Welfare Reform and Impact on Single Mothers

In: Social Issues

Submitted By missanon
Words 2362
Pages 10
ABSTRACT: The term welfare brings a lot of controversy, for some, it implies that its recipients meaning “poor people” are getting a free ride getting public assistance. For others it is believed to be anti-work, anti-family. Nonetheless, regardless of how one’s felt about welfare, no one can argue that poverty is a social issue that has serious impact on society. Although poverty means different thing to different people, to some, poverty means the some members of society are lazy, not able to take personal responsibility. For others, it means that some members of society are not getting a fair share of the wealth distribution. The point that it remain is viewed as not having enough or lacking enough resource to provide for one’s needs. But many disagree on this definition, because some scholars in the field of sociology agree that poverty transcend money and wealth. Hutchinson (2003) eloquently posits that” poverty influences the ability of parents to adequately meet their children’s basic needs. Understanding human development requires an ecological approach that views the child in a home environment duly placed in a community context, where the family strives to meet their needs and obtain long-term resources” (p.56).

The social problem created by poverty is a much larger than any debate ever address. Its remains an issue of serious social concern, addressing the truthfulness about poverty is crucial to assist in the policy making process. Because ignoring the cause of poverty only obscure the nature, extent, and causes of real material deprivation of those affected. For example, according to a study conducted by the Casrsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, 2.6 million of America’s children live below poverty level. The cause is believed to be slowing down of the economy and the amount of jobs lost since the recession began in 2008.
Another…...

Similar Documents

The Welfare Reform Act

... households are more likely to engage in crime and girls are more likely to become pregnant before marriage. They believe that these effects are the lack of marriage and not because of poverty. Also stated was that a poor child living with a mother and father united in marriage will do better than a similar poor child living in a single parent home (Teles, 1998). I am a single mother, my son was not born out of wed-lock but my husband and I are now separated and neither of us is on any sort of state assistance or Medicaid, so it bothers me that it is implied that single parents abuse the system. A child being born out of wed-lock is no different than a child born into a married family, that statement above is absurd and I do not agree with, I just simply felt the need to put it into my report. Welfare reform has been successful but has been limited by several factors. The welfare reform act in 1996 only addressed one of many programs the AFDC. Also, the federal work requirements that pushed the states to promote work and reduce welfare dependence have been too lenient, which results in poor state work programs. Lastly, while the law set clear goals to reduce out-of-wedlock childbearing and strengthen marriages, nearly all states' bureaucracies simply ignored these goals (Weaver, 2000). References: TANF 1936–1999 Statistics. www.acf.dhhs.gov/news/stats/3697.htm (Accessed July 29, 2010). Weaver, R. Kent. 2000. Ending Welfare as We Know It. Washington, D.C.: Brookings......

Words: 793 - Pages: 4

Assignment: the Welfare Reform Act

...Assignment: The Welfare Reform Act 2 The Welfare Reform Act has made many changes in the welfare system and in this paper some of the various issues will be discussed. These issues will touch on whether the Welfare Reform Act has met the goal of helping people obtain jobs and leave the welfare program. Whether or not there has been a drop in applicants for the welfare program and if existing Medicaid beneficiaries lost their necessary coverage under the act will be covered. When the Welfare Reform Act was first created it was a replacement for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC),it was then referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),( KU, L. 1997). The welfare reform law does not change how health care is delivered or has it made any changes in who is able to able to be accepted to the program (KU, L. 1997). According to Ku (1973), “there were only four major changes to Medicaid eligibility which are: splitting the welfare and Medicaid eligibility, narrowing eligibility for disabled children in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), terminating access for some legal immigrants because they lose SSI, and by not allowing future legal immigrants from being accepted for Medicaid.” By making these changes then it can be said that this reform has indeed not lowered the number of people who were on the Medicaid program at the federal level. It is also...

Words: 1328 - Pages: 6

Welfare Reform

... years of enactment. The overall federal welfare caseload declined by 54% between 1996 and 2004. Even more important, there is evidence that it improved the lives of those who moved off welfare. In the Berkeley Electronic Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (2011), Santa Clara University's John Ifcher showed, using data from the General Social Survey, that single mothers—despite lost leisure time and increased stress from finding child care and performing household duties while working—were significantly happier about their lives in the eight years after reforms led them into the workforce. The central insight from welfare reform is that people flourish when they earn their success, and this requires real market work. They escape poverty—and they live dignified, better-ordered lives. They don't just move out of welfare; they move up from dependence on the government. When it comes to earned success, the administration's actions—from business regulation to taxation, and now welfare—speak louder than the president's words.” (Brooks, 2012) Some critics believe that the 1996 welfare-reform law had more to do with attempting to reduce the federal budget and give the states back the responsibility of the welfare system. Good quality reform may draw closer, and the individual states may be in the right position to produce programs that are created for their unique needs, but the fact remains; the welfare reform has not been correctly dealt with on the national level, so...

