Teen Parents and the Reauthorization of Welfare Reform
Teen Parents and the Reauthorization of Welfare Reform
By Kelley O’Dell
This Reauthorization Note summarizes the major policy questions related to the reauthorization of welfare reform and teen parents and includes information on policy positions of interest groups and legislative proposals. The note also includes links to organizations concerned about teen parent issues and to sites with examples of state and local programs serving teen parents. It is often challenging to meet teen parents’ needs for multiple services, including housing, education, and child care. For more information, see April Kaplan, “Teen Parents and Welfare Reform Policy,” Issue Note (March 1997), Washington, D.C., Welfare Information Network, at http://http//www.welfareinfo.org/kaplan.htm. More information on teen parents and welfare reform can be found on the Welfare Information Network (WIN) web page on Teen Parents, at http://http//www.welfareinfo.org/teen.asp.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 included clear expectations and financial incentives for teen parents. An explicit goal of the welfare reform law is to reduce out-of-wedlock births, including those to teenagers. The intent of the legislation’s minor teen parent provisions is to improve the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of teen parents as well as their children’s well-being. Minor teen parents who are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients are subject to specialized time limits, work requirements, stay-in-school provisions, and live-at-home provisions. States may not spend TANF funds on minor, unmarried custodial parents who do not live with their parents or in a setting approved by the state. They also may not provide TANF funds to minor teen parents who are not participating in high school or other equivalent training programs. Teen parents below age 18 and 18-year-olds who are full-time students and receive TANF assistance are not subject to time limits or work requirements. States have the flexibility to extend the provisions to young parents ages 19 and 20. Some observers and advocates question whether all eligible teen parents are being served by TANF. Others question whether enough is being done to ensure that needy teen parents meet the requirements for assistance and access to services.
Although little attention has been focused on this population thus far in the reauthorization debate, policymakers need to consider pending policy proposals carefully, because they could affect the economic future of teen parents who are receiving or are eligible for assistance. The impact on teen parents of many proposals not specifically geared to this population, such as those relating to sanctions, time limits, and work
requirements, should also be examined thoughtfully. The commonly cited statistic that historically approximately half of the nation’s welfare recipients under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program had children as teenagers highlights the importance of continuing to address the needs of teen parents under welfare reform. It also highlights the importance of preventing teen pregnancy and childbearing in the first place. For more information, see the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Not Just Another Single Issue: Teen Pregnancy Prevention’s Link to Other Critical Social Issues (Washington, DC: April 2002), at http://www.teenpregnancy.org/resources/data/pdf/notjust.pdf. Although teenage birth rateshave declined in recent years, the total U.S. teenage birth rate is the highest among developed nations (Singh and Darroch, 2000) and of great concern to policymakers and the public.
What data is available about teen parents? The fourth annual report to Congress on TANF includes data on teen parents, both those receiving assistance as teen heads of TANF cases and teen parents who are also children of TANF case heads. According to the report, in fiscal year 2000, 7 percent of adult TANF recipients (heads of cases), or 112,080 of 1,579,000 were teenagers. Of the 991,806 teen recipients of TANF, 13.9 percent (138,000) were teen parents themselves. This demonstrates multiple generations “embedded” in the same TANF case, as the children of these 138,000 teen parents were also members of the TANF families. For more information, see the report at http://http//www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/opre/ar2001/indexar.htm.
Some organizations assert there is insufficient data describing teen parents either receiving or eligible for TANF to accurately gauge the impact of welfare reform on this population. According to a report by the Center for Law and Social Policy, few national data have been available on serving teen parents under PRWORA. Moreover, the number of teen parents receiving benefits may be higher than the number reported by the government. For more information, see Janellen Duffy and Jodie Levin-Epstein, Add It Up: Teen Parents on Welfare . . . Undercounted, Oversanctioned, Underserved (Washington, D.C.: Center for Law and Social Policy, April 2002), at http://www.clasp.org/LegalDev/CLASP/DMS/Documents/1023136975.87/AddItUp.pdf.
What has been the impact of requirements aimed at teen parents? Specific provisions of PRWORA, including the education/training requirement and the living arrangement provision, are aimed at teen parents.
States may not provide TANF assistance to minor teen parents who are not participating in high school or other equivalent training programs. Most of the 33 state administrators that returned a July 2000 Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) survey responded that their state does not face significant challenges in implementing the requirement. However, at least 12 administrators reported the requirement poses significant challenges. Specifically, they cited the lack of electronic interface between the education and TANF systems, the lack of needs assessments for teen parents, and the lack of child care and transportation. Several administrators mentioned the lack of alternative education programs as yet another challenge. For more information, see Duffy and Levin-Epstein, at http://www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1023136975.87/AddItUpReportFINAL.pdf.
A Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., summary of three teen parent demonstrations reinforces the idea that there are inadequate educational opportunities for this population. For more information, see Robert G. Wood and John Burghardt, Implementing Welfare Reform Requirements for Teenage Parents: Lessons from Experience in Four States (Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., October 31, 1997), at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/tpd/synthes/summary.htm.
Living Arrangement Provision
States may not provide federal TANF assistance to minor, unmarried, custodial parents who do not live in an adult-supervised setting, which is typically their parent, guardian or other adult relative, or in another setting approved by the state. One challenge the living arrangement provision poses is it can be difficult to determine which person or what agency should conduct the living arrangement assessment. The provision could also disrupt stable living environments if a teen lives with a grandparent, for example, and that arrangement is not deemed an acceptable living situation in that particular state. In many states there is a lack of appropriate supervised group living situations, such as Second Chance homes or “maternity homes,” for those teen mothers in need of safe and stable living arrangements. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, common elements of Second Chance homes include safety, support, and supervision. PRWORA included language specifically encouraging the creation of Second Chance homes.
How could the reauthorization of welfare reform affect services to teen parents?
Organizations are currently advocating for states to implement teen parent policies and practices that are possible under current law and calling on Congress to legislate other policies and practices in reauthorization. Their recommendations relate to using the flexibility of TANF; enhancing data collection and analysis of policies related to teen parents and welfare reform, such as sanctions, bonuses, education and training, and living arrangements; and ensuring training so program staff can better serve eligible and enrolled teen parents.
Sanction policies could be changed during reauthorization, and this is an area relevant to serving TANF teen parents. Teen parents may be disproportionately sanctioned compared with the entire welfare population, according to a CLASP survey. In five states that submitted data, teen parents were sanctionedfor failure to comply with the education/training requirementat a higher rate than families overall as calculated in a separate study by the General Accounting Office. CLASP recommends that sanction protection procedures should be established to help teen parents understand, avoid, or end sanctions. Other recommendations include a study of the impact of sanctions on teen parents and an examination of sanction rates in different geographic areas of states. For more information, see Duffy and Levin-Epstein, at http://www.clasp.org/pubs/teens/AddItUp.pdf.
Another reauthorization proposal from some organizations relates to PRWORA’s prohibition of TANF assistance to families in which adults have received 60 months of assistance. Because 18- and 19-year-old parents receiving TANF are considered “adults,” they are subject to the provision. In addition, teen parents who are heads of households, or are married to heads of households, including those who are below age 18, are also subject to this provision. Most teen parents have “ticking time clocks” because most of them are at the transitional ages of 18 or 19, when most teen parents become parents. Some organizations advocate that the federal time-limit clock should not start for any teen parents who are still in school and meeting education requirements, regardless of their age. It should be noted that some states do not start the time-limit clock for minor parent heads of household or for minor teens meeting certain education requirements.
Still another reauthorization recommendation is that Congress establish a formal compliance period for applicant teen parents who do not meet requirements, so they can work on resolving any barriers to compliance while receiving benefits. This transitional compliance period is permissible under current law, but not required.
Executive and Congressional Legislative Proposals
With a new Congress, there will be a new set of reauthorization proposals. However, we can look to the proposals of last year for a sense of the key issues related to teen parents. The proposals include changes to requirements for teen parents; expanded funding for Second Chance Homes; and initiatives to better track teen parents and evaluate current programs.
