Session: Deprivation and Economic Risk Among Families: Understanding Key Patterns and Public Assistance Impacts (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

80 Deprivation and Economic Risk Among Families: Understanding Key Patterns and Public Assistance Impacts

Friday, January 17, 2020: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Congress, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy (IP&SWP)
Symposium Organizer:
Margaret M.C. Thomas, MSW, Boston University
Daniel P. Miller, PhD, Boston University
Deprivation in terms of basic needs and essential resources pose significant risks to families, including heightened stress, worse health, compromised cognitive and emotional functioning, and long-term negative impacts for children's economic and social wellbeing. The papers in this panel draw on survey and administrative data to examine deprivation and the related impacts of public assistance programs among key, low-resourced populations, including single mother families, families without cash income, families receiving cash welfare, and families experiencing material hardship. These studies identify novel, empirical patterns in experiences of deprivation and of public assistance receipt and further identify benefits and shortcomings to existing public assistance policies in meeting and mitigating families' economic needs.

The first paper expands current conceptualizations of deprivation by examining complex material hardship experiences concurrently and over time. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, the paper employs latent class analysis (LCA) and latent transition analysis (LTA) to identify data-driven groups describing concurrent material hardship experiences and to examine longitudinal patterns of material hardship experience.

The second paper examines patterns and predictors of membership in SNAP-recipient families who have zero gross income, illuminating rates and risks for extreme deprivation among families. Using data from the SNAP Quality Control database, the study identifies patterns over time and across states in zero-income SNAP receipt and models the probability of zero-income SNAP receipt conditioned on state, year, household, and policy characteristics.

The third paper investigates state- and county-level differences in allocation of TANF funding, identifying differences in local TANF programs' assistance and flexibility which overlap with families' experiences of economic deprivation and racial minority status. Using national and California-based administrative data, the study compares states' TANF spending allocations and further identifies a typology of California county-level service approaches representing variations in exemptions, sanctions, and forms of service utilization

The fourth paper assesses how timing and sequences of multiple income support programs help different subgroups of single mothers to sustain their families' economic wellbeing in the face of unstable employment experiences. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the study uses sequence analysis to identify patterns in single-mother families' participation in combinations of TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, and Unemployment Insurance, and predictors of those patterns.

Together, these papers expand our understanding of how families experience deprivation and economic risk, particularly in relationship to those public assistance policies which are nominally designed to mitigate or respond to such economic needs. The panel's discussant is an expert in social policy and family wellbeing and will discuss the papers' contributions and implications for social work research, policy, and practice.

* noted as presenting author
Cashless SNAP Units with Children & State TANF Policy
Vincent Fusaro, PhD, Boston College
Laboratories of Welfare Devolution Revolution: Examining the Implementation of Welfare-to-Work in California
Yu-Ling Chang, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; Lucia Marina Lanfranconi, PhD, Lucerne University of Applied Science
Sequences of Multiple Program Participation and Associated Characteristics Among Single-Mothers with Employment Instability
Chi-Fang Wu, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Yu-Ling Chang, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; Salma Musaad, MD, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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