Performance Improvement 2003. Background


Federal and state welfare reform programs, particularly those that emphasize a ‘Work First’ approach, are aimed at adults. However, it was recognized that the policies were likely to have an effect on the children of welfare recipients. Critics of reform are concerned that there may be a decrease in parental supervision and a decline in the quality of parenting due to single mothers returning to work. Home environments may deteriorate if benefit reductions were not made up by earnings gains. Proponents of reform believe maternal employment may have positive benefits due to increases in family income and more regular family routines. In addition, it is believed the personal responsibility provisions included in the welfare reform policies would lead to better quality parenting.


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