Crossroads: New Directions in Social Policy American Public Human Services Association

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"The Bush administration and the 107th Congress are presented with a compelling opportunity," this report begins, "to eliminate outmoded federal rules and programs, to achieve greater efficiencies and above all, serve children, families and adults in need." (The opportunity is the pending reauthorization of several federal social service programs.) The report offers three types of recommendations for the federal government to achieve these goals: fundamental program reform agenda; maintenance and enhancement of funding and state flexibility; and regulatory reform in the food stamps program, child welfare, child support financing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child care and health care. 

The report describes in detail several recommendations for each program, including: simplify food stamp allotment calculations; address substance abuse in families served by child welfare; remove the cap on the child support incentive fund; restructure tribal TANF; examine links between the Child and Adult Care Food Program and other programs; and give states the flexibility to set co-payments for prescription drugs in a manner that will encourage consumer price awareness. 

Recommendations are based on the idea that the success of a program is determined both by the health and well-being of the individuals involved and by their reduced dependence on government assistance. This report is based on two years of research by APHSA, which represents the state human services administrators as well as hundreds of local public administrators, program administrators and human service professionals. 94 pages. Free. Carolyn Benefield, APHSA Publications Services, 810 First St., NE, Ste. 500, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 682-0100. E-mail: