News Release

Changes at Brookings Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative

February 25, 2003

The Brookings Institution’s Welfare Reform & Beyond initiative, a project that analyzed the 1996 welfare reform law and proposed changes Congress should make in reauthorizing the legislation, is gearing up for a new phase with a shift in focus and several leadership changes.

The new and broader focus of the project will be on the well-being of low-income families and children, including strengthening support for working families, breaking the cycle of poverty for children, and increasing the proportion of children born to and raised by married parents.

The project will be co-directed by Ron Haskins and Isabel V. Sawhill, both senior fellows at Brookings.

Ron Haskins, a co-director of the project before he stepped down from the post in early 2002 to become a senior adviser on welfare policy to President Bush, has returned to his co-director position.

R. Kent Weaver, also a co-director of Welfare Reform & Beyond, will resign his leadership role with the project to become Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He will retain a nonresident senior fellow position at Brookings.

Andrea Kane, who served as outreach director during for the Welfare Reform & Beyond project during its first two years, will become a nonresident fellow providing consultation to the project.

The Welfare Reform & Beyond initiative, launched in 2000, was created to synthesize and disseminate research to Congress, advocates, and the public to inform the debate over the reauthorization of welfare reform. Reauthorization was expected to occur in 2002 but has been postponed until 2003.

The project’s summary of the research and the issues is contained in Welfare Reform and Beyond: The Future of the Safety Net (Brookings 2002). In addition to the book, the Brookings Welfare Reform & Beyond initiative has held numerous public forums and seminars for key stakeholders and policymakers as well as a briefing on welfare policy for members of Congress.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.