Host: American Enterprise Institute. The welfare reform of the 1990s was an unusual success for American social policy. By requiring more welfare mothers to work, reformers aimed to move them into jobs and reduce welfare rolls. Unexpectedly, reform was accompanied by a greater decline of caseloads—over 60 percent—that had previously been anticipated by research. The fall was not caused only by more welfare mothers going to work. Other single mothers took jobs directly and bypassed welfare entirely—a phenomenon known as diversion. No one has explained these effects. They are important because they suggest that antipoverty measures could also have systemic impacts in other areas, such as the problems of low-income men, that are now getting attention.
At this conference, leading field researchers who observed welfare reform first-hand will offer their own explanations and address the questions: What forces generated diversion and thus transformed welfare? And what does this imply for future social policy?
Added by insideronline on November 3, 2008