Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Expenditure differentials of selected urban families receiving AFDC assistance

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  • Expenditure data of 13 households receiving. Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) were collected through use of specially designed record booklets for one month and by a brief interview. Welfare workers in southeast Portland discussed the study with families meeting the criteria of 1) a one-parent family with one or more children, 2) AFDC recipient, and 3) one-family household. Families who volunteered and completed the procedures included four families with one child, four families with two children, four families with three youngsters and one family with four children. All adults were female and had a mean age of 31. 5 years and had completed a mean of 11.9 years of school. The record booklets coded for each week of the month in eye-catching psychedelic colors were important in obtaining desired information. Included were specific directions for recording income and expenditures and unprofessionally drawn illustrations along with written listings of items to be reported on each page. All families received income from their AFDC grant and 12 families supplemented this income with food stamps. Six families had additional income from non-assistance sources and one family used free services of a child guidance clinic. The mean AFDC grant was $200, mean food stamp bonus was $54. 46 and mean nonassistance income was $16 for total mean financial resources of $270.77 per case. Resources from government programs, food stamps and AFDC, provided a mean of 94 percent of the families' income and non-assistance sources added six percent of the income. As family size increased, the percentage of total income allocated to food increased and the percentage of income used for housing decreased. Shelter and food demanded a mean of 82.6 percent of total income. Payments to AFDC recipients in Oregon are 80 percent of the financial needs for basic maintenance according to standards set by legislative action. Supplements to income provided by food stamps and the net from non-assistance sources increased the adequacy of the family's income in relation to the standards. The average income of families met a mean of 96.3 percent of need as defined by welfare standards. In comparing the actual expenditures in various consumption groups with the allowance figured by welfare, it was found that both housing and food expenditures were over 100 percent of the allowance while clothing, personal incidentals and household supply expenditures were far under the allowance. It was found that families were aware of the importance of planning the use of money as a means of meeting financial wants. However, the families were realistic with respect to what was possible in light of their limited resource situations. Families indicated a month by month coping when financial resources did not meet demands. The participants lacked an awareness of community resources that may be of assistance with financial problems and consumer buying decisions.
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