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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Welfare Changes

An economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Heather Boushey said today:

"New changes to the 1996 welfare reform law mean that more welfare participants will need to be in work activities and states will have less flexibility in defining what those activities are, all without significant increases in funding for child care. Single
parents, especially low-income single parents, need access to the kinds of work supports that make moving from welfare to work viable. Most women leaving welfare enter jobs that don't provide the kinds of benefits -- paid sick days and holidays, paid family leave, or employer-provided health insurance -- that make work work. Those with children also need access to safe, affordable, and enriching child care.

To promote work, welfare policy should not be based on rigid, national rules, but be flexible enough to recognize that families need to provide adequate care, and that many need access to education to move up the job ladder."

Heather Boushey is the co- author of one chapter in the important book, "Inquality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences."

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