During the twentieth century, the U.S. both saw the development of a social welfare system to serve families and a subsequent dramatic overhaul of that system. The first part of the course considers ... read more
During the twentieth century, the U.S. both saw the development of a social welfare system to serve families and a subsequent dramatic overhaul of that system. The first part of the course considers the changes to the American welfare state over time. It analyses the evolution from 1965 to 1996 of the Aid for Families with Dependent Children Program and other social welfare programs and policies that shaped the social safety net for non-elderly. We will examine the different and changing philosophies that have influenced social welfare policy in the U.S., with a strong focus on understanding the ways in which notions concerning race and gender have shaped policy. The section concludes with a discussion of the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996.
The second part of the course considers the legacy of the 1996 reform and the operation and effects of the new program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. In this section we will examine the implementation and administration of the program and its effects on current and former recipients. Since TANF caseloads are currently small, we will examine other programs and policies that can or could assist low-income families.
The final part of the course takes a comparative view and a look forward the future. We will examine social welfare programs and policies in other advanced industrial nations. Particular attention will be paid to analyzing a wide range of social policy reform options that might be implemented within the U.S. to reduce poverty.