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NCJ Number: 201279 Find in a Library
Title: How TANF Can Support Ex-Offender Parents in the Transition to Self-Sufficiency: Getting to Work
Author(s): Gwen Rubenstein
Corporate Author: Legal Action Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: April 2001
Page Count: 37
Sponsoring Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, MD 21202
Legal Action Ctr
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Legal Action Ctr
153 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This booklet explains how the Federal block grant to States called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) can be used to support ex-offender parents in their transition to self-sufficiency.
Abstract: TANF imposes a 5-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits, requires welfare recipients to work to receive benefits, and strengthens child support enforcement requirements for non-custodial parents. An employment barrier that has not been significantly studied or addressed is the effect of criminal records on parents, both custodial and non-custodial, of TANF children. These families need a range of services -- including education, job training, job placement, job retention, and alcohol and drug treatment -- to make the transition from welfare to work, pay their child support, and avoid recidivism. The TANF program provides States the flexibility to provide both assistance to some of these families and "non-assistance," primarily in the form of services. State and local welfare agencies can take steps to ensure that many of these families remain eligible for benefits. This can be done by conducting prerelease screening of incarcerated parents of TANF children for TANF, food stamps, and medicaid; this will enable the families of released offenders to start receiving income support as soon as possible after their release. States and localities can also opt out of or narrow the ban on benefits for individuals with drug felony convictions, so as to ensure access to subsistence benefits, as well as funding for alcohol and drug treatment. Further, States and localities should adopt a narrow definition of the ban on benefits for individuals found to be in violation of a condition of their parole or probation, so as to avoid an unnecessary loss of TANF benefits. This booklet also provides detailed recommendations for how States and localities can use TANF funds to help ex-offender parents of TANF children to receive pre-employment services and job placement and retention services. 3 tables, 106 notes, a 44-item bibliography, and appended information on State implementation of a ban on TANF and food stamps for individuals convicted of drug felonies
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Child welfare; Children of incarcerated offenders; Employment services; Ex-offender employment; Ex-offenders; Ex-offenders rights; Prerelease programs; Probation or parole services; Welfare services
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