Forum Session

Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Families: Successes to Date and Challenges Ahead
March 23, 2001


Jane Koppelman, Consultant


This Forum meeting reviewed the status of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, enacted in 1996 as part of a major reform of welfare programs and due for legislative reauthorization in 2002. Speakers provided background information about the number of people receiving benefits and the number who have left the welfare rolls, as well as the status of families in poverty, with a special emphasis on the status of children. The lack of information about many welfare leavers was a subject of particular concern. The strengths and weaknesses of different types of state and local administrative practices in TANF was the subject of extensive discussion. Additional discussion centered aroundexpectations for governmental performance in public social welfare programs and the need to measure state performance and outcomes in this block-granted program.


Pamela Loprest, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute; Lawrence Mead, Professor of Politics, New York University; Douglas E. Howard, Director, Family Independence Agency, State of Michigan; Natasha K. Metcalf, Commissioner, Department of Human Services, State of Tennessee; Ron Haskins, Co-Director, Welfare Reform and Beyond, Brookings Institution; Mark Greenberg, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Law and Social Policy

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 761.

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