44:10-56 Findings, declarations relative to Work First New Jersey Program.
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. The federal “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996,” Pub.L.104-193, establishes the federal block grant for temporary assistance for needy families and provides the opportunity for a state to establish and design its own welfare program;
b. Work and the earning of income promote the best interests of families and children;
C. Working individuals and families needing temporary assistance should have the transitional support necessary to obtain and keep a job in order to be able to avoid cycling back onto public assistance;
d. Teenage pregnancy is counter to the best interests of children;
e. Successful welfare reform requires the active involvement of the private sector as well as all departments of State government;
f. Personal and family security and stability, including the protection of children and vulnerable adults, are important to the establishment and maintenance of successful family life and childhood development and a family’s inability or failure to qualify for benefits under the Work First New Jersey program established pursuant to this act shall not in and of itself be the basis for the separation of a dependent child from his family or the justification for the resource family care placement of a dependent child;
g. Children and teenagers need the benefits of the support and guidance which a family structure provides; the welfare system has provided a vehicle for breaking up families by giving teenage mothers the means to shift their financial dependence from their parents to the State; in the process, these youths deprive themselves of the education and family structure necessary to support themselves and their babies; and the support and structure provided by families are important to the development of a child’s maximum potential; and
h. The Work First New Jersey program established pursuant to this act incorporates and builds upon the fundamental concepts of the Family Development Initiative established pursuant to P.L.1991, C. 523 (C. 44:10-19 et seq.) in a manner that is consistent with the federal program of temporary assistance for needy families, by establishing requirements for: time limits on cash assistance; the participation of recipients in work activities; enhanced efforts to establish paternity and establish and enforce child support obligations; sanctions for failure to comply with program requirements; a cap on the use of funds for administrative costs; the maintenance of State and county financial support of the program; teenage parent recipients to live at home and finish high school; and restrictions on eligibility for benefits for alienS.
L.1997,C. 38,S.2; amended 2004, C. 130, S.117.
Original Text maintained by the State of New Jersey:
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