Since the passage of “welfare reform” in 1996, there have been sharp changes in the safety net—for example, the proportion of eligible families who receive cash welfare benefits dropped by 42 percent between 1996 and 2017. Researchers still know very little about the reform’s causal impacts on children and families—especially in the long run. Furthermore, existing research related to public cash assistance has primarily focused on families’ earnings and employment outcomes. Amidst the backdrop of an increasingly work-oriented social safety net, Sheridan is focused on understanding how families’ interactions with social safety net programs influence the direction of their lives, including their long-term health. His research objective is to broaden policy discourse and provide a better understanding of how non-health policies impact health; thus expanding current understandings of the effectiveness of the social safety net while also addressing an important driver of health inequity