The Center on Children and Families at Brookings and the National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan held a forum to discuss the policy challenges posed by single mothers who have not been able to find stable employment and who may have used up their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility or face sanctions. These women head the families that are most vulnerable to the current economic downswing.
The term “disconnected women” usually refers to women who are neither on welfare nor working. “Hard to employ” encompasses a broader population, including women on TANF for whom welfare-to-work efforts have not been successful. In this discussion, two panels of policy-makers and researchers discussed what states are doing to address this population and what their experience suggests for those in other states, and at the federal level, for helping these women find stable work and improving the well-being of their children.