The Social Safety Net at the Beginning of Federal Welfare Reform: Organization of and Access to Social Services for Low-Income Families

Research Report

The Social Safety Net at the Beginning of Federal Welfare Reform: Organization of and Access to Social Services for Low-Income Families

Abstract

This paper reviews data from thirteen states to assess the ability of welfare and working poor families to access AFDC, general assistance, food stamps, the child support system, Medicaid, JOBS and other employment and training programs on the eve of welfare reform. The authors find much diversity in the organization and delivery of social programs in the thirteen states. Cash Assistance is the entry point with the most well-defined links to other services and programs. To improve the system, the authors recommend more investment in building local capacity to deliver services and making it easier for working poor families to obtain services.

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