ERIC Number: ED443585
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Poverty, Welfare, and Children: A Summary of the Data. Child Trends Research Brief.
Harper, Michelle; Vandivere, Sharon
While most American children are not poor, the proportion of children living in poverty has remained at or near 20 percent since the early 1980s. Childhood poverty can have short- and long-term negative consequences for children. Growing up at or near the poverty line can affect the quality of a family's housing, children's access to nutritious food and adequate health care, and parents' ability to provide toys, books, and recreational or educational opportunities for their children. Poor children are also more likely than children who are not poor to experience difficulties in school, to become teen parents, and, as adults, to earn less and be unemployed more often. The effects of being raised in a family with income substantially below the poverty line are correspondingly more damaging. Until 1997, many poor families with children received cash assistance from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a 60-year-old entitlement program. Welfare reform legislation enacted in August 1996 replaced AFDC with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which, among other changes, sets time limits on families' receipt of welfare. Several studies are currently underway to assess the effects of TANF on children's well-being, but it may be some years before researchers can speak definitively to the long-term effects of welfare reform on children. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Freddie Mac Foundation, McLean, VA.
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families