ERIC Number: ED471934
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Families on the Edge: Homeless Young Parents and Their Welfare Experiences. A Survey of Homeless Youth and Service Providers.
Reeg, Bob; Grisham, Christine; Shepard, Annie
This report examines the experiences of homeless young parents with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which can be an important tool in helping them achieve long-term stability and economic self-sufficiency. The 1996 welfare reform act included special provisions that applied only to minor teen parents, requiring them to be in school and residing at home or in approved living situations in order to receive benefits. Data from surveys of over 100 homeless young parents and 20 service providers nationwide indicated that most homeless parenting youth would likely meet the basic eligibility requirements to receive TANF benefits. However, many did not even know they might be eligible. Even when homeless youth knew about TANF, they had trouble accessing or keeping benefits. Results suggest that the living arrangement rule may be operating as a barrier to TANF services rather than as an opportunity to help provide young parents with the resources to find safe housing. Recommendations include improving TANF program rules for young parents by allowing for a transitional compliance period in which to come into compliance with the TANF minor parent rules, and increasing community outreach efforts and availability of support services for young parents. (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Compulsory Education, Early Parenthood, Homeless People, Low Income Groups, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services, Youth Problems
Center for Law and Social Policy, 1015 15th Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site: http://www.clasporg.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC.; National Network for Youth, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families