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Do employment and type of exit influence child maltreatment among families leaving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?

David Beimers and Claudia J. Coulton

Children and Youth Services Review, 2011, vol. 33, issue 7, 1112-1119

Abstract: Research has documented that the transition from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) can be a critical period that results in elevated stress for families. The present study utilizes administrative data to examine the experiences of families exiting TANF and factors that influence subsequent child maltreatment, with particular focus on type of exit from TANF and earned income from employment. Families in the study are 18,023 female-headed households from an urban Ohio county who exited TANF between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2002. Of these families, 894 (4.96%) experienced an indicated or substantiated finding of maltreatment within two years of their initial exit from TANF. Cox proportional hazard models identified several significant predictors of child maltreatment. Findings indicate that families with an involuntary exit from TANF were at increased risk of a substantiated or indicated finding of maltreatment while families with higher earnings from employment were at a reduced risk of maltreatment. These findings suggest that policy makers and program staff may need to reconsider their approach with these families to ensure the well-being of children. Strategies to improve employment opportunities and limit involuntary exits are discussed.

Keywords: TANF; Maltreatment; Employment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:33:y:2011:i:7:p:1112-1119