Working Poor Families by uda13689


									                                                                                    Working Poor Families
Jordan Institute for Families  School of Social Work  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill                            August 2008

Families are Important                          Definitions and Prevalence
                                                Poor and working in America.
                                                                                                 have noted that simply earning more
                                                                                                 than the FPL does not protect vulnerable
Families are not cast in molds.                                                                  families from experiencing the impact of
                                                By Laurie Selz Campbell                          poverty in their day to day lives (for
Families can be single parents                  Contrary to commonly held assumptions,           example, Boushey, Brocht, Gundersen, &
raising children, gay or lesbian                to be poor in America does not mean to           Bernstein, 2001; Brooks, 2007; Pearce,
partners, a grandmother raising                 be unemployed. The Bureau of Labor               2007). The Urban Institute (2008) has
                                                Statistics (2007) reported that, in 2005,        asserted that, even with incomes up to
a grandchild, or a group of                     37 million people (12.6% of the US pop-          200% of the FPL, families are often are
friends living together. By choice              ulation) lived below the Federal Poverty
or by chance, families are the                  Level (FPL). Of these, 7.7 million were
                                                classified as “working poor,” an
bonds we all form. Simple catego-               increase of .7 percent from 2000. The
ries cannot house complex networks              Bureau of Labor Statistics defines
of relationships. Families have many            “working poor” as having spent a
                                                majority of the past year in the labor
variables. Using research literature,           force, but still living below the FPL.
FamilyTrends describes different                    Significantly, nearly 60% of working
family forms and identifies character-          poor persons were employed full-time.
                                                Working poor persons tended to have
istics common to certain family                 completed fewer years of schooling
types. Because to really understand             than working non-poor persons. In
the needs of families—to shape poli-            addition, African American and
                                                Hispanic persons were among the ranks
cy and inform practice—we must                  of the working poor at a rate approxi-
begin by understanding families                 mately twice that of White persons
themselves.                                     (10.5% vs. 4.7%). In addition, women
                                                were among the working poor at a high-
FamilyTrends Briefs                             er rate than men (6.1% vs. 4.8%).

