Families headed by low-income single mothers who are not working or receiving public cash benefits ("disconnected families") are among the most vulnerable in our society. This fact sheet shows that the number of families in this situation is increasing over time. It also describes their income, receipt of noncash benefits like housing and food assistance, living arrangements, and characteristics that may impede work.
The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the entire fact sheet in PDF format.
After welfare reform passed in 1996, millions of single
mothers left public assistance for work. Overall, their earnings
rose and caseloads fell (Blank 2007), but the poorest
single mothers, particularly those living alone with their
children, did not share in those income gains (Haskins
2001; Zedlewski 2002). A significant minority of former
recipients left welfare without a job, becoming
"disconnected" from the labor market and from public assistance
Understanding the characteristics of this group and the
challenges they face can help public programs better reach
out to disconnected families. This fact sheet summarizes
findings from an Urban Institute study of disconnected single
mothers and their changing circumstances over time.
Our study compares characteristics of disconnected
mothers with those of all low-income single mothers in
2004 and in 2008 and examines the factors associated with
becoming disconnected and reconnected.
End of excerpt. The entire fact sheet is available in PDF format.
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