In her latest post on the NYTimes Economix Blog, former CRF Family Research Scholar, Professor of Economics Nancy Folbre discusses the impact of the 1996 welfare reform on families who need assistance. As Dr. Folbre states, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF), “no longer provides much of a safety net at all,” with a recent report finding that only 27% of families in poverty in 2009 received TANF assistance.
The Economix Blog, which is dedicated to “explaining the science of everyday life”, gives Dr. Folbre a proverbial soapbox from which she can promote her research on the interface between feminist theory and political economy, with a particular interest in caring labor and other forms of non-market work. This role is nothing new for Dr. Folbre who, according to a recent article for In These Times, is noted for “her ability to explain these ideas in simple, accessible language.”
It also provides Dr. Folbre, a past recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, with an avenue to advocate for change to current policies, stating “welfare reform is in dire need of…reform.” She promotes a recent bill introduced in the House of Representatives “would provide permanent funding, modify work requirements so that education and training would qualify, and guarantee child care for TANF work-eligible recipients.”
Dr. Folbre has been an integral part of the Center for Research on Families, pushing for its creation as a steering committee member. As a Family Research Scholar, Dr. Folbre pursued a large interdisciplinary research project to investigate ways of measuring and improving the quality of co-produced care services.
The Family Research Scholars Program provides selected faculty with the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal for their research support. Since its inception in 2003, the Family Research Scholars program has helped over 44 faculty members submit 120 proposals totaling $68.6 million.
To read more of Dr. Folbre’s work on the Economix blog visit the site here: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/author/nancy-folbre/
For more information about the Family Research Scholars Program, please click here: http://www.umass.edu/family/research-programs/family-research-scholars.