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How Do States' Safety Net Policies Affect Poverty?

Publication Year: 
2011
Personal Author: 
Wheaton, Laura.
Giannarelli, Linda.
Martinez-Schiferl, Michael.
Zedlewski, Sheila R.
Technical Report
Page Count: 
46

The Urban Institute studied how successful "safety nets" (i.e., federally sponsored programs aimed at reducing poverty and assisting low income individuals) in Georgia, Illinois, and Massachusetts were at reducing poverty. Overall, safety net programs had a strong impact on reducing poverty in children, although this varied by state. The document notes that some of these programs may need to be adjusted to account for inter-state differences, such as variations in the cost of housing. Making adjustments to programming based on state characteristics may bolster program effects across states. Overall, children especially benefit when their families have access to social services aimed at poverty reduction. This paper highlights the importance of providing families with access to resources that are tailored to meet their specific needs so stability can be achieved in their lives.