The Bush Administration’s fiscal year 03 budget included, a $33 million funding request for Second Chance, or maternity, homes. The Bush Administration’s welfare reform proposal would require 40 hours of work (including 24 hours of “direct work”) for a recipient to count towards a state’s work participation rate. Teen parents who maintain satisfactory secondary school attendance, or participate in employment-related education for an average of at least 20 hours per week, would satisfy both the requirement for 24 hours of direct work and the requirement for 40 hours of full participation. To be counted toward a state’s participation rate, teen parents who are not satisfactorily attending school would have to meet the full work and participation standards. The President’s proposal also would eliminate the 30 percent cap in current law, whereby the number of teen parents in school and recipients in vocational training programs that a state may count toward participation rates is capped at thirty percent. House Bill, H.R. 4737, was congruent to the Administration’s position with regard to these provisions and did not prepare any other changes to provisions related to teen parents.
The late Representative Patsy T. Mink (D-Hawaii) introduced the TANF Reauthorization Act of 2001 (H.R. 3113) in the House on October 12, 2001. Its provisions would have eliminated the sanctions against teen parents not attending high school or an equivalent training program and not living in adult-supervised settings.
On February 12, 2002, Representative Lynne Woolsey (D-Calif.) introduced the Education Counts Act (H.R. 3730), which would have removed teen parents from the 30 percent limitation on persons who are participating in education activities and may be deemed engaged in “work.” Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) introduced the Work and Family Act of 2002 (S. 2524) on May 15. The proposal would also have removed teen parents from the 30 percent cap.
On August 1, 2002, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the Building Secure and Healthy Families Act of 2002 (S. 2876). The bill would have required three studies of teen parents to include research on the eligibility of teen parents not on TANF, barriers to their enrollment, best practices in programs for teen parents, and sanctions for teen parents. A transitional compliance period was part of the bill, and the “clocks” of teen parents in school would not start until age 21.
The bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee would have provided for a transitional compliance period for teen parent eligibility. It also called for a study of teen parents with a random sample. The study would have include assessment procedures to detect barriers to education and training. The committee’s bill remove teen parents from inclusion in the 30-percent cap on participants allowed in education and training activities. The bill would also authorize $33 million in new funding for Second Chance homes.
On October 10, 2001, Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) introduced The Second Chance Homes Promotion Act of 2001. The bill would have provided competitive grants to public or private entities to expand and improve the availability of community-based, adult-supervised group homes for teenage mothers and their babies.
Current State Policies
States run a wide variety of programs serving teen parents, including programs that focus on the teens completing their education and improving their employment prospects; parenting education; reducing repeat pregnancies; accessing other services for which the teens are eligible; and other services.
The Nurse Home Visitation program in Elmira, New York, and Memphis, Tennessee, has shown promise in the prevention or delay of subsequent childbearing by young mothers. Nurse visits to young women have delayed childbearing, lowered rates of child abuse, and produced better outcomes for children. The program has been successfully replicated. For more information, see David Olds et al., “Prenatal and Infancy Home Visitation by Nurses: Recent Findings,” in Future of Children (Los Altos, Calif.: Packard Foundation, spring/summer 1999), at http://www.futureofchildren.org/hv2/hv2_03.pdf.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) serves TANF teen parents through 129 TANF local offices located throughout the state and 83 community-based Teen Parent Services (TPS) program offices¾predominately health departments but also including schools, two DHS-staffed offices, and other agencies experienced with teen services. Teens and their children receive education, career, social service, and preventive health-related services in the TPS offices. The TPS services aim to help the young parents move to long-term self-sufficiency and ensure their children are healthy and prepared to enter school. The TPS offices partner with DHS local offices, which are responsible for TANF, food stamp, and Medicaid benefits, to ensure families receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. Trained teen parent coordinators in the local DHS offices work as teen intake specialists for the TPS program. If at intake the teen already has her high school diploma or GED certificate and therefore is not eligible for TPS, the coordinator refers her to appropriate resources and services, including housing, education, health care, child care, and job training. DHS also trains teen parent coordinators and contract staff in partnership with a variety of government branches, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups. TPS participates in strong alliances with these teen advocates to help advise and manage the program. The training, which is designed to support TPS at the local level, addresses adolescent development, teen parent policies, and other strategies for working with young parents. For more information on the programs in DHS local offices, contact Amina Everett Boggs at 217/782-1210. For more information on the TPS programs, contact Denise Simon at 217/785-0462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts administers a robust Teen Living Program (TLP) of 23 Second Chance homes. Two new homes were created this past year. One of those homes is for victims of domestic violence and their children and is a large, 10-bed house in the western part of the state. A current TLP provider and a domestic violence program collaborate on running this home. The other new home is the Supported Teen Parent Employment Program (STEP). STEP provides transitional housing for parents who have “graduated” from other TLPs. The STEP clients complied with service plans but still require support services before moving on to permanent housing. Case management is provided, and the provider works with the city housing authority to provide Section 8 certificates to all graduates of STEP. For more information, contact Lisa Gualdoni at 617/748-2000 or email@example.com.
