Does the Safety Net Help Prevent Family and Youth Violence?
Families experiencing poverty and economic pressure have increased risk for child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and acts of violence by youth. This article highlights several programs that reduce rates of family and child poverty, including TANF, but it notes how TANF policies in particular have the greatest economic security policy discrepancies across states despite research that shows policies that increase access to money protect against family and youth violence. The article discusses research that indicates work requirements in TANF and other evidence-based interventions may protect against violence by increasing individual and family resources. However, one-size-fits-all work requirements may have unanticipated negative effects, such as an increase in sanctions that contribute to unemployment or under-employment when an individual cannot meet set requirements or leaving single mothers with less time to care for their children, which may increase the risk of child maltreatment.