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Welfare reform on the Web (January 2007): Child welfare - Overseas

Welfare recipients’ involvement with child protective services after welfare reform

Y. Nam, W. Meezan and S.K. Danziger

Child Abuse and Neglect, vol.30, 2006, p.1181-1199

This study identifies factors associated with child protective services (CPS) involvement among current and former welfare recipients after the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 came into force. Data come from the Women’s Employment Study, a longitudinal study of randomly selected welfare recipients living in a Michigan city in 1997. Findings suggest that employment could have increased the stress levels of current and former welfare recipients without prior work experience to the point where they were prone to minor child rearing mistakes that resulted in a CPS investigation, but were not severe enough to warrant opening a case for supervision. Support should be provided for welfare mothers at risk of involvement with CPS; expansions in childcare subsidy and a reduction or delay in work requirements might also help.

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