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Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
These slides are from our 2016 national conference, A Nation That Works: What's It Going to Take? The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has been one of the most studied, evaluated, and debated pieces of American public policy of the last 20 years. TANF has raised important questions and concerns about the role of the safety net in the lives of poor, single female heads of household. On a national scale, and in localities across the country, program designers, implementers, advocates, researchers, and thought leaders have been at odds with the program's multiple—and often times conflicting—goals. Participants are invited to join a discussion session that takes a look back at the last twenty years of TANF implementation and what we have learned, what is happening now, and what advocates and others are thinking about the future of safety net policy and supporting pathways to work and opportunity for low-income female heads of household.
Millions of low-income working families in America today are struggling to make ends meet. While working hard, often in low-wage jobs, many of these families are living close to the edge of hardship and have little or no resources to fall back on in case of emergencies. Public benefit programs can make a huge difference in the well-being of these working families, providing help with food, child care, and health insurance expenses. These programs help families address immediate needs and weather short-term crises, such as repairing a car needed to get to work or dealing with an unexpected health problem. They can make it possible for families to hold onto their jobs in these emergencies, stabilizing employment and keeping families from falling further into poverty. Yet many families that are eligible for public benefit programs do not participate. Although the recession and its aftermath led to unprecedented increases in receipt of nutrition assistance through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the latest data (from 2010) show that only 65 percent of the eligible working poor are participating. Similarly, of all children eligible for public health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, only 86 percent are participating. The participation rate for public health insurance for parents is only 66 percent. And, these participation rates vary widely across states.The Work Support Strategies, or WSS, Initiative is motivated by the value public benefit programs can provide to working families and the belief that the states and localities administering these programs can improve how eligible families access and retain these benefits. In the first year of the demonstration, nine states took on the challenge of streamlining, integrating, and improving the provision of work support benefits through their SNAP, Medicaid, and child care programs (and, in some states, additional programs such as heating assistance and cash welfare). While most states hope their efforts will also reduce burden on caseworkers and administrative costs in these systems, all are motivated to improve the lives of the families they serve.
Yemen is a country in continuous crisis. More than half its population live below the poverty line and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Fuel shortages, corruption, unemployment and violence have all become part of daily life. Now, a new crisis is unfolding: as fuel supplies run dry, food prices are soaring and water is becoming inaccessible. Fuel shortages and rapid inflation are sending shock waves through rural communities across the country.Millions of Yemenis are going hungry, drinking unsafe water and increasingly falling between the cracks of an inadequate social safety net, as they bear the brunt of yet another fuel crisis.Yemen's government and donors must address immediate human impacts alongside the root causes of the fuel crisis. They must increase the provision of social welfare while also undertaking public finance reform, to ensure the safety of all Yemenis, the country's stability and political transition.
Chicago Jobs Council;
In spite of public consensus that education and training lead to economic advancement, recent federal policies have made it harder for low-income Americans to get the education and training they need to succeed in today's economy. A number of recent federal policies, like the 1996 law that established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program, have in different ways adopted a "work first" approach that encourages or requires low-income adults to find employment immediately, rather than allowing them first to develop skills that might lead to better jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits, and opportunities for steady work and advancement. This policy shift away from skills training and toward work first strategies has come about, in part, from a misconception that "training does not work." Many policymakers have heard that government-sponsored research -- such as the National Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Study, the Greater Avenues to Independence (GAIN) Evaluation and the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) -- shows that low-income adults who receive training do no better in the job market than people who do not receive such services, or who receive only the less expensive job search assistance typical of many work first strategies. In fact, a more comprehensive look at the existing research reveals the documented effectiveness of skills training.
Community Voices Heard (CAV);
The successful implementation of a 2-year, $25 million Transitional Jobs (TJ) program that employed close to 3,000 participants across New York State lends itself to a call for ongoing funding of this program in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) and beyond. Transitional jobs are time limited, publicly subsidized jobs that combine real work, skill development, and supportive services to aid welfare recipients in their path to unsubsidized employment. Workers in such programs earn wages, like other workers, and often have access to additional supportive services, job mentors, job search assistance, concrete education, training, and job retention services.The goal of this research project was primarily to gain insight into the successes and challenges of a county's TJ Program as perceived by the individual(s) running the program.
