ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



This special report assesses the economic condition of Milwaukee County families with children and summarizes data on financial supports provided children in need. Start Smart Milwaukee! has made family income and economic support issues priority concerns during Wisconsin's conversion to a work-based welfare system, particularly since 65,000 fewer Milwaukee County children receive public income support than five years ago. The welfare system does not maintain current information on earnings of Milwaukee County families leaving public assistance. Meanwhile the Employment and Training Institute’s review of state tax returns for the last five years found a 39% increase in the number of “working poor” single parents in Milwaukee County. One out of every three employed single parents had income earnings below the poverty level in 1997 and two out of every three had income earnings below 185% of poverty. In spite of their parents' work efforts, at least 61,000 Milwaukee County children are in employed families with earnings below poverty. Without additional public or private support, these families do not earn enough to adequately support their children. Over 111,500 children are in families with income earnings below 185% of poverty.