Committee on Public Policy

TANF Reauthorization Policy Suggestions - Background

The Committee on Public Policy of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) endorses the position paper on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families written by Jo Anne Schneider, which addresses vital issues within a key area of public policy concern to AAA members and to the communities with which we work. The paper highlights important research findings by professional anthropologists relevant to this subject, and provides policy makers and the public with concise information about the likely social impact of proposed legislation.

TANF Reauthorization Policy Suggestions
Committee on Public Policy, American Anthropological Association

By Jo Anne Schneider

Background to TANF Reauthorization Policy Suggestions

The U.S. Federal Welfare Reform Act of 1996, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is currently up for renewal. In its first five years, TANF was declared a success for dramatically reducing welfare caseloads across the country. The president’s proposal reports that welfare caseloads have declined by 56 percent since TANF was enacted.  However, some analysts suggest that the booming economy contributed significantly to caseload decline.  State and local government officials, as well as advocates for the poor, express concerns that TANF funding levels and time limits will cause hardship for both local governments and poor families.

Anthropological research focuses on the effects of welfare reform at the grass roots level, observing policy implementation in institutions, and the ways people respond to these policies.  Policy recommendations reflect findings from in-depth, process oriented research. On November 28, 2001, the American Anthropological Association Executive Board endorsed the principles behind the following statement:

Welfare reform, to be effective, needs to be part of a national policy aimed at:

  • reducing poverty
  • reforming the conditions of low wage work
  • ensuring access of needy families to cash, food, housing, child care and health care assistance to meet their basic needs
  • supporting the socially necessary, but often unpaid, care-taking work done within  families and communities
  • promoting safe, healthy families and communities
  • supporting access to basic and post-secondary education and meaningful job training
  • promoting race, ethnic and gender equity in employment, education and economic policies

While more TANF heads of households have entered paid employment, many are in part time, low wage jobs with limited benefits.  Job retention and advancement becomes an issue for these families. This population raises concerns regarding education benefits and related support.[1]   

The first five years of TANF experience also revealed a number of families with domestic violence, disability and substance abuse problems which inhibited their ability to fulfill TANF’s stated goals. As some of these families approach time limits, advocates and local policy implementers worry about their fate should they become ineligible for public assistance. Policy consensus in Washington, D.C., and among the governors, supports keeping the five-year time limit with a 20 percent caseload exemption as determined by each state.  However, some policy makers suggest “stopping the clock” based on a variety of criteria.

Health insurance, childcare and other support have become a growing problem as working poor families earn enough to disqualify for Medicaid, food stamps and other public assistance programs.  Other families that qualify for these programs fail to enroll due to diversion tactics by state TANF workers, or because they think they no longer qualify for assistance.[2] If TANF intends to support work, how should government assistance change to provide adequate income, work support and benefits to working families? Should supporting benefits be considered part of TANF?  How can states best reach low-income families who need this support?

TANF Goals

TANF goals should focus on poverty reduction through a combination of strategies to move families into stable jobs paying family supporting wages with benefits, and providing income, benefits and related work support for working families.

While AFDC and related programs did not lift families out of poverty, they did provide basic income to families with limited income for an indefinite period of time. Given TANF time limits, it becomes more imperative that welfare families achieve the means to support themselves without government aid for the long term. National studies of poor families found that many working poor families consolidate income from work and welfare over time.  One study of adults in training programs found that only 6 percent had never accessed welfare. The largest group of public assistance users--low skilled workers--moved between public assistance and unstable, low wage factory or service sector jobs for many years. Stable working class and middle class workers displaced by changes in the economy turned to welfare when they ran out of employment options and savings. Displaced workers accounted for between 15 and 25 percent of the population in several studies of welfare recipients conducted in Philadelphia prior to TANF implementation. Research on attitudes toward welfare stressed that the working class resented welfare because they did not qualify for benefits when they faced hard times due to low-income eligibility and assets disqualification for public assistance. Many working families lose critical support benefits (food stamps, child care subsidies, and health insurance) because eligibility levels for these programs knock them off with very modest income increases, but they then are worse off because the modest wage increases in no way make up for the loss of support.[3] As TANF moves the majority of poor families into work, it is even more essential that public assistance includes long term strategies to adequately support working families.

TANF Funding

Ethnographic research supports indexing the TANF grants to inflation. Proposals related to contingency funds, supplemental funds, rainy day and carry-over provisions also deserve support.

