A study presented today found some good and some bad results from welfare-reform in Iowa. A five-year study on Iowa’s welfare-reform effort finds the welfare rolls shrunk by fifty-percent since 1994. The state’s top welfare administrator Deb Bingaman saw results she didn’t expect, including stressed families and women whose partners changed more often instead of less. She says she never expected to see it decreasing marriage or family stability, but says that’s why you do evaluation to see what works and what doesn’t. Bingaman says the study also reported a slight increase in domestic violence, attributed in part to the stress of being told to enter the workforce. She says there have been stories about men who don’t want their mate outside in the work world. The study found more kids being put into foster care, but Bingaman says that can signal a positive trend.She says she sees it as positive, since counselors spend more time with families as a whole, not just the parents. The study by Washington-based Mathematica Research found fewer welfare recipients got married during the time welfare reform was enacted.She says it could be that they don’t have time to develop relationships, but also if they can support their family, they might not feel pressured into marriage.
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