Welfare rolls declined after Temporary Assistance for Needy Families became law in 1996, and there was widespread consensus that its reforms were a bipartisan success story. But the onslaught of the Great Recession exposed serious flaws in the law. This memo describes a two-part solution based on experience and evidence.
Which Improves Welfare Recipients’ Earnings More in the Long Term?
Findings after 10-15 years from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies suggest that while initially stressing job search for participants led to greater earnings in the short term than did initially stressing education and training, neither approach produced substantial effects past the five-year follow-up period.
An Analysis of the Welfare Caseload
Some two million fewer families were receiving welfare benefits in 1999 than in 1994 - a decline of nearly 50 percent in the welfare caseload over the five-year period.
Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
This report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how welfare reform has played out in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, which encompasses Cleveland, based on a comprehensive body of evidence that includes administrative records, surveys, and ethnographic interviews.
Recognizing that welfare recipients who find jobs may remain poor, the “make work pay” approach rewards those who work by boosting their income. This strategy was the centerpiece of the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), a large-scale demonstration program in Canada that offered monthly earnings supplements to single parents who left welfare for full-time work.
Lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies
This report distills lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) with a focus on the effectiveness of employment-focused versus education-focused programs in helping people move from welfare to work.