Nebraska assigns teen parent recipients to specialized case managers and the state purchases slots for teen parents in other existing programs. In Lincoln, the state has a TANF-funded agreement with the local YWCA to provide a program for teen parents. The program includes transportation, onsite child care, “soft-skills” training, nutrition classes, career assessment, and consulting on education activities. For more information, contact Dennis Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Washington support services of WorkFirst, the state’s TANF program, are available to unmarried or pregnant minors who are income-eligible to receive TANF and meet either of the following conditions: are living in a department-approved living arrangement and are meeting the school requirement or are actively working with a social worker and need support services to remove the barriers that are preventing them from living in a department-approved living arrangement and/or from meeting the school requirements. For more information, contact Debbie Miller, program manager, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, Washington Department of Social and Human Services, at email@example.com or 360/413-3101.
As states continue to develop and improve services for teen parents receiving TANF, a number of evaluations and studies may shed light on different aspects of serving this population. Several evaluations of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) waivers focused on teen parent provisions and yield information about serving teen parents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a report on evaluations of three of these programs: the New Chance demonstration, Ohio’s Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) program, and the Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD).
Voluntary Participation. Kisker, Maynard, Rangarajan, and Boller found that linking cash assistance to participation in programs with support services “increases the level of self-sufficiency-oriented activities.” Specifically, TPD demonstrations reached 89 percent of teen parents receiving welfare through the provision of support services, case management, and sanctions. Rates of job training, school attendance, and employment increased during program operations; however, the activity levels decreased after the programs ceased. The researchers also found that, although voluntary programs can increase participation in education and training activities, few teen parents choose to participate in the programs.
Long-Term Impacts. New Chance had no long-term impacts on employment, income, or welfare receipt. The short-term increases in employment levels and earnings seen in teenagers still in school when they entered LEAP faded when the teens aged out of the program. TPD programs increased employment and earnings for teen mothers who were subject to the participation requirements and who received support services. When the teens in the experimental group returned to the regular welfare program, however, impacts faded.
Education Completion. Evaluation findings from the three demonstration programs showed that it is easier to increase the number of teen parents enrolled in General Educational Development (GED) programs than to increase high school retention or rematriculation. Higher rates of school enrollment and GED program participation do not always lead to higher graduation rates or improvements in basic skills. Specifically, TPD did not improve average reading or math skills, though both school and GED program enrollment increased. One of the three TPD programs resulted in a higher high school graduation rate. Under LEAP school attendance and grade attainment increased, but graduation rates did not increase. The New Chance program increased GED attainment but reduced high school graduation rates; basic reading skills did not increase. For other evaluation findings and more information, see Kisker et al., Moving Teenage Parents into Self-Sufficiency: Lessons from Recent Demonstrations¾Final Report (Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., September 1998), at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/tpd/synthes/index.htm.
