Since the 1996 federal reforms, the number of Kansas families receiving public assistance has plummeted. But a new report by United Way and Kansas Action for Children suggests many leaving the welfare rolls are struggling as a result.
Among the report's findings:
- A small percentage of the 1,700 survey respondents were using transitional services for which they were eligible. Among the services going unused: food stamps, Medicaid and child care.
- Of the households with children, 83 percent were living in poverty.
- Nearly one in five households that left the welfare rolls in the past six months also reported decreased income in the same period.
- Of the families with children seeking aid from a United Way agency, 12 percent had been denied government aid.
- Almost half the families surveyed reported having to move because they couldn't afford rent. Even more reported recent stays in an emergency shelter.
- Almost half reported their children were required to live apart from them or in foster care within the last six months.
-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.