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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2003): Child Welfare Overseas

EFFECTS OF WELFARE REFORM ON FAMILIES INVOLVED WITH PUBLIC CHILD WELFARE SERVICES: RESULTS FROM A QUALITATIVE STUDY

L. Frame and J. D. Berrick

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, 2003, p. 113-138

Presents data from an ethnographic study of families in California followed for 1-2 years, which examined links between parenting quality, urban economic conditions and involvement in both public child welfare services and welfare reform. Aspects of welfare reform had a complex relationship to child welfare outcomes in the sample, depending on parent's capacities successfully to join the labour market, their available supports, and skills for coping with the material and psychological strains of parenting in poverty conditions. Case studies are used to show positive, uncertain and negative effects of welfare reforms on child welfare outcomes.

THE EFFECTS OF TIME LIMITS AND MAKE-WORK-PAY STRATEGIES ON THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM TWO WELFARE REFORM PROGRAMS

L. A. Gennetian and P. A. Morris

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, 2003, p. 17-54.

Paper describes the effect on children's development of two welfare waiver programmes, the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Connecticut's Jobs First program. MFIP sought to increase employment and reduce poverty by increasing the earnings disregard. Jobs First tested the effects of combining a short time limit for assistance (21 months) with a generous earnings disregard. Results show that welfare policies with generous earned income disregards can both increase family income and improve children's outcomes, even when such disregards are coupled with a very short time limit.

IMPACT OF WELFARE REFORM ON CHILD MALTREATMENT IN DELAWARE

D. J. Fein and W. S. Lee

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, 2003, p. 83-111

Study analysed the effects of Delaware's welfare reform programme on child maltreatment using child protection services data and an experimental design. Sample consisted of 2,138 single parent families who were subject to welfare reform and 1821 randomly chosen cases that initially were not subject to welfare reform. Results showed that Delaware's welfare reform led to a slight reduction in instances of child abuse and a somewhat larger increase in instances of neglect. Descriptive analysis showed substantial increases in reports of neglect in the month's proceeding involuntary welfare exists.

MATERNAL WORK BEHAVIOR UNDER WELFARE REFORM: HOW DOES TRANSITION FROM WELFARE TO WORK AFFECT CHILD DEVELOPMENT?

R. Dunifon, A. Kalil and S. K. Danziger

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, 2003, p. 55-82

Using data from a longitudinal sample of current and former welfare recipients in Michigan spanning 1997-1999, study examines how transitions from welfare to work affect parenting behaviour and child behaviour problems. Found that moving from welfare-reliance to combining welfare and work is associated with a decrease in harsh parenting, and increase in positive parenting and decreases in both internalising and externalising child behaviour problems.

ISK FACTORS FOR CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AMONG FORMER TANF FAMILIES: DO LATER LEAVERS EXPERIENCE GREATER RISH?

P. C. Ovwigho, K. L. Leavitt, and C. E. Born

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, 2003, p. 139-163.

Study utilises data from a large-scale longitudinal study of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) leavers in Maryland to explore whether those exiting the programme later are more at risk for a Child Protection Services investigation. A discrete time event history analysis showed previous child welfare service involvement to be the strongest predictor of child abuse and neglect. Moreover, found risk of a substantiated child abuse investigation to be higher for families leaving TANF later, even after controlling for family characteristics and post-exit experiences.

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