The Brookings Institution’s Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative was created to inform the critical policy debates surrounding the upcoming congressional reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and a number of related programs that were created or dramatically altered by the 1996 landmark welfare reform legislation. The goal of the project has been to take the large volume of existing and forthcoming research studies and shape them into a more coherent and policy-oriented whole. This capstone collection gathers twenty brief essays (published between January 2001 and February 2002) that focus on assessing the record of welfare reform, specific issues likely to be debated before the TANF reauthorization, and a broader set of policy options for low-income families. It is a reader-friendly volume that will provide policymakers, the press, and the interested public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed as Congress considers the future of the nation’s antipoverty policies. The collection covers the following topics and features a new introduction from the editors: – An Overview of Effects to Date – Welfare Reform Reauthorization: An Overview of Problems and Issues – A Tax Proposal for Working Families with Children – Welfare Reform and Poverty – Reducing Non-Marital Births – Which Welfare Reforms are Best for Children? – Welfare and the Economy – What Can Be Done to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Out-of-Wedlock Births? – Changing Welfare Offices – State Programs – Welfare Reform and Employment – Fragile Families, Welfare Reform, and Marriage – Health Insurance, Welfare, and Work – Helping the Hard-to-Employ – Sanctions and Welfare Reform – Child Care and Welfare Reform – Job Retention and Advancement in Welfare Reform – Housing and Welfare Reform – Non-Citizens – Block Grant Structure – Food Stamps – Work Support System – Possible Welfare Reform in the Cities
Isabel Sawhill is vice president and director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. She served as associate director of the Office of Management and Budget. R. Kent Weaver is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Ron Haskins is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a senior consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A former adviser to the President for welfare policy, he spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, first as welfare counsel to the Republican staff, then as the subcommittee's staff director. He is the author of Work over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law (Brookings, 2006) and coeditor, with Rebecca Blank, of The New World of Welfare (Brookings, 2002). Andrea Kane is outreach director for the Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.