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Children in Poverty. Law and Poverty. US $51,000. Louisiana $37,000. Median Income of Families with Children. Ages 18-64 11%. Ages 0-18 17%. Poverty Rates - USA. Historical Poverty Rates -USA. Total Aged Children 1960 22% 35% 27% 1970 13 24 15

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children in poverty

Children in Poverty

Law and Poverty

historical poverty rates usa
Historical Poverty Rates -USA

Total Aged Children

  • 1960 22% 35% 27%
  • 1970 13 24 15
  • 1980 13 16 18
  • 1990 13 12 20
  • 2002 12 10 17
child support
Child Support
  • Of the 11 million moms eligible for child support,
  • only 63% even have any
  • sort of court awarded child support order
  • leaving out 5 million mothers right off the top
  • Of the 6.2 million mothers who have an order of support,
  • only 75% received at least one payment
  • and only 25% actually received the amount due.
  • So only 1 in 4 of ALL WOMEN receive full child support.
enforcement of child support
Enforcement of Child Support

Primarily state responsibility

Feds provide some $, monitoring

Welfare Reform required more enforcement of child support on state levels

US assists states in their collection efforts

federal child support assistance
Federal Child Support Assistance

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) gives US government assistance to help locate absentee parent to secure and enforce child support obligation.

Federal Income Tax Refund Offset: allows states to capture tax refunds for outstanding child support obligations

Passport denial for people who have support orders more than $5000 in arrears

big variation by state
Big Variation by State

Children who have CS order and receive full amount

Range from high of 30% in WI, 29% in MN

To low of 14% in CA, 15% in NY

importance of child care
Importance of Child Care
  • Labor participation by mothers has increased
  • After WWII, 1/4 of all mothers worked
  • Now, 3/4 of all mothers work
  • (Incl 64% of mothers of pre-school children)
  • Rise in single parent homes
  • In 1970, 11% of families headed by single moms
  • In 2002, 31% of families headed by single parent, mostly moms (dads 11% of single parents)
  • Today one-third of all kids live in single parent homes, 23 million
federal child care assistance
Federal Child Care Assistance
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant CCDBG (Arose out of welfare reform)
  • About $5 billion a year in discretionary and entitlement funding
  • (enough $ to help 1 out 7 eligible children with subsidized child care)
  • DHHS says 15 million children meet criteria, 2.2 million received it
  • LA has $ for 44,500 kids: application on-line
child care standards and quality
Child Care Standards and Quality
  • First understand that only about 1 in 4 children are in paid child care providers for child care (most are with family or in private homes - often paid but unregulated)
  • Child care is primarily regulated on state level: licensing, health care, visitation
afdc into tanf
  • Aid to Families with Dependent Children 1935- 1996
  • 1935 AFDC was enacted
  • federal - state matching grant
  • for needy children
  • without fathers at home
  • Was entitlement
  • unlimited time period of eligibility
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • 1996 TANF was enacted
  • federal block grants to states
dramatic reductions in welfare
Dramatic Reductions in Welfare
  • US has reduced number of people on TANF by 50%
  • 1996 were 12 million people in 4.5 million families, now 2.1 million families
  • Great Job of Reducing Families on welfare in LA (much more than 50%) from 68,000 to 20,000
  • In July 1996, there were 68,000 families on TANF in LA
  • LA averages about 20,000 families/month on TANF


Ends entitlement to AFDC

Terminates federal benefits

after 5 years of eligibility

State option for less time

Instituted a work requirement

More state control

tanf requirements
TANF Requirements
  • Must have child under 18 - no adults without kids
  • Must be in needy family
  • Must be US citizen
  • Work usually disqualifies everyone
  • Must not live in family where adult has received TANF for more than 5 years
  • Not receive federal funds, state funds are ok (NY problem: people still on tanf paid for by state these are usually the least employable)
  • Adult must start work within 24 months of receiving aid
  • Statewide: 50% of all families must be working
impact on single mothers
Impact on Single Mothers
  • In 1993, 44% of single mothers were working
  • By 1999, 71% were working
tanf in louisiana
TANF in Louisiana
  • Income earning limit- $3,720/year
  • Assets $2000 (excluding car)
  • Work within 24 months of enrollment
  • Benefit for 1 person $122/month
  • benefit for 2 person $188/month
  • benefit for 3 persons $240/month
  • in LA 20,000 families are on TANF- FITAP
  • (Out of 276,000 low income families in LA)
work and poverty
Work and Poverty

