IWPR Welfare Reform Network News

Marlene Kenney, Jackie Chu

December 18, 1996
  • ID: H101

In the summer of 1995, it was unclear what the final form of the welfare bill would be, and IWPR had heard a great deal of uncertainty from researchers and advocates in the field about the potential effects of welfare reform on poor families. The passage of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on August 22, 1996 has created new uncertainties about what the states and recipients can and will do under block grants, such as: the ability of the low wage labor market to absorb former recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the impact on groups which are no longer eligible for benefits under TANF, the ability of serivce providers to meet the increasing needs of poor families, the link between welfare recipiency and domestic violence and homelessness, and the role of advocacy groups in the policy debate as the structure of welfare continues to change. Many have voiced their concern over how these changes are going to be evaluated.