About this Series                               Working poor families.
FamilyTrends Briefs is a series designed        The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
to inform practitioners, policy makers,         as well on families with children, and
                                                the picture is even more disturbing. In          unable to meet basic needs, and have no
and researchers about the varied family
                                                2005, for families with at least one work-       safety net that could sustain them in the
structures that exist today. Each brief
                                                ing parent, about 3.6 million (9.5% of all       event of job loss or health crisis. The
focuses on a specific family form by
                                                working families with children) were             Economic Policy Institute (2002) com-
highlighting strengths, vulnerabilities,
                                                among the ranks of the working poor.             puted “Basic Needs Budgets” for fami-
and suggestions for practice and policy.
                                                Single-parent families were significantly        lies, and found that, depending on geo-
References are provided for those wish-
                                                more likely than two-parent families to          graphical area, families needed between
ing to seek further information.
                                                be among the working poor, particularly          175% and 330% of the FPL to subsist in
    The series has been researched, writ-
                                                families headed by a single mother. Two          a way that ensures their safety and health
ten and edited by the Jordan Institute for
                                                parent families were among the working           (the budget included food, housing,
Families at the School of Social Work at
                                                poor at a rate of 5.5%, with single fathers      transportation, healthcare, taxes, child-
The University of North Carolina at
                                                and single mothers at 12.4% and 22.6%,           care, and other basic living expenses,
Chapel Hill. Although reference is made
                                                respectively.                                    such as telephone, clothing, and school
to North Carolina, FamilyTrends Briefs
                                                    It is important to note that the above       supplies for children).
contains information universal in appeal
                                                figures are widely considered underesti-              Using 200% FPL as a more realistic
and application.
                                                mates of the gravity of the situation for        indicator of poverty, researchers at the
    Additional FamilyTrends Briefs are
                                                working poor families in our country.            Annie E. Casey Foundation estimated
available at <>.
                                                Numerous researchers and economists              that, rather than the 3.6 million (9.5%)
cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, above, as many as 9.2            Similarly, poverty has been shown to profoundly affect chil-
million (27.4%) of working families in the United States are          dren. Vandivere, O’Hare, Atienza, and Rivers (2007), reporting
among the working poor (Waldron, Roberts, & Reamer,                   data from over 102,000 families, found that, compared to chil-
2004). About half of working poor families are headed by              dren who were not living in poverty, poor children were more
married parents, 40% by single mothers, and 10% by single             likely to:
fathers. Dissatisfaction with the FPL has spawned the Living
Wage Movement (Brooks, 2007), a rapidly growing grassroots            — Live in single parent families;
effort focused on states and municipalities, and advocating for       — Live with parents with mental health concerns;
legislation which ensures hourly wage rates that close the gap        — Live in households without phone, transportation, and other
between the Federal Minimum Wage and a more realistic self-             basic needs;
sufficiency wage.                                                     — Live in unsafe neighborhoods with inadequate or lower-quali-
                                                                        ty resources;
North Carolina                                                        — Be disconnected from their communities, not participating in
In addition to nation-wide statistics described above, the Annie        activities, teams, or clubs;
E. Casey has compiled state-level statistics on working poor          — Be in poor health, including obesity and other activity-limit-
                                                 families. These        ing conditions; and
The Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics2003,   that, in
                                                           indicate   — Experience emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges
                                                                        (depression, anxiety, social challenges, learning disabilities or
                                                 North Carolina         developmental delays).
   defines “working poor” as                     ranked 38th
having spent a majority of the among the states  in percentage of
                                                                           In addition, children living in poverty have been found to be
                                                                      less likely to receive supports that might help them to address
  past year in the labor force, working families below 200% of
                                                                      these challenges (Iversen & Armstrong, 2007; Newman & Chin,
                                                                      2003; Sobolewski & Amato, 2005). Gyamfi (2004) found that
 but still living below the FPL. the FPL, with   about one-third
                                                                      poor children with serious emotional or behavioral issues
                                                                      received fewer services overall, and a smaller range of services,
                                                 (32.4%) of fami-     than did non-poor children. Families in poverty are often forced
                                                 lies, and 45% of     to live in neighborhoods lacking in resources such as adequate
children, fitting this description. Consistent with national trends   schools, recreational facilities, and health care services
described above, minority North Carolina families are among           (Sobolewski &
the working poor at about twice the rate of White families            Amato, 2005).
(49% and 24%, respectively). It is noteworthy that North              Perhaps because of
Carolina ranked 42nd among the states in the percentage of            such resource pov-
minority working families among the working poor.                     erty, combined with
                                                                      financial hardship,
Strengths and Challenges                                              health and mental
The overall impact of poverty on adults and children.                 health problems,
The literature on the effects of poverty is abundant, suggesting      work stressors and
that poverty in a family is not only a risk factor in itself, but     conflicts, and the
that it can also worsen the impact of other challenges and diffi-     stringent demands
culties. Working poor adults experience a complex and wide-           of compliance with
ranging set of challenges (Siegel & Abbott, 2007). These              TANF regulations,
include:                                                              parents may have
