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  • Individual Author: Solomon-Fears, Carmen; Falk, Gene; Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
    Year: 2013

    This report displays and discusses some of the data related to the poverty of children and their living arrangements and data on male employment and earnings, educational attainment, and incarceration. It then provides information on federal programs that could play a greater role in addressing poverty of children through the fathers of these children (nearly all noncustodial parents are fathers). These programs provide economic assistance, family support, and job training and employment to eligible participants. The report also examines federal programs that have the purposes of preventing teen pregnancy and helping disadvantaged youth obtain the skills and support they need to make the transition to adulthood. The underlying premise of these programs generally is that the aid or services received from these programs by low-income noncustodial fathers can help them in meeting their financial commitments to their children (or future children) and providing emotional support to their children. The report concludes by presenting several public policy approaches proposed by the...

    This report displays and discusses some of the data related to the poverty of children and their living arrangements and data on male employment and earnings, educational attainment, and incarceration. It then provides information on federal programs that could play a greater role in addressing poverty of children through the fathers of these children (nearly all noncustodial parents are fathers). These programs provide economic assistance, family support, and job training and employment to eligible participants. The report also examines federal programs that have the purposes of preventing teen pregnancy and helping disadvantaged youth obtain the skills and support they need to make the transition to adulthood. The underlying premise of these programs generally is that the aid or services received from these programs by low-income noncustodial fathers can help them in meeting their financial commitments to their children (or future children) and providing emotional support to their children. The report concludes by presenting several public policy approaches proposed by the policy community that might improve the lives of low-income noncustodial fathers and their children. For example, social policy could play a role by expanding economic assistance programs to noncustodial fathers, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and implementing strategies to prevent the build-up of unpaid child support through early intervention. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: United States Government Accountability Office
    Year: 2011

    Between fiscal years 2000 and 2008, TANF child-only cases increased slightly but represented a greater share of the overall TANF caseload because cases with adults in the assistance unit experienced a significant decline. The national composition of the TANF child-only caseload has remained relatively unchanged since 2000. At the end of 2010, the majority of children receiving TANF lived with parents who were ineligible for cash assistance, and one-third lived with nonparent caregivers who were relatives or unrelated adults. However, this composition varies by state. For example, in Tennessee, almost 60 percent of the TANF child-only caseload included children living with nonparent caregivers, compared with about 30 percent in Texas.

    Most nonparent caregivers in TANF child-only cases are unmarried women who are over 50 years old, and research suggests that they often have low incomes and health problems. The children tend to be related to their caregiver, who is often a grandparent, and they remain on assistance for at least 2 years. Some of these children live with...

    Between fiscal years 2000 and 2008, TANF child-only cases increased slightly but represented a greater share of the overall TANF caseload because cases with adults in the assistance unit experienced a significant decline. The national composition of the TANF child-only caseload has remained relatively unchanged since 2000. At the end of 2010, the majority of children receiving TANF lived with parents who were ineligible for cash assistance, and one-third lived with nonparent caregivers who were relatives or unrelated adults. However, this composition varies by state. For example, in Tennessee, almost 60 percent of the TANF child-only caseload included children living with nonparent caregivers, compared with about 30 percent in Texas.

    Most nonparent caregivers in TANF child-only cases are unmarried women who are over 50 years old, and research suggests that they often have low incomes and health problems. The children tend to be related to their caregiver, who is often a grandparent, and they remain on assistance for at least 2 years. Some of these children live with nonparent caregivers as a result of parental abuse or neglect, substance abuse, incarceration, or mental illness, but these circumstances may or may not be known by the child welfare agency.

    The level of benefits and services available to children living with nonparents depends on the extent to which a child welfare agency becomes involved in the family's situation and the licensing status of the caregiver. Children in foster care with licensed foster parents are generally eligible for greater benefits and services than children in other living arrangements, who may receive TANF child-only assistance. For one child, the national average minimum monthly foster care payment is $511 while the average TANF child-only payment is $249. Most children live with relatives who do not receive foster care payments because they are not licensed foster parents or they are in informal arrangements without child welfare involvement. Other factors influencing the assistance made available to children in a relative's care include available federal funding, state budget constraints, and increased state efforts to identify relative caregivers to prevent children from being placed in the foster care system.

    Several state and local efforts are under way to coordinate TANF and child welfare services to better serve children living with relative caregivers, but information sharing is a challenge. Coordination efforts include colocating TANF and child welfare services and having staff from each agency work together to help relative caregivers access services. ACF currently provides grants to states and tribes to support collaboration between TANF and child welfare programs and plans to disseminate the findings. However, information and data sharing between the two programs does not occur consistently, which can hinder relatives' access to available benefits. For example, although HHS provides funding, guidance, and technical assistance to promote data sharing between TANF and child welfare programs, more than half of states reported obstacles to sharing data, such as privacy concerns. GAO recommends the Secretary of HHS direct ACF to provide more guidance on data sharing opportunities. HHS agreed with GAO's recommendation.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stoltzfus, Emilie
    Year: 2002

    This report examines recent research findings about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) implementation as it has affected the nation's child welfare system. The nation's program of cash aid for needy families with children (TANF) and its program to protect and care for children who are abused or neglected (child welfare services) are linked by history and share some of the same clients who have similar service needs. Assessing the full significance of the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193) to the child welfare system is complicated by the 1997 enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L. 105-89), which made direct and major changes to the child welfare system, and by the fact that TANF implementation generally occurred during a strong economy. Some child advocates were concerned that 1996 welfare reform initiatives ? including time limits, family cap policies, and work requirements might harm children and/or place new strains on the child welfare system. Research on the effect of TANF implementation has not produced conclusive findings. Changes in the size...

    This report examines recent research findings about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) implementation as it has affected the nation's child welfare system. The nation's program of cash aid for needy families with children (TANF) and its program to protect and care for children who are abused or neglected (child welfare services) are linked by history and share some of the same clients who have similar service needs. Assessing the full significance of the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193) to the child welfare system is complicated by the 1997 enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L. 105-89), which made direct and major changes to the child welfare system, and by the fact that TANF implementation generally occurred during a strong economy. Some child advocates were concerned that 1996 welfare reform initiatives ? including time limits, family cap policies, and work requirements might harm children and/or place new strains on the child welfare system. Research on the effect of TANF implementation has not produced conclusive findings. Changes in the size of the child welfare caseload have not been attributed to welfare reform, although certain work requirements may increase the incidence of child neglect. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Steuerle, C. Eugene
    Year: 2012

    Gene Steuerle testifies before the House Subcommittees on Human Resources and Select Revenue Measures on the true marginal tax rates facing low- and moderate-income families. The nation’s real tax system includes not just the direct statutory rates explicit in the income tax and the Social Security tax systems, but the implicit taxes that derive from the phasing out of various benefits in both expenditure and tax programs. These rates can be quite high, especially for families with children, and can carry incentives that discourage work, marriage, and upward mobility. (author abstract)

    Gene Steuerle testifies before the House Subcommittees on Human Resources and Select Revenue Measures on the true marginal tax rates facing low- and moderate-income families. The nation’s real tax system includes not just the direct statutory rates explicit in the income tax and the Social Security tax systems, but the implicit taxes that derive from the phasing out of various benefits in both expenditure and tax programs. These rates can be quite high, especially for families with children, and can carry incentives that discourage work, marriage, and upward mobility. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nadel, Mark V.; Harris, Gale C.; Riedinger, Susan A.
    Year: 1998

    Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the effects of family violence on the use of welfare programs, focusing on the: (1) prevalence of domestic violence among welfare recipients; and (2) implications of domestic violence for the employment of welfare recipients and other low-income women.

    GAO noted that: (1) while studies on the prevalence of domestic violence among welfare recipients do not provide national estimates of prevalence and vary substantially in terms of methodology and the samples studied, these studies consistently indicate that a sizable proportion of welfare recipients have been or are victims of domestic violence; (2) the one study of those reviewed that was specifically designed to provide a statewide prevalence estimate was based on a representative sample of Aid to Families with Dependent Children recipients in Massachusetts in 1996; (3) this study found that almost 20 percent of the welfare recipients surveyed had experienced domestic violence in the prior 12 months, and about 65 percent had been victims of domestic...

    Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the effects of family violence on the use of welfare programs, focusing on the: (1) prevalence of domestic violence among welfare recipients; and (2) implications of domestic violence for the employment of welfare recipients and other low-income women.

    GAO noted that: (1) while studies on the prevalence of domestic violence among welfare recipients do not provide national estimates of prevalence and vary substantially in terms of methodology and the samples studied, these studies consistently indicate that a sizable proportion of welfare recipients have been or are victims of domestic violence; (2) the one study of those reviewed that was specifically designed to provide a statewide prevalence estimate was based on a representative sample of Aid to Families with Dependent Children recipients in Massachusetts in 1996; (3) this study found that almost 20 percent of the welfare recipients surveyed had experienced domestic violence in the prior 12 months, and about 65 percent had been victims of domestic violence at some time in their lives; (4) the research available on the effect of domestic violence on the employment of welfare recipients and other low-income women presents a more complex picture; (5) some research indicates that welfare recipients and other low-income women who reported ever having been abused were employed at the same rates as those who had never been abused; (6) but no studies compared employment rates among women currently in abusive relationships, as opposed to women who reported having been abused in the past, with employment rates of women who are not now in abusive relationships; and (7) however, several studies do identify potential negative effects of current domestic violence on victims' employment. (author abstract)

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