Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Program Keeps Teen Mothers in School, Study Shows Threat of Cuts in Welfare Motivates Women to Stay in Programs Leading to Self-Sufficiency

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Program Keeps Teen Mothers in School, Study Shows Threat of Cuts in Welfare Motivates Women to Stay in Programs Leading to Self-Sufficiency

Article excerpt

Teen-age mothers are more likely to stay in school or job-training programs when threatened with a big cut in their welfare check, a study of an experimental program started under President Ronald Reagan shows.

Officials in President Bill Clinton's administration who released the study Monday said it shows that counseling and training can help adolescent mothers move from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency.

But many of the women involved, from tough, inner-city neighborhoods in Chicago and New Jersey, did not improve their incomes substantially, the study found. A majority in the program became pregnant again.

The study was conducted for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. of Princeton, N.J.

More than 5,000 recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children in Chicago, Camden, N.J., and Newark, N.J., were tracked from late 1987 to mid-1991.

"The young mothers who participated in this study were first-time parents living in tough, inner-city neighborhoods with high unemployment rates, and many of them had dropped out of high school," noted Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala.

"But despite those obstacles, this study shows that effective case management and mandatory education and training can help AFDC recipients take that first, important step toward self-sufficiency," she said.

Shalala released the report as Clinton's welfare-reform task force prepares to hold its first public meeting Wednesday in Chicago. …

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