Eradicating poverty in the United States has eluded policymakers, researchers, and analysts for the past 50 years. After initial decreases during the 1960s and early 1970s, poverty rates have remained stubbornly stable, wavering from 11% to 15% of the population (Gabe, 2012). Government programs have largely met with only limited success despite investing billions of dollars each year. Recently, a conceptual framework that more seamlessly integrates community and government agencies to form a comprehensive effort against poverty has gained momentum (Kania & Kramer, 2011). Informing this effort have been research findings from the social sciences that have established the decline of two-parent families through divorce and unwed childbearing as an underlying causal agent of poverty. Fueled by these findings, lawmakers made the promotion of healthy marriages and responsible fatherhood a central component of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity (PRWORA). This research brief examines the rationale behind a framework of integration, the effectiveness of healthy marriage and as an intervention, and recent attempts to integrate healthy marriage and relationship education into Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. (author abstract)
Integrating healthy marriage education into TANF programs
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