Welfare Reform Sources
The Johns Hopkins University has researchers and professors studying the welfare debate from a number of angles. As you consider writing stories about this important social topic, here are some resources you might consider:
Effects of welfare reform on families
Cherlin is the principal investigator of a four-year, three-city study on the effects of welfare reform laws on families. (View the project s website at www.jhu.edu/~welfare/). Cherlin s research focuses on the well-being of the children of welfare reform.
To many people, the welfare story ends when families go off the rolls, Cherlin says. n truth, no one knows for sure what will happen. This is the greatest social experiment with the lives of poor children since the welfare program was created during the Great Depression.
Cherlin is a national expert on family issues, with an emphasis
on public policy issues,
and the effects of family changes on children. Some of his books
Divorce and Remarriage, Divided Families: What Happens to
Children When Parents
Part" and "The Changing American Family and Public Policy."
Strategies amongst single mothers
Hao s research focuses on the American family, with emphasis on
the effects of
private and public support for women and children. She is
research that examines patterns of single mothers' economic
strategies to support their
families and its effects on the children's social and emotional
development. She is
particularly interested in learning what happened to the families
around the country who
dropped from the rolls during the first years of reform. Using
large national survey data,
she learned that a great many of those families had turned to
extended family for
support. Hao is studying the lasting effects of this sometimes
temporary and stressful
solution on children.
Helping the hardest-to-employ
Packer specializes in skills development for present and future American workers. He is directing a three-year, $5 million demonstration project to study whether the hardest-to-employ can find good-paying jobs if they are given a chance to build skills and document those skills. Ten communities across the United States will take part in the demonstration project.
"Our theory is that the difficulty today is not finding a job, it's getting on a career ladder that allows you to earn a decent living,"says Packer. "There's no way you can bring up a family on $10,000 to $12,000 a year.
"So in order to get ahead you need to acquire skills and have a
believable record to
document those skills," he added.
Racial issues and welfare
McDonald s research centers on analyzing the life experiences of African-American women, past and present. She is particularly interested in a growing detachment, or sometimes tension, between middle-income and low-income black women, particularly those on welfare.
By analyzing urban migratory patterns, kinship ties and personal
interviews with black
women, she is working to shed light on a growing geographical,
cultural and emotional
distance between lower and middle classes of contemporary, urban
What came before welfare?
Crenson has spent nearly a decade poring over thousands of documents and other materials relating to orphanages and has written a book which examines the history of orphanages and how the current welfare system was really a reaction against the traditional orphanage.
While some conservatives have called for a return to the
orphanage as a solution to
welfare, Crenson can explain how the welfare system is actually
cheaper and better than
the orphanage system, and give anecdotes and examples.
The economics of welfare
Moffitt has researched labor economics and studied programs such
as Aid For
Dependent Children, Food Stamps and Medicaid, as well as looked
at labor supply
decisions made by female heads of families. Moffit is also a
principal investigator, along
with Andrew Cherlin (above), of a $19 million, NIH-funded study
of the effect of welfare
reform on families.
Housing and welfare reform
Newman specializes in housing, social welfare and long-term
care policy. She
has written a book that looks at the impact of welfare reform on
both assisted and
unassisted housing, reviews the lessons learned about the role of
housing in moving
welfare recipients to economic self-sufficiency and identifies
the special challenges
welfare reform presents with regard to housing policy and
research. The Home Front:
Implications of Welfare Reform for Housing Policy is due to be
published in the spring
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