“Poorest fifth of the nation’s female headed households have less disposable income in 1999 than in 1995.” – NYT

welfare legislative goals
Welfare & Legislative Goals:
  • Family? Help kids stay with mom (better than apprenticeship) But do not really allow moms and dads together
  • Charity? Give something to those in need. But shame them & not enough to live on (stigma)
  • Work? Do not want to discourage working poor, so require work but once work, on way to losing benefits (better now with CHIP)
  • Child support? Have moms report dads so we can collect but if dad does contribute, grant is reduced & if dad does contribute govt collects first
  • Honesty? We demand monthly/quarterly reporting, turn in delinquent dads but we know people are cheating, they have to!
reality of hunger in us
Reality of Hunger in US
  • USDA (Agriculture Department) information on poverty and hunger in US:
  • over 9 million people in US actually hungry at some point in year;
  • According to U.S. government estimates, 38.2 million Americans live in hungry or “food insecure” households. (FRAC)
In 3.8 million families last year, someone skipped meals because they could not afford them

Including children in 265,000 families

American Second Harvest reported that it serves over 20 million people a year at food banks

food stamps electronic benefits transfer cards
Food Stamps (Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards)
  • Federal Program
  • Federal Funding & Rules
  • Mostly federal funding (100% federal funding of food stamp benefits)
  • States pay for 50% of administrative costs
  • States have some limited options in additional program choices

Food assistance for poor families

Poverty defined by :

monthly income and

liquid assets

(excluding home, car under $4650 value)

TANF & SSI are automatic eligible

(already determined low income and assets)

Others must be certified as eligible

Sliding scale of benefits

size of family

more income, less benefits

additional food stamp reqs
Additional Food Stamp Reqs:
  • There is a work requirement (welfare reform of 1990s) for all able bodied adults
  • Citizenship Issues (Part of Welfare Reform of 1990s)


US Department of Agriculture

size of food stamps
Size of Food Stamps:
  • Size of program: 2006 $36 billion
  • 26 million people received food stamps - 2006
  • Four out of ten people eligible for food stamps do not receive them (FRAC)
emergency food stamps
Emergency Food Stamps
  • Available in 5 days if sudden change in family situation
louisiana food stamps
Louisiana Food Stamps

807,000 people received food stamps 2006

Roughly 69% of those eligible

Average benefit in LA $100.96

US $ to LA Food Stamp Program: $978m

source FRAC

school lunch and breakfast
School Lunch and Breakfast
  • Federal money for public and private school free or reduced price meals for low income children
  • free meals if below 130% of poverty guidelines
  • reduced cost meals if below 185% of poverty guidelines
school breakfast lunch in la
School Breakfast Lunch in LA
  • 211,000 children in free or reduced School Breakfast
    • US pays LA $48 million

421,000 children in free/reduced School Lunch

- US pays LA $151 million

wic program
WIC Program
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
  • Federally funded
  • Administered by the States (state and local health agencies)
  • Provides food assistance and related services
  • (medical screening & nutritional education) &
  • WIC vouchers that can be redeemed for specific foods (milk, cheese, eggs, infant formula, cereals, fruit and vegetable juices)
wic eligibility
WIC Eligibility
  • low income pregnant women and children under 5
  • low income is 185% of poverty level
louisiana wic
Louisiana WIC
  • 143,000 people receive WIC
  • US pays LA $97million for WIC