Implementation of the Family Violence Option 20 Years Later: A Review of State Welfare Rules for Domestic Violence Survivors


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

The Family Violence Option (FVO) was included in the 1996 welfare reform legislation to ensure that domestic violence survivors are not subject to unfair penalties resulting from compliance with the new requirements. This study presents a comprehensive review of the states’ different approaches to address domestic violence. Our findings identified variation in implementation and practice, from the decision to adopt the FVO to the process of granting waivers. Although not contradictory to the federal legislation, the variation is indicative of the limited research on best practices and lack of national discussions on how state FVO processes relate to one another.

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