TANF block grants were initially based on state welfare expenditures in 1992, a high year for welfare use because of a recent recession. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has developed a budget analysis that suggests block grant funding should be increased for inflation. It also calls for reinstatement of supplemental grants at higher levels than in the president’s budget proposal. The Center’s proposal calls for continuation and revision of the contingency fund.[4]

TANF funds are not simply used to pay benefits to recipients, but to provide assistance in job placement, training, and other related services. Inflationary costs in these programs include both potential increases in benefit levels for welfare recipients, and increases in wages and benefits for people providing service.  As both researchers and state/local government officials recognize the need for specialized screening and services for people with substance abuse problems, disabilities and other needs, TANF programs will need to spend more on training existing workers, and hiring or contracting for additional specialized providers. Caseloads in some localities, particularly large cities, remain too high for caseworkers to adequately perform their jobs. Adequate funding would help alleviate these problems.[5]

Ethnographic examples support this position. For example, Kenosha, Wisconsin was one of the national forerunners for the work focused, one-stop-shop model of welfare reform promoted in the initial TANF legislation. Kenosha’s program included a unique model with a team of caseworkers with different specialties for each family on public assistance. Caseworker teams led to more balanced decision-making and off set the unevenness of caseworker abilities reported in most studies of front line government workers. The program also included supplemental programs, such as adult basic education and parenting classes on site, for families needing these services.  After a rapid decline in their caseload during their first TANF contract, Kenosha funds for welfare were cut dramatically, causing restructuring of some of these services and a decrease in the number of caseworkers available to serve poor families. The agency also replaced the front line receptionist with volunteers for a period of time, making it more difficult for people to access government services. There were other staff cuts which impacted on services. Families were sent elsewhere for aid, and the already overloaded private sector found itself supporting more poor families unable to get needed services from government.  Some funds were reinstated during the next contract, when the state changed its formula to include families receiving support services, but no cash assistance in caseload figures.[6]

Time Limits

Do not include TANF funded work support as part of the five-year time limit, but include working poor families receiving such assistance in the state caseload.

Current law requires a lifetime five-year time limit for assistance, and allows states to set shorter time limits. Twenty percent of the caseload can be exempted from time limits.

The president’s proposal to provide this kind of support to families who meet income eligibility requirements is a welcome change to TANF that would assist many working poor families.  If anything, use of this support should be expanded to a wider array of working poor and recently unemployed families, as suggested in a recent Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report.[7]   However, these families should remain in the state TANF caseload count in order to support adequate funding, case load compliance figures, and coherence of TANF programs.

Allow for a raise of the 20 percent exemption cap on a state by state basis depending on the percentage of the caseload with significant barriers to employment and economic conditions.

Given the current policy climate, favorable economic conditions in the past five years, and the tendency of most poor families to work when they can, most policy research does not support elimination of the time limits at this time. While some anthropological research raises questions about the mainstream consensus, this document accepts the mainstream policy consensus. However, some states have economic difficulties that put a larger percentage of families at risk.   For example, in Oregon, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate (8 percent in January 2002, up from 4.9 percent one year earlier), TANF caseloads are rising: by 12.2 percent for single-headed households and by 79 percent for two parent households. As the economy slows, more families may use up their life time benefits before the next TANF reauthorization.

In most states, the 20 percent exemption may be enough for families currently at risk of losing their benefits. This depends on two factors: 1) the percentage of the remaining case load which will require long term assistance because of significant barriers to employment (e.g. no work history, people with disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence, low literacy, limited English, mental health problems or specialized care giving responsibilities); and 2) whether families only receiving support services, such as child care, are included in the case load count.  If these families are included in state numbers, the percentage of truly at-risk families will go down.  However, if working poor families are excluded from the caseload count, states will have a greater percentage of harder to serve families on their rolls.

Some studies suggest that families with extreme barriers can move into stable situations with enough support, appropriate assistance and time.  For example, one woman with low literacy, suspected substance abuse problems, disabled children, no work history, and other related problems was able to make the transition into a stable job as an airport disabilities assistant for $8.00 an hour with benefits, after approximately seven years of consistent case management, supportive services, and community service experiences. However, continued job retention for individuals like this will depend on availability of continued case management and support.[8]

Stop the clock for working poor families receiving supplemental cash assistance. Give families credit toward continued assistance given an established work history.

Low-income families who cycle on and off  welfare may reach these limits despite working as much as possible; they may begin to lose their benefits in ten to fifteen years given previous welfare cycling patterns.  These families should not be penalized because they have been unable to move into more stable employment.[9]

Standardize time limits across the states by eliminating state time limits of less than five years.

Researchers in states with shorter time limits report increased hardship for families that have already lost their benefits.

Work Related Activities Requirements

Ethnographic research supports calls for flexibility to design plans that meet the needs of individual families.

Research on poor families shows the diversity in the strategies and needs of the population using public assistance. Research in both Philadelphia and Kenosha reveal the same five types of families who use public assistance: limited work experience, low-skilled workers, stable working class displaced by economic circumstances, rising educated middle class, and immigrants/ refugees.  Each type of family needs a different mix of education, work experience, connections and other support to succeed. States with a large rural population and poor economic conditions also need additional flexibility to accommodate local conditions. Other studies stress the special needs of families with disabled members, people with limited English skills, Native Americans, and other groups.[10]

Work related activities should include substance abuse treatment, domestic violence counseling and rehabilitation without time limits. 

Two-parent families and single-parent families should have the same requirements. 

Evaluation of work experience programs for two-parent families prior to TANF revealed the same diversity and sets of problems within families, regardless of the number of adults in the home.  Despite presumptions that two-parent households included an additional adult who could take care of children and household responsibilities, the program included a significant number of families where one parent was unable or unwilling to contribute to the household due to illness, substance abuse problems or tendencies toward domestic violence. Holding these families to a different standard than single parent families seems particularly unfair given these observations.[11]

Required work related activity hours per week should not be increased. Limit  participation based on availability of childcare.

