Academic journal article Policy & Practice of Public Human Services

Letter from the Executive Director

Academic journal article Policy & Practice of Public Human Services

Letter from the Executive Director

Article excerpt

The American Public Human Services Association is proud to present this new journal that explores aspects of public human services policy and practice. In this issue, our focus is on where we are two years after the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. This federal law represents the most significant social policy initiative of our generation--it includes the devolution to the states of authority and responsibility associated with operating the nation's primary public assistance program for families and children. The program for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has replaced the one for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. TANF stresses personal responsibility and work, permits state flexibility and innovation, and limits federal funding to the states.

The most dramatic observable changes in the national welfare program to date are the continuing decline in caseloads and the proliferation of state innovations and initiatives. Welfare caseloads have dropped to historic lows and state governments have put forward sweeping initiatives in child care, employment services, transportation, welfare diversion, substance abuse, and many others. …

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