This critical analysis of recent research and evaluations of welfare reform efforts describes how states have increasingly drawn on clinical knowledge in their efforts to move "hard-to-serve" recipients into the labor force. It argues that a clinical perspective is helpful as it brings attention to the mental health needs of low-income women. At the same time, however, this article suggests that states' use of a clinical framework is problematic in so far as it based on limited knowledge, dampens a broad discussion of the relationship between poverty and mental health, contributes to policy ambiguity, and increases recipient oversight.

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