By definition, TANF families include children. Employment studies for families leaving the welfare rolls report long commute times for urban inner city families, and difficulties managing commitments to children, household needs and work. TANF recipients attempting to move up in the workforce through education or training require additional flexibility in their schedules.  The New Hope Project, an alternative work focused model to TANF, found that low income working families--who often worked more than forty hours per week, sometimes at multiple jobs to make ends meet, found that participating families lowered the number of hours they worked once they had additional support. The additional time allowed them to spend more time with family and to work on personal goals. Requiring families to complete forty hours per week of work related activity would likely reduce the quality of participation in any activity and inhibit the ability for retention and advancement.  Current number of hours required given different family obligations maintain a balance between family, work and other goals.[12]

Count travel to work time as a work related activity when regular commutes extend beyond forty-five minutes one way.

One of the challenges for low-income families in localities with limited employment opportunities includes the amount of time required to travel to a job. This becomes particularly difficult for individuals attempting to use public transportation to travel to the suburbs or other areas when transfers are required, or where public transportation is infrequent. In order to increase work activity participation for people in these communities, counting time beyond forty-five minutes one way per commute as a work related activity would also contribute to retention, family balance issues, and opportunities for advancement.

Allow former welfare recipients or low wage earners to include child, disabled relative or elder care as a work-related activity.  Encourage states to provide training and support to people providing home day care as a source of income.

Katherine Newman’s analysis of poor families in “Hard Times on 125th Street” (2001) shows that low wage working families and welfare dependent families are often intertwined, with welfare dependent relatives offering necessary child care to their working family members and friends.  Forcing these caregivers to work could easily cause low-wage workers to lose their jobs and turn to welfare. Child care and care for the elderly are also rapidly expanding employment sectors.  Furthermore, studies of childcare have suggested that families want child caretakers they trust, often from people they know, rather than formal day care from an unknown provider. The initial TANF legislation includes caring for someone else’s children as one optional work related activity. This proposal suggests highlighting care-giving as an alternative work related activity, but also suggest care givers should be trained so they can provide quality care, and potentially expand informal care-giving into an income producing activity.[13]

Provide exemptions and flexibility for families with disabled children.

A recent study of families with disabled children learned that finding adequate childcare and other support services were significant limitations for these families. Parents with disabled children may also require more flexible employment or other work related activity schedules. Ethnographic research with forty-two families of young children with moderate or severe disabilities, conducted as part of the Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study, documents that working full-time, or even part-time, poses significant challenges to primary caregivers of children with moderate or severe disabilities. Lack of childcare slots for children with significant disabilities, and lack of time flexibility in the workplace pose major barriers. Some states exempt caregivers of persons with disabilities from TANF work requirements, but not from time limits. It may not be feasible for some caregivers of children with disabilities to enter the workforce, and loss of TANF benefits may pose further hardships for them and their children. If they are to work, these families require a range of support, including quality childcare and time flexibility in workplaces. These families deserve more options and flexibility than other TANF families to meet their needs.[14]

Education and Training

Career oriented education should be allowed as a work related activity without time limits based on the individual’s employment development plan.  The number of hours allocated to training, study time, and work experience should remain flexible.

In Oregon, higher educational attainment is strongly correlated with both greater likelihood of employment and reduced poverty. While 54 percent of those without a high school diploma were below the poverty line, only 23 percent of those with an associate degree and 40 percent of those with a college degree were below the poverty line. Similarly, while 64 percent of those without a high school diploma were employed, about ¾ of those with a high school degree, some college or associates degrees were employed, and 94 percent of those with a BA were employed.[15]

Education and training is most effective when combined with related work-like experience, which could include related employment, publicly funded jobs, on-the-job-training, internships or supervised community service in the field of study. Students in ABE/GED and ESL courses should be in similar work experience activities that allow them to practice newly acquired skills.

While analysis of the relationships between education and income regularly shows that people with bachelor’s degrees, or higher, earn much more than people with lesser education, the results on sub-baccalaureate education are much more mixed. Many federally funded adult basic education and job training programs, in particular, have a mixed success rate.  Retention rates at community colleges, the traditional gateway to higher education for many low-income people, remain low.  Research suggests that people who successfully use education as a step up have related work experience, high quality training and connections to help them get a job.  Combining educational programs and related work experience provides low income people with mentors, connections and real life connection between class room and work place which they will need to successfully turn training into advancement. Stable working class young people gained similar experience with union apprenticeships, and the middle class use internships and volunteer experiences in the same way.  Combining education with work experience provides the same advantages for low-skill workers who may not have had similar opportunities.[16]    

Case Management and Coordination

Policies to improve service provision, appropriate assessment and screening based on individual circumstances, monitoring of program participation, outreach to eligible families for support services, coordination and simplification of program rules for related federal programs and improved data collection warrant support based on local level experience.  However, state plans should include provisions for adequate staff, appropriate monitoring and supervision for front-line workers, liaison activities with contractors and other community-based organizations, the upgrade of staff skills, coordination with contractors and the reduction of case loads in order to achieve these goals.

