This paper addresses the failure of the Wellstone-Murray Family Violence Option (FVO), an amendment to the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), to provide meaningful assistance to survivors of domestic violence. The FVO allows states to waive federal public assistance requirements, such as work requirements and child support collection, for applicants who are survivors of domestic violence. The FVO, however, is inadequately implemented in New York City and across the country. Several suggestions are given to make the FVO more effective.
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