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6 Changing Family Formation Behavior Through Welfare Reform
Pages 134-176

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From page 134...
... . The goals of PRWORA mirror those of many state welfare reform demonstrations that were initiated under what were termed Section 1115 waivers of federal welfare policies.]
From page 135...
... First, it imposes a whole set of expectations and mandates on states, including time limits on federal benefits, restrictions on federal benefits for teen parents, and penalties if states do not achieve enhanced work objectives for recipients. Second, PRWORA increases the fiscal risk of innovation on the part of states by making states responsible for all expenditures above a fixed federal contribution.
From page 136...
... Third, there was growing acceptance that reforms should redirect the goals of welfare policy from fairly straightforward objectives, such as reducing income poverty or increasing the labor market participation of adults in welfare families, toward more complex objectives involving fundamental changes in individual and community behaviors. This change in attitude was affected, in part, by the observations that 89 percent of children on AFDC lived in households with no father present; that the out-of-wedlock birth rate more than tripled after 1960; and that half of children in never-married households and over three-fourths of children born to teenage mothers ended up on welfare.
From page 137...
... Many of the more recent waiver requests reflected substantial "borrowing" of ideas from other states and jurisdictions and "bundling" of policy changes to form complex and sometimes radically different welfare policies. Over time, state reforms became increasingly ambitious and were more likely to encompass multiple goals: promoting labor supply, encouraging family formation and stability, encouraging school attendance, mandating immunization of children, altering fertility decisions, and promoting improved parenting.
From page 138...
... 138 CHANGING F~YFO~TIONBE~VIOR THROUGH WELFARE AFOUL TABLE 6-1 Number of Waivers of Federal Welfare Policies as of August 1996, by Type and State Number of Different Waiver Provisions Related To Eligibility Ongoing Welfare Benefits Income for Participation and and Asset Benefits Requirements Services Disregards Total States with Provision 3340373742 Total Provisions 46157142107452 Arizona 11316 Arkansas 01102 California 128516 Colorado 01124 Connecticut 216312 Delaware 155314 Florida 234514 Georgia 134210 Hawaii 20103 Illinois 062210 Indiana 254314 Iowa 057315 Kansas 343414 Louisiana 03104 Maine 05319 Maryland 175417 Massachusetts 165315 Michigan 15039 Minnesota 21238 Mississippi 135110 Missouri 142411 Montana 233311 Nebraska 134414 New Hampshire 253414 New York 03205 North Carolina 164213 North Dakota 11002 Ohio 155314 Oklahoma 12418 Oregon 234312 Pennsylvania 296623 South Carolina 195722 South Dakota 11114 Tennessee 174517 Texas 173213 Utah 22228 Vermont 11215 Virginia 175215 Washington 02136 West Virginia 1 427 Wisconsin 276318 Wyoming 03216 SOURCES: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (various years)
From page 139...
... made changes in their benefit structure and services: 25 states obtained waivers designed explicitly to impose time limits on benefits, while 22 states chose to expand transitional child care and Medicaid programs to ease the financial burden of moving from welfare to work. Waivers were obtained by 21 states to impose family caps on benefits to discourage (or at least not reward)
From page 140...
... Recent reforms related to family caps and the unemployed parent policies share programmatic goals with PRWORA
From page 141...
... contains a family cap provision as well as provisions for time limits, earnings subsidies, modifications to income disregards, changes in Jobs sanctions and exemptions, and links between benefits and school attendance. North Carolinas Work First demonstration includes a family cap as well as benefit time limits, modifications to income disregards, elimination of the 1 00-hour rule, and changes in Jobs sanctions and exemptions (u.s.
From page 142...
... Work Pays8/968/96 X 24 Demonstraton Project Modified CT Reach Jobs 1st12/9512/95 X 10 DE BETTER CHANCE5/9510/95 X 10 FL Family Responsibility Act6/966/96d X 10 GA Personal Accountability11/931/94 X 24 and Responsibility Act IL Work and Responsibility9/959/95d X 10 IN IMPACT12/945/95 X 10 IMPACT M8/968/96d X KS Actively Creating8/968/96 X 10 Tomorrow MD Family Investment8/9510/95 X 10 Program MA Transitional AFDC8/9511/95 X 10 Program (Welfare Reform '95) MS New Direction Modifications 8/95 11/95 X 10
From page 143...
