On August 22, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. The Act represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between the federal government, the fifty states, and persons living in poverty. A shift of this magnitude cannot be analyzed properly without considering the significant impact of unintended consequences that may result from the new policy. Often, unintended consequences occur when two different policies, in this case, public welfare and child protective services, collide. One such possible unintended consequence of this policy shift may be to reduce the effectiveness of a successful child protection program in Walton County, Georgia. The kinship care program in Walton County has considerably reduced the number of children in foster care, altered foster roles, and resulted in savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, without careful planning, the current welfare reform effort will limit the ability of extended family members to offer care for abused and neglected children via the kinship care program. This paper explores the complexity of such a major shift in federal welfare policy by analyzing its impact on a successful county-based child protection program.
Larry Nackerud, Nicole Deets, Curtis Kleem & Alicia Isaac,
Welfare Reform and Unitended Consequences: Its Impact on a Local Child Protection Program,
Rich. J. L. & Pub. Int.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/pilr/vol1/iss2/8