The Future of the Safety Net: Lessons from Two Decades of Welfare Reform

Grants and Contracts Details


We propose a one]day conference that will bring together leading thinkers from the research and policy communities to examine lessons learned from two decades of welfare reform and the attendant implications for the future of the safety net. The questions to be addressed include: What role did the block grant play in how families weathered economic turbulence over the past decade? Did welfare reform have an impact on work rates and poverty levels? What are the distributional implications of a block]granted safety net, especially for families with incomes placing them in deep poverty and among the so]called disconnected? What do we know about why participation among eligibles in TANF is so low? What is the proper mix of cash versus in]kind assistance in the safety net, and how do block grants affect that mix? More generally, did welfare reform improve economic self]sufficiency and mobility? How has the family been affected? What spillover effects were there in other dimensions of family well]being such as health, family structure, and child achievement? Given welfare reform, are there any gholesh in the safety net, and how can they be filled? What are the unanswered research questions going forward?
Effective start/end date9/1/163/30/17


  • Smith Richardson Foundation: $25,000.00


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