Words: 2188 - Pages: 9

Welfare Reform Act

...The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 was passed by Congress, and it provides Medicaid, food stamps, and enforcement of child support. And many other provisions Eligible recipients for this bill satisfy this criteria: you must have a dependent child that lives with you, have certain types of deprivation requirements (such as an absent parent. And provide proof of financial need and meet certain federal and state requirements. Still, the Welfare Reform Act has change several times in American history. For instance, in 1935, welfare was a system of open-ended government payments targeted towards single mothers with dependent children; then In the 1960’s, the welfare program was expanded as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and sought to help poor, disenfranchised Americans; Lastly, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Reconciliation Act of 1996, which did indeed usher in a new approach to welfare for the most prominent of all welfare programs, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).” In this Act are lot of provisions that I will discuss below and regarding the impact of these provisions on the greater American society. Provision I of the bill provides Medicaid. Medicaid in 1996 required states to provide Medicaid to families who would be eligible for AFDC. Medicaid provides coverage for people with lower incomes, older people with disabilities, and some families and children. Medicaid commonly covers services such as prescription drugs...

Words: 669 - Pages: 3

Welfare Reform and Impact on Single Mothers

... policy? Doblelstein (2006) demonstrates that many services were affected as a result of the welfare reform of 1996. Welfare reform policy has a direct effect on the recipients. The majority of welfare recipients face substantial barriers to work, such as not having the necessary skills to meet the job market demands, and insufficient and available training programs. There are not enough employment assistance programs to support them, or accessible childcare available to provide quality child care for their children. The focus has not been to move single mothers onto lower benefits for budgetary reasons. As a result, the broader safety net is predicted to shrink. The major problem is that the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act, (PRWORA), of 1996 does not focus on solving the critical problems poor women face but emphasizes instead short-term savings by denying and reducing welfare benefits, setting strict time limits, and focusing only on strategies to quickly immerse welfare recipients into the labor market. The failure to include in successful welfare-to-work strategies such factors as transportation, child care, clothing, and other structural supports often perpetuates a cycle of poor job preparation and a return to a need for public assistance. The changes surrounding welfare reform, that has taken place over the past 15 years, have failed the poor, particularly single women and their children. Effective welfare reform must be based......

Words: 2362 - Pages: 10

Welfare Reform

...Welfare Reform Laura Lee Niehoff POL 201 Instructor: Marion Rogers August 26, 2012 Welfare Reform Government assistance programs have been around for many years. The US welfare program began in the 1930’s during the Great Depression (US Welfare System - Help for US Citizens, 2012). The whole idea behind the welfare program was to give aid to families who had little or no income. The welfare program, in the United States, was originally designed to help provide a minimal level of aid to help maintain the wellbeing of citizens. Previously, the local communities would help the less fortunate. Social groups would give donations of food to struggling families. These groups would also donate clothing and other necessities. Now, the government is the largest provider of these programs. The programs were originally based on helping those unable to work or provide for themselves. Until the 1960’s only disabled, or elderly citizens were qualified to receive aid. Legislation not only changed the recipients eligible for help, but also the help available. Programs such as health care, food stamps, pregnancy assistance, and help for single mothers started to emerge. The next addition to the program was housing benefits. To some, the addition of these new programs made it more enticing to receive aid rather than work. The programs had now become considered easy money. If you were able to show need, you would most likely qualify for benefits. Over the last...

Words: 1407 - Pages: 6

Welfare Reform

... to DeHaven and Tanner (2010) welfare, as we know it was originally created in 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first federal welfare program, Aid to Dependent Children (ADC), was supposed to be a small program, intended to supplement existing state relief programs for widows and to provide support to families in which the father was deceased, absent, or unable to work; however, by 1938, almost 250,000 families were participating in the program. Despite rapid economic growth and declining poverty levels in the 1950s, the number of ADC recipients continued to increase and by 1956 over 600,000 families were receiving this aid (Brief History section, 2010). Over the years the name has been changed but the assistance has, for the most part, remained the same – substantially increasing – and in recent years has reached an amount just under $20 billion per year (Welfare Reform section, 2010). These programs not only propagate indigence but also foster dependency on the government for financial assistance and services (Welfareinfo.org). Although reform has taken place, the federal government still runs a large range of programs that are expensive and damaging. The federal government should phase-out its role in TANF and related welfare programs and leave low-income assistance programs to state governments, or better yet, the private sector (Overview section, 2010). President John F. Kennedy took office amidst rising concern about poverty...

