ERIC Number: ED444748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Struggle for Self-Sufficiency: Impact of Welfare Reform on Families with Children in Kansas.
Kansas Action for Children, Inc., Topeka.
Since Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, Kansas has dramatically reduced its welfare roles. Noting that achieving self-sufficiency is the real measure of success in combating poverty, this study examines welfare reform efforts in Kansas. To gather information, United Way member agencies and community emergency assistance agencies administered a survey during 1998 and 1999 to 2,005 households seeking assistance, 1,244 of whom were families with children. Findings reveal that while Kansas has made progress in fighting poverty, that progress is far more modest than the dramatic decrease in welfare roles suggests. Kansas ranks 14th in the percentage reduction in welfare recipients between 1993 and 1999. Many welfare recipients and former recipients continue to struggle to meet their needs. The level of income required to become self-sufficient often far exceeds the wages that a welfare recipient can expect to receive. Kansas diverts almost half the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant into foster care, thereby reducing its ability to effectively improve families' self-sufficiency. Kansas places little emphasis on providing recipients with skill-specific training needed to secure a living wage, with current state spending too low to take full advantage of federal matching grants. An alarming number of poor families are not receiving food stamps, Medicaid, child care subsidies, and other benefits for which they are eligible. Based on findings, the following recommendations were made to help Kansas achieve the true goals of welfare reform: (1) caseworkers should make sure that families are aware of benefits for which they are eligible; and (2) job readiness and training programs should be emphasized. (KB)
Descriptors: Child Support, Child Welfare, Children, Family Income, Health Services, Low Income Groups, Poverty, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services
Kansas Action for Children, P.O. Box 463, Topeka, KS 66601. Tel: 785-232-0550; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.kac.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas Action for Children, Inc., Topeka.
Identifiers - Location: Kansas