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Resolutions & Amendments

26th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (1984)

Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC)

Resolution No. 66
26th International Convention
June 18-22, 1984
San Francisco, CA


AFDC is a survival program for the poorest of the poor. It provides assistance to meet the basic necessities of 7 million children in 3 million families in which one or both parents are absent from the home or are incapacitated or unemployed. It enables these children to grow up in their own homes. AFDC is a means-tested program: rigid eligibility standards must be met before benefits are provided. The program is administered by the states and counties under Federal rules. It is funded out of state, local and federal funds. As caseworkers, supervisors, and support staff, AFSCME members process applications, manage cases, and provide services to program eligibles; and


For perverse and counter-productive reasons, AFDC has been targeted by the Reagan Administration for a major assault. Over a three year period, nearly $2 billion in federal funds have been cut. Four hundred thousand families having more than one million children have either totally lost their benefits, or have had them reduced as the result of changes in eligibility standards. Ironically, families most adversely affected are those headed by working female heads of households striving to work themselves and their children out of poverty and off the welfare rolls; and


The majority of AFDC children live in the shadows of poverty. In most states, payment levels fall far below amounts that are needed to survive above established poverty levels; and


Social justice demands that the harm that has been invoked upon America's needy and dependent children must be rectified. More than this, the punitive philosophy toward the poor which has been a hallmark of the National Administration during the past three years and which continues to this day, must be cast aside and rejected.


That AFSCME fully supports attempts by the Congress that are intended to restore humanity and sensitivity to the Federal Government by correcting the iniquitous revisions made in the AFDC program.


That AFSCME calls upon Governors and State Legislatures to establish realistic, fair, and reasonable payment levels in the AFDC program.


William L. McGowan, President and Delegate
Irene Carr, Secretary and Delegate
CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000
Albany, New York