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Welfare Reform and Substance Abuse

In 1996, federal legislation known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was passed. This legislation represented a sea change in welfare policy. Key changes made by PRWORA legislation include shifting funding for welfare benefits from a federal entitlement to a state block-grant program and incorporating time-limited benefits and the addition of work requirements for receipt of benefits. The state block-grant program resulting from PRWORA legislation is known as the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program. Since the passage of PRWORA, research to date has focused on identifying barriers to employment among recipients of welfare that include mental health, substance abuse, human capital deficits, and domestic violence. The current entry (a) presents a brief history of welfare legislation, culminating in TANF ...

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