Families on TANF in Illinois: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Key Findings: Summary and Policy Relevance


In the six years since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the dramatic decline in state welfare caseloads has drawn considerable attention from policymakers, program administrators, and researchers alike. Numerous studies have focused on understanding the characteristics and circumstances of families that have left TANF. Yet, many families are still on public assistance despite PRWORA's strong work requirements, its 60-month lifetime limit on the receipt of assistance, and the strong economy of the late 1990s. In this chapter, we summarize our key findings on the characteristics and circumstances of single-parent families currently on TANF in Illinois and discuss the relevance of the findings to TANF policy and administration.

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