Words: 2490 - Pages: 10

Welfare Reform Act

... government programs. Others have tried and failed or just simply decided not to pursue their personal responsibilities. Again this is a general area where people feel as though they do not have the time, or they may lack the education, and have no enthusiasm of doing anything to better them. Some just needed to be put on the right track and excel well. The Welfare Reform Act has had a great impact on the increase of welfare fraud. It is said that the Welfare Reform Act has been successful, based on the number of people on the welfare rolls. Welfare fraud is the act of recipients receiving benefits for which they are not eligible. People are receiving food, cash and medical benefits illegally. They are withholding information or failing to report incomes, failing to be truthful about the size of their household among other things. Welfare fraud has increased since the Welfare Reform Act. Many were and still continue to be affected by the conditions of this Act. It has created many hardships for people who were already considered poverty stricken. Increased criminalization of low income women who have difficulty supporting their families has increased. People are finding it hard to stay in compliance with the Welfare Reform Act and survive. The Welfare Reform Act has been successful in some areas. They have met a lot of their intended goals. 4 The Welfare Reform Act has caused welfare to be down, as many of the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent...

Words: 873 - Pages: 4

Welfare Working for or Against Single Mothers

...Welfare working for or against Single Mothers When I think of the word Welfare system, nothing but bad memories comes to mind. I remember when I had to wait in line for free government cheese, butter and peanut butter. Being on Welfare goes hand and hand with poverty in my mind. Living in the projects in Brooklyn, New York and the environment that surrounded me still has an effect on me today. This type of violent environment made my outlook on life dim and I had total disregard for life in my earlier years. I desired to have my dad present, but he went his own way in the 80’s about the same time when crack hit the streets of New York; my dad became a statistic to the crack game. My mother had to move us out of the city and away from our father. My mother thought moving us upstate would help us see a different life. Well yes it did, it showed me how a single mother has to work two jobs to get off of welfare. She was still driving about two hours one way to get to work and never was home to help her kids with their homework; or even to attend any of the sports games. I guess the worst part of it is when I was writing this I would use words like “is” instead of “was” for past tense like I still have very strong feelings today about poverty, welfare and single mothers because I know how it affected my family and me. In the United States there is a very big social problem with the Welfare System. First I will be going over the major legislation reform in the Welfare...

Words: 2346 - Pages: 10

Welfare Reform

...An Economical Examination of Welfare Reform This section details the concept of drug testing as an eligibility requirement for welfare recipients who receive cash under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The economical ramifications that pertain to this situation include the wants and needs of individuals versus the limited resources of the funds by taxpayers. Sources, data, and popular opinion will show that this requirement will be extremely beneficial for the American taxpayers by saving money and refusing to subsidize the drug habits of individuals who receive government assistance. Scarcity In 2011, over 4 million people received cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (“ACF”, 2011, para. 8). These numbers do not include Food Stamps, Medicaid, or other forms of government funds; this is simple cash assistance. Ideally, all hungry and unemployed individuals would have the resources to provide for themselves and their families. However, in this economic downturn, more and more individuals are reaching out for assistance and it has become taxing on our government resources. In 1997, the U.S. Government overhauled the welfare programs known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), and Emergency Assistance (EA) (“ACF”, 2011, para. 4). Under this reform, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was developed. TANF was...

Words: 1038 - Pages: 5

United States Welfare Reform

... those in the country legally, to obtain Medicaid and other federal welfare programs was also significantly curtailed (Bhuyan 64). The act was later reauthorized under the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (Cook et al. 249). These requirements and other legislation have led to a tremendous decrease in the amount of money the nation spends on welfare programs. Between 2006 and 2010 federal expenditures on entitlement programs were expected to decline by $39 billion (Bhuyan 64). Initially, the program was also a success in placing welfare recipients in jobs. During the late 1990s with the economy growing at a rapid pace, the implementation of TANF resulted in a rise in employment while at the same time there was a decrease in welfare caseloads (Hildebrandt & Stevens 794). However, an eroding economy and weakening job market from 2000 to 2002 led to a rise in the unemployment rate, particularly the rate for low-income single mothers, which rose from 9.8% to 12.3% (Hildebrandt & Stevens 794). Those who stay on welfare for two or more years are called “stayers” and they are less successful at preparing themselves for employment, this is especially the case for women with children (Hildebrandt & Stevens 795). A study using data from 1999-2001 showed that 44% of TANF stayers had not completed high school, 62% reported functional disability, and 22% reported clinical depression (Hildebrandt & Stevens 795). These situations provide substantial barriers to finding...

