Brief Welfare Reform What Have We Learned in Fifteen Years?
Sheila R. Zedlewski
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Welfare has changed dramatically since Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996. TANF can be characterized by shrinking real benefits, strategies that divert families from enrolling, and sanctions that penalize families. Data show high rates of employment barriers among adults on TANF, and a large share of TANF cases provide benefits only for the children. While evidence is scarce on strategies that move families to self-sufficiency. TANF can draw lessons from 15 years of research to improve program design.
Research Areas Social safety net
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Public service and subsidized employment programs Families with low incomes