Ethnography in government and contracting agencies involved in welfare reform and related services reports a mixed picture for caseworkers.  On the positive side, caseworkers enjoy the ability to work with participants in more depth.  However, TANF implementation has resulted in mixed messages for case workers, too high case loads to adequately implement programs (particularly in urban areas), uneven service as untrained and overworked case workers attempt to meet new goals on top of existing mandates.  New information systems also created additional burdens for caseworkers.[17]

Support Services

Initiatives to improve funding for support services through programs such as SSBG, additional flexibility and changes in eligibility requirements to allow more working families to qualify for support would ease the burden on working families.[18]   

A recent study in Oregon found that as families leave welfare for work,  many working families lose critical support benefits (food stamps, child care subsidies, and health insurance) because eligibility levels for these programs knock them off with very modest income increases, but then they are worse off, because modest wage increases in no way make up for the loss of support.[19]

Childcare funding should be increased and expanded to include more working families.  While improving the quality of childcare is an important goal, research with poor families suggests that many parents prefer a family member or a friend as a provider, rather than formal care. Improvement in childcare needs to include enhancing the abilities of these home providers.[20]  

One study found that childcare problems were a very significant problem for many  families.  Over 33 percent of the sample reported one or more problems with childcare, including cost, quality and/or transportation to and from childcare. Of those with children under age six, 51 percent reported one or more of these problems. Despite many problems, only 16 percent of the sample received childcare subsidies. This was caused by high co-payments, and the  bureaucratic requirements of maintaining the subsidy, relative to a low financial benefit. Many families ended up relying on family members, because that was the only care they could afford.  However, these arrangements were often unsatisfactory.[21]

Simplifications of program rules and asset disregards (not counting assets such as a car when determining family resources) for food stamp program are welcome changes to current policy. 

Sandra Morgen’s study of front line TANF workers in Oregon highlighted the tension between workers attempting to implement the more time consuming and subjective case management goals of TANF and to maintain food stamp program’s strict eligibility requirements at the same time.  Workers could not achieve both goals. This caused stress and confusion.[22]

The medical insurance system needs to be fixed for all working families.  Interim proposals, such as extending TMA, CHIP and related programs, and allowing states the flexibility to experiment with other expanded benefits should be encouraged. Medical insurance programs should include adequate funding for administration. 

Medical insurance loss is highly correlated with increased debt due to interruptions in, or loss of the Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan. This was a major finding in the in-depth portion of a recent Oregon study, and it speaks volumes about the need for expanded access to health insurance. Over 25 percent of the sample had no health coverage after two years of having left the initial program. Of those with coverage, more had the Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan than employer-provided health insurance. Also, a recent study of Medicaid managed care in New Mexico showed that local community health providers had dramatic increases in uncompensated care due to TANF implementation and the institution of a managed care system.[23]

Child Support

Count in-kind support from non-custodial parents as child support in cases where parents are unemployed, disabled or completing education programs. 

Advocates often raise concerns about requirements to disclose paternity based on privacy issues, and potential safety concerns for women escaping violent partners.  However, some low-income parents do not report paternity, because enforcing formal agreements might destroy in-kind support systems among low-income, non-custodial parents and their families. Carol Stack reported in-kind support through childcare, food, clothing, and diapers for low-income communities in her classic study of welfare recipients in the 1960s.[24]   Similar patterns continue today. If the president wants to promote marriage, causing friction between parents over aggressive formal child support enforcement measures will hinder his goal.

One example shows the importance of allowing flexibility in paternity disclosure and child support enforcement systems.  A low-income single parent who was in college and working part-time, applied for childcare assistance in Kenosha. She was not receiving any other government benefits.  The father of the child was also a college student working part time.  While unmarried, these parents were very much a couple; the father and his family contributed to childcare and in-kind support as his income allowed. They intended to marry when they had completed school and found family supporting jobs. 

The mother was required to disclose the name of the father, because childcare in their locality was funded exclusively by TANF.  She chose to do without this benefit rather than name her partner, because she was afraid that he would be required to work more hours to pay a formal child support order.  She was concerned that he would not be able to finish college and would be consigned to low paying jobs for the long term if this happened.  Not requiring her to name the father, or allowing flexibility given his long-term goals, would have allowed both parents a better future, ultimately contributing more to the economy and federal tax system.

Contracting and Charitable Choice

Neither the contracting to private entities or the involvement of faith-based providers or churches is a new development in U.S. social service.[25]  The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (“Care”) Act of 2002 (Lieberman-Santorum) includes clauses for equal treatment for non-governmental providers by 1) not allowing government entities to disqualify an applicant for government aid due to religious ties; 2) providing technical assistance or enabling cooperative agreements where more established entities serve as prime contractors for smaller organizations; and 3) creating a “compassionate capital fund” of $150 million to offer technical assistance to community-based organizations. This fund is to be administered by the departments of Health and Human Services,  Justice, and Housing and Urban Development, and by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Lieberman-Santorum bill specifically requires faith-based providers to abide by other grant criteria and “address issues of preemption of civil rights laws.”

