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LaDonna Pavetti
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Dr. LaDonna Pavetti is the Director of the Welfare Reform and Income Support Division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In this capacity, she oversees the Center’s work analyzing poverty trends and assessing the nation’s income support programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Before joining the Center in 2009, Dr. Pavetti spent 12 years as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., where she directed numerous research projects examining various aspects of TANF implementation and strategies to address the needs of the hard-to-employ. She has also served as a researcher at the Urban Institute, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on welfare reform issues, and a policy analyst for the District of Columbia’s Commission on Social Services. In addition, for several years she was a social worker in Chicago and Washington, DC.

Dr. Pavetti has an A.M. in social work from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Entries by LaDonna Pavetti

Key Programs Lay Building Blocks for Kids' Success

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 11:24 AM

As Congress begins its budget deliberations, lawmakers should be concerned not only with how they'll allocate funds next year but also with the long-term implications of their decisions. Cuts to effective programs that ensure children start life on a positive path, such as WIC and home visiting, and those that...

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Why the 1996 Welfare Law Is Not a Model for Other Safety Net Programs

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 5:32 PM

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's upcoming poverty plan will likely showcase the 1996 welfare law, which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) -- a block grant with fixed federal funding but broad state flexibility -- as a model for...

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More Praise for Job-Creating TANF Emergency Fund

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 3:03 PM

"A Jobs Program That Works" is New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's apt description of the TANF Emergency Fund, which more than 30 states are using to help create private -- and public-sector jobs for nearly 200,000 adults and youth. The job market's continued weakness shows why these...

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Subsidized Jobs Programs Peaking as Expiration Looms

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 5:08 PM

I've been calling the TANF Emergency Fund the Recovery Act's best-kept secret, but the secret is out -- just ask the nearly 190,000 adults and youth who will get jobs through one of the many subsidized jobs programs the fund supports across the country (see map). The Senate...

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"YouCut" Stacks the Deck Against Emergency Fund

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 5:07 PM

Given the wildly inaccurate description of the TANF Emergency Fund on the "YouCut" website, the vote to eliminate the program is meaningless. Far from a "backdoor way to undo" welfare reform, the fund has enabled states to expand work-focused programs within TANF despite high unemployment and a weak...

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