The author challenges the practice of using caseload decline as a barometer of welfare reform success. He uses the National Survey of Americas Families to take a closer look at families at risk of poverty in Wisconsin. Among the conclusions: Wisconsin Works (W2) has produced a dramatic drop in cash assistance. Poverty persists, but near-elimination of child poverty seems within reach. The health issue goes beyond insurance to include access to quality services. Milwaukee remains the challenge; the city does worse than the state on virtually all measures.
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