Evaluate the impact of devolution and for-profit service on community-based providers, as well as participants in TANF programs. Ensure support of long term successful community-based contractors through increased technical assistance, reduction of paper-work, continued funding, encouragement of co-contracting with larger agencies, and other similar strategies. 

Current research supports concerns that small agencies and newcomers to the government contracting process have trouble with government administrative requirements. However, as so little research is available, the impact on the non-profit sector and program participants of increased contracting and for-profit providers is not known. Increased use of safety net programs is well documented, however, causing a growing concern that the government safety net system needs to be reinforced.[26]

One recent study of the effects of Medicaid managed care on pre-existing community-based providers suggests several problems with current contracting and government safety net provisions.  State contracting to for-profit managed care organizations, which subcontracted with some pre-existing local providers, meant paper work nightmares, a dramatic increase in uncompensated care and the need to find new funding sources for many established community- based providers. Despite these difficulties, community-based agencies generally continued to provide quality service, buffering their clients from some of the problems of the new managed care system.  Staff at agencies in this study experienced burn out, and some committed staff left these agencies due to the increased burdens of managed care.[27]   

Continue Charitable Choice with additional technical assistance and civil rights provisions.  Include long term evaluations of the unique role of churches and religious providers in social welfare service provision.

Studies of Charitable Choice and contracting are just beginning to emerge, so evaluations of the effects of these initiatives are not available.

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Additionally endorsed by the following anthropologists, policy institutes and policy scholars:

Alan Benjamin, Pennsylvania State University

Leslie Bloom, Iowa State University

Center for the Study of Voluntary Organizations and Service, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

Karen Curtis, Center for Community Development & Family Policy, University of Delaware

Pablo Eisenberg, Center for the Study of Voluntary Organizations and Service, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

Judith Goode, Temple University

David Hakken, SUNY Institute of Technology

Jane Henrici, University of Memphis

Virginia Hodgkinson, Center for the Study of Voluntary Organizations and Service, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

Catherine Kingfisher, University of Lethbridge

William S. Lachicotte, School of Medicine, University North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Louise Lamphere, University of New Mexico

Deborah Freedman Lustig, Santa Clara University

Sandra Morgen, University of Oregon

Helen Safa, University of Florida, Gainesville

Jo Anne Schneider, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Merrill Singer, Hispanic Health Center

Debra Skinner, FPG Child Development Institute

Alex Stepick, Florida International University

For further information on the statement and the AAA Committee on Public Policy, contact Judith Goode, Temple University – JudithGoode@cs.com

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Recent Anthropological Studies on TANF Related Topics

Collections

Goode, Judith and Jeff Maskovsky, editors (2001) The New Poverty Studies, New York: New York University Press.

Schneider, Jo Anne, Alex Stepick and Rae Bridgman, editors (2001) Contemporary Issues Forum: Social Welfare and Welfare Reform, American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3)

Life Experience and Work Experience of People Who Use Public Assistance

Curtis, Karen A. (1999) “Bottom-Up” Poverty and Welfare Policy Discourse: Ethnography to the Rescue? Urban Anthropology 28(2): 103-104.

Curtis, Karen A., Jocelyn Taliaferro and Richard Clerkin (2000) Welfare Reform in the First State 2002: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., Jason Scott, Andrea Breedlove and Ivory Copeland (2002) Welfare Reform in the First State: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., and Erika Klar (1999) Welfare Reform in the First State: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., Christine Eith and Andrea Breedlove (2001) Welfare Reform in the First State 2001: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Newman, Katherine (1999) No Shame in Our Game, New York: Alfred A. Knopf and the Russell Sage Foundation.

--- (2001) Hard Times on 125th Street, American Anthropologist, 103 (3) 762-778.

Safa, Helen I. (1999) Female-Headed Households in the Caribbean: Deviant or Alternative Form of Family Organization? Latino(a) Research Review 4(2), pp. 16-26.

Schneider, Jo Anne (1999) And How are We Supposed to Pay for Health Care?  Views of the Poor and the Near Poor on Welfare Reform,  American Anthropologist 101(4).

--- (2000) Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare, Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.

--- (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

TANF Funding

Schneider, Jo Anne (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

Work Related Activity Requirements

Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

Curtis, Karen A. (forthcoming 2002) Financial Penalties Under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program: Policy Discourse and Strategies for Reform, Journal of Family and Economic Issues 23(3) forthcoming 2002

---(2001) Welfare Dependency in Delaware: a Study of the State’s Program Reform and Advocacy for Change, Journal of Poverty 5(2): 45-66

---(1999) Welfare Reform in Delaware: a Better Chance for Whom? Publius: the Journal of Federalism, Summer 1998 28(3): 105-122. Reprinted in Welfare Reform: a Race to the Bottom, Sanford Schram and Samuel Beer (eds.), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 139-156.

Schneider, Jo Anne (1996) Making Workfare a Success: the Alternative Work Experience Program Evaluation, available at the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, Philadelphia.