                                                                      considerable diffi-
— Housing and food insecurity, or homelessness                        culties in meeting
— Child care problems (availability and/or quality)                   their children’s edu-
— Transportation problems (geographical distance from work-           cational needs.
  place, availability of public or private transportation)                 These same fac-
— Low levels of educational attainment, limited English skills        tors may increase children’s vulnerability to abuse and neglect.
— Lack of job skills, especially those that could lead to advance-    Poor children face continuing risk factors, including family and
  ment                                                                community violence, neglect, substance abuse, and health prob-
— Substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence chal-         lems (Drake & Pandey, 1996). While child abuse and neglect
  lenges                                                              cut across all socioeconomic levels, it is more likely to occur in
— Complex family needs (larger families, younger children, pres-      poor families experiencing multiple and complex stressors
  ence of a disabled relative who needs care)                         (Berger, 2005; Sedlak & Broadhurst, 1996). The significant
                                                                      overlap between TANF and child welfare populations has been
    In addition, working poor persons often experience chal-          documented (Courtney, Dworsky, Piliavin, & Zinn, 2005;
lenging workplace conditions, including stressful relations with      Romero, Chavkin, & Wise, 2000), suggesting the need for
coworkers, inability to advance, unsafe or unpleasant condi-          robust collaboration between service systems.
tions, and discrimination.
Resilience, strengths, and supports.                                    nation’s families. The legislation incorporates a range of bene-
Even with the considerable challenges and disadvantages that            fits, incentives, and supports for families to successfully exit
working poor families encounter, there are protective forces and        welfare. It also imposes time limits, work requirements, and
factors that work in their favor, supporting positive family rela-      sanctions on families to hasten their transition. While it is indis-
tionships and sustained employment, and promoting resilient             putable that welfare caseloads have decreased considerably and
adaptation for children. Orthner, Jones, and Williamson (2004)          many individuals have moved from welfare to work, the impact
found, in their study of 370 low-income North Carolina fami-            of welfare reform on sustained self-sufficiency has not been as
                                       lies, that relationship assets   positive as was hoped. Complicating matters, the relative eco-
           About half of               such as family cohesion,         nomic prosperity of the late 90’s has been replaced by a
                                       communication, and prob-         depressed economy more recently, introducing further complex-
           working poor                lem solving predict positive     ity to the issue. As noted by one researcher, “a decade later, the
                                       outcomes even in the con-        entire debate has shifted to the conundrum of the persistence of
     families are headed text of poverty. Similarly,                    poverty despite work” (Pearce, 2007, p. 1).
                                       research suggests that close
     by married parents, and positive relationships                     Exiting welfare.
                                       with friends and family can      Despite finding employment, families’ average earnings frequent-
          40% by single                provide a protective buffer      ly leave them with inadequate income to address their basic
                                       for poor children (Attree,       needs. This is especially true for one-parent families. For exam-
      mothers, and 10% 2004). Randolph, Fraser,                         ple, in their review of income-related census data for single par-
                                       and Orthner (2004) found         ents, Jones-DeWeever, Peterson, & Song (2003) found that fully
       by single fathers.              that active involvement in       78% of those exiting TANF did so only to enter low-skill, low-
                                       school-based extracurricular     earnings jobs with little or no
activities could reduce the likelihood of dropping out of high          advancement potential.
                                                                        Women tended to be in even
                                                                                                            Arguably, one of the
school for children in low-income families. Finally, Gennetian
and Miller (2002) found that targeted supports aimed at reduc-          lower-skill jobs than men, and
                                                                        earned significantly less. In
                                                                                                                most significant
ing poverty for working poor families yielded academic and
behavioral improvements in children.                                    addition, single mothers who
                                                                        were of ethnic minorities tend-
                                                                                                               challenges facing
     It is important to note that, despite resource limitations and
challenges, working poor families do manage to carve out “fam-          ed to remain in such positions
                                                                        longer than did White single
                                                                                                                 working poor
ily time” during the course of the day -- during meals, while
watching TV, or at playtime (Tubbs, Roy, & Burton, 2005). For           mothers.
                                                                             In his study of the early
                                                                                                               families is that of
this to happen, major schedule adjustments may need to occur,
such as keeping children awake later or changing parents’ sleep-        years of welfare reform,
                                                                        Cheng (2002) found that, of
                                                                                                                   health care.
ing patterns to allow for both work and parent-child interac-
tions. The Annie E. Casey Foundation data on the impact of              parents who transitioned into
poverty, described above, reflects similar findings. For example,       the workforce, fully 56% found themselves in employment situ-
there was no difference between children in poverty and higher-         ations that rendered them “working poor.” Further, the mean
income children in the rates of religious service attendance, or        income of the working poor families was considerably lower
in perceptions of children about the closeness of their relation-       (by 33%) than that of families who remained TANF recipients.
ships with their parents (for both, in the high 80% range). In          In a more recent study (2006), Cheng found that restrictions
addition, they found that low-income families eat meals togeth-         and sanctions, combined with few opportunities for education
er regularly at a higher rate than did higher-income families.          and skill training, increased the likelihood that a family would
     Families have also identified factors that support sustained       join the ranks of the working poor once they had entered the
employment. In her in-depth qualitative study of 20 women               workforce.
