Many of the most important provisions of the landmark federal welfare reform legislation of 1996 are set to expire in September 2002. In particular, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which provides funding to the states to help move low-income, primarily single-parent, families toward self-sufficiency, must be reauthorized by the 107th Congress. The stage is set for an important national debate that is likely to be heated, difficult, and protracted.
In order to synthesize emerging research on welfare reform, make it available to policymakers, the press, and the public, and promote informed debate on the successes and shortcomings of the welfare reform legislation thus far, the Brookings Institution is launching Welfare Reform & Beyond, a two-year initiative.
The launch event for this initiative will include an overview of the project and presentations by panelists that include current and former policymakers as well as prominent researchers and advocates. The first two policy briefs from the project, which provide an overview of what is known so far about the effects of welfare reform and what are likely to be the major issues during the reauthorization debate, will be released at the event.