Federal Work Requirements and Welfare (TANF) Policy Reform
Explains the work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reforms passed under President Clinton.
# 54195 | 1,600 words | 5 sources | APA | 2003 |
Published on Dec 17, 2004 in Education (Higher) , Political Science (U.S. Federal Politics) , Political Science (Social Security and Welfare) , Labor Studies (General)
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The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) was the most dramatic change in American policy towards the poor since the New Deal. The federal government abolished welfare entitlements, instead instituting a system of block grants to the states called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Parents were obligated to find work within two years of their first receipt of welfare benefits and could not receive welfare benefits for more than five years total. This paper first examines why the current work requirements were included in the welfare reform legislation. Second, it considers the negative impact these work requirements have had on the poor. Finally, it offers an alternative that provides more flexibility for welfare recipients to gain self-sufficiency.
From the Paper:"The original advocates of the welfare reforms were wrong when they argued that post-secondary education would only be used as a method to escape work requirements. On the contrary, research notes that those welfare recipients interested in secondary education are generally a self-selected highly motivated group (Gruber, 1998). Education should not be denied from anyone "especially those that are severely disadvantaged due to their lack of education. Even if individuals are using education as a means to avoid work, so what" In the end, the result will be a more educated populace that can achieve sustained self-sufficiency. Is this not the ultimate goal?"
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