Welfare Reform's Effect on Child Welfare Caseloads

Brief

Welfare Reform's Effect on Child Welfare Caseloads

The paper examines the links between the cash assistance and child welfare systems. Interviews with more than 350 child welfare administrators, researchers, supervisors, legislative representatives, and advocates in 13 states found no evidence to suggest that welfare reform had significantly increased the number of families referred to child welfare agencies. The authors conclude that concern for dual-system families may be well-founded as many respondents noted the challenges faced by families involved in both systems. The authors review the few studies that address the effects of welfare reform on child welfare concluding that research on this topic is limited.

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