*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Understanding how families come to lose employment or benefits and have children removed requires new knowledge about the interactions between employment, social insurance, public cash assistance and child welfare systems over time. Are the public systems working in concert or at odds? Does the means-tested safety net support or undercut stability for child welfare families? This article provides evidence relevant to these questions through examining employment patterns and the use of major means-tested support programs among families who become involved with the child welfare system.
Drawing on a unique merged administrative dataset from Washington State we track household employment and participation in cash and food assistance for 18 months prior to and following a focal child’s first out-of-home child welfare placement in the years 2000-2010. About one in nine families is disconnected for the full period prior to removal. Others follow more dynamic patterns, including one in seven families who lose employment in the months before removal, most of whom do not subsequently receive unemployment insurance or public assistance. Results show how public solutions – including the expansion of concurrent benefits policies that allow families to continue cash assistance while children are temporarily out of the home – could stabilize families. NOTE: Permission to present findings will be obtained prior to the conference.
 Maureen Marcenko, Jennifer Hook, Jennifer Romich and JoAnn Lee. 2012. Multiple Jeopardy: Poor, Economically Disconnected, and Child Welfare Involved. Child Maltreatment 17(3): 195 - 206