... Treatment of Earnings and Child Support Exemptions Benefits Vary by Number of Childrena Conceived During Birth to Residence Period of Incest/Rape Minorb RequirementC No Benefits 20 8 3 14 8 5 6 10 X X X 10 X X 10 X X 24 10 10 10 24 10 10 10 10 10 10 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
From page 144...
... e Work Not Welfare 11/93 1/95 10 AFDC Benefit Cap 6/94 11/96 X 10 Demonstration Project (ABC) f NOTE: Twenty-one states have implemented a total of 25 demonstrations that include a family cap provision.
From page 145...
... Kan sas and Oklahoma appear not to have implemented their family cap policies at all (U.
From page 146...
... Some states accompanied the family cap provisions with exemptions that changed the treatment of family earnings for women with infants and/or women who received child support. For example, Arizona, Massachusetts, and New Jersey liberalized their treatment of earnings for women with infants.
From page 148...
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From page 149...
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From page 150...
... The various reform initiatives impinge upon both incentives and norms in ways that lead social theorists to predict that reforms targeted at fertility and family structure may achieve at least some success. Family Caps The economic arguments that support instituting family caps as a means of reducing fertility among welfare recipients are quite clear.
From page 151...
... First, the policy-induced changes in income associated with the future fertility decisions of welfare recipients tend to be relatively small both in proportion to the cost of childrearing and in absolute terms.7 Their small absolute size is partly a function of earlier benefit-increment policies, under which the monthly increase in benefits for additional children most often was quite nominal. Moreover, increases in Food Stamp and housing benefits typically will offset portions of the welfare benefit reduction, and Medicaid benefits are unaffected by family caps.
From page 152...
... As noted below, more direct tests of the efficacy of the family cap and unemployed parent rules will be forthcoming from the various demonstrations and TANF programs over the next few years. There also is some research from prior welfare reform demonstrations, particularly those that targeted the AFDCUP population and a handful of demonstration programs for teenage parents that are designed, in part, to modify fertility behavior.
From page 153...
... ; (3) welfare-based education and employment programs that mandate education and job preparation services for teenage parent welfare recipients (Ohio Learnfare and the Teenage Parent Welfare Demonstration)
From page 154...
... n.a. NOTE: Data for the Job Start evaluation pertain to 4 years after sample enrollment; for Job Corps 4 years after enrollment; for New Chance 18 months after enrollment; for Project Redirection 5 years after enrollment; for Ohio Learnfare 3 years following enrollment; for the Teenage Parent Welfare Demonstration 2 years after enrollment; for the Teen Parent Health Care Demonstration 18 months after enrollment; and for the Elmira Nurse Home Visiting Demonstration, 46 months after enrollment.
From page 155...
... However, one possible explanation includes their role in increasing opportunities for the young women to meet men, their promotion of higher selfesteem, and their facilitation of independent living, while failing to improve contraceptive practices. Among New Chance participants, the abortion rate also increased sufficiently to offset the higher pregnancy rate, whereas in Project Redirection and the Teenage Parent Welfare Demonstrations, the abortion rate declined sufficiently to show increases in the birth rates among program participants, even though the repeat pregnancy rates had not increased significantly.
From page 156...
... None of the welfare reform demonstration evaluations of the 1980s focusing specifically on the AFDC population has examined the effects on this set of outcomes, even though many of them included program provisions that, theoretically, could have affected family formation, stability, and fertility decisions. Moreover, none of the early evaluations of demonstrations coming out of the Family Support Act of 1988 focused on the family formation outcomes.9 We do know from the many welfare reform demonstrations of the 1980s, as well as from evaluations of many other employment and training programs targeted at disadvantaged young men, that they have modest or no effects on work behavior and earnings.
From page 157...
... Two of the evaluations that have addressed them focused on teenage parents and service-oriented interventions rather than financial incentives for working the Teenage Parent Welfare Demonstration and the New Chance demonstration. In both cases, the programs had no significant impact on family structure over a 2- to 3-year follow-up period (Maynard, 1993; Quint et al., 1994a, 1994b)
From page 158...
... AR AFDC-M 19 Rape or incest/conceived 10 when not on welfare Rape or incest/birth to minorb 10 X CA Work Pays Demonstration Project Rape or incest 10 X (WPDP) Work Pays Demonstration Project None 24 Modified (CWPDP-M)
From page 159...
... Income and asset disregards; benefit reductions; time limits; two-parent eligibility; Food Stamp eligibility; child health; work requirements; Learnfare (8) Reduce transitional child care and Medicaid; cash-out Food Stamps; teens at home; child support; Learnfare (5)
From page 160...