who successfully exited public assistance and obtained living
wage employment, Gray (2005) found that formal and informal
supports, specifically in the areas of housing, childcare, trans-
portation, and emergency assistance, were seen as essential to a
successful transition to self-sufficiency. In addition, the women
                                                                         Annotated Bibliography
stated that various employment-preparation supports (for exam-           For more information on these and other references
ple, tuition reimbursement and initial employment expenses)              on this topic, please visit the Annotated
were critical to positive outcomes.                                      Bibliography section of the FamilyTrends website
                                                                         ( This section summarizes
Contextual Factors: The Impact of Welfare Reform                         the research literature and other helpful sources for
    It is impossible to discuss the circumstances, experiences,
and needs of working poor families in the United States with-
                                                                         a particular FamilyTrends Brief. Journals for Social
out addressing the issues of welfare reform. The Personal                Work, Psychology, Marriage and Family, Public
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of                Policy and other similar disciplines are referenced.
1996 set in motion a sweeping set of policy and practice chang-          This list will be updated periodically in order to
es aimed at increasing the economic self-sufficiency of our              capture the most recent literature.
The loss of critical resources                                      subsidized coverage (Guendelman & Pearl, 2001; Guendelman,
The energetic reduction in the welfare rolls has meant that         Wyn, & Tsai, 2002; Guendelman, Angulo, & Oman, 2005). In
many families enter the workforce without critical resources.       “child-only” cases, children whose parents lose their TANF
Boushey (2002) found that fully 47% of families leaving welfare     benefits because of sanctions, receive less regular and adequate
experienced one or more “critical hardship” (p. 1), including       healthcare, even though they are still receiving Medicaid.
hunger, homelessness, health crises with inadequate care, and            Hofferth (1995), reporting data from the National Child
problems with childcare.                                            Care Survey 1990 and A Profile of Child Care Settings, stated
    Some have suggested that exiting welfare can actually wors-     that working poor families experience disadvantages in both
en a family’s income and life circumstances, because of the loss    access to and quality of child care. Overall, working poor fami-
of benefits and lack of accessible or affordable alternatives       lies received less in the way of subsidized care than did non-
(Basta, 2007; Guendelman & Pearl, 2001; Iverson &                   working poor families, and were more likely to turn to informal
Armstrong, 2007; Romich, Simmelink, & Holt, 2007). Meyers           care settings that ranged markedly in quality. This is particularly
and Lee (2003), in their study of families who exited TANF in       important as children in poverty are at already increased risk
New York City, found                                                for a wide range of problems and challenges, and as high quali-
that they were much             Poor children face                  ty childcare programs have been shown to enhance cognitive
less likely to receive                                              and behavioral outcomes for poor young children with working
food or housing assis-       continuing risk factors,               parent(s) (Lee, 2005).
tance, and were less                                                     Research suggests that the TANF benefit of subsidized
likely to have health         including family and                  childcare is a critical support, particularly for single parents.
insurance than were                                                 Brooks (2002) found that TANF families not receiving childcare
families still receiving      community violence,                   subsidies spent twice as much money on childcare as did their
TANF benefits.                                                      subsidized counterparts, and that the care was less stable and
Anderson and               neglect, substance abuse,                less likely to be provided by a licensed center. In addition, par-
Gryzlak (2002) found                                                ents receiving subsidies were more likely to be employed and
that families were            and health problems.                  less likely to be very poor than those who were non-subsidized.
often unaware that                                                  Similarly, Danziger, Ananat, & Browning (2002) found that
some supplemental                                                   having childcare subsidies during the transition from welfare to
supports could, under certain conditions, continue to be avail-     work predicted longer employment duration and greater earn-
able to them.                                                       ings for families. In their research on obstacles to self-sufficien-
    Arguably, one of the most significant challenges facing         cy for welfare families, Press, Johnson-Dias, and Fagan (2005)
working poor families is that of health care. Clemans-Cope,         estimated that childcare could reduce the likelihood of full-time
Kenney, Pantell, & Perry (2007) observed that, even though          employment by as much as 18%.
they were employed, fully 60% of families living below 100%
FPL, and 40% of those between 100% and 200% FPL, had                “Disconnected” workers.
access to employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). They           Some researchers (Blank, 2007; Loprest & Zedlewski, 2006;
noted, further, that only about 60% of low-income workers who       Schleiter, Statham, & Reinders, 2005) have identified a small
do have access to ESI actually accept it, because the deductibles   group of working poor single mothers with the most complex
and co-pays are so often prohibitively costly. Some have sug-       and severe barriers to work. Blank has described these as “dis-
gested that working poor families (even those who work full-        connected” workers. They are no longer eligible for TANF
time) have access to fewer resources than do nonworking poor        because they have reached their 5-year time limit or have been
families, who likely have greater access to Medicaid and other      sanctioned for not maintaining full time employment. They
                                                                    tend to be younger mothers with larger families, are often sup-
                                                                    porting other disabled family members, have less education,
                                                                    more learning disabilities, and frequent mental health, sub-
                                                                    stance abuse, and/or domestic violence issues. They may have
                                                                    criminal records, which significantly affect their housing and
                                                                    employment prospects. They struggle to maintain employment,
                                                                    and have been unable to transition to self-sufficiency, but their
                                                                    disabilities are not severe enough to qualify for SSI. The
                                                                    researchers have suggested that this group of working poor fam-
                                                                    ilies is at particular risk, and represent 20-25% of those who
                                                                    exit welfare.

