Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Katras, M. J., Dolan, E. M., Seiling, S. B., & Braun, B. (2009). The bumpy road off TANF for rural mothers. Family Science Review, 14 (1),
Title:  The bumpy road off TANF for rural mothers
Authors:  Katras, M. J., Dolan, E. M., Seiling, S. B., & Braun, B.
Year:  2009
Journal/Publication:  Family Science Review
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  No
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  Rural welfare mothers receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) have a difficult time reaching economic security and lessening their reliance on benefits because of the impediments they face regarding employment opportunities, transportation, child care resources, and more. This article focuses on 62 rural mothers, each receiving TANF at some point during the three year Rural Families Speak study. By their third-year interview, only 11 of the 62 mothers had household incomes above 150% of poverty for their family size.
Study sample:  Of the 413 rural mothers interviewed in Wave 1, 253 were interviewed in all three Waves. Of these, the 62 who received TANF benefits at some time during the three-year period are the focus of this study.
Data collection and analysis:  Trained researchers collected data, starting in 1999, using a qualitative-quantitative protocol in face-to-face interviews with the mother of the household. Interviews were administered in either English or Spanish either in the participants’ homes or public places, such as at an organization’s office or public library. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Quantitative data were obtained from the transcripts and from supplemental survey instruments about employment, wages, and health. Wave 2 and Wave 3 interviews were conducted in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
Findings:  Education, training, and family support enabled them to obtain and maintain employment.
Conclusions:  The reality for the rural mothers who were part of this study is framed in their local economy: few employment opportunities that pay living wages and few opportunities for training and advancement. Some rural mothers were able to leave TANF and find employment with reasonable wages because they were able to access education and/or training. Most of the mothers, however, were not successful. During the three-year interview period, the barriers they faced were insurmountable.

Disabilities served:  Multiple disabilities
Populations served:  Consumers receiving federal financial assistance through TANF
Interventions:  Job search and placement assistance
Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment