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Taylor & Francis

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Evaluating evolutionary changes in state TANF policies

Individual Author: 
Underwood, Daniel A.
Snarr, Hal W.
Friesner, Dan

Over the past decade narrowly focused studies have evaluated the effectiveness of state-level welfare policies. In general, they evaluate reforms within a particular state, focus on a small number of outcome variables (usually caseload levels) and/or use a very narrowly defined time period. This narrow and partial analysis is perplexing, from an institutional perspective, as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) forces states into a zero-sum funding game, where shares depend on differential relative success in achieving policy objectives metrics.

Parents in poverty

Individual Author: 
Magnuson, Katherine A.
Duncan, Greg J.

Challenging even in circumstances of middle-income families, successful parenting is extraordinarily difficult when either family or neighborhood economic resources are inadequate. In this chapter we review the conceptual and empirical linkages between poverty and parenting, focusing mostly on the economic dimension of poverty at the family rather than the neighborhood level, and almost exclusively on the United States.

Causal effects in non-experimental studies: Re-evaluating the evaluation of training programs

Individual Author: 
Dehejia, Rajeev H.
Wahba, Sadek

This article uses propensity score methods to estimate the treatment impact of the National Supported Work (NSW) Demonstration, a labor training program, on postintervention earnings. We use data from Lalonde's evaluation of nonexperimental methods that combine the treated units from a randomized evaluation of the NSW with nonexperimental comparison units drawn from survey datasets.

Rethinking federal housing policy

Individual Author: 
Landis, John D.
McClure, Kirk

Problem: Federal housing policy is made up of disparate programs that a) promote homeownership; b) assist low-income renters’ access to good-quality, affordable housing; and c) enforce the Fair Housing Act by combating residential discrimination. Some of these programs are ineffective, others have drifted from their initial purpose, and none are well coordinated with each other.

Purpose: We examine the trends, summarize the research evaluating the performance of these programs, and suggest steps to make them more effective and connected to each other.

Welfare reform transitions: The effects of emotional well-being on job status in current TANF recipients

Individual Author: 
Sullivan, Michael

The research surrounding welfare-to-work programs suggests a number of potential factors that mediate welfare dependency including a person’s emotional well-being. This study explored how emotional well-being measures of TANF recipients are related to current job type. Findings indicate perceived control self-efficacy and self-esteem were significantly correlated with jobs that paid more than minimum wage. This may suggest feelings of mastery and competence may be precursors to better paying jobs.

Mitigating apprehension about Section 8 Vouchers: The positive role of housing specialists in search and placement

Individual Author: 
Marr, Matthew D.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that Section 8 voucher recipients are often unable to secure apartments outside of high-poverty areas in tight urban rental markets. However, intensive housing placement services greatly improve the success and mobility of voucher holders.

The path to employment for individuals with disabilities in the welfare system

Individual Author: 
Timmons, Jaimie Ciulla
Foley, Susan
Whitney-Thomas, Jean
Green, Joseph

Welfare reform has changed the landscape of social protection for individuals on the margins of economic independence. Reforms require individuals to develop marketable skills and acceptable work behaviors and to move along a path to employment. For individuals with disabilities in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) system, substantial barriers and insufficient transitional supports can impede this path. The current study examined the impact of welfare reform on individuals with disabilities in the TANF system.

Nonresident father involvement and child outcomes among young children in families on welfare

Individual Author: 
Greene, Angela D.
Moore, Kristin A.

This study uses early descriptive data from the National Evaluation of Welfare to Work Strategies (NEWWS) Child Outcome Study, a sub-study of the larger random assignment evaluation of the Federal JOBS program, to answer two timely and important questions. First, what factors predict father involvement among nonresident fathers of young children who receive welfare? And second, is nonresident father involvement associated with better outcomes for these children?

The economic well-being of never- and ever-married single mother families: A cross national comparison

Individual Author: 
Nichols-Casebolt, Ann
Krysik, Judy

This paper addresses the comparative economic wellbeing of never- and ever-married mother families across four Western industrialized countries. Data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) are used to describe the contribution of employment, public transfer, and child support income, as well as demographic variables, to the poverty status of these two family types. The findings are discussed within the context of what might be learned for addressing the economic risks faced by single mother families in the United States. (author abstract)

The effects of federal housing assistance on exiting welfare and becoming employed for welfare recipients

Individual Author: 
Owens, Mark F.
Baum, Charles L.

Welfare reform's success in encouraging employment may be affected by the federal housing program because many households receive welfare and housing assistance. Housing assistance could discourage employment because housing subsidies are reduced proportionally with earnings; alternatively, it could encourage employment by increasing stability and allowing more resources to be allocated toward employment-related expenses. We examine housing assistance's effects on exiting welfare and becoming employed.