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Aid to Families with Dependent Children - Essay Example

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The paper “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” will look at the first federal welfare program started by President Roosevelt in 1935. By the time President Clinton took over power in 1993, there was a national consensus that traditional open-ended welfare had failed…
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Aid to Families with Dependent Children
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Download file to see previous pages By the time President Clinton took over power in 1993, there was a national consensus that traditional open-ended welfare had failed (Neckerman, 89). This prompted the state government to undertake experimentations of welfare within the constraints that the federal government allowed them. There are differences between the new welfare scheme Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs. First, TANF changed the funding structure (Bourdieu, 51). The old welfare program (AFDC) had entitlement funding system. That is, an increase in the caseload resulted to more state funding from the federal funds. The new program utilizes a fixed funding system. This means the state governments were forced to bear the extra cost in case of an increase in caseloads and a decline in the caseloads will see the state governments continue receiving their fixed amount of federal funds. The surplus could be used for other state projects. The problem with AFDC was never with the welfare system; or rather it was something to do with low-wage work. AFDC increased poverty, put people from welfare into homeless shelters, lowered income and children for single mothers and left states free to entirely eliminate welfare (Bourdieu, 88). These problems arose because the affected did not show up for an appointment or because they never received notification for the meeting (Zastrow and Karen, 11). However, under the 1996 welfare reforms, TANF main aim was to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance. For this reason, the needy families did not have to depend on the program entirely hence no appointments. With TANF, the federal eligibility and most payment rules were abolished. This ensured that the states had much greater flexibility to design their own programs including who to include in the welfare program (Bourdieu, 147). This was not the case with AFDC program. It is worth noting that the welfare being used in the American Dream cannot give the much needed support for women like Angie, Opal and Jewell to enable them uplift their families from poverty. This is because, to some extent, the programs were characterized by socioeconomic inequality. In a nutshell, neither AFDC nor TANF could help empower Jewel, Angie and Opal because the programs assumed that the beneficiaries had the much needed credentials to obtain jobs (Gaines, 190). Corruptions and discrimination are some of the factors characterizing the two programs hence limiting the ultimate assistance they could render to Angie, Jewell and Opal. It is true that women employment has increased since early 70s, but women are still likely than men to spend some time not employed or employed part-time. This stigma could arise during the implementation of the two programs thereby reducing the amount of help they could give to Angie, Jewell and Opal. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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