We can also look to the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation’s (MDRC) evaluation of the LEAP program for more insights on education completion. The MDRC evaluation was experimental in design, using program and control groups. LEAP benefited initially enrolled teens by increasing their school attendance, GED receipt, and work experience. Impacts for those initially not enrolled were limited to school enrollment and attendance. LEAP was cost-neutral for the welfare department. For more information, see Long et al., LEAP: Final Report on Ohio’s Welfare Initiative to Improve School Attendance Among Teenage Parents, Ohio’s Learning, Earning and Parenting Program (New York, N.Y.: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, 1997), at http://www.mdrc.org/Reports/LEAP_Final/LEAP-ExecSumm.html.
With regard to teen parents and educational outcomes, an evaluation of the CAL-LEARN, part of California’s CalWorks TANF program, also yields some insights. The program provides financial incentives for pregnant and parenting teens to stay in school. The program also includes case management, transportation, child care, and ancillary services necessary for education. The University of California at Berkeley, Data Archive and Technical Assistance Center, provided an independent review of the CAL-LEARN program. The evaluation found that teens who participated in the program graduated (i.e., obtained GEDs) at significantly higher rates. Evaluators also found that this effect depended on whether teens were enrolled in school when they entered CAL-LEARN; teens who were enrolled in school when they entered the program graduated at an insignificantly different rate than other teens in school but not in the program. Teens that were not in school when they enrolled in the program graduated at a rate of 20 percent compared with 11 percent of “no treatment” teens who were not enrolled in school. Teens that had never been held back in school prior to entering the program benefited far more than teens who had been held back. For more information and findings, see Mauldon et al., Impact of California’s CAL-LEARN Demonstration Project (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, Data Archive and Technical Assistance Center, June 2000), at http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/research/res/pdf/caleval/CL%20Final%20Report.pdf.
A recently released study addressed questions about the impact of welfare reform on the behavior of teen parents. Kaestner and O’Neill analyzed two cohorts of data (1979 and 1997) from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth to document differences between these cohorts in terms of welfare use and future economic and social well-being. The researchers also sought “to investigate the causal role of welfare reform in behavioral change.” Teenage mothers in 1997 were less likely to receive welfare and more likely to live with a parent or a spouse than were teenage mothers in 1979. The differences in cohorts also suggest that welfare reform is associated with reduced fertility, reduced welfare receipt, reduced marriage, and reduced school dropout rates among young women. The decline in welfare entry is due to both lower take-up among eligible teens and a decline in “qualifying behaviors,” such as fertility, marriage, and nonmarital fertility. The study authors recommend that more research is needed because they could not determine definitively that welfare reform is responsible for these findings. For more information, see Robert Kaestner and June O’Neill, Has Welfare Reform Changed Teenage Behaviors? (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2002), at http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8932.
The Center for Impact Research, along with the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Alliance for Young Families, the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, conducted a three-city (Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta) study of more than 1,500 teen mothers. The study found that:
- teen parents have trouble accessing and keeping TANF benefits;
- teen parents have trouble completing or attending school; and
- teen parents are not accessing other assistance programs, such as medical assistance, food stamps, child care, and nutrition programs for women, infants, and children.
The study also includes recommendations for TANF reauthorization. The researchers raised concerns that diversion and other issues could be derailing effective services to needy teen parents. For more information, see Deborah L. Shapiro and Helene M. Marcy, Knocking on the Door: Barriers to Welfare and Other Assistance for Teen Parents: A Three-City Research Study (Chicago, Ill.: Center for Impact Research, April 2002), at http://www.impactresearch.org/documents/CIRknockdoor.pdf.
As noted earlier, Second Chance Homes are an allowable housing option for teen parents. Although there is anecdotal evidence that Second Chance homes successfully prevent second births to teen parents, raise rates of school completion, lower child abuse and neglect, and achieve other positive outcomes, rigorous evaluation findings are still limited. Increased emphasis on evaluation in such programs is likely. For more information, see U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Second Chance Homes: Providing Services to Teenage Parents and Their Children (Washington, D.C., October 2000), at http://aspe.hhs.gov/search/hsp/2ndchancehomes00/index.htm#evidence.
