KIDS PAWNS IN WELFARE GAMBIT

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More welfare reform blues. A new report by the National Association of Child Advocates offers a scathing fiscal analysis of New York’s failure to help poor children.

New York neglected to use almost 10 percent of available federal matching dollars for job training, education and employment for welfare recipients in 1994. Also, the study suggests that Albany has been extremely lax in helping poor single mothers obtain due child support benefits. A whopping 85 percent of single parents legally owed child support in New York State are simply not receiving payments, the study says.

And what support the state does provide is often inadequate: Over a period of five years, poor families in New York State who were receiving the maximum welfare benefits were still left at 25 percent below the poverty line.

The nationwide picture is equally shameful, the reports’ authors charge. America has the highest child poverty rate among 17 developed nations–21 percent of American children live in poverty.