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Poorer Outcomes for Children in Welfare-Sanctioned Families
P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Rebekah Levine Coley, Brenda J. Lohman, and Laura D. Pittman

In, Welfare, Children and Families: A Three City Study, investigators look at how children of sanctioned families are faring under welfare reform.  Beginning in 1996 with the overhaul of the federal cash assistance program for poor families, states have been allowed to sanction recipients with loss of all or part of their cash assistance grant if they do not comply with the rules and regulations of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Based on preliminary data, the study finds that adolescents and preschoolers in sanctioned families that have left welfare are at greater risk of behavior and academic problems than children in non-sanctioned families. "Children in sanctioned families scored lower on cognitive and behavioral tests than children of non-sanctioned current and former welfare recipients. Preschoolers in sanctioned families scored 9–10 points lower on the applied problems test than non-sanctioned families, whether on or off welfare. On the reading test, however, scores were similar for children of non-sanctioned ‘recent leavers' [of welfare] and children of sanctioned mothers still receiving welfare."

(Adapted from information in Poorer Outcomes for Children in Welfare-Sanctioned Families, May 2002, pgs. 1-2, [vol.1, no. 3] http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/publications/policybriefs/lansdalebrief.pdf,, IPR Policy Briefs, and used  with the permission of Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University)


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Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.