From Work Support to Work Motivator: Child Care Subsidies and Caseworker Discretion in the Post-Welfare Reform Era

Linda Houser, Sanford F. Schram, Joe Soss, Richard C. Fording

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 1996 legislative reform of welfare shifted provision away from cash assistance and toward a litany of work-support services, central among which are child care subsidies (Allard 2009). As part of a larger study of welfare reform in Florida, we conducted semistructured field interviews with more than 50 welfare transition caseworkers in four purposively selected regions. Consistent with Lipsky's emphasis on worker decisions as concrete manifestations of policy intentions, we find that caseworkers' interpretations of the priorities of TANF have substantial influence over decision making regarding the use and withdrawal of child care subsidies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-193
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Women, Politics and Policy
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • TANF casework
  • child care subsidies
  • welfare reform
  • work requirement

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