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  • Individual Author: Edelhoch, Marilyn; Liu, Qiduan; Martin, Linda S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    Much attention has focused on families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Yet, less attention has been given to TANF cases that do not have an adult receiving assistance. Such "child-only" cases are generally exempt from federal and state requirements. In South Carolina, cases may be child-only if the parents receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if the care-givers are relatives who do not receive cash assistance. (author abstract)

    Much attention has focused on families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Yet, less attention has been given to TANF cases that do not have an adult receiving assistance. Such "child-only" cases are generally exempt from federal and state requirements. In South Carolina, cases may be child-only if the parents receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if the care-givers are relatives who do not receive cash assistance. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ratliff, Pamela P.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2012

    The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) non-custodial, low-income fathers' level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy, procedures, and rules; (b) their level of involvement in the family court system; and (c) the relationship between non-custodial, low-income fathers' knowledge of the procedures of the child support enforcement system and compliance with court child support orders. The investigation employed a descriptive-survey research design. The sample (n = 25) was randomly selected from a population of noncustodial, low-income fathers enrolled in a welfare-to-work training project in South Carolina. Data were collected from the sample using a valid and reliable survey titled Knowledge of Child Support Enforcement Policy and Procedures or KCSEPP. Data were analyzed to respond to seven quantitative research questions. The data showed that the level of knowledge fathers had about child support policies and procedures was generally low; and their level of involvement in the family court system, due to non-compliance with child support orders, revealed a high...

    The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) non-custodial, low-income fathers' level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy, procedures, and rules; (b) their level of involvement in the family court system; and (c) the relationship between non-custodial, low-income fathers' knowledge of the procedures of the child support enforcement system and compliance with court child support orders. The investigation employed a descriptive-survey research design. The sample (n = 25) was randomly selected from a population of noncustodial, low-income fathers enrolled in a welfare-to-work training project in South Carolina. Data were collected from the sample using a valid and reliable survey titled Knowledge of Child Support Enforcement Policy and Procedures or KCSEPP. Data were analyzed to respond to seven quantitative research questions. The data showed that the level of knowledge fathers had about child support policies and procedures was generally low; and their level of involvement in the family court system, due to non-compliance with child support orders, revealed a high degree of negative involvement. Results also revealed that there was no difference in the level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy and procedures for fathers who were in compliance with child support orders and those who were not in compliance. Ultimately, the study confirmed that educating fathers about child support policy and procedures is a strategy that should be explored further for its usefulness in informing non-custodial, low-income fathers' decision making regarding legal and financial obligations to their children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Opcin, Selen; Fishman, Michael
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Since 1993, welfare recipients have been leaving the welfare rolls for work in record numbers. From January 1993 to January 1998, welfare caseloads declined by 33 percent nationally, and several studies have estimated that over half of the adults who have left welfare have entered the labor market.(1) The inflow of welfare recipients into the labor market can be attributed to two basic factors: welfare reform and the strong economy. Welfare reform is widely perceived to have begun with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in mid-1996, which increased the number of welfare recipients who were required to seek work. But even prior to this legislation, many states were reshaping their Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) programs under waivers, which likely increased the number of welfare recipients entering the labor force in at least some of these states. In...

    Since 1993, welfare recipients have been leaving the welfare rolls for work in record numbers. From January 1993 to January 1998, welfare caseloads declined by 33 percent nationally, and several studies have estimated that over half of the adults who have left welfare have entered the labor market.(1) The inflow of welfare recipients into the labor market can be attributed to two basic factors: welfare reform and the strong economy. Welfare reform is widely perceived to have begun with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in mid-1996, which increased the number of welfare recipients who were required to seek work. But even prior to this legislation, many states were reshaping their Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) programs under waivers, which likely increased the number of welfare recipients entering the labor force in at least some of these states. In addition, the strong economy from 1993 to 1998 increased the availability of low-skill jobs and undoubtedly lured many welfare recipients into the low-skill labor market.

    Several other factors may have contributed to changes in labor market participation of welfare recipients and are worth mentioning. First, the federal government expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working low-income families in the early- and mid-1990s, which most likely encouraged some welfare recipients to enter the labor force. Second, the minimum wage increased in 1997, which could have offset downward wage pressure from the entry of welfare recipients into the labor force. Third, some regions of the country experienced significant changes in population, which reduced or increased the number of low-skill workers in these areas. Finally, the recession of the early 1990s created a pool of unemployed low-skill workers who were available to take new jobs when the economy began to recover.