                                                                    Implications for Policy and Practice
                                                                    Addressing the needs of working poor families with multiple
                                                                    barriers to employment has not been a simple or straightfor-
                                                                    ward task. It has been challenging to develop interventions that
                                                                    truly support sustained self-sufficiency. Such interventions
                                                                    would need to address not only individual barriers, but work-
                                                                    place issues, labor practices, and social service barriers as well.
    Increasingly, the importance of such support has become                          ment, workplace relationships, and other skills that can affect
glaringly apparent in both private and public sectors, since such                    employment tenure and advancement. Ideally, such training will
a significant proportion of working families have remained in                        be developed and delivered with an explicit focus on the needs
poverty. Diana Pearce has noted that, “awareness that people’s                       of local employers (Beimers & Fischer, 2007; Martinson,
troubles are at least complicated, if not caused by structural fail-                 Winston, & Kellam, 2007), and consist of active collaboration
ings of the economy and polity, rather than individual failings,                     among business sectors, nonprofit or foundation sectors, univer-
should both inform direct treatment, and broaden the arenas in                       sities, community colleges, and public/social services.
which social workers act on behalf of and with clients … the
transformation of the poverty discussion to a focus on working                       Targeted supports for disconnected workers.
poverty reinforces the importance of the social and economic                         Addressing the needs of parents who experience multiple and
context for understanding and treating clients” (p. 3).                              complex needs continues to be a pressing and challenging con-
    A number of researchers, program innovators, and experts                         cern. In their review of current research in this area, Loprest
in the field have developed and tested such interventions, and                       and Martinson (2008) suggested that, to date, the outcomes of
have identified a set of working guidelines and principles for                       interventions targeting this group of vulnerable families (includ-
effective strategies. These are described below.                                     ing intensive treatment, employment coaching, and life skills
                                                                                     education) have been equivocal at best. While employment may
Affordable health insurance for both parents and children.                           increase, the majority of participants remain in low-income
It has been argued that addressing the significant gap in insur-                     positions, and employment tenure remains tenuous.
ance coverage for working Americans would benefit workers,
their children, and their employers. Clemans-Cope et. al (2007)                      Loprest and Martinson recommended a series of promising pro-
summarized research findings related to health coverage (and its                     gram directions based on their review of current research.
absence), and observed that, consistently, adequate health insur-                    These include:
ance was associated with improved health and mental health
status for parents and children, as well as reduced absenteeism                      — Interventions combining mental health and/or substance
and greater productivity in the workplace. Recommendations                             abuse treatment with subsidized/supported employment;
regarding health coverage have included a wide range of strate-
gies, including expanded eligibility criteria for public benefits,                   — Intensive case management providing for coordination of ser-
creation of small business and low-income purchasing pools,                            vices and continuous monitoring and support;
insurance premium subsidies for low-income persons, and pro-
vision of employer incentives or tax credits (see, for example,                      — Removal of the disincentives to work, so that increased
Perry & Blumberg, 2008).                                                               employment tenure does not lead to the immediate loss of
                                                                                       public benefits
Workplace supports that are typical of higher-skill, higher-earning jobs extending
to the jobs in which many working poor families are employed.                        These intervention strategies would require federal involvement
These include, in addition to health insurance, the availability                     and support in order to modify current TANF regulations to
of paid sick and vacation time, family leave, and flexibility in                     accommodate their implementation, and to collaborate in the
schedules, ongoing childcare supports, creative supports for                         development of appropriate funding streams. For example, in
families’ transportation needs, and support for continuing edu-                      her discussion of the vulnerabilities and needs of disconnected
cation and skill development. As discussed above, one of the                         workers, Blank (2007) recommended a “Temporary and Partial
challenges for families exiting TANF is that they lose the very                      Waiver Program” for disconnected workers, designed specifical-
supports that have aided them in returning to the workforce,                         ly to create a safety net for these most vulnerable women. Such
leaving them at risk for illness, absenteeism, and tenuous                           a waiver would provide flexibility in the time limits, work
employment. It has been argued that investing in such supports                       requirements, and sanctions imposed within TANF, in order to
actually increases employee retention and productivity (Strawn                       support the greatest possible self-sufficiency, while recognizing
& Martinson, 2002). As with health coverage, recommended                             and accommodating the longer process often required for
strategies range from government subsidies to individuals to                         women with such complex and entrenched problems.
employer incentives.
                                                                                     A multi-faceted and collaborative process.
Ongoing education about financial issues contributing to self-sufficiency.           In terms of the process of service delivery, there is considerable
Such education should address the availability of benefits after                     consistency in the literature that the more streamlined, centrally
exiting TANF, as well as the Earned Income Tax Credit, asset                         located, and multi-disciplinary the services, the more accessible
building, predatory lending, working with banks and other                            they will be to families, and thus, the more effective. Bryner and
financial institutions, and other topics of importance. Pilot                        Martin (2005), in their review of welfare-to-work interventions,
efforts in this arena have shown promising results (Anderson,                        suggested that the optimal service model combines “human
Zhan, & Scott, 2007).                                                                capital development” (education, training, skill development)
                                                                                     with “labor force attachment strategies” (job development and
Effective preparation for employment and training/career advancement strategies.     placement). One such collaboration, for example, joined aca-
Such activities must be tailored to the needs of the individual as                   demic, business, human resource, educational, and financial
well as the current labor market. Such preparation may well                          institutions in an effort to advocate for and support low-income
include treatment for mental health and/or substance abuse dis-                      employees (Hoffmire, 2007).
orders, as well as training in problem solving, stress manage-                           Experts call for genuine collaboration among private and
public sectors, including social services, employers, unions,          Cheng, T. (2006). How is “welfare-to-work” shaped by contingen-
community colleges, health professionals, educators, and the            cies of economy, welfare policy, and human capital?
like. Finally, the use of intensive case management, continuing         International Journal of Social Welfare, 16, 212-219.
for as long as needed, is recommended as a critical resource for
vulnerable working poor families navigating the path to self-suf-      Cheng, T. (2002). Welfare recipients: How do they become inde-
ficiency.                                                               pendent? Social Work Research, 26(3), 159-170.