Words: 1884 - Pages: 8

Struugles of a Single Mother

...English 101 1DB Essay 3 November 4, 2013 Struggles of a Single Mother The struggles of a single mother are insurmountable. In the poem “ Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes writes prolifically about his mothers struggle. Tupac in his music video Dear Mama presents another strong argument on the struggles of a single mother. Both of these works deal with the struggles their mothers went through. However they present a different argument when it comes to the source of the struggle. Hughes poem doesn’t identify what exactly caused the struggle but it is reasonable to assume it was external circumstance. Tupac on the other hand repeatedly identifies himself as the cause of the struggle. Thus the arguments diverge. One argument deals with the struggle caused by external circumstances while another deals with the struggle of single motherhood caused by the children. I feel that the argument Tupac presents in his video is a more realistic and persuasive argument for singe motherhood. In the video “Dear Mama” Tupac uses his lyrics to tell the story behind the video. He uses realism in the lyrics as well as in the video. When the video opens up Tupac’s mother speaks about being seventeen, pregnant, and in jail. After she speaks, Tupac opens up the song by saying that his mother had nowhere to stay at seventeen once she was released from jail. The combination of the words of Tupac’s mother and Tupac himself creates a strong emotional appeal to the audience. This combination...

Words: 595 - Pages: 3

Welfare Reform

...WELFARE REFORM: The Welfare Reform is one of the most important issues in America today that often gets pushed to the side. I picked this topic because I believe it is something that eventually involves everyone. It is also something, in which seems that the government can not decide on one plan for. It’s always changing. It almost seems as though every president has a new plan for the Welfare program. While growing up in a poor neighborhood and having been raised by a single parent on welfare, many of these issues are important for me to understand and learn about them. It is a better way to understand and come up with ideas to help it. In 1996 congress passed and the president signed the “Personal Responsibility and work opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996” which drastically changed the welfare system. This welfare reform helped to move 4.7 million people who were government funding dependents to self sufficient in just three years. Since 1996 welfare cases have declined by 54%. The reform then expired and current president, President Bush, was trying to continue the success of this welfare reform. President Bush’s proposal was to make welfare more focused on the well being of children and families. He was trying to make it so that families that receive welfare could eventually be self sufficient. The president’s plan also plans to increase work resources for families. The reform also helps pay for childcare, that is funded with the “Childcare Development Fund...

Words: 1170 - Pages: 5

Welfare Reform

...What do you consider the most important historical event in the history of the human services profession? Why? I believe the most important history event in the history of the human services profession is the Welfare Reform Act. These living benefits could involve general and special payments for certain circumstances (e.g. young mothers and pregnant women), food stamps, and Medicaid health care and housing benefits. I would also go out on a limb and say that Welfare Assistance reduces the crime rate. If the person’s needs are being met (food, clothing, shelter), there is no need to shoplift, rob, committing additional crimes. However, this is where the reform comes in. The way our welfare programs are currently run there is a huge and lack of accountability of where the money is being allocated, and it doesn’t seem be flowing smoothly. It’s ruining the chance for the very people it’s supposed to help, and providing short-comings in the process. We need to tighten up the process if there is an individual that is able to work and received government assistance, either work, prepare for work or at least be looking for a job. I believe our Welfare Receipts are becoming too dependent on their government paychecks. This assistance is used as a temporary measurement, but you will find people who have been receiving government assistance for 20 plus years. When you are out of the workforce for a number of years, your skills sets start to diminish, any valuable...

Words: 492 - Pages: 2

Welfare Reform

...Was Welfare Reform the Right Approach to Poverty? Similar to a majority of children I grew up with in my neighborhood, my family had welfare. I, however, was not fully aware of the fact that what we had was any different than anyone else until my early teens. Food stamps, now referred to as the EBT card, is a center of controversy much like the selling of food stamps for cash was, years ago while growing up. Discovering that we were on welfare, and that we received handouts from the Government, became a secretive and embarrassing thing in order to ensure my sister and I to not get picked on within school. Today, neither I nor my younger sister use the Government for assistance in that way. Reading both of these viewpoints brought up valid arguments, however I feel that if I didn’t grow up on assistance from the Government, then it would be harder for me to decide who I side with. I feel that both viewpoints, one over the administration background and its shortcomings, and the other more detailed in what the Government has done to help the new system along, are extremely valid and if they could just both come together on a common ground overall, the outcome could be actual improvement. Menicmer’s account of Leoterra Clark’s life and struggle through the welfare system has a common theme within the Government. The Government has a mindset on doing what is most advantageous to and for the Government and thus the Government will ensure that everything is taken care of for...

Words: 848 - Pages: 4