The Harmful Consequences of Work Requirements and Other Obstacles on Children and Families
Child Care Early Childhood Health Housing & Homelessness Nutrition Poverty & Family Economics Racial Equity Safety
MAY 14, 2018—Each year, effective federal programs give parents the power to provide their children with affordable healthcare, nutritious food, stable housing, and early childhood education. These programs lift millions of children out of poverty, but also have long-term benefits—children in families who accessed these programs have higher educational attainment, better health, and are likelier to earn more as adults.
In most low-income households with children, there is at least one family member who is working. Yet due to low wages, skyrocketing rents, unaffordable childcare, and the high cost of everyday goods, parents still struggle to make ends meet and turn to key assistance programs to supplement resources for their families.
There have been many additional administrative and congressional actions to reduce access to basic assistance programs thanks to the imposition of new work requirements and other harmful barriers. This document explains how these policies would weaken the effectiveness of these programs in improving child health, nutrition, housing stability, family economic security, early childhood development, and supporting foster youth and unaccompanied homeless youth in their successful transition to adulthood.