Efforts to improve outcomes and services for teen parents receiving public assistance have included home visiting programs. Home visiting programs are often geared to young parents to develop parenting skills, improve health outcomes, and delay subsequent pregnancies. Kelsey, Johnson, and Maynard examined home visitor services to teen parents receiving AFDC benefits and participating in welfare-to-work programs. The researchers concluded that paraprofessional home visitor services only modestly improved the outcomes of welfare-to-work programs. However, several findings could be useful to designers of future programs for teen parents. Teens that were visited at home spent more time in school; among certain program subgroups, more home-visited teens obtained their high school diploma; and the earnings of home-visited teens were higher than those of the control group. Many of the differences between the program group and control group were likely because of varying program emphases and the relative skills of the home visitors. For more information, see Kelsey, Johnson, and Maynard, The Potential of Home Visitor Services to Strengthen Welfare-to-Work Programs for Teenage Parents on Cash Assistance (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Health Federation of Philadelphia, 2001), at http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/potential.pdf.
American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/ or 202/862-5800.
American Public Human Services Association, http://www.aphsa.org/ or 202/ 682-0100.
Center for Law and Social Policy, Christine Grisham and Jodie Levin-Epstein, http://www.clasp.org/ or 202/906-8000.
Child Trends, http://www.childtrends.org/ or 202/362-5580.
Child Welfare League of America, John Sciamanna, http://www.cwla.org/ or 202/ 638-2952.
Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, www.gcapp.org/index.asp or 404/475-6048.
Manpower Demonstration and Research Corporation, http://www.mdrc.org/ or 212/ 532-3200.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/ or 609/799-3535.
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, http://www.teenpregnancy.org/ or 202/478-8500.
National Governors Association, http://www.nga.org/ or 202/624-5300.
National Network for Youth, Bob Reeg, http://www.nn4youth.org/ or 202/783-7949.
National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention, Inc., http://www.noappp.org/ or Karen Canova, 202/293-8370.
Social Policy Action Network, http://www.span-online.org/ or 202/434-4770.
WestEd, http://www.wested.org/ or 415/565-3000.
Specific Organization Proposals
In addition to the executive and Congressional proposals addressed earlier, a number of organizations are also suggesting changes to TANF that would affect teen parents.
Center for Impact Research (CIR)
The center recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should conduct a study of teen parents to investigate questions regarding access and participation in TANF and other assistance programs. CIR also recommends a transitional period. For more information, see http://www.impactresearch.org/documents/CIRknockdoor.pdf.
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
CLASP is calling for several policy changes related to teen parents and TANF, including:
- a federal “transitional eligibility” period to allow teen parents to comply with welfare reform requirements;
- the inclusion in state TANF plans of information relevant to teen parents, such as capacity, assessment, and head-of-household criteria;
- better data reporting by states and better estimation methods by the federal government;
- state assessments of why eligible teen parents are not receiving TANF;
- improved access to support services that can help teenagers meet the education and living arrangement requirements; and
- continued evaluation of different approaches to the education/training requirement and living arrangement provision.
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
CWLA recommends that funding be increased for Second Chance homes. The group also recommends that Congress add funds for training and technical assistance for eligibility workers so teenage applicants can be better informed about their eligibility. In addition, CWLA supports a “transitional period” for teen parents applying for TANF benefits. For more information, see http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/tanf011218.htm.
Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute
Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute proposes eliminating all public benefits, not just TANF benefits, to unwed parents below age 21. He proposes a test of this policy in a western or mountain region state with a small caseload and strong social welfare programs outside of government. For more information and a comment on this proposal by Rebecca Maynard, see Charles Murray, “Family Formation,” in The New World of Welfare, ed. Rebecca Blank and Ron Haskins, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001).
National Network for Youth
The National Network for Youth recommends that states be required to consult with teen parents about their preferred living arrangement and to provide or ensure the provision of alternative living arrangements for parents unable to live at home. Over forty national organizations signed a letter, circulated by the Network, to Senators Baucus and Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee in June 2002. The letter includes recommendations to establish a transitional compliance period; allow the lifetime limit on TANF assistance to commence at age 20 for minor parents enrolled in education and training activities; and require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study of teen parents receiving TANF. For more information, contact the National Network for Youth at 202/783-7949.
