Single Mothers: No Longer on Welfare

Last updated: August 20, 2013 by Janavi

A study conducted in 2004 unveiled the life of mothers, who stopped receiving welfare benefits to be less dependent on the state.

The reforms in 1996 were aimed to promote women to be a source of income for their families. However, these reforms did not bear the outcome that they were intended to, entirely.

Of the women who were previously supported by the welfare trust, less than half were actually employed, as the data showed.

Pamela Loprest and Gregory Acs conducted a research1 to pinpoint the reasons why many mothers who had abandoned monetary support from the state were unable to be a source of income for their family.

Almost 30 percent of mothers claimed that they were unable to take on a professional career path because of commitments with their family. They either had children in school or a child with a health condition.

Being tied to their families was not the only reason why the women could not work. Women who were searching for jobs were either unable to find a job or avail suitable daycare facilities, in case they had found one.

A research conducted in 2002 showed that the portion of “disconnected mothers” had increased over the years. The increase was from one eighth to one fifth of the population.

These disconnected mothers were identified as those who had pitiful income very below the poverty line, had child under the age of 18 who lived with them or had no monetary assistance from the government.

The primary reason for being disconnected was identified as loss of a source of income. One fifth of mothers had very little earnings since they did not have a spouse or partner who worked or had not worked themselves in the previous 12 months.

Analysis of the data that Loprest and Acs gathered showed that one in three of these mothers were single, and were more likely to have a lesser income than those who had a spouse or partner.

Although the government was successful in reducing the number of dependent mothers, but the success of these mothers to be able to support their children is questionable.

Raising a child as a single mom is a difficult job, no doubt. While these findings may suggest that women still struggle at work, especially after giving up on welfare benefits, it should not intimidate them from raising children on their own.


  1. Source: Gregory Acs, Pamela Loprest, Leaving Welfare []