Children in Working Poor Families: A Review of the Literature

ReportEarly ChildhoodApr 1 2002

As part of an update and extension of our previous work (Wertheimer, 1999), this review provides a review of this burgeoning literature. We begin by revisiting the thorny definitional issues surrounding both poverty and work—issues that have still not been satisfactorily resolved. Next, we address the reasons why working poor families fail to escape poverty. The following section focuses on the dynamics of poverty by emphasizing the large movements of people and families into and out of the ranks of the poor and the working poor. Next, we address the role of government programs in reducing poverty. The final section focuses on the association of family and child wellbeing and the working and poverty status of the family.