Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as “deadbeat dads.” Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship’s demise. They offer keen insight into a radical…
This desk reference is for state and local boards and staff and provides information on serving priority populations using WIOA Adult funds - recipients of public assistance, low-income individuals, individuals who are basic skills deficient, and veterans. (Author abstract)
A strong economy and stable society depend on the labor force participation of healthy citizens. Yet since the mid-1960s, the rate of American men between ages 25 and 54 (“prime-age men”) working or actively looking for work has steadily declined. Their employment-to-population ratio (percentage of total population group currently working) dropped substantially from the mid-1960s to 2016. During this period, marriage rates have also fallen precipitously, particularly among less-educated groups. Moreover, a growing research literature is documenting a rise in poor health and premature…
This webpage begins by explaining the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides a temporary safety net to poor families and has decreased its reach since its implementation in 1996. It notes in 2015, for every 100 families in poverty, only 23 received cash assistance from TANF, down from 68 families when TANF was first enacted. It states this “TANF-to-Poverty ratio” (TPR) reached its lowest point in 2014 and remained there in 2015. Links to State fact sheets are then provided that include information on a specific State’s TPR from 1995/96 to 2014/15, the number of…
This chapter draws upon 14 years of related ethnographic studies to uncover the principal features that characterize family life among the poor. Experiences dealing with multiple agencies are discussed, as well as experiences dealing with health problems in the context of the U.S. medical care system, and the aftermaths of household emergencies. 34 references.
This chapter reviews how theorists and policymakers portray the state’s capacity to alter the behavior and beliefs of low income parents and then highlights findings from a study of two women’s experiences in their efforts to find jobs and supportive resources. Finding a job and securing welfare supports were linked to their parenting pathway, however, the mothers’ first concern was their children’s well-being. The chapter concludes by exploring whether the motivating power of raising children might lead to a more effective family policy. 34 references. (Author abstract modified)
Findings are shared from a longitudinal, qualitative study that examined the links between urban poverty-related conditions and the quality of parent-child relationships in 10 families, specifically the care and protection of infants and toddlers. The effects on parenting of the family cap, subsidized child care, and welfare-to-work requirements are discussed. 22 references.
This chapter synthesizes the results of both quantitative experimental and qualitative research about how low-income children fare as their mothers spend more time in the labor market and attempt to strike a new balance between work and parenting. Findings indicate policies that effectively increase parental income as they increase employment improve the well-being of young children and are the most promising for helping families cope. Numerous references.
A study used qualitative methods to explore the specific mechanisms and processes through which poverty and welfare changes affected 186 low-income families with young children. Particular attention was paid to the relative influences of factors related to welfare reform, family financial resources, and characteristics associated with parent, child, and family functioning. Case studies are offered. 26 references.
This chapter reports on in-depth interviews with 41 current and recent TANF recipients that discussed the various contributions that fathers make to their children, their strengths and limitations as fathers, and the benefits and challenges of their varying levels of participation in family life. It then explores whether mothers’ voices can inform policy options. 1 table and numerous references.