ERIC Number: ED459282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Red Flags: Research Raises Concerns about the Impact of "Welfare Reform" on Child Maltreatment.
Hutson, Rutledge Q.
This paper addresses the potential impact of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on the incidence of child maltreatment. Potential risks include maltreatment related to poverty, loss of benefits because of sanctions or time limits, and problems finding child care. While the total number of substantiated cases of maltreatment decreased in 1999, the estimated number of children in foster care grew significantly. This may demonstrate that TANF is having no negative impact on the rates of child abuse and neglect, or it may reflect alternative case handling. Research raises red flags suggesting that policies adopted under TANF may be increasing children's risk of maltreatment. For example, grant reductions are associated with increased entry into child welfare; subsequent employment in light of welfare losses may influence the likelihood of Child Protective Services involvement; increased proportions of working single mothers are associated with increased rates of neglect; and a comprehensive package of welfare reforms may increase maltreatment rates. Recommendations include focusing TANF on the reduction of child and family poverty and considering additional measures of welfare reform's success. Three appendices present an overview of TANF, major child welfare programs, and child welfare provisions in the 1986 welfare law. (SM)
Descriptors: Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Welfare, Federal Programs, Foster Care, Poverty, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services
For full text: http://www.clasp.org/pubs/TANF/red%20flags.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.; George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.; Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families