References                                                             Clemans-Cope, L., Kenney, G. M., Pantell, M., & Perry, C.
Anderson, S. G. & Gryzlak, B. (2002). Social work advocacy in            (2007). Access to employer-sponsored health insurance among low-
 the post-TANF environment: Lessons from early TANF                      income families: Who has access and who doesn’t? Washington, DC:
 research studies. Social Work, 47(3), 301-314.                          The Urban Institute.

Anderson, S. G., Halter, A. P., & Gryzlak, B. M. (2004).               Courtney, M. E., Dworsky, A., Piliavin, I., & Zinn, A. (2005).
 Difficulties after leaving TANF: Inner-city women talk about           Involvement of TANF applicant families with child welfare
 reasons for returning to welfare. Social Work, 49(2), 185-195.         services. Social Service Review, 79(1), 119-157.

Anderson, S. G., Zhan, M., & Scott, J. (2007). Improving the           Danziger, S. K., Ananat, E. O. & Browning, K. G. (2004).
 knowledge and attitudes of low income families about banking           Childcare subsidies and the transition from welfare to work.
 and predatory financial practices. Families in Society, 88(3),         Family Relations, 53(2), 219-228.
                                                                       Drake, B. & Pandey, S. (1996). Understanding the relationship
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2008). Kids count profile for North          between neighborhood poverty and specific types of child mal-
 Carolina. Washington, DC: Annie E. Casey Foundation.                   treatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 20(11), 1003-1018.

