Children Living with Non-Parent Caregivers: Prevalence, Determinants and Participation in the Child-Only TANF Program

Jane Mauldon, University of California, Berkeley
Jon Stiles, University of California, Berkeley
Robert Goerge, University of Chicago

Kin care is an important safety net for children. Using the American Community Survey (ACS) with TANF and foster care administrative data, this paper reports the proportion and characteristics of children living in non-parent-caregiver (NPC) settings 2002-2009, by state. ACS data are used to model the predictors of a child living in a kin NPC household rather than with a low-income single parent. TANF policy offers open-ended aid for relative-caregivers but time-limited and income- and work-conditioned aid for parents; this asymmetry could, on the margin, prompt some single-parent families to move children to be raised by relatives. We test whether a state's asymmetric tilt in TANF is associated with its level of NPC caregiving, once foster caregiving is out of the picture. Finally, we estimate rates and determinants of NPC participation in TANF by state and in census tracts, with demographic factors and TANF grant levels as predictors.

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Presented in Poster Session 7