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Red Flags: Research Raises Concerns About the Impact of Welfare Reform on Child Maltreatment

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Publication Date: October 2001

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Rutledge Q. Hutson

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


One of the ways that TANF could impact child and family well-being is through its effects on the incidence of child abuse and neglect. While research on such impacts has been limited, the existing research raises red flags. It is not conclusive, but there are suggestions that some of the policies adopted under TANF may be increasing maltreatment, particularly rates of neglect. There are also indications that the effects may be most concentrated in more disadvantaged families. The paper concludes with a set of reauthorization recommendations to help families maintain stability.

Supplementary file: Fact sheet based on data in the report.