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ERIC Number: ED466925
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Feminist Perspectives on TANF Reauthorization: An Introduction to Key Issues for the Future of Welfare Reform. Briefing Paper.
Peterson, Janice
Current debates about welfare reform center on the upcoming reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) legislation. The provisions of TANF include the elimination of the entitlement to cash assistance, block grant funding to the states, mandatory work requirements, sanctions, a 5-year limit on cash assistance, and "family formation" provisions. Although there has been a documented reduction in welfare case loads since the passage of TANF, data on earnings, income, and poverty are less positive. Research on "welfare leavers," for example, finds that those leaving welfare for employment are typically entering jobs paying below-poverty-level wages and are not receiving employer-provided benefits such as health insurance or paid sick or vacation leave. In preparation for reauthorization legislation, TANF should be changed to help women increase their access to jobs with living wages. A feminist agenda for TANF reauthorization acknowledges the nature of the labor markets poor women enter and the need to reduce gender-biased employment discrimination. It calls for the restructuring of time limits and sanctions to take into account the barriers to employment faced by many poor women and the fact that even those who become employed face hurdles to achieving economic security. A feminist agenda for TANF reauthorization proposes to strengthen the safety net for children, improve childcare provisions, increase educational and training opportunities, and make the legislation more responsive to business cycles, since economic downturns often hit former welfare recipients first. (Contains 59 references.) (KC)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families