June 3, 2003

Supports for Low-Income Working Families and
Welfare-to-Work Programs are Particularly Hard Hit

By Sharon Parrott and Nina Wu

PDF of the full report
HTM of press release
PDF of press release

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More than 35 states have made cuts in programs funded with TANF and child care block grant funds, and most of these cuts are in programs that promote the goals of welfare reform.  The cuts reflect both the exhaustion of many states’ surplus TANF funds from prior years and the large budget gaps many states face.  The breadth and depth of these cuts highlight the importance of upcoming Congressional action on legislation to reauthorize TANF: if this legislation imposes costly new mandates on states yet provides insufficient funds to help states fulfill these mandates, states will be forced to make even more cuts in programs that help families move from welfare to work.

Recent state cuts include substantial cuts in child care programs for low-income working families, work programs designed to help TANF cash assistance recipients find jobs, services and supports for very disadvantaged families, cash assistance benefits for low-income working families, and programs designed to meet the broader “family formation” goals of TANF, such as pregnancy prevention efforts.

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End Notes:

[1] Throughout this report, the District of Columbia is treated as a state.

[2] General Accounting Office, “CHILD CARE: Recent State Policy Changes Affecting the Availability of Assistance for Low-Income Families,” GAO-03-588, May 2003.