ERIC Number: ED464739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
On the Front Lines: Families and Welfare Reform Five Years Later. Watching Out for Children in Changing Times.
Fisher, Kathleen; Dichter, Harriet; Yanoff, Shelly D.; Fynes, Steven E.
In the 5 years since welfare reform was enacted, the Watching Out for Children in Changing Times initiative in Philadelphia has been meeting with families receiving welfare and listening to their experiences. This report is the third in the series and details the experiences of 40 families. Information for the report was based on interviews conducted from December 2000 through December 2001. Twenty-two of the families interviewed were African American, 8 were White, and 10 were Latino. Findings indicated that over half of the Watching Families had left the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) rolls, with over two-thirds of welfare leavers working, many in full-time jobs. Unemployed leavers had other sources of support, typically through the SSI program. However, family income was often below the poverty line. All the families reported struggling to make ends meet. Parents reported that they and their children had significant difficulties adjusting to parents' increased time away from home. Findings also revealed that securing and maintaining a job was often an uphill journey, easily thrown off course by a parent or child's health problem, difficulty finding appropriate quality child care, lengthy and expensive commutes, or a lack of education and skills. In the Spring of 2002, seven families will have exhausted their 5-year lifetime TANF limit for cash assistance. The report includes recommendations for the public and private sectors, and 12 charts compiling information on families in Pennsylvania and in Southeastern Pennsylvania receiving cash assistance and current situations of the Watching Out families. Findings are illustrated throughout the report with short stories of particular family situations. Two appendices provide details about TANF time limits, sanctions, and work requirements nationally and in Pennsylvania, and define the time-out categories used in the study. (Contains 49 endnotes and 22 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Children, Family Financial Resources, Family Income, Family (Sociological Unit), Family Status, Interviews, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Well Being
Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, 7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Tel: 215-563-5848; Fax: 215-563-9442; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.pccy.org/PDF/WatchOutTANF2002.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, PA.; United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families