Moving Beyond the Bureaucratization of AFDC: Helping Young Moms Help Themselves Achieve Self-Sufficiency

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Political Science


James Murphy


In response to some reforms being proposed in the U.S. House and Senate, I wanted to learn more about the circumstances that young,never-married moms on welfare face, and to learn what solutions would help them achieve self-sufficiency.

In my research I learned that young, never-married women were having sex, getting pregnant, choosing to parent for several reasons; further, when they choose to parent several negative consequences result. None of which had been addressed in the Congressional reforms.

I also learned that the circumstances that these young moms face often do not leave them any other choice than to collect public assistance, or aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), to support themselves and their children. However, this program has become bureaucratized (there is are rules, regulations, standard procedures, and policies for everything) and no longer adequately addresses the needs of young moms and their kids. Instead, bureaucratization leaves these families in poverty and creates dependency.

In conclusion, I suggest that a better alternative to assist these young moms and their children would be a comprehensive program delivered through nonprofit organizations.