PROJECTState Policy and Low Income Families


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Some state policies affect children and families through impacts on family economic well-being and household composition. The Low-Income Working Families project often examines state policies to determine possible impacts and to suggest potential solutions across policy areas ranging from the safety net to incarceration.

Although the federal government sets general policy and guidelines for most safety net and social service programs, states have an important role to play in establishing specific policies around eligibility and providing additional funding for social support efforts. The state role has become increasingly important in the past 20 years, and variations across states mean that families with children in some states will have access to fewer public resources than children in other states.  Evidence indicates these variations may have more negative impacts on children of color because these children are concentrated in less generous states. 

In other policy areas, states have sole or primary authority, which can also link family and child welfare to the state where they live. Low-Income Working Families seeks to inform development and implementation of some of these policies as well.

Related Content
Research Areas Families
Tags Families with low incomes