Researchers examined the following welfare-reform programs to understand what effect they had on children:
- The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) included six programs in three sites—Atlanta, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Riverside, Calif. Welfare recipients were required to participate in an education program or to look for a job. Those who didn’t meet the requirements were subject to penalties.
- The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) operated throughout Minnesota. “Full” MFIP, as it was known, included an earnings supplement, a mandatory employment requirement, and child-care subsidies. MFIP Incentives Only, another version of the program, included all of the same features except the employment requirement.
- The Self- Sufficiency Project (SSP) operated in two Canadian provinces, New Brunswick and British Columbia. The program offered an earnings supplement to welfare recipients who worked at least 30 hours a week.
- The New Hope program targeted both welfare recipients and low-income families in Milwaukee, Wis. Like the SSP, it offered an earnings supplement to those who worked at least 30 hours a week. In-kind benefits were available, and participants were also eligible to receive child-care and health-insurance subsidies. Intensive case management was also provided for the families.
- The Family Transition Program (FTP) operated in Escambia County, Fla., which includes the city of Pensacola. The program combined an earnings supplement and a mandatory work activity with a time limit on the receipt of welfare benefits. The time limit was 24 or 36 months, depending on family income, within a 60- month period. Exemptions were granted to parents who became disabled. Parents were also required to make sure that their children were immunized and attending school regularly.
SOURCE: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp.
A version of this article appeared in the January 31, 2001 edition of Education Week as Children and Welfare Reform