... MS New Direction Modifications Rape or incest 0 0 x NE Welfare Reform Demonstration Rape or incest; birth to 10 X Project minor, residence NJ Family Development Program Birth to minor; conceived 10 X when not on welfare NC WORK First Rape or incest 10 OK Mutual Agreement None SC Family Independence Program Rape or incest (FIP) d TN Families First 10 Rape or incest; birth to minor 10 VA Virginia Independence Program (VIP)
From page 161...
... Income and asset disregards; time limits; transitional child care and Medicaid; twoparent eligibility (4) Income and asset disregards; two-parent eligibility; drug testing and counseling; family planning and parenting; child support; work requirements; Learnfare (7)
From page 162...
... For example, the results of various reforms implemented in a high-benefit state with a strong economy cannot be assumed to apply to low-benefit states and/or states with weak economies; nor can the results of family caps with low-benefit increments for additional children be generalized to circumstances where there are large per capita benefit increments. However, over time it likely will be more feasible to tease out some more generalizable findings from the observed crosssite and cross-time results.~° Evaluation of New Jersey's Family Development Program The preliminary results of the New Jersey Family Development Program illustrate both the complexities in carrying out meaningful evaluations of welfare reform and the limitations of findings produced even under the best of circumstances.
From page 163...
... X None (0) Time limits; transitional child care and Medicaid; two-parent eligibility (3)
From page 164...
... Utah's 100-hour rule demonstration, implemented in 1992, 1lA Wall Street Journal article reported survey results suggesting that the controls were as likely as the demonstration participants to believe that the family caps applied to them (Harwood, 1997)
From page 165...
... · There is increased churning and volatility within states. For example, family caps have been introduced in Wisconsin in three different waivers.
From page 166...
... In order to meet these requirements, states should gather and analyze their program outcome measures on a regular basis, making certain those data are accurate and not subject to the types of reporting errors or delays that have plagued many of the waiver demonstration evaluations, such as the early assessments of New Jersey's family cap policy. States should pay close
From page 167...
... Likewise, significant changes in the availability of family planning services are known to affect both fertility and pregnancy resolutions among low-income women, and these factors, not welfare policy changes, could drive apparent shifts in fertility outcomes among the welfare population. Predicting Behavioral Responses to Welfare Policies In the context of the broader mission of supporting extensive simulation results by states, research needs to focus more on the behavioral responses of individuals to specific welfare parameters.
From page 168...
... The resulting database will allow us to create measures of the expected welfare response a person in situation "X" might face if he or she makes particular decisions regarding family formation and status. Once we have the hypothetical consequences for welfare eligibility and benefits of various behavioral choices that people make, we can use these data in statistical models designed to measure the strength of the behavioral response by current and prospective welfare recipients to particular welfare policy environments.
From page 169...
... It also will undoubtedly fail to meet the income security needs of a portion of the current and prospective recipient pool who simply enter parenthood and/or adulthood without the social capital to escape poverty through their own labor or that of their partners. Even with strong employment support interventions, some poor families will hit the time limits and will risk taking their families to homeless shelters or the streets.
From page 170...
... Another subset of this strand of research would entail intensive ethnographic research with at-risk families.l5 The focus of these studies will be on understanding the interactions among a broad set of contextual factors in determining behavioral choices of families and their short- and long-run implications. Such research would, for example, contribute to our understanding of the issues that poor and near-poor families consider in deciding whether to subsist on a low-wage job rather than apply for welfare or whether to place their child in poor-quality care in order to avoid welfare time limits.
From page 171...
... Long, and R Wood 1993 LEAP: Interim Findings on a Welfare Initiative to Improve School Attendance Among Teenage Parents.
From page 172...
... Donovan, P 1995 The 'family cap': A popular but unproven method of welfare reform.
From page 173...
... Fellerath 1996 LEAP: Three-Year Impacts of Ohio's Welfare Initiative to Improve School Attendance Among Teenage Parents. New York: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, April.
From page 174...
... Rangarajan 1993 Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: The Effectiveness of Mandatory Services for WelfareDependent Teenage Parents. Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., December.
From page 175...
... U.S. General Accounting Office 1992 Unemployed Parents: An Evaluation of the Effects of Welfare Benefits on Family Stability.
From page 176...
... Wood. "LEAP: Interim findings on a welfare initiative to improve school attendance among teenage parents: Ohio's Learning, Earning, and Parenting Program." New York: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, May 1993.


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