Family Support Act of 1988

Definition - What does Family Support Act of 1988 mean?

The Family Support Act of 1988 is a bill signed by President Ronald Reagan that was meant to curtail American citizens' dependence on welfare and encourage benefit recipients to secure paid employment.

One of its primary goals was encouraging parents on welfare to find work or go back to school. To realize these goals, the government created a training program aimed at welfare recipients called Job Opportunities and Basic Skills.

Insuranceopedia explains Family Support Act of 1988

The first iteration of this bill, which was meant to alleviate the conditions of those living in poverty, was the Social Security Act of 1935. That law provided assistance to the children of poor single mothers. Government assistance to those women was called Aid to Dependent Children.

Aid to Dependent Children drew criticism from some quarters, with allegations that the program encouraged irresponsible parenthood. The budget also ballooned over time, as the demographic of eligible candidates increased (such as accommodating black women in the 1960's). The Family Support Act of 1988 was introduced as a way to curb this dependence on government assistance by creating educational programs meant to emancipate poor people from poverty and enable them to join the workforce.

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