--- (1998) Rapid Attachment Study available at www.chss.iup.edu/jschneid

Education and Training

Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

Curtis, Karen A. (forthcoming 2002) Financial Penalties Under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program: Policy Discourse and Strategies for Reform, Journal of Family and Economic Issues 23(3) forthcoming 2002

---(2001) Welfare Dependency in Delaware: a Study of the State’s Program Reform and Advocacy for Change, Journal of Poverty 5(2): 45-66

---(1999) Welfare Reform in Delaware: a Better Chance for Whom? Publius: the Journal of Federalism, Summer 1998 28(3): 105-122. Reprinted in Welfare Reform: a Race to the Bottom, Sanford Schram and Samuel Beer (eds.), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 139-156.

Goldstein, Donna (2001) Microenterprise Training Programs, Neoliberal Common Sense, and the Discourse of Self Esteem,  in Goode, Judith and Jeff Maskovsky, editors,  The New Poverty Studies, New York: New York University Press: 236-272.

Morgen, Sandra and Jill Weigt (2001) Poor Women, Fair Work, and Welfare to Work that Works in The New Poverty Studies (edited by Judith Goode and Jeff Maskofsky), New York: New York University Press. 

Newman, Katherine (1999) No Shame in Our Game,  New York: Alfred A. Knopf and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Schneider, Jo Anne (2000) Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare, Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.

Case Management and Coordination

---(2001) Welfare Dependency in Delaware: a Study of the State’s Program Reform and Advocacy for Change, Journal of Poverty 5(2): 45-66

---(1999) Welfare Reform in Delaware: a Better Chance for Whom? Publius: the Journal of Federalism, Summer 1998 28(3): 105-122. Reprinted in Welfare Reform: a Race to the Bottom, Sanford Schram and Samuel Beer (eds.), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 139-156.

Morgen, Sandra (2001), The Agency of Welfare Agency Workers, American Anthropologist, 103(4): 747-761. 

Schneider, Jo Anne (1996) Making Workfare a Success: the Alternative Work Experience Program Evaluation.  available through the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, Philadelphia.

--- (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at

http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

Support Services

Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

Curtis, Karen A., Jocelyn Taliaferro and Richard Clerkin (2000) Welfare Reform in the First State 2002: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., Jason Scott, Andrea Breedlove and Ivory Copeland (2002) Welfare Reform in the First State: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., and Erika Klar (1999) Welfare Reform in the First State: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Curtis, Karen A., Christine Eith and Andrea Breedlove (2001) Welfare Reform in the First State 2001: Snapshot of Low-Income Families, Citizens’ Inquiry on Welfare Reform, Center for Community Development and Family Policy, University of Delaware

Schneider, Jo Anne (1998) Kenosha Conversation Project.  Available from the author and University of Wisconsin-Parkside Center for Community Partnerships, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

---(2000) Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare, Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.

---(2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at

http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

Child Care and Other Issues Related to  Children

Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

Bloom, L. R. (2001).  “I'm poor, I'm single, I'm a mom, and I deserve respect": Advocating in Schools as/with Mothers in Poverty.  Educational Studies (32)3, pp. 300-316.

Newman, Katherine (2001). Hard Times on 125th Street,  American Anthropologist, Vol. 103 (3) 762-778.

Stack, Carol (2001) Coming of Age in Oakland in The New Poverty Studies (edited by Judith Goode and Jeff Maskofsky), New York: New York University Press.

Food Insecurity, Food stamps and WIC

Curtis, Karen A. (1997) Urban Poverty and the Social Consequences of Privatized Food Assistance, Journal of Urban Affairs, Special Conference Issue 19(2): 207-227

Morgen, Sandra (2001), The Agency of Welfare Agency Workers, American Anthropologist, 103(4): 747-761. 

Health Insurance

Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

Angel, Ronald J., Laura Lein, Jane Henrici, and Emily Leventhal.  (2001)  Health Insurance Coverage for Children and their Caregivers in Low-Income Urban Neighborhoods.  Baltimore: Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study Policy Brief 01-2, available at www.jhu.edu/~welfare.

Horten, Sarah, Joanne McCloskey, Caroline Todd and Marta Henrickson (2001) Transforming the Safety Net: Responses to Medicaid Managed Care in Rural and Urban New Mexico,  American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3), 733-736.

Schneider, Jo Anne (1999) And How are We Supposed to Pay for Health Care?  Views of the Poor and the Near Poor on Welfare Reform,  American Anthropologist 101(4).

Skinner, D., Slattery, E., Lachicotte, W., Cherlin, A., & Burton, L. Disability, Health  Coverage, and Welfare Reform. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Washington, DC. Forthcoming Spring 2002.

Housing, Utilities and Homelessness

Glasser, Irene and Rae Bridgman (1999) Braving the Street: Anthropology of Homelessness. New York: Berghahn Books

Newman, Katherine (1999) No Shame in Our Game,  New York: Alfred A. Knopf and the Russell Sage Foundation.

—(2001)Hard Times on 125th Street,  American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3) 762-778.

Disability and Care for Disabled Family Members

Cherlin, A., Skinner, D., Lachicotte, W., & Fomby, P. (2002). Welfare Reform, SSI, and Families with Members with Disabilities. Final report to the Social Security Administration. 

