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Assessing the Effect of Welfare Reform on Child Welfare

By Martha Matthews

Advocates are beginning to examine the implications of welfare reform for child welfare systems and the children and families involved with those systems. Even in the absence of much concrete data on changes in child welfare systems, welfare reform raises serious questions about support for kinship caregivers, teen parent policies, and help for families with substance abuse problems. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program may increase poor families' involvement with the child welfare system; advocates are analyzing emerging issues relating to welfare-to-work requirements, child care, sanctions, and family reunification and are developing strategies for addressing these problems.

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