The Future of Children: Fall 2005: Marriage and Child Wellbeing

Brookings Institution Press
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This second volume of The Future of Children examines family formation and child well being, with a particular focus on marriage. The authors look at the history of marriage in America, the changes in family formation and the effect of these changes on economic and social outcomes for children, and the effect of marriage policy on specific subgroups such as low-income, minority, and homosexual families. The volume also provides a review of programs that have tried to increase and stabilize marriage as well as the impact of tax and transfer policies on marriage.

Contents

Introduction and Overview, Sara McLanahan, Ron Haskins, and Elisabeth Donahue

The Emergence of Marriage as a Public Issue, Steve Nock, University of Virginia

American Marriage in the Early Twenty-First Century, Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University

The Impact of Family Formation Change on Family Income, Isabel Sawhill, Brookings Institution, and Adam Thomas, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social and Emotional Wellbeing of the next Generation, Paul Amato, Pennsylvania State University

Family Formation Choices of Low-Income and Minority Families, Kathryn Edin, University of Pennsylvania and Joanna Reed, Northwestern University

Marriage Initiatives: What Might Work?, Robin Dion, Mathematica Policy Research

Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America's Children, Jonathan Rauch, National Journal and the Brookings Institution, and William Meezan, University of Michigan

Tax and Transfer Policy", C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute

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About the author

Sara McLanahan is professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University, where she is also director of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. She is coauthor of Growing Up with a Single Parent (Harvard, 1994). Elisabeth Donahue is associate editor of The Future of Children and a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Ron Haskins is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a senior consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A former adviser to the President for welfare policy, he spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, first as welfare counsel to the Republican staff, then as the subcommittee's staff director. He is the author of Work over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law (Brookings, 2006) and coeditor, with Rebecca Blank, of The New World of Welfare (Brookings, 2002).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
175
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ISBN
9780815755609
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Social Science / Children's Studies
Social Science / Sociology / Marriage & Family
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Ron Haskins
Work over Welfare tells the inside story of the legislation that ended "welfare as we know it." As a key staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee, author Ron Haskins was one of the architects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. In this landmark book, he vividly portrays the political battles that produced the most dramatic overhaul of the welfare system since its creation as part of the New Deal.

Haskins starts his story in the early 1990s, as a small group of Republicans lays the groundwork for welfare reform by developing innovative policies to encourage work and fight illegitimacy. These ideas, which included such controversial provisions as mandatory work requirements and time limits for welfare recipients, later became part of the Republicans' Contract with America and were ultimately passed into law. But their success was hardly foreordained. Haskins brings to life the often bitter House and Senate debates the Republican proposals provoked, as well as the backroom negotiations that kept welfare reform alive through two presidential vetoes. In the process, he illuminates both the personalities and the processes that were crucial to the ultimate passage of the 1996 bill. He also analyzes the changes it has wrought on the social and political landscape over the past decade.

In Work over Welfare, Haskins has provided the most authoritative account of welfare reform to date. Anyone with an interest in social welfare or politics in general will learn a great deal from this insightful and revealing book.

Rebecca M. Blank
Congress must reauthorize the sweeping 1996 welfare reform legislation by October 1, 2002. A number of issues that were prominent in the 1995-96 battle over welfare reform are likely to resurface in the debate over reauthorization. Among those issues are the five-year time limit, provisions to reduce out-of-wedlock births, the adequacy of child care funding, problems with Medicaid and food stamp receipt by working families, and work requirements. Funding levels are also certain to be controversial. Fiscal conservatives will try to lower grant spending levels, while states will seek to maintain them and gain additional discretion in the use of funds. Finally, a movement to encourage states to promote marriage among low-income families is already taking shape.

The need for reauthorization presents an opportunity to assess what welfare reform has accomplished and what remains to be done. The New World of Welfare is an attempt to frame the policy debate for reauthorization, and to inform the policy discussion among the states and at the federal level, especially by drawing lessons from research on the effects of welfare reform. In the book, a diverse set of welfare experts—liberal and conservative, academic and nonacademic—engage in rigorous debate on topics ranging from work experience programs, to job availability, to child well-being, to family formation. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of research on welfare reform, the contributors cover subjects including work and wages, effects of reform on family income and poverty, the politics of conservative welfare reform, sanctions and time limits, financial work incentives for low-wage earners, the use of medicaid and food stamps, welfare-to-work, child support, child care, and welfare reform and immigration.

Preparation of the volume was supported by funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Ron Haskins
Ron Haskins
Irwin Garfinkel
Successful social policies for children are critical to America's future. Yet the status of children in America suggests that the nation's policies may not be serving them well. Infant and child mortality rates in the U.S. remain high compared to other western industrialized nations; child poverty rates have worsened in the past decade; poor health care, child abuse, and inadequate schooling and child care persist.

This book presents a new set of social policies designed to alleviate these problems and to help satisfy the needs of all children. The policies deal with the seven critical domains affecting children from birth through the passage to adulthood: child care, schooling, transition to work, health care, income security, physical security, and child abuse.

While nearly everyone agrees that children are in trouble, there is considerable debate over what kind of trouble they are in, why this is so, and whether government can or should more actively seek to solve these problems. Americans are evenly divided on the question of whether children's problems are more economic or moral in origin. The seven proposals in this volume both reflect and cut across ideological disagreements. Some call for more government, others call for less, and all call for different government methods for achieving socially agreed upon goals.

Recommendations include: replacing major welfare programs and tax subsidies with a set of universal policies, including national health insurance, child support assurance, and universal child care; offering publicly funded vouchers to allow poor children in inner-city neighborhoods to choose their own schools; using both private and governmental resources to get tough on crime through more stringent criminal justice policies and dramatic social measures; and expanding apprenticeship programs for non-college bound youths.

In addition to the editors, the contributors are Barbara R. Bergmann and Robert I. Lerman, American University; Douglas J. Besharov, American Enterprise Institute; John J. DiIulio, Jr., Princeton University; Julia Graham Lear, George Washington University; and Diane Ravitch, New York University.

Rebecca M. Blank
Congress must reauthorize the sweeping 1996 welfare reform legislation by October 1, 2002. A number of issues that were prominent in the 1995-96 battle over welfare reform are likely to resurface in the debate over reauthorization. Among those issues are the five-year time limit, provisions to reduce out-of-wedlock births, the adequacy of child care funding, problems with Medicaid and food stamp receipt by working families, and work requirements. Funding levels are also certain to be controversial. Fiscal conservatives will try to lower grant spending levels, while states will seek to maintain them and gain additional discretion in the use of funds. Finally, a movement to encourage states to promote marriage among low-income families is already taking shape.

The need for reauthorization presents an opportunity to assess what welfare reform has accomplished and what remains to be done. The New World of Welfare is an attempt to frame the policy debate for reauthorization, and to inform the policy discussion among the states and at the federal level, especially by drawing lessons from research on the effects of welfare reform. In the book, a diverse set of welfare experts—liberal and conservative, academic and nonacademic—engage in rigorous debate on topics ranging from work experience programs, to job availability, to child well-being, to family formation. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of research on welfare reform, the contributors cover subjects including work and wages, effects of reform on family income and poverty, the politics of conservative welfare reform, sanctions and time limits, financial work incentives for low-wage earners, the use of medicaid and food stamps, welfare-to-work, child support, child care, and welfare reform and immigration.

Preparation of the volume was supported by funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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