Credit and Savings

Williams, Brett (2001) What’s Debt Got to Do With It? in Goode, Judith and Jeff Maskovsky, editors,  The New Poverty Studies, New York: New York University Press: 79-102.

Contracting and Charitable Choice

Horten, Sarah, Joanne McCloskey, Caroline Todd and Marta Henrickson (2001) Transforming the Safety Net: Responses to Medicaid Managed Care in Rural and Urban New Mexico,  American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3), 733-736.

Lopez, Lisette and Carol Stack (2001) Social Capital and the Culture of Power: Lessons from the Field, in Saegert, Susan, J. Phillip Thompson, and Mark Warren editors, Social Capital and Poor Communities, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Schneider, Jo Anne (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at

http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

Immigrants

Cherlin, Andrew, Paula Fomby, Ronald Angel, and Jane Henrici.  2001.  Public Assistance Receipt Among Native-Born Children of Immigrants.  Baltimore: Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study Policy Brief 01-3, available at www.jhu.edu/~welfare.

Schiller, Nina Glick and Georges Fouron (2001) I’m not a Problem without a Solution: Poverty and Transnational Migration,   in Goode, Judith and Jeff Maskovsky, editors,  The New Poverty Studies, New York: New York University Press, 321-363..

Schneider, Jo Anne (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at

http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

Zavella, Patricia (2001) The Tables are Turned: Immigration, Poverty and Social Conflict in California Communities.   in Goode, Judith and Jeff Maskovsky, editors,  The New Poverty Studies, New York: New York University Press: 103-134.

[For further information on the statement and the AAA Committee on Public Policy, contact Judith Goode, Department of Anthropology, Temple University (215) 204-7773; JudithGoode@cs.com]


Notes

[1] . For example, see Urban Institute Assessing the New Federalism Project Occasional Paper Number 10, Job Prospects for Welfare Recipients (Regenstein, Meyer and Hicks 1998) and   Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

[2] . Food stamp and Medicaid declines are widely reported in the TANF evaluation literature.  For example, see Urban Institute Assessing the New Federalism Project Discussion Paper 99-13, Decline in Food Stamp and Welfare Participation: Is there a Connection? (Zedlewski and Brauner) and Discussion Paper 01-05 Former Welfare Families Continue to Leave the Food Stamp Program (Zedlewski and Gruber).

[3] . National Studies include Bane, Mary Jo and David Elwood.  (1994) Welfare Realities: From Rhetoric to Reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and Edin, Kathryn and Laura Lein. (1997)  Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-wage Work.  New York: Russell Sage Foundation, and several related chapters in Blank, Rebecca and Ron Haskins editors (2001) The New World of Welfare, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

For more information on Philadelphia research, see The Social Network Study Technical Report, available at www.chss.iup.edu/jschneid also available through the ERIC clearinghouse, Schneider (1999) “And How are We Supposed to Pay for Health Care?  Views of the Poor and the Near Poor on Welfare Reform,”  American Anthropologist 101(4) and Schneider (2000) “Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare,” Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.

See also Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

[4] . See www.centeronbudget.org

[5] . See the Brookings Institution’s Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy Survey Series report The State of Welfare Caseloads in America’s Cities: 1999 for discussion of case load differences in large cities.

[6] . See the Kenosha Social Capital Study (Schneider 2001), available at 

http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

[7] . See Relieving the Recession: Nineteen Ways States Can Assist Low income Families During the Downturn.  Available from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities at www.cbpp.org.

[8] . See Schneider (2000) “Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare,” Human Organization 59(1): 72-85. Discussion of this case will be available in a forthcoming Social Policy Journal article, Social Capital and Community Supports for Low Income Families: Examples from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

[9] . National Studies of welfare cycling include Bane, Mary Jo and David Elwood.  (1994) Welfare Realities: From Rhetoric to Reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and Edin, Kathryn and Laura Lein. (1997)  Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-wage Work.  New York: Russell Sage Foundation, and several related chapters in Blank, Rebecca and Ron Haskins editors (2001) The New World of Welfare, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. See also The Social Network Study Technical Report, available at www.chss.iup.edu/jschneid also available through the ERIC clearinghouse, and Schneider (2000) “Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare,” Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.

[10] . See Schneider (2000),.The Social Network Study Technical Report, The Kenosha Social Capital Study and Rapid Attachment Study are available on line at www.chss.iup.edu/jschneid also available through the ERIC clearinghouse. Katherine Newman describes the complexity of employment and welfare for low income families in No Shame in Our Game (1999)  New York: Alfred A. Knopf and the Russell Sage Foundation and Hard Times on 125th Street (2001), American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3) 762-778.  

[11] . See the Making Workfare a Success: the Alternative Work Experience Program Evaluation. (Schneider 1997), available through the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, in Philadelphia.

[12] . New Hope participants who worked more than forty hours per week were able to reduce hours with additional income and benefit supports from the program.  See the MDRC report New Hope for People with Low Incomes (1999) by Bos et al.

[13] . Katherine Newman (2001), Hard Times on 125th Street , American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3) 762-778).  See also The Kenosha Conversation Project (Schneider 1998).