Attree, P. (2004). Growing up in disadvantage: a systematic            Gennetian, L. A. & Miller, C. (2002). Children and welfare
 review of the qualitative evidence. Child: Care, Health, &             reform: A view from an experimental welfare program in
 Development, 30(6), 679-689.                                           Minnesota. Child Development, 73(2), 601-620.

Basta, M. (2007). The difficulty of obtaining a child care subsidy:    Gooden, S. T. (2006). Addressing racial disparities in social wel-
  Implications for policy and practice. Families in Society, 88(3),     fare programs: Using social equity analysis to examine the
  427-436.                                                              problem. Journal of Health & Social Policy, 22(2), 1-12.

Beimers, D. & Fischer, R. L. (2007). Pathways to employment:           Gray, K. A. (2005). Women who succeeded in leaving public
  The experiences of TANF recipients with employment servic-            assistance for a living wage job. Qualitative Social Work, 4(3),
  es. Families in Society, 88(3), 391-400.                              309-326.

Berger, L. M. (2005). Income, family characteristics, and physical     Guendelman, S., Angulo, V., & Oman, D. (2005). Access to
  violence toward children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29(2), 107-133.      health care for children and adolescents in working poor fami-
                                                                        lies: Recent findings from California. Medical Care, 43(1), 68-78.
Blank, R. M. (2007). Improving the safety net for single mothers
  who face serious barriers to work. The Future of Children, 17(2),    Guendelman, S., Wyn, R., & Tsai, Y. (2002). Children of work-
  183-197.                                                              ing poor families in California: The effects of insurance status
                                                                        on access and utilization of primary health care. Journal of
Boushey, H. (2002). Former Welfare Families Need More Help:             Health & Social Policy, 14(4), 1-20.
 Hardships Await Those Making the Transition to Workforce.
 Washington, D.C. : Economic Policy Institute.                         Guendelman, S. & Pearl, M. (2001). Access to care for children
                                                                        of the working poor. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine,
Boushey, H., Brocht, C., Gundersen, B., & Bernstein, J. (2001).         155, 651-658.
 Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families.
 Washington, D.C. : Economic Policy Institute.                         Gyafmi, P. (2004). Children with serious emotional disturbance:
                                                                        the impact of poverty and receipt of public assistance on
Brooks, F. (2002). Impacts of child care subsidies on family and        behavior, functioning, and service use. Children and Youth
  child well-being. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 17, 498-511.    Services Review, 26, 1129-1139.

Brooks, F. (2007). The living wage movement: Potential implica-        Hofferth, S. L. (1995). Caring for children at the poverty line.
  tions for the working poor. Families in Society, 88(3), 437-442.      Children and Youth Service Review, 17, 61-90.

Bryner, G. & Martin, G. (2005). Innovation in welfare policy:          Hoffmire, J. S. (2007). Promising practices in the development
  Evaluating state efforts to encourage work among low-income           and distribution of asset-building products and programs.
  families. Review of Policy Research, 22(3), 325-343.                  Families in Society, 88(3), 472-474.
Iverson, R. R. & Armstrong, A. L. (2007). Parents’ work, depres-         Schleiter, M. K., Statham, A., & Reinders, T. (2005). Challenges
  sive symptoms, children, and family economic mobility: What              faced by women with disabilities under TANF. Journal of
  can ethnography tell us? Families in Society, 88(3), 339-350.            Women, Politics, and Policy, 27(3/4), 81-95.

