PRRAC Poverty & Race Research Action Council
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Frequently Asked Questions About Race, Gender, and Family Issues

1.Where can I find current census data for statistics about race, gender, and families?

Census data is organized by subject, so you can locate the subject of the data that you are looking for from an alphabetical list. For example, you might choose Children in Poverty or Households and Families Data. Once on the subject page, scroll down until you locate the specific graph or table desired. The National Center for Children in Poverty also compiles fact sheets that compare data and highlight particular findings from research surrounding low-income families.

2.What is the current state of child care policy?

The Administration for Children and Families details up-to-date laws governing child-care. The current child care program, which was passed as a part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, enables parents to continue working by providing them with a means to afford child care. Parents are eligible only if they are considered low-income, in a transition period to financial independence, or if the parent is provisionally receiving financial assistance from the government.

3.What are the current requirements to be eligible for welfare?

In order to apply for welfare (TANF), you must be considered low-income and live in the United States legally. Most funds are used for families with children, and the majority of recipients of TANF are women. However, beyond those preliminary requirements and statistics, general discretion is given to the states. The Economic Policy Institute explains the aid that the government gives needy families and the conditions under which a person becomes eligible to receive federal money.

4.Where can I find studies on the effects of growing up in a low-income household or community?

The Growing Up in Poverty Project outlines some of the possible effects of being raised in a low-income community. One specific study, displays statistical analysis through graphs and charts so that the effects of growing up in a low-income household can be quantified.

5.Where can I find reports on how welfare and child care policies can be improved?

The Urban Institute, a non-profit economic and social policy research organization, performed an analysis of the current state of welfare and made a proposal for reform. The Center for Budget Policy and Priorities also creates proposals that modify current legislation. For example, CBPP outlined changes for the TANF Act before reauthorization.

6.What is the likelihood that TANF will be reauthorized for an extended period of time?

Some differing opinions on the potential for reauthorization of TANF can be found here, or here.






















PRRAC Research Guide, 7/1/2004. Update June 2006.

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