Children without parents in the TANF caseload: Thinking beyond the child-only label

Correne Saunders, Andrea Hetling, Pamela C. Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Child welfare policy has historically emphasized the positive impact relative caregivers can have on foster children. This emphasis coupled with recent changes in the composition of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload has led to interest in child-only, relative caregiver cases. Child-only research, however, ignores cases in which the relative caregiver is also receiving benefits. Using the universe of welfare cases in Maryland in October 2005, this article compares and contrasts the demographic and case characteristics of parental and relative caregiver cases, also analyzing differences between cases with and without an adult receiving benefits. Findings indicate that relative caregivers have service needs that differ from those of parents and that recipient relative caregivers are more disadvantaged than child-only cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1034
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Child welfare policy
  • Child-only cases
  • Kinship care
  • Relative caregiver
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


Dive into the research topics of 'Children without parents in the TANF caseload: Thinking beyond the child-only label'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this