Jones-DeWeever, A., Peterson, J., & Song, X. (2003). Before and          Siegel, D. I. & Abbott, A. A. (2007). The work lives of the low-
  after welfare reform: The work and well-being of low-income single       income welfare poor. Families in Society, 88(3), 401-412.
  parent families. Washington, DC: Institute for Women’s Policy
  Research.                                                              Sedlak, A. J. & Broadhurst, D. D. (1996). Executive summary of the
                                                                           third national incidence study of child abuse and neglect.
Lee, K. (2005). Effects of experimental center-based child care on         Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families,
  developmental outcomes of young children living in poverty.              National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
  Social Service Review, 79, 158-181.
                                                                         Sobolewski, J. M. & Amato, P. R. (2005). Economic hardship in
Loprest, P. & Martinson, K. (2008). Supporting work for low-income         the family of origin and children’s psychological well-being in
 people with significant challenges (New Safety Net Paper 5).              adulthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, 141-156.
 Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
                                                                         Strawn, J. & Martinson, K. (2002). Steady work and better jobs: How
Loprest, P. & Zedlewdki, S. (2006). The changing role of welfare in        to help low-income parents sustain employment and advance in the
 the lives of low-income families with children (Occasional Paper #        workforce. Oakland, CA: Manpower Demonstration Research
 73 from the Assessing the New Federalism series). Washington,             Corp.
 DC: The Urban Institute.
                                                                         Tubbs, C. Y., Roy, K. M., & Burton, L. M. (2005). Family ties:
Martinson, K., Winston, P., & Kellam, S. (2007). Public and pri-           Constructing family time in low-income families. Family Process,
 vate roles in supporting working families: An Urban Institute             44(1), 77-91.
 Roundtable. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
                                                                         U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2007). A profile of the working poor,
Meyers, M. K. & Lee, J. M. (2003). Working but poor: How are               2005 (Report 1001). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
 families faring? Children and Youth Services Review, 25(3),               Labor.

Newman, K. S., & Chin, M. M. (2003).              About the Jordan Institute
 High stakes: Time, poverty, testing, and              Created in 1996, the Jordan Institute for Families is the research, training, and
 the children of the working poor.                technical assistance arm of the School of Social Work at The University of North
 Qualitative Sociology, 26(1), 3-34.              Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Jordan Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organiza-
                                                  tion that develops knowledge and promotes practices and policies that build sup-
Orthner, D. K., Jones-Sanpei, H., &               portive families and stable communities.
 Williamson, S. (2004). The resilience and             Cutting across traditional disciplinary lines, the Jordan Institute is a conduit
 strengths of low-income families. Family         partnering scholars and researchers from complementary fields. This interdisciplin-
 Relations, 53(2), 159-167.                       ary approach leads to rich and relevant research and training and ensures that the
                                                  Jordan Institute makes substantive and systemic contributions to policy and prac-
Pearce, D. M. (2007). When work is not the        tice.
  answer: new challenges for the millenni-             The Jordan Institute addresses family issues across the lifespan that threaten to
  um. Families in Society, 88(3), 1-3.            undermine some families-such as poverty, abuse, mental illness, school failure, and
                                                  substance abuse-as well as challenges that confront most families--such as provid-
Perry, C. D. & Blumberg, L. J. (2008).            ing for aging family members and caring for young children.
  Making work pay II: Comprehensive health             For more information about the Jordan Institute and
  insurance for low-income working families       its projects, please visit <>.
  (New Safety Net Paper 2). Washington,
  DC: The Urban Institute.

Press, J., Johnson-Dias, J., & Fagan, J. (2005). Welfare status and      Vandivere, S., O’Hare, W. P., Atienza, A., & Rivers, K. L. (2007).
  child care as obstacles to full-time work for low-income moth-           States ranked on the basis of the condition of children in low-income
  ers. Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy, 27(3/4), 55-79.               families: A KIDS COUNT working paper. Baltimore, MD: Annie
                                                                           E. Casey Foundation
Randolph, K. A., Fraser, M. W., & Orthner, D. K. (2004).
 Educational resilience among youth at risk. Substance use &             Waldron, T., Roberts, B., & Reamer, A. (2004). Working hard, fall-
 Misuse, 39(5), 747-767.                                                  ing short: America’s working families and the pursuit of economic
                                                                          security. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Romero, D., Chavkin, W., & Wise, P. (2000). The impact of wel-
 fare reform policies on child protective services: A national
 study. Journal of Social Issues, 56(4), 799-810.

To top