• April 2012
  • Vol. 13, No. 3

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OPRE Report on Disconnected Families

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently released reports on the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. One report highlights research on disconnected families. Another report details a study of how States used Emergency TANF funds to subsidize the 2010 Summer Youth Employment Initiative. 

The brief on disconnected families compares the economic well-being of disconnected single-mother families and all low-income single-mother families by looking at research on national and State populations. For the purposes of the brief, "disconnected" is defined as low-income single mothers who are not working or who have low wages and are not receiving, or receive low levels of, TANF funds or Supplemental Security Income (i.e., they are disconnected from the labor market and from government subsidies).

While basic characteristics of low-income single mothers and disconnected low-income single mothers are similar, a few stark contrasts point to possible difficulties in achieving employment for the disconnected population.

  • Approximately 29 percent of disconnected low-income single mothers have less than a high school education, compared to 18 percent of all low-income single mothers.
  • Nearly 17 percent of disconnected low-income single mothers are noncitizens, compared to 10 percent of all low-income single mothers.
  • Roughly 20 percent of disconnected low-income single mothers reported a health condition that prevents them from working, compared to 13 percent of all low-income single mothers.

The report suggests that TANF employment strategies for improving economic well-being currently used for low-income single mothers may be appropriate for the disconnected population. However, the report also points to the need for devising strategies specific to the chronically disconnected population.

Disconnected Families and TANF, by Pamela J. Loprest, is available on the OPRE website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/other_resrch/tanf_ccdf/reports/disconnected.pdf  (201 KB)

Using TANF Funds to Support Subsidized Youth Employment: The 2010 Summer Youth Employment Initiative, presents findings from a study of 10 sites in seven States that used TANF Emergency Funds, along with other funding, to subsidize youth employment programs in 2009 and 2010. Specifically, the study examined:

  • Partnerships between States and local TANF and other workforce agencies
  • The effects of the Emergency TANF funds on specific elements of youth employment initiatives
  • The overall work experience of youth participants

Using TANF Funds to Support Subsidized Youth Employment: The 2010 Summer Youth Employment Initiative, by Linda Rosenberg, Megan Hague Angus, Cassandra Pickens, and Michelle Derr, is available on the OPRE website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/welfare_employ/summer_sub/sye_tanf.pdf (677 KB)

Other recently released OPRE Reports include:

 

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