Safety Nets

Women in the United States frequently lack basic services that are taken for granted in many other parts of the world. To be able to live in economic security, they require educational opportunities; paid sick leave; affordable, quality child care and elder care; as well as portable health care and adequate retirement benefits to protect them throughout their lives. While programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamps are available, they do not go far enough. More robust safety nets are needed to lift and keep women and their families out of poverty.

The Economy Needs a Triple Hitter: Jobs, Safety Nets and Targeted Policies

Check out the latest from NCRW Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner, Nicole Mason:

According to the U.S. Census, there are enough new poor people in the U.S. to fill the New York Yankees Stadium more than six times over. And since the start of the recession in 2007, over six million have slipped into poverty--that's more than twice the size of the city of Chicago. This is not a simply a case of the poor sliding deeper into poverty, but of individuals straddling the line between middle class stability and poverty falling over the edge.


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FAST FACT: Sanctioning Those Most in Need

By Courtney A. Fiske*

A report released last week by Legal Momentum reveals the serious repercussions of financial sanctions in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. As the report, The Sanction Epidemic in the TANF Program, argues, these sanctions—overly harsh and haphazardly applied—jeopardize the well-being our nation’s most economically vulnerable.


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ARRA: Extending the Unemployment Insurance Safety Net to Victims of Domestic Violence

Recent changes to the unemployment insurance system as a result of the federal stimulus legislation have expanded an important safety net for victims of domestic and sexual violence who lose jobs as a result of the violence against them. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included several provisions for modernizing state unemployment insurance systems, such as providing access to unemployment insurance benefits to various groups who were not previously covered by state laws, including victims of domestic violence.

To read the full report, click here.

Teaser: 

Recent changes to the unemployment insurance system as a result of the federal stimulus legislation have expanded an important safety net for victims of domestic and sexual violence who lose jobs as a result of the violence against them. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included several provisions for modernizing state unemployment insurance systems, such as providing access to unemployment insurance benefits to various groups who were not previously covered by state laws, including victims of domestic violence.

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State Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Appendix C: Safety Net

The ARRA provides significant funding increases for a number of human services, health, employment and other safety net programs. This additional support is intended to provide relief for lower-income families and others hardest hit by the recession. In addition, the funding will assit fiscally constrained state and local governments as they manage administrative and operational challenges stemming from the rise in demand for programs and services.

To read the full report, click here.

Teaser: 

Economists agree that increased assistance to low-income families has the most immediate stimulative effect on the economy because those with the least amount of financial security traditionally engage in more immediate consumption and are less likely to divert those resources into savings or debt reduction. Safety net programs also provide education and training for America’s workforce, ensuring that there is a supply of qualified workers as new jobs become available.

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