ERIC Number: ED446183
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Welfare's Children. Discussion Paper.
States with family cap public assistance policies deny or reduce additional welfare benefits to mothers who conceive and give birth to additional children while they are receiving aid. By 1999, 22 states had family cap policies in place. This paper reports estimates of the number and cost implications of infants conceived by mothers receiving assistance in California over the period 1988-1995. The estimates are constructed using a longitudinal analytic database derived from administrative records. The results indicate that such births are common, but their incidence is declining. In 1988 about 5.2% of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Family Group (AFDC-FG) (mostly single parent) cases in California experienced a birth of a child conceived while the case was open; by 1995, this had declined to 4.8%. Over the same interval this aggregate rate fell from 8.0% to 6.7% for (two-parent) families in AFDC-unemployed parent. Although the one-year number of such births (62,000 in 1995) is small in comparison with total numbers of children in AFDC families, such children accumulate over time. Thirty percent of children under age 9 in California families receiving AFDC benefits in February 1996 were conceived while their cases were open; benefits paid on their behalf amounted to roughly 7% of total state outlays. The incidence of such births varies by race, but the downward trend is common. California actually implemented a family cap in 1997, but the state's plan is unusual in that adults can escape the consequences by leaving welfare for 2 months following the onset of pregnancy. Because administration of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in California has been radically decentralized, it is not clear whether counties are in fact applying the cap, or if so, whether parents are taking advantage of the 2-month exemption. An appendix contains probit variable definitions. (Contains 6 figures, 6 tables, and 22 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California Univ., Berkeley. Survey Research Center.; Urban Inst., Washington, DC.; California State Dept. of Social Services, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.
Identifiers - Location: California