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Prospects for Low-Income Mothers' Economic Survival Under Welfare Reform
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This article discusses implications of data on the income and employment patterns of welfare recipients for the types of programmatic and financial investments that states will need to make for successful welfare reform. Research by the Institute for Women's Policy Research found that even before welfare reform, women worked significant amounts of time and relied heavily on family supports to survive, when possible. High school education and job training are important predictors of having welfare and escaping poverty, while work experience alone has relatively little effect on leaving welfare. States will be challenged to provide these educational services within the restrictions on job training and education under the new welfare laws. Working welfare recipients in the institute's sample spent more than one third of their income on child care, which speaks to the importance of increased child-care subsidies for helping women escape poverty. It is important for states and communities to monitor the implementation of supportive services, track outcomes for women who leave welfare, and improve work environments and employment benefits. (Authors)
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