ERIC Number: ED472350
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Children and Welfare Reform: What Policy Theories Are Being Implemented in States Where Most Poor Children Live?
Johnson, Cathy Marie; Gais, Thomas Lewis; Lawrence, Catherine
This paper revisits 1997-98 findings that indicated that during the first years of state implementation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), states were most likely to implement the environment theory, which claims that children benefit socially and psychologically from being part of a household in which caregivers have jobs, and less likely to create policies, programs, structures, and processes that put the resource and family structure theories into effect. The resource theory holds that children benefit from an increase in economic resources, and the family structure theory contends that children are negatively affected when raised in single-parent families. It uses two additional rounds of field research, focusing on 16 states. In states with high rates of child poverty, TANF policies continue to be most consistent with the environment theory. States have adopted policies emphasizing going to work and staying off or getting off public assistance. Their policies about work requirements and TANF work programs are very similar to those of states with low child poverty. Unlike states with low child poverty, however, these states have not expanded the resources made available to poor families to nearly the same degree. Although it might be argued that many states have expanded work supports and other resources for working families since the first years of TANF implementation, this tendency is much weaker among the states where most poor children reside. All states have done relatively little with respect to family structure theory, although states with high child poverty devote more money to such policies. (Contains 9 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: 3M, St. Paul, MN.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families