseload declines in Ontario in recent years, little is known about the longer-term circumstances of people who leave welfare or remain on a much-changed system. This paper reports on a second round of qualitative interviews with current and former workfare participants in Toronto. The findings demonstrate how the lives of most remain marked by poverty, hunger and uncertainty, and reveal contradictions between the realities of their daily lives and the government's “work-first” strategy.
Welfare reform emerged as a public policy response to a presumed “dependency” on the part of impoverished individuals and families. This behavioral view of poor people is ensconced in the adoption of welfare reform nationally, and many states including Massachusetts, where “work-first” frenzy fed the political momentum for moving families off welfare as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences for children and families.