Welfare Reform and Poverty Essay

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Details:Assignment states: develop a thesis that will be substantive, arguable and specific. Term paper is on welfare reform and the policies included. 12 pages using 6 sources. MLA format. The book used for course is \”The policy based profession – An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers\” by Popple and Leighninger. This is is source that should be used. Analysis of historical, economical and social aspects should also be included.


A brief snippet on this Essay


                                                  Welfare Reform & Poverty


Thesis: The welfare reform has enhanced poor women’s ability to obtain financial stability, access education, and evade harmful relationships.


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Women (TANF) has been dominated by debates centered on gender, work, and class. Majority of research is directed toward the 1996 welfare reform law whose implementation had significant impact on the level and form of support that low-income women with would receive from the state. For the first time, lifetime limits were introduced to the amount one could receive, and the eligibility for the welfare benefits would be determined on the basis of employment status among other work-related activities. The welfare reform greatly affects women since a vast majority of its beneficiaries are women. The current paper analyzes how the welfare reform has influenced the financial stability, access to education, and ability to escape harmful relationships among women in low income backgrounds. While the reform might have realized dramatic policy changes, several facets have realized only little changes. The paper includes a diverse literature on the sociological and economical aspects of the welfare reform; however, this may not be achieved without featuring a brief history of the reform.


                                               A Brief History of the Reform


According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the caseload of the welfare grew sharply between the late 1960s and 1970s. The upsurge of the welfare debate was motivated by the ongoing War on Poverty, the enhancement of the welfare benefits, and the liberalization of eligibility. The major policy reaction to the growth of the caseload was the provision of training and employment programs. Additionally, new financial incentives for workings would be provided through disregarding part of recipients’ earnings in the process of determining the amount of their benefit packages. These provisions resulted in a situation whereby a beneficiary could still remain in the welfare and retain much of their welfare benefits as their earnings increased.


By 1980s, it was now clear that the welfare policies had problems. There were speculations that the disregard of earnings contributed more to the growing caseload of the welfare by making participation more attractive. In 1981, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) was introduced. The OBRA scrapped the earnings disregard, and introduced a monetary cap on the earnings that a person could get and still remain as the beneficiary to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The provisions of restricting eligibility served as a limit for the welfare caseloads through 1980s. Irrespective of the growing economy and massive declines in unemployment rates, welfare caseloads in almost all states hit a record high throughout the late 1070s. The fact that welfare caseloads still remained at record high despite better economic times parked yet another attempt to reduce welfare rolls; the Family Support Act of 1988 would be introduced (CRS, 2003). Just as the previous program that disregarded the earnings, the new welfare program had more to increase the welfare caseload than to reduce it. The caseload shot more sharply between 1989 and 1994. Part of the inexplicable rise in welfare participation was attributed to the enhancements aspects of the JOBS program.

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