    Policy-makers have been concerned about whether enough jobs will be available to employ the additional welfare recipients entering the labor market as a result of welfare reform. If a surplus of jobs is not available in particular areas, welfare recipients’ entry into the labor force might reduce low-skill wages and displace some workers. Policy-makers are especially concerned about the impact of welfare reform on rural and small metropolitan labor markets, because these markets might be less able to absorb the inflow of welfare recipients than urban labor markets.

    The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) contracted with The Lewin Group to examine how well rural and small metropolitan labor markets can absorb welfare recipients, and to the extent feasible, estimate the impact of welfare reform on rural and small-metropolitan regions since 1993. This study uses an economic model to estimate the impact of welfare reform and improvements in the economy on the low-skill labor market, where most welfare recipients seek work. A major challenge facing researchers in this area is to distinguish between entry due to reforms (“welfare push”) and entry due to the strong economy (“demand pull”). This decomposition is necessary if we are to anticipate future conditions in the low-skill labor market, when the economy might not be so strong. We attempted such a decomposition in this report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pavetti, LaDonna; Derr, Michelle K.; Kirby, Gretchen; Wood, Robert G.; Clark, Melissa A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) made unprecedented changes to the welfare system in the United States, eliminating the 60-year-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and replacing it with a block grant to states to create the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A system that once focused on the accurate delivery of cash benefits now focuses on encouraging families to make the transition from welfare to work. Part of this shift translates into a dramatic increase in the range of circumstances in which families' welfare benefits can be reduced or canceled. In particular, sanctions--financial penalties for noncompliance with program requirements — have become central features of most states' efforts to promote self-sufficiency through their TANF programs. A primary goal of work-oriented sanctions is to encourage TANF recipients who might not be inclined to participate in work activities to do so. A secondary goal is to encourage greater reporting of earnings, especially among families who work...

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) made unprecedented changes to the welfare system in the United States, eliminating the 60-year-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and replacing it with a block grant to states to create the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A system that once focused on the accurate delivery of cash benefits now focuses on encouraging families to make the transition from welfare to work. Part of this shift translates into a dramatic increase in the range of circumstances in which families' welfare benefits can be reduced or canceled. In particular, sanctions--financial penalties for noncompliance with program requirements — have become central features of most states' efforts to promote self-sufficiency through their TANF programs. A primary goal of work-oriented sanctions is to encourage TANF recipients who might not be inclined to participate in work activities to do so. A secondary goal is to encourage greater reporting of earnings, especially among families who work in jobs where earnings are not reported through official channels. The logic behind sanctions is that adverse consequences can be used to influence the decisions clients make. Sanctions have long been used to enforce program requirements. However, with the emergence of "full-family" sanctions that eliminate all of a family's cash grant, the imposition of work requirements on a greater share of the TANF caseload and greater emphasis on encouraging TANF recipients to become self-sufficient, they have taken on much greater significance.

    While consensus holds that sanctions have been an important policy change implemented through state welfare reform efforts, they are among the least studied. Additional information on the role sanctions have played in welfare reform can help inform policy discussions regarding whether all states should be required to impose more stringent sanctions and help program administrators identify strategies for using sanctions to promote greater compliance with program requirements. This report presents findings from a study of the use of sanctions in two local welfare offices in each of three states — Illinois, New Jersey, and South Carolina. In this chapter, we provide a brief context for the study, outline the study design, and describe the study states. Chapter II presents our findings on how the study sites implemented sanctions. Chapter III describes our findings on how often sanctions are used, how the characteristics of sanctioned and nonsanctioned families compare, and how sanctioned families fare over time. Finally, Chapter IV summarizes our findings and identifies important unanswered research questions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ribar, David C.; Edelhoch, Marilyn; Liu, Qiduan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    We use administrative data to examine how “clock” policies—program time limits and recurring deadlines for confirming eligibility—affected participation in South Carolina’s TANF and Food Stamp Programs from 1996–2003. South Carolina’s TANF program limits most families to two years of benefits in any ten-year period; so, recipients began exhausting their eligibility as early as 1998. The state’s Food Stamp Program sets regular recertification intervals that can be distinguished from other calendar effects and increased these intervals after October 2002. We find that the two-year time limit reduced TANF caseloads and that the longer recertification intervals increased food stamp caseloads. (author abstract)                 

    We use administrative data to examine how “clock” policies—program time limits and recurring deadlines for confirming eligibility—affected participation in South Carolina’s TANF and Food Stamp Programs from 1996–2003. South Carolina’s TANF program limits most families to two years of benefits in any ten-year period; so, recipients began exhausting their eligibility as early as 1998. The state’s Food Stamp Program sets regular recertification intervals that can be distinguished from other calendar effects and increased these intervals after October 2002. We find that the two-year time limit reduced TANF caseloads and that the longer recertification intervals increased food stamp caseloads. (author abstract)                 

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