Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) was originally designed to make aid available to poor single mothers caring for children at home, according to Linda Gordon. ADC first functioned as federal grants to states that helped fund their mothers’ aid laws passed between 1910 and 1930. This legislation authorized states and case workers to determine eligibility standards and the amount of benefits. ADC provided cash assistance to cover expenses including food, rent, utilities, and clothing. The first campaign for public assistance began in the 1890s for deserted wives, as related by Theda Skocpol. Social workers set up desertion bureaus to track down husbands and force them to pay child support. Conservative reformers asserted that these men were justified in their actions because their wives were untidy, ...

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