CLASP's youth policy work aims to advance policy and practice that will dramatically improve the education, employment, and life outcomes for youth in communities of high youth distress. Learn more>>

Pathways to Reconnection for Disconnected Youth

We advocate for federal policies that meet the education and training needs of the millions of young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and employment.  Read more>>

Building the Capacity of Communities

We work with communities to identify and highlight effective cross-system approaches that can provide opportunities for youth to complete their education, enter the labor market and improve their life outcomes. Read more>>

Supports and Strategies for Youth of Color 

We highlight the depth of the disadvantaged and disconnected youth problem for young people of color in some of the nation's most challenged communities and propose strategic solutions. Read more>>

May 11, 2016  |  PERMALINK »

Using a Two-Generation Lens to Tackle Harmful Policies: California’s MFG

By: Nia West-Bey

Applying a two-generation framework to lifting families out of poverty requires addressing the needs of children and parents together as a family. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has the potential to be a critical two-generation program for low-income families but too often fails to live up to that potential.  One of the keys to success when considering two-generation systems change is to identify and end harmful policies that impact multiple generations in a family.

Unfortunately, California’s Maximum Family Grant (MFG) policy, also known as a “family cap,” has been harming low-income families for more than two decades.  Passed in 1994 and implemented in the context of 1996’s federal welfare reform legislation, the MFG limits the amount of cash assistance that families can receive under TANF by denying an increase in aid for a new baby if anyone in the family (adult or child) has been receiving cash aid for the 10 months prior to the birth of that baby.   The few exceptions to this rule require proof that the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or of the failure of long-acting birth control methods. There is only a short list of eligible methods--one of which has not been available for over a decade.

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Investing in Young Men of Color as Community Assets

On July 17, CLASP held its annual forum on boys and young men of color. "Investing in Young Men of Color as Community Assets" highlighted effective practices and policies that can close the gaps in education, employment, and health outcomes for boys and young men of color. Additionally, it discussed targeted federal investments in communities of concentrated poverty and creating opportunities for boys and young men of color to thrive.

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