Alliance for Young Families. Living on the Edge II: A Study on Young Homeless Families in Massachusetts. Boston: Mass., 2001. Available at http://www.youngfamilies.org/.
Duffy, Janellen, and Jodie Levin-Epstein. Add It Up: Teen Parents and Welfare . . . Undercounted, Oversanctioned, Underserved. Washington, D.C.: Center for Law and Social Policy, April 2002. Available at http://www.clasp.org/.
Kaestner, Robert, and June O’Neill. Has Welfare Reform Changed Teenage Behaviors? Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2002. Available at http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8932.
Kaplan, April. “Teen Parents and Welfare Reform Policy.” Issue Note (March 1997). Washington, D.C., Welfare Information Network. Available at http://www.welfareinfo.org/kaplan.htm.
Kelsey, Johnson, and Maynard. The Potential of Home Visitor Services to Strengthen Welfare-to-Work Programs for Teenage Parents on Cash Assistance. Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Health Federation of Philadelphia, 2001. Available at http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/potential.pdf.
Kisker, Ellen Eliason, Rebecca A. Maynard, Anu Rangarajan, and Kimberly Boller. Moving Teenage Parents into Self-Sufficiency: Lessons from Recent Demonstrations¾Final Report. Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., September 1998. Available at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/tpd/synthes/summary.htm.
Long, David, Judith Gueron, Robert Wood, Rebecca Fisher, and Veronica Fellerath. LEAP: Final Report on Ohio’s Welfare Initiative to Improve School Attendance Among Teenage Parents, Ohio’s Learning Earning and Parenting Program. New York, N.Y.: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, 1997. Available at http://www.mdrc.org/Reports/LEAP_Final/LEAP-ExecSumm.html.
Mauldon, Jane, Jan Malvin, Jon Stiles, Nancy Nicosia, and Eva Seto. Impact of California’s CAL-LEARN Demonstration Project. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, Data Archive and Technical Assistance Center, June 2000. Available at http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/research/res/pdf/caleval/CL%20Final%20Report.pdf.
Murray, Charles. “Family Formation.” In The New World of Welfare, ed. Rebecca Blank and Ron Haskins. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.
Quint, Janet, Johannes Bos, and Denise Polit. New Chance: Final Report on a Comprehensive Program for Disadvantaged Young Mothers and Their Children. New York, N.Y.: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, July 1997. Available at http://www.mdrc.aa.psiweb.com/Reports/NewChanceExSum.html.
Reich, Kathy, and Lisa M. Kelly. Starting a Second Chance Home: A Guide for Policymakers and Practitioners. Washington, D.C.: Social Policy Action Network, January 2001. Available at http://www.span-online.org/sch_starting.pdf.
Reichman, Nancy E., and Sara S. MacLanahan. Self-Sufficiency Programs and Parenting Interventions: Lessons from New Chance and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 2001. Available at http://www.srcd.org/sprv15n2.pdf.
Shapiro, Deborah L., and Helene M. Marcy. Knocking on the Door: Barriers to Welfare and Other Assistance for Teen Parents: A Three-City Research Study. Chicago, Ill.: Center for Impact Research, April 2002. Available at http://www.impactresearch.org/documents/CIRknockdoor.pdf.
Singh, Susheela, and Jacqueline E. Darroch. “Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing:
Levels and Trends in Developed Countries.” Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 32, no. 1,(January/February 2000). Available at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3201400.html.
Social Policy Action Network. Second Chance Homes National Directory. Washington, D.C.: Social Policy Action Network, November 2001. Available at http://www.span-online.org/sch_natl_directory.html.
Wood, Robert G., and John Burghardt. Implementing Welfare Reform Requirements for Teenage Parents: Lessons from Experience in Four States. Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., October 31, 1997. Available at http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/hsp/isp/teepareq/xsteen.htm.
The author would like to thank Christine Grisham and Jodie Levin-Epstein of the Center for Law and Social Policy and Andrea Kane of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy for their exceedingly helpful reviews of this publication.
For more information, contact: TANF Reauthorization Resources, The Welfare Information Network,
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