NCWGE National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education

Principles for Welfare Reauthorization

In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act dramatically altered the way the federal government provides financial assistance to needy families. This Act created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which limits assistance to 60 months and requires recipients to engage in a prescribed set of work activities. While this "work first" approach has resulted in a significant decline in the number of low-income people receiving assistance, it has not enabled those leaving welfare to escape poverty or even become self-sufficient, staying off welfare permanently. As Congress reauthorizes the 1996 Act, NCWGE believes that welfare programs should end the cycle of poverty and give states the flexibility to promote self-sufficiency through education and job training to help ensure that women are not locked into low-wage jobs.

NCWGE supports the following principles for welfare reauthorization: