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Alternative Approaches to Welfare Reform-1

Alternative Approaches to Welfare Reform-1 - Welfare Reform...

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Debating alternative approaches to reform Welfare Reform
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The Function of the AFDC program:  What problems did it address? A classic residual program -- means-tested, categorical, increasingly conditional and meager in terms of benefits… 1. AFDC addressed the economic needs of Families headed by able bodied & unemployed (or under- employed) women. 2. These families were deemed to be economically fragile because in most cases income from employment was limited or non-existant… a) No primary bread-winner in household [due to Death/Divorce/Separation from SPOUSE]. b) Potential bread-winner is FEMALE
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Welfare Politics: The intersection of diverse and incompatible agendas AFDC to TANF: The Story of Welfare Reform 3 Support for Children (financial) The care of young children What’s the effect of work policies in welfare (pushing mom into labor mrkt) Family Formation changes How are policies effecting decisions of women and men to marry / raise kids together? Work Incentives (how to get able bodied into labor market) The Conditions of the Low Wage Labor Market. The Needs of various populations (especially marginalized) in changing Labor Markets Disability issues in the new labor market. The Supply of cheap labor Overall government spending levels budget constraints: what can we afford?
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Alternative Welfare Reform Strategies AFDC to TANF: The Story of Welfare Reform 4 1. Targeting within Universalism Big broad programs: e.g. National health care 2. Changing the incentives to work Targeted, discreet programs within the welfare structure: e.g. transitional Medicaid. 3. Poverty Prevention and Rehabilitation (getting ready to work) 4. The “New Paternalism” This approach is not purely aligned most conservatives’ view of Govt? 5. Deterrence (keeping people from turning to Gov’t before exhausting other sources – family, friends, church, priv. charity)
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So… What did AFDC do about the income problems of Single Female Headed Families? Originally: 1. Small monthly income grants: levels vary by states, average is around $400/mo (family of 30 in today’s dollars 2. In most states, eligibility for AFDC triggers additional benefits Medicaid Food Stamps (today: Supplemental Nutritional Assitance Program “SNAP”) Access to limited child care …. HA! (this increased steadily in various welfare reforms)
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Criterion Weak AFDC Strong Notes Location of Administration* Local (decentralized) Federal (Centralized) This is questioned by some.
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