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Welfare Reform 2002: Ensuring Fair Treatment and Equal Opportunity in TANF.

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This paper examines the need to ensure fair treatment in matters relating to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The 2002 reauthorization included many key priorities for Latino families, most especially by extending a hand to hardworking immigrants who become unemployed. The paper highlights key civil rights issues, calling on lawmakers to promote equal opportunities for Latino families and help them leave the welfare rolls and get good jobs. Several studies have shown patterns of discrimination against minority TANF recipients. Discriminatory practices limiting Latino families' access to services, work supports, and training programs have arguably contributed to disparate outcomes for families on TANF by race and ethnicity. Evidence points to the need for effective reforms to the TANF program which will protect the rights of all families and ensure that Hispanic mothers have equal opportunities to move off TANF rolls, into stable employment, and out of poverty. A broad coalition of civil rights organizations believes that several strategies will help ensure fair, nondiscriminatory treatment (increased accountability, proper training for TANF personnel, enhanced data collection, modified state plans, and overcoming of language barriers). (SM)

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Author:Thomas-Breitfeld, Sean
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Sep 10, 2002
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