University of Wisconsin–Madison
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TANF turns 20

A group of the nation’s leading experts on welfare reform, including analysts and policymakers and practitioners who helped enact or implement it, gathered in September 2016 at the Brookings Institution to discuss the effects of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), what the landmark legislation sought to do, and its effects on target groups. The event, hosted by the Brookings Center on Children and Families and the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research and co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the University of California-Davis Center for Poverty Research, was intended to produce a bipartisan synthesis on welfare reform with an eye toward future improvements in the national safety net that encourages work while also supporting disadvantaged families. This brief summarizes the meeting’s presentations and remarks; the opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the participants and should not be construed as representing the opinions of the sponsoring institutions.


Child Development & Well-Being, Child Poverty, Children, Employment, Family & Partnering, Family Structure, Low-Wage Work, Unemployment/Nonemployment


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