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Making Ends Meet: A Single Mother's Struggles

983 words - 4 pages

In 1996 legislation was introduced to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (TANF). This Act eliminated the other well known program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). In changing the nature of the program many poor single-mothers now may not meet the eligibility requirements to receive certain benefits. I believe that the change in legislation does not look out for the interest of the single-mother or her children, but only benefits the government finically. On my way to work each day I drive through an area called, "The Village". In this area there are rows of homes that are all painted the same color, built the same way, and have the same front yards. In these front yards I see the children who are affected by so many of the changes that government has instilled on the welfare system. I wonder if any realizes that by cutting and changing these guidelines, it is the children who suffer. Recently a census study showed that the poverty level for the elderly is at an all-time low, but the poverty level among children continues in an upward spike. I know that are many misconceptions a about single-mothers on welfare but, being a poor single-mother does not mean you are a bad parent. With the introduction of TANF, states now have an upper hand on administering public assistance. It is now required that single mother's who receive cash assistance meet a work participation requirement with two years of receiving these benefits. This means that after two years of receiving finical support a mother is then required to find employment. Each state can choose to implement a shorter time limit on receiving this assistance. Many in governmental roles consider this reform on welfare a success; I do not find this to be true. Making a single-mother find employment has good intension, but has not been thought out thoroughly. When a mother goes back to work they may have more income, but they will also have more expenses then when on welfare. Mother's who now have jobs have to pay for childcare, transportation, food allotment, medical benefits, and extra rent. A single-mother who has an income no longer qualifies for other welfare benefits she was receiving, such as; low cost day-care, food stamps, state medical insurance, and HUD. What happens what a mother on the new welfare system goes back to work and loses her job? If this mother has used all her allotted time on the system she is then to fend for herself and her family. The states have yet to address this matter as an important issue. They are rather, waiting for this issue to become an increasingly important issue. In order to build a support system that allows...

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