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The Welfare Reform Act

By inschool29 Apr 19, 2011 864 Words
The Welfare Reform Act
University of Phoenix
Axia College
HRC230
Claims Preparation II: Footing the Bills

The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 had three main purposes and several different opinions on whether they were going to work or not. The main purposes of the Welfare Reform Act were to reduce welfare dependence and increase employment, to reduce child poverty, and to reduce illegitimacy and strengthen marriage (Rector, R., & Fagan, P. F., February 6, 2003). Due to the abundance of opinions and opposing facts it is hard to tell whether or not which positive and negative facts are true when it comes to how effective these purposes were after the Welfare Reform Act was implemented. One set of facts that are given are that by 2003 despite liberal predictions that the welfare reform would push an additional 206 million more individuals into poverty, the U.S Bureau of the Census reported there are now 3.54 million fewer people living in poverty, and some 2.9 million fewer children who live in poverty currently than in 1995. It is also stated that poverty among black children are at the lowest in history. It is estimated that there are 1.2 million fewer now than in the mid 1990’s (Rector, R., & Fagan, P. F., February 6, 2003). It is also been recorded that hunger among children is now 420,000 fewer today than before the Welfare Reform act and that the welfare caseloads has been depleted down to half of what it once was. Along with all of the other positives that have come with the Welfare Reform Act the biggest change that was recorded was the drastic change in the number of out-of-wedlock children that are being brought into this world which has been said to have been brought to a virtual halt (Rector, R., & Fagan, P. F., February 6, 2003). With all of these positive repercussions that come with this change there are others who do not believe that all of these changes are so. They in fact think the complete opposite and state that since the encouragement of employment that this Welfare Reform Act Brings is not education based that when recipient’s benefits are cut back and they are forced to find employment but are ill qualified that they will still be in the same situation that they started because they are not prepared educationally to hold down a job that is sufficient enough to support their families (Sawhill, I. V., 2009). The Author of this piece Isabel V. Sawhill of the Urban Institute also states that there is no real evidence that this reform will really reduce out-of-wedlock births. The article also states that there would also not be any real drastic changes in regards the amount of children who live in poverty. Even thought there are mixed feelings about whether or not this reform has been effective, there is no dispute that there have been some great efforts made in regards to welfare fraud, and many have had to pay restitution due to investigations that have uncovered recipients not reporting income, failing to report that a once absent parent is no longer absent, or failing to report that aides children no longer live in the aided household (Stanislaus County, 2009). There have been as much as $333,147.00 been put back into the system due to court ordered restitution in Stanislaus County alone due to a team they have put together just for this problem. Fraud can leave needy families needing more due to lack of funds from all of the fraud cases that are out there. With many things there are going to be positive effects along with drawbacks there is no perfect plan just plans in progress and the Welfare Reform Act is no different. Records show there have been some drastic changes that this reform has brought and others may be going on personal experience or what they see with their own eyes. So yes, this act has met some of its goals in that any change for the better is good change with the exception the reform did not think of everything such as making the employment aspect being more concerned with educating to prepare for a new job instead of sending people out there who cannot afford education into a workforce with no skills for employment (Sawhill, I. V., 2009). I think that with many things it is hard to tell for a fact just how much positive and negative effects have come from the Welfare Reform act due to people who just do not seek help as well as those who may not be completely honest about how they are living. Reference List

Rector, R., & Fagan, P. F., (February 6, 2003), (The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform) The Heritage Foundation, Retrieved 1/17/10, Web site; http://heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg1620.cfm Sawhill, I. V., (2009), (Welfare Reform; An Analysis of the Issues), Urban Institute, Retrieved 1/17/10, Web site; http://www.urban.org/publications/306620.html Stanislaus County, (2009), (Welfare Fraud), Retrieved 1/17/10, Web site; http://stanislaus-da.org/welfare-fraud.shtm

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