September 26, 2002
Urban Institute
With welfare reform, New York's cash assistance program for families underwent a substantial philosophical shift. A system formerly focused on prompt and accurate delivery of cash benefits was required to change into an employment-focused, work-first program. New York's version of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is called Family Assistance (FA). New York's benefit levels were not changed and remain among the most generous in the nation, but its cost of living is also among the highest. In 1996 and 1997, the Urban Institute conducted case studies in 13 states that provided a baseline for understanding changes emerging from welfare reform. This set of state updates describes changes occurring between 1996-97 and 1999-2000 based on a second set of case studies completed in 1999 and 2000. Programs covered include income support through the TANF program, employment and training supports for low-income welfare and non-welfare families, child care, and child welfare. It also looks at interactions among these programs.