History of Poverty Programs

History of Poverty Programs 1935: Aid to Families with Dependent Children adopted as part of the Social Security Act of 1935. AFDC designed for widows and wives of disabled workers. 1964: Pres. Lyndon Johnson launched Great Society Programs. 1965: Head Start began, designed to give disadvantaged 3-5 year olds a ``head start'' in catching up to their peers. 1967: Work Incentive Program (WIN) introduced as a discretionary jobs program, became mandatory in 1971. All adult recipients without preschool children or specific problems must register with state employment office, participate in job training or job searches, and accept job offers. Late 60s. Pres. Richard Nixon proposes the Family Assistance Plan, which would guarantee minimum income to all Americans, welfare recipients and working poor. Never passed. 1973: The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA): authorizes federal funds for public works jobs and training programs. Critics felt the jobs were ``make work'' and that the money was often misspent. 1978: Pres. Jimmy Carter proposes the Better Jobs and Income Program, a comprehensive welfare reform. Didn't get out of committee. 1981: Pres. Ronald Reagan proposes ``workfare'' - links welfare benefits to obligation to work. 1982: CETA eliminated by the Reagan administration; replaced by Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Ended public works jobs, and cut back funding for training programs for disadvantaged youths. Required states to oversee program, provide matching funds for retraining displaced adult workers. 1988: Family Support Act passed.

Family Support Act of 1988 Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program: The legislation requires that states have established job training and education program by last Oct. 1 and that they be available by Oct. 1, 1992. Transitional benefits: Provides child care and medical benefits to participants while in the programs and for a year after they become employed. Parents of children over 3 required to look for work, train or study 20 hours a week, or risk losing benefits. Absent fathers pay child support through mandatory payroll deductions. States must ensure that by 1995, 20 percent of recipients are participating in the jobs program or lose matching funds.

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