A large percentage of poor children live with just one parent, usually their mother, and single-parent families are more vulnerable to economic downturns than are two-parent families. Living arrangements also affect the optimal design of policies related to income support and child support. In this paper, we review changes in family structure, the relationship between family structure and employment, and early evidence on differential impacts of the recession on families. We then focus on policies that are essential to reducing poverty in the context of the current work-based safety net.
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