Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "welfare reform" ...

  • The Austerity Audit

    In 2013, the United Kingdom began its most radical welfare reform in a generation – a government program to severely reduce spending on working-age benefit payments. The Financial Times saw an opportunity to illustrate a human and economic drama and through data analysis, it revealed an estimated loss of £19bn a year in annual welfare payments that could disrupt families, communities and businesses across the UK. The FT Austerity Audit was the first media investigation to explore and evaluate the economic and business consequences of the historic welfare reforms. Guided by exclusive data research that revealed a wide variation in the impact of the cuts, FT reporters fanned out across Britain to produce a startling analysis that generated heated debate: some northern towns and cities would be hit five-times as hard as suburban southern counties. The FT published an ambitious, two-day series that generated buzz across social media and much debate in the UK political sphere. Its story-telling was innovative and expansive – with interactive graphics, video, photography and text combined in a custom-designed website. The interactive map was rich in detail and both easy and exciting to use.

    Tags: welfare; data

    By Chris Giles; Andrea Felsted; John Murray Brown; Sarah Neville; James Pickford; Kiran Stacey

    Financial Times (United Kingdom)


  • Children At Risk

    After years of reform to Illinois' child welfare system, the violent deaths of two young boys whose families had been previously investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services led the Tribune to question whether the state had done enough to protect them. Reporters Christy Gutowski and Bill Ruthhart found the state was violating critical terms of a federal consent decree that set limits on caseloads for child abuse investigators and deadlines for case closures. Through limited public records, sources and confidential reports, the reporters detailed more than a dozen child abuse deaths that occurred after state welfare officials had been notified. They also investigated the state’s woeful child abuse hotline, probed the state’s failure to properly inspect child day care facilities and analyzed how the agency’s layoffs fell disproportionately on its most critical positions – investigators. Gutowski and Ruthhart also illustrated how proposed state budget cuts could force more children into foster care and revisited the legacy of two troubling child deaths in the 1990s that led to the federal consent decree. It was in their memories that this project was born.

    Tags: Welfare; Reform

    By Christy Gutowski; Bill Ruthhart

    Chicago Tribune


  • Unprotected: An Investigation o Sacramento County's Child Protective Services

    A dozen years after the 1996 torture-death of one boy triggered major reforms within Sacramento County's Child Protective Services, -- and resulted in a quadrupling of the agency's budget and doubling of its staff -- many of the same problems persist in 2008. The Sacramento Bee found that, despite the massive increase in resources, numerous children continue to be injured or killed who had prior involvement with Sacramento's CPS. Among the problems detailed by The Bee: inadequate supervision and training, sloppy investigations, poor evaluation of children's risk, lack of accountability for serious mistakes. In its follow-up stories, which prompted a grand jury investigation, The Bee used a new state law related to child deaths to push CPS to release case files and found it had illegally altered the records of one boy who died in their care.

    Tags: child protective services; county government; torture; child welfare; government agency; government accountablity; child services

    By Marjie Lundstrom; Sam Stanton

    Sacramento Bee


  • Subsidized Ex-cons

    "The State of Illinois is paying ex cons to baby-sit in a little known program under the Welfare Reform act."

    Tags: convicts; welfare; FOIA; government

    By Chris Hayes; Dave Sharp; Kirstine Cyganowilz

    KTVI-TV (St. Louis)


  • Welfare reform: Many go off rolls, but still stay poor

    An Observer analysis of welfare data from nine Charlotte-area counties revealed the welfare reforms of 1997 to be less successful than some politicians claimed. Although caseloads have been trimmed in half over the last decade, taxpayers still haven't saved any money. Monthly checks are redirected into child-care subsidies and other programs that help former recipients. After leaving welfare, many recipients see little improvement in their lives. People who exhaust their welfare benefits are having a tougher time finding jobs than their predecessors, and those who do find jobs often live below the poverty line.

    Tags: Computer-assisted reporting; CAR; welfare; food stamps

    By Peter Smolowitz

    Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


  • The Invisible Population: homelessness in the metro

    This story outlines the severity of homelessness in the "metro area" - Omaha, NE, and Council Bluffs, IA. The story talks about the number of people affected by homelessness, and personalizes the issue by exploring the debilitating circumstances to which many homeless adults were exposed throughout their lives. The story also talks about the metro's community efforts and explains the structure of an award-winning program that works to address all components of homelessness.

    Tags: homelessness; community efforts; Siena/Francis House; Salvation Army's Winter Night Watch Program; Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center; Omaha-Council Bluffs Consolidated Plan for Community Development Programs; Omaha Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (OACCH); Welfare Reform Act; HUD; Open Door Mission; National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

    By Summer Miller

    The Reader (Omaha, NE)


  • Crime in the suites

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian takes a look at welfare, welfare reform and corporate welfare.

    Tags: welfare; San Francisco; welfare recipients; corporate welfare; welfare reform; taxes; deals; welfare wages; contracts

    By Tim Redmond

    San Francisco Bay Guardian


  • After Welfare

    The New Yorker takes a look at the realities of welfare-reform legislation, about four years after its passage. "Working two jobs, Elizabeth Jones does her best for her family. But is it enough?"

    Tags: welfare; welfare reform

    By Katherine Boo

    New Yorker


  • To speed up its child welfare system, Denver will need to stop kidding around.

    This piece is really a collection of small stories of Colorado parents' experiences with foster care in the state. the stories include a foster parents who had new legislation made to correct a problem in the agency, parents who are incapable of reform, and children who are caught in the middle.

    Tags: Foster care; children; abuse

    By Julie Jargon

    Westword (Denver)


  • The Man With Too Many Children

    Peter Digre is responsible for 73,000 troubled children, as head of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services. There are plenty of good ideas for improving child welfare in America, but the size of the the problem overwhelms even the most dedicated reformer.

    Tags: child welfare; DCFS; foster care

    By Rob Gurwitt

    Governing Magazine