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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Welfare Research Perspectives: Past, Present, and Future 2001 Edition
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This is the third in a series of working papers designed to examine what has been learned since the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) or 1996, which is effective until fiscal year 2002. The fact that PRWORA must be reauthorized by 2002 makes it important to inventory what has been learned from past and current research and what information has yet to be developed. PRWORA ended Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the federal entitlement to assistance for eligible needy families with children, and created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The goals of TANF are to: (1) provide support to poor families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) promote job preparation, work, and marriage in order to reduce families' receipt of government benefits; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of nonmaritial pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. TANF, Medicaid, and Food Stamp reductions have produced substantial fiscal supluses for most states, providing an opportunity to budget resources for new intiatives that can further advance the objectives of PRWORA. Of the $55 billion available in total funds from 1997 to 2000, only $3.18 billion remained unobligated. Although some states are using federal funds to create new kinds of programs and others are saving funds for use in a recession, many have still not made substantial changes to their welfare programs. More recently, there is evidence of a decline in state surplus funds. This paper takes a look at the past, present and concludes with suggestions for the future. (Authors)
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2001
New York, NY