Children of Color in the (Southern) Welfare State: How Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy Implementation Shape Child Development in the Rural South

Project Description

Research on rural poverty shows how poverty adversely affects children but seldom considers how public welfare agencies reinforce racial inequality in the rural South. Instead, studies point to the short supply of social services and benefits in rural communities, with little insight on how these limited social services actually function within these communities to disadvantage low-income racial minorities and contribute to racial disparities in child development.

Project Goals

Thia study draws from quantitative and ethnographic data across three rural counties to examine how the distinct features of rural southern communities inform organizational practices of public welfare agencies in ways that reinforce racial inequality and negatively influences family processes and adolescent development outcomes. This study examines how rural contexts shape access to four prominent safety net programs:  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Child Care Subsidy, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).