This Research Brief was developed to update discussions of welfare reform through the lens of child well-being. It briefly sketches the history of research on welfare reform and children and shares the conceptual models that provided initial mappings of the ways in which welfare reform might affect children. The brief then presents a revised conceptual model that takes into account issues raised in the actual implementation of welfare reform, such as whether any income gains experienced by low income families translate into additional resources for children. At the same time, the revised conceptual model acknowledges new research findings that have bearing on welfare reform, such as the role of biological fathers, father-figures, and the partners of mothers in families receiving or leaving welfare. Finally, this Research Brief highlights ongoing disparities and identifies areas in which research gaps exists, pointing out, for instance, the need for better information about adolescents and infants whose mothers have entered the work force in the wake of welfare reform. (Author abstract)
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