Rethinking the Safety Net After the Great Recession

Brookings Institution, Falk Room
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

April 27, 2011
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This working seminar brought together a small group of researchers, policymakers, Congressional and HHS staff, and state and local administrators interested in issues related to "the safety net," with a particular focus on issues related to the TANF program. This goal of this event was to facilitate open discussion about future research and policy directions.  We examined how the safety net functioned during the recession and how programs and policies might best respond in the near term, given the high unemployment rates which are forecast. The agenda, recommended readings, and presentation slides may be found below.

This event was jointly sponsored by the National Poverty Center, which is funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center on Children and Families, Brookings Institution.  It was organized by Sheldon Danziger – National Poverty Center, Gordon Berlin - MDRC, Ron Haskins - Brookings Institution, and Donna Pavetti - Center on Budget Policy and Priorities.

Download Agenda pdf

Download Recommended Readings Packet pdf

Agenda and Recommended Readings
10 AM Introduction and Overview
Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution and Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan

10:30 AM The Role of the Safety Net in Alleviating Poverty During the Great Recession
Moderator:  Sheldon Danziger

Introduction
Ron Haskins and Donna Pavetti, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Download Presentation by Ron Haskins pdf

Download Presentation by LaDonna Pavetti pdf

What lessons can be learned from the ARRA programs and policies?
Don Winstead, Winstead Consulting and Jodie Levin-Epstein, CLASP

Download Presentation by Don Winstead pdf

What can we learn from ARRA that we should carry into the future?
Linda Martin, State of South Carolina and Christopher O’Leary, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research


Download Presentation by Christopher O’Leary pdf

Recommended Readings
Rethinking Welfare in the Great Recession:  Issues in the Reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Download Document pdf

TANF Responded Unevenly to Increased Need during Downturn
Download Document pdf

Despite Deep Recession and High Unemployment, Government Efforts — Including the Recovery Act — Prevented Poverty from Rising in 2009, New Census Data Show
Download Document pdf

12 PM Lunch (provided)
12:30 PM Assessing Our Investment:  TANF Funding, Spending and Accomplishments in Good Times and Bad
Moderator: Gordon Berlin, MDRC

Spread too thin? Rethinking the Breadth and Scope of the TANF Block Grant
Donna Pavetti and Robert Doar, City of New York

Download Presentation by LaDonna Pavetti pdf

Improving TANF’s Ability to Respond to the Recession: Redesigning the Contingency Fund
Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP and Andy Bush, Exemplar Human Service, LLC.

Recommended Readings
Guide to Use of TANF Funds
Download Document pdf

United States TANF Spending Factsheet
Download Document pdf

2 PM Maintaining a Focus on Work When Unemployment is High
Moderator: Donald Oellerich, ASPE

Job Opportunities for Less-Educated Workers
Harry Holzer, Georgetown University

Download Presentation by Harry Holzer pdf

How can state programs provide employment
Jennifer Hrycyna, State of Illinois and Michael Hayes, State of Texas

Download Presentation by Michael Hayes pdf

Recommended Readings
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Implications of Recent Legislative and Economic Changes for State Programs and Work Participation Rates
Download Document pdf

NCP Choices: Finding Work, Staying Employed, and Paying Child Support
Download Document pdf

Put Illinois to Work Evaluation: An Early Look
Download Document pdf

The Poverty Puzzle
Download Document pdf

3:30 PM Wrap-Up
Moderator: Ron Haskins

Isabel Sawhill, Brookings Institution and Eloise Anderson, State of Wisconsin

Additional Readings

Creating Subsidized Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Parents:  The Legacy of the TANF Emergency Fund
Download Document pdf

Transitional Jobs:  Background, Program Models, and Evaluation Evidence
Download Document pdf

Safety Net Effective at Fighting Poverty but Has Weakened for the Very Poorest
Download Document pdf

Are Working Wives the New Social Safety Net?
Download Document pdf