Qin Gao, Ph.D., assistant professor of social service in Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service, has been selected to receive the 2008 Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize, awarded annually to the author(s) of the best article published in the Social Service Review.
Gao co-authored “Welfare Reform and Family Expenditures: How are Single Mothers Adapting to the New Welfare and Work Regime?” published in the September 2007 issue. Her collaborators were Neeraj Kaushal, Ph.D., associate professor of social work at Columbia University, and Jane Waldfogel, Ph.D., professor of social work at Columbia University.
The article examines the spending patterns of poor single-mother families who moved from welfare to work in the year 1996 as part of the shift in the nation’s policy away from Aid to Families with Dependent Children. The results, Gao said, suggest that women’s moves from welfare to work did little to improve household expenditures on items that would lead to the education or enrichment of children, such as computers, books, or child care.
In contrast, the authors found that welfare reform shifted household expenditures toward items that facilitate work outside of the home, such as transportation, adult clothing, and meals away from home. The work-related expenses, she said, resulted in an additional burden on family economic resources.
The Social Service Review, published quarterly by the University of Chicago Press, is one of the leading journals in social service research. It features in-depth observations and original research from social welfare scholars and practitioners, among others. Subjects include child welfare, poverty, homelessness, community intervention, race and ethnicity, and mental health.