Center for Impact Research;
In a single month, as many as 6,400 to 12,500 people visit each of the busiest of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) local offices. Since welfare reform in 1996, TANF caseloads in Illinois have declined precipitously. In the midst of the current economic recession with its attendant high levels of unemployment, Illinois ranks first in the United States with a reduction in its TANF caseload of 39.5% for period March 2001 to March 2003. 1 However, reductions in TANF caseload do not mean that the number of eligible families in need of assistance is declining.2 Nor do they mean that the workload of local offices has been decreasing at the same rate as TANF caseloads. On the contrary, welfare reform policies have made the management of the remaining TANF caseload a time consuming and labor intensive process. As of August 2003 for the five local offices in this study, caseworker staffing was 23.7% less than the allocated level and supervisor staffing was 28.6% less than allocated. These staff reductions resulting in caseloads in Cook County offices as high as 700 to 1,200 per caseworker negatively impact the kind of service that families encounter when they try to apply for and retain benefits. Commenting on the critical shortage of staff, one Cook County Local Office Administrator said, "I've been around a long time and it's very bad now. There are long lines and long waits. The volume is very detrimental to providing efficient services." Over the past two years, members of community-based organizations and advocacy groups have expressed concern about the increasing number of reports of problems facing people who go to Chicago area IDHS offices for public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, and TANF. For example, the volume of calls to the Public Benefits Hotline has increased from 7,054 calls for the period August 2001 through July 2002 to 8,418 calls for the period of August 2002 through July 2003. During 2003, call volume has continued to expand, with 43% more calls in August 2003 than in January 2003. In response to the need for current data about customer service in IDHS offices, CIR collaborated with community human services agencies and advocacy organizations in conducting a one-day survey to document the experiences of customers in five of the busiest local IDHS offices in Cook County. IDHS assisted with logistics, instructing local offices to allow CIR to conduct the survey in the waiting areas. Working group members conferred on research design and survey development, attended training in survey administration, and participated in administering the survey. Working group members also participated in discussions to interpret research findings and develop policy recommendations. Although the scope of the survey is limited -- information about 199 customers in 5 offices on one day in July 2003 -- the findings offer important indicators of strengths and weaknesses in service delivery. These findings are being used to inform stakeholders such as elected officials, state agencies, community leaders and organizations, and the media about the quality of service delivery.
The Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) has worked for the past three years to strengthen the capacity of civil society leaders and organizations in Latin America and Africa to advocate with and for marginalized adolescent girls. During 2011, the Public Health Institute (PHI) implemented the AGALI program in Guatemala, Liberia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Honduras with a $550,000 grant from the UN Foundation (please see Attachment A: Financial Report for more details). Since the program's inception, AGALI has strengthened the ability and commitment of leaders and institutions to advocate for laws, policies, and funding that respond to adolescent girls' needs, while enhancing young women's ability to develop their own solutions to the social, economic, and health challenges they face. The AGALI program uses a multi-faceted approach to improve adolescent girls' welfare that includes intensive workshops, seed grants, technical assistance, institutional strengthening, a structured outreach and dissemination process, and building the knowledge base for the field of adolescent girls. AGALI's comprehensive model strengthens the capacity of civil society leaders and organizations to advance the efforts of the United Nations' country programs and the UN Adolescent Girls' Task Force (AGTF) to promote adolescent girls' human rights, health, education, and socio-economic wellbeing in UN priority focus countries.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
As a Philanthropic Organization, we have no commodities to sell andno nationwide list of stockholders so we, consequently, are not interested in publicity per se. Then why do we issue annual reports, interim reports, news releases, and various other communications? We relate the details of our operations to the public because we acknowledge an obligation to account for the resources committed to us. For instance, the Annual Report to which this statement is an introduction describes in considerable detail the larger or more unique projects aided by this Foundation during the year. It also briefly sketches all assisted programs, submits a balance sheet and a report of all income and expenditures, uses several scores of pages to reveal financial data concerning not only all grants but also the Foundation's securities, and presents a listing of the members of the Board of Trustees and of the Staff.Why such "full disclosure"? Why is a private foundation continually conscious of its obligation to take the public into its confidence? The answer to these questions lies in the freedom of operations permitted foundations. Charters and laws impose very few restrictions. The channels for philanthropy, be they health, education, agriculture, the humanities, are chosen by the grantor, for foundations, within the limitations defined by their founders, are free to determine the nature of their assistance. There is relative exemption from the pressures of conformity and tradition, for a foundation may even support an unpopular movement if the long-range welfare of the people seems to justify it. Actually, there is only one essential yardstick for the help that a foundation may render:Does the program have significant potentialities for problem-solvingin a particular field of human endeavor?
International Studies Program of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies;
The plan of this paper is first, to examine some evidence on the distribution of the tax burden among income groups in a few countries. Second, we will extend this analysis to cover the "allocable" parts of government expenditures. The broad conclusion to emerge from these two exercises is that on the whole, tax and expenditure policy can plausibly have only a modest influence on a country's distribution of income, with expenditure policy being the more potent of the two.Working Paper Number 04-41.
Committee for Economic Development;
This report argues that all children should have access to high-quality prekindergarten classes, offered by a variety of providers, for all children whose parents want them to participate. It argues that it is time to make good on the commitment to provide early learning opportunities for all. The report calls for a new compact between the state and federal governments to make free, high-quality early education available and to help close the achievement gap. This strong federal and state partnership would expand access to high-quality learning opportunities and link providers and programs into coherent state-based education systems.