A Bleak Verdict on Welfare Reform

The title of the study sounds ho-hum enough: "New Lives for Poor Families?" But the results being published this week by researchers at Berkeley, Columbia, Stanford and Yale could cause trouble for Bush's welfare-reform plans. Funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services since the Clinton Administration, the report charts the effects of 1996 welfare reforms on more than 700 mothers and their young children. The overall picture is bleak. While mothers' earnings rose modestly, many still lived in roach-infested housing, had to skimp on food and spent fewer hours singing and telling stories to their children. One...

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