Family Support Act (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The first overhaul of the welfare system in more than half a century, the act cements a link between welfare and work.
Summary of Event
After years of debate, Congress cleared welfare reform legislation on September 30, 1988, and on October 13, President Ronald Reagan signed Public Law 100-485, known as the Family Support Act of 1988 (FSA). The new law affirmed an evolving vision of the responsibilities of parents and government for the well-being of poor adults and their dependent children.
FSA left intact the basic entitlement nature of the federal-state Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and even expanded it by requiring states to extend coverage to certain two-parent families. The anchoring principle of FSA was that parents should be the primary supports of their children and that, for many people, public assistance should be coupled with encouragement, support, and requirements to aid them in moving from welfare to self-support. FSA placed a responsibility both on welfare recipients to take jobs and participate in employment services, and on government to provide the incentives and services to help welfare recipients find employment. For noncustodial parents, usually absent fathers, this was reflected in greater enforcement of child support collections. For custodial parents, usually mothers, this meant new obligations to cooperate in child collection efforts, as...
(The entire section is 1479 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!