[14] . See Barbara Le Roy (2000) The Effects of Welfare Reform and Children’s Health Insurance on Families Whose Children have Disabilities.  Detroit, Developmental Disabilities Institute, Wayne State University.  Cherlin, A., Skinner, D., Lachicotte, W., & Fomby, P. (2002). Welfare reform, SSI, and families with members with disabilities. Final report to the Social Security Administration. 

[15] .Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

[16] . The National Center for Research in Vocational Education at Berkeley released a number of reports on post-secondary education.  For discussion of national data on the returns on education see  Grubb, W. Norton.(1995) The Returns to Education and Training in the Sub-Baccalaureate Labor Market: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1984-1990. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Hull, Glynda (1992) "Their Chances? Slim and None": An Ethnographic Account of the Experiences of Low income People of Color in a Vocational Program and at Work. Berkeley: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, and Romero, Carol J.(1994) JTPA Programs and Adult Women on Welfare: Using Training to Raise AFDC Recipients Above Poverty. Research Report No. 93-01. Washington, D.C.: National Commission for Employment Policy.

Ethnographic analysis of education and training in this report comes from  Schneider (2000) Pathways to Opportunity: The Role of Race, Social Networks, Institutions and Neighborhood in Career and Educational Paths for People on Welfare. Human Organization 59(1): 72-85.  Sandra Morgen and Jill Weigt (2001) describes historical experience with combining training and government supported paid work experience with the CETA program in “Poor Women, Fair Work, and Welfare to Work that Works” in The New Poverty Studies (edited by Judith Goode and Jeff Maskofsky), New York: New York University Press.  Carol Stack (2001) presents a portrait of how unrelated work and schooling combined work against long term opportunities for poor teenagers in “Coming of Age in Oakland” in The New Poverty Studies (edited by Judith Goode and Jeff Maskofsky), New York: New York University Press.  

[17] . Examples of ethnographic discussion of case worker experience include,  Morgen  (2001) The Agency of Welfare Agency Workers, American Anthropologist, 103(4): 747-761,  Schneider (2001),  Kenosha Social Capital Study, available at http://www.nonprofitresearch.org/newsletter1531/newsletter_show.htm?doc_id=17368

chapter 8, Quint et al (1999) Big Cities and Welfare Reform: Early Implementation and Ethnographic Findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change, MDRC

[18] .  Numerous recommendations for expanding supports and safety net services to working families are detailed in Relieving the Recession: Nineteen Ways States can Assist Low income Families During the Downturn.  Available from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities at www.cbpp.org.

[19] . Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

[20] . The Kenosha Conversation Project (Schneider 1998) highlighted the importance of childcare families can trust as providers.  Katherine Newman’s (2001), Hard Times on 125th Street , American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3) 762-778 describes family day care providers. 

[21] . Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon.

[22] . See Morgen  (2001) The Agency of Welfare Agency Workers, American Anthropologist, 103(4): 747-761.

[23] . Acker, Joan, Sandra Morgen and Lisa Gonzales (2002) Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications from Oregon. Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon. See also Horten et al. (2001) Transforming the Safety Net: Responses to Medicaid Managed Care in Rural and Urban New Mexico,  American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3), 733-736.  Other recent studies on related issues include Radcliffe Public Policy Center and 9 to 5 study (Dodson, Manuel and Bravo 2002) Keeping Jobs and Raising Families in Low Income America: It Just Doesn’t Work and the Emergency Services Utilization Project and Policy Education Initiative, a joint project of Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently produced a report called Passing the Buck: W-2 and Emergency Services in Milwaukee County (Fendt, Mulligan-Hansel and White 2001).

[24] . See Stack, Carol. (1974) All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community. New York: Harper and Row.

[25] . See Hall, Peter Dobkin (1992) Inventing the Nonprofit Sector and Other Essays on Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Nonprofit Organizations.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press and Canaan, Ram, Wineburg, R. and Boddie, S. (1999) The Newer Deal: Social Work and Religion in Partnership. New York: Columbia University Press.

[26] . See Hodgkinson, Virginia, Christine Ahn, Steven Farrell, Jeff Krehely and Kathryn Nelson (2000) Assessing the Role of the Nonprofit Sector Following Welfare Reform: What Do We Know? Working Paper, Center for the Study of Voluntary Organizations and Service, Georgetown Public Policy Center, Georgetown University. What Do We Need to Know? Bischoff, Ursula and Michael Reisch (2000) Welfare Reform and Community Based Organizations: Implications for Policy, Practice and Education, Journal of Community Practice 8(4): 69-91 and the Emergency Services Utilization Project and Policy Education Initiative, a joint project of Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently produced a report called Passing the Buck: W-2 and Emergency Services in Milwaukee County (Fendt, Mulligan-Hansel and White 2001).  The  Kenosha Social Capital Study,  Schneider (2001) available at  www.chss.iup.edu/jschneid, chapter 9 also addresses the impact of government contracts of non-profits.

[27] . See Horten et al. (2001) Transforming the Safety Net: Responses to Medicaid Managed Care in Rural and Urban New Mexico,  American Anthropologist, volume 103 (3), 733-736.


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