The second phase of US welfare reform, 2000–2006: blaming the poor again?

Daguerre, Anne (2008) The second phase of US welfare reform, 2000–2006: blaming the poor again? Social Policy and Administration, 42 (4). pp. 362-378. ISSN 0144-5596

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Abstract

This article examines the evolution of the programme Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) since 1996. In 1996, the transformation of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) marked a watershed in American social policy. AFDC was the main US public assistance programme for single parents. By the mid-1990s, it was also the most unpopular social programme in the United States, which explained why Bill Clinton promised to ‘end welfare as we know it’ during his presidential campaign in 1996. TANF ended automatic individual entitlement to public assistance, established a five-year time limit for receiving cash assistance, and promoted a punitive approach towards welfare recipients, who were in theory increasingly required to work in exchange for benefits. This approach is known as the Work First Approach. Cash assistance was temporary, and granted as a favour to low-income mothers, who were required to comply with various behavioural requirements. TANF was hailed as a tremendous success on both sides of the political spectrum. This bipartisan consensus explains why the new Republican administration (G. W. Bush became President in January 2001) wanted to build upon the existing programme.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
Citations on ISI Web of Science:3
ID Code:6623
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Deposited On:19 Oct 2010 06:00
Last Modified:08 Nov 2013 12:47

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