Welfare Reform: A 20-Year Retrospective

Source: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 35 Issue 1, Winter 2016
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…This Point/Counterpoint provides a 20-year retrospective on this legislation and its consequences guided by the following three questions:
1. What were the major objectives of 1996 welfare reform legislation?
2. How have these reforms affected the behavior and economic well-being of single mothers and their families as well as subsequent welfare legislation toward them?
3. Given where we are now, what should have we done differently and what still needs to be done?

Ron Haskins, who is a senior fellow and Cabot family chair in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, and was the staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee most responsible for the architecture of this legislation, provides one response to these framing questions. The team of Sandra K. Danziger (Edith A. Lewis collegiate professor of social work and professor of public policy, University of Michigan), Sheldon Danziger (president of the Russell Sage Foundation), Kristin S. Seefeldt (assistant professor of social work and public policy, University of Michigan), and H. Luke Shaefer (associate professor of social work and public policy, University of Michigan) provide the other. Collectively, these team members have an outstanding record of poverty and public policy research since the 1970s….

TANF AT AGE 20: WORK STILL WORKS
Ron Haskins

FROM WELFARE TO A WORK-BASED SAFETY NET: AN INCOMPLETE TRANSITION
Sandra K. Danziger, Sheldon Danziger, Kristin S. Seefeldt and H. Luke Shaefer

SUPPLEMENTING TANF’S WORK REQUIREMENT: A COMPROMISE
Ron Haskins

INCREASING WORK OPPORTUNITIES AND REDUCING POVERTY TWO DECADES AFTER WELFARE REFORM
Sandra K. Danziger, Sheldon Danziger, Kristin S. Seefeldt and H. Luke Shaefer