The purpose of this piece is to discuss how the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) relates to children and families within the social welfare system. This will allow the reader to gain an understanding of what the policy is and why it was enacted, what the positive and negative pieces of the policy are, how the policy affects children and families, if the policy working the way it was intended, and if the policy effects different groups of people differently or is perceived differently. This paper will also allow the reader to gauge how this policy has impacted social work at a micro and macro level.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) .
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, otherwise known as PRWORA or the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 is an act that was created to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children which eliminated the transitional at-risk child care programs that were developed in that program. This bill expresses the government's interest in preventing teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. The bill allows states federal grant monies to each of them to assist families that need it based on specific guidelines and criteria. The bill states that the assistance is meant to be temporary and is so coined Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. The bill limits eligible families "generally to no more than 60 months (five years), consecutive or nonconsecutive, of TANF, with certain exceptions for hardship situations, minor children, or family members that have been battered or subject to extreme cruelty, including mental abuse.".
Although the monies are divided amongst each state, the federal government enacted this and have entrusted each state to ensure that each family meets the following requirements prior to being given the grant money assistance: "operate an appropriate child support enforcement program and a foster care and adoption assistance program; (2) provide Indians with equitable access to assistance; and (3) establish and enforce standards and procedures to ensure against program fraud and abuse.