When President Clinton signed the Assistance Reform Act of 1996 on August 22, 1996, he made significant changes to the American welfare system (The New York, 2016). The funding of the TANF program is one of the issues addressed by the 1996 reform (Bryce, 2017). In addition to whether states will be able to maintain their current financing and operational flexibility, single moms are raising too many children. Child care funding, welfare aid for working for low-income families, and assisting moms in getting better jobs are debated in the new Congress.
Several of the new law’s features, such as the TANF program, which succeeded the AFDC program, were granted six years. In exchange for a restricted amount of financial help, recipients would be required to labor for some time (Kissane, 2008). People who advocated for work requirements in 1996 had a vision of every state has a growing percentage of its caseload participating in 25 or 30 hour-a-week employment programs for the majority of its population.
Advocates of work programs may advocate requiring states to place a specified percentage of their caseload, possibly 20% or more, in work programs as an alternative to the present job participation criterion (Kissane, 2008). There are those who will argue that welfare recipients should be given the opportunity to find gainful employment. Those who will point out that moms who have difficulty finding a job will benefit greatly from programs specifically created to meet their needs. Proposals for further work participation mandates are likely to be fiercely opposed by states.
So many children are being raised in single-parent families for a variety of reasons. For starters, there are still significant percentages of unmarried pregnancies, especially teen pregnancies. During the discussion on the 1996 legislation, Republicans expressed worry over this issue, and various provisions were inserted in the bill to remedy it. When it comes to non-marital pregnancies, the numbers are still among the highest in industrialized countries, and they have leveled out for the first time in more than half a century. Some families have not adjusted well to the increased welfare rules, which is a serious issue.
Adults with disabilities were able to remain on welfare without any work or training requirements before 1996. Now that more families have to satisfy these standards, some families appear to be struggling to do so. According to Jordan (2016), more than a quarter of moms who leave welfare go without work for long periods. So many children are being raised in single-parent households for a variety of reasons. For starters, there are still significant percentages of unmarried pregnancies, especially teen pregnancies.
During the discussion on the 1996 legislation, Republicans expressed worry over this issue, and various provisions were inserted in the bill to remedy it. When it comes to non-marital pregnancies, the numbers are still among the highest in industrialized countries, and they have leveled out for the first time in more than half a century. Low-income fathers’ economic prospects have worsened, which has led to a rise in the number of poor single-parent families. While millions of disadvantaged mothers were enticed into labor due to welfare reform and a robust economy, many fathers stayed unemployed.
As a Republican, one might argue that welfare mothers can combine their jobs with their education; thus, these modifications are unnecessary because they do not count toward the labor requirement. As a result, states have more money to spend on education than before welfare reform (Robert, 2016). As a result, many mothers who leave welfare to find work quickly lose their jobs. Mothers may be able to influence some of the terminations, such as disagreements with coworkers or superiors.
Many in Congress wanted to ensure that states had enough money to bring back welfare payments for mothers who had lost their jobs in 1996. Small sums of money were granted to states facing considerable unemployment or other economic difficulties in the 1996 Act. There’s going to be a lot more disagreement about welfare-to-work mothers during the next recession. Due to a lack of training and work-related skills, former welfare mothers are more susceptible to losing their jobs. They should expect significant attention from Congress, which is likely to explore directing research monies to study how adults with numerous hurdles might be supported in their efforts to find work and reduce their need on welfare. The five-year time limit for families with various impediments to work may also be loosened by Congress.
In addition to assisting mothers in keeping their employment, states can also help women develop in their careers. Efforts to assist low-income adults in obtaining employment that requires moderate to high ability levels have not proven very successful. The discussion over how to help low-income women receive the education and skills they need for better employment is certain to deepen now that an additional two million or so of them are working.
To conclude, assistance programs have long existed, and they have become increasingly important to the lives of regular families. Even though the government has imposed numerous rules and restrictions, many families continue to view this as a viable source of subsistence. Those who have children know that the government will not feed their children, so they can continue receiving food stamps and a monthly cash payout. Families will continue to use the system as best they can until the rules are enforced.
Bryce C. (2017) Mississippi is rejecting nearly all of the poor people who apply for welfare – ThinkProgress. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://archive.thinkprogress.org/mississippi-reject-welfare-applicants-57701ca3fb13/
Jordan W. (2016) How welfare reform failed.. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/06/how-welfare-reform-failed.html
Kissane, R. J. (2008). “They never did me any good”: Welfare-to-work programs from the vantage point of poor women. Humanity & Society, 32(4), 336-360.
Robert G. (2016) Welfare Reform and the Safety Net | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://www.cbpp.org/research/family-income-support/welfare-reform-and-the-safety-net
The New York. (2016) Welfare and the Politics of Poverty | Retro Report | The New York Times – YouTube. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9lfuqqNA_g