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Supports For Low-Income Families: States Serve a Broad Range of Families through a Complex and Changing System

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Over the last decade, the Congress has made significant changes in numerous federal programs that support low-income families, including changes that have shifted program emphases from providing cash assistance to providing services that promote employment and economic independence. As a result of some of the federal policy changes, the support system is more decentralized than before. This heightens the importance of understanding policy choices and practices at the state and local levels as well as those at the federal level. To provide the Congress with information on this system, GAO agreed to address the following questions: (1) To what extent do states provide supports for lowincome families? (2) How have states structured programs to support low-income families? (3) What changes have states made to supports for low-income families in recent years? Our review focused primarily on supports for which states make many of the key decisions about eligibility, benefit amounts, and service provision. To obtain this information, GAO conducted a mail survey of the social service directors in the 50 states and the District of Columbia; conducted site visits in New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin; and reviewed federal reports and other relevant literature."
Date: January 26, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department