fare them well

tracking what’s changing for welfare, women and children

Work and Welfare: The Key Points

How well do America’s children fare on modern-day welfare? Since the reform movement during the Clinton Administration to makeover the stereotypical notions of the “welfare mom,” bill after bill, policy after policy has attempted to focus and redirect the program aimed at providing financial aid for families unable to help themselves.

Hungarian inventor Peter C. Goldmark summed up the conundrum of trying to garner federal-backing and public support for the public assistance program. “Welfare is hated by those who administer it, mistrusted by those who pay for it and held in contempt by those who receive it,” Goldmark said.

In 1997, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was birthed to help indigent families with dependent children. The idea was that child-care might be subsidized for low-income moms and dads, as they set out to work their way off the welfare system.

But now is not the 90s; the public rumblings for a more work-based welfare system have turned into a heckling cry for low-income people pitch in more to provide for themselves. The key issues around welfare today are centered on American ideals of work ethic.

Talk about welfare and social security reached the federal level in 2007 — after years of low-wage working moms asking politicians to ‘get on our level’ when it comes to policy. H.R. 896 seeks to amend part D of title XI of the Social Security Act. This amendment would allow for the pass through of all child support collected on behalf of families receiving assistance under the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families. There are several states considering reforms to their TANF policies to ensure that child support payments coming from parents whom are also ex-offenders can be separately deducted from restitution requirements. There is also reform and coverage on low-income families and parents striving to move from welfare to work

Ten years after it was introduced, TANF expired in 2006. With the commemoration ceremonies long gone, what does the anniversary mean for states with a constant cycle of people moving off the welfare rolls? Under President Bush, Congress reauthorized TANF under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 . Do the numbers show more parents and guardians moving toward self-sufficiency? Some policy experts and think tanks argue the program battles rising out-of-wedlock rates among its enemies to success. But the new program can also be its own worst competition. In an Oct. 4 article , the Scranton Times-Tribune reports he cut of county child-support programs as a result of federal budget cuts warranted by the same 2005 bill.

And immigration and border concerns continue to broaden — bleeding over into policy on health, education, and now public benefits. The Corruption Chronicles, a justice watchdog blog, speaks to the to the issue of immigration in one cauldron of concern for crossing the border: Los Angeles. In 2003 fiscal year, more than one million persons were recipients of TANF funds in California. This according to an annual report presented to Congress in December 2006, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A new report from the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services finds that in July 2007 alone, “taxpayers spent more than $35 million on welfare benefits and food stamps for illegal immigrants who live in the sprawling county of more than 10 million residents.” How does the presence of thousand of children unaccounted for by federal standards change the conversation about dependency? Who is responsible for this marginalized group?

Can America’s tax-paying pockets afford to do more for a population that may work hard, but only have welfare to show for it?


October 7, 2007 Posted by | Links we Like | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Welfare Anyway? A Look Back at 10 Years of Welfare Policy

October 7, 2007 Posted by | View Video | , , , , | Leave a comment