Single mothers with children are the majority of those receiving welfare. New federal regulations will limit their time for education, time with children, or even domestic-violence counseling.
Stiffer work and reporting requirements for the federal welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, fail to recognize mothers' needs for training, education and child care to make their families self sufficient, women's advocacy groups say.
"The new regulations are a continuation of the misguided 'work first' approach that has been the hallmark of welfare reform," says Erin Mohan, public policy director for Washington-based advocacy organization, Women Work! "This strategy forces women into low-wage, low-skilled, dead-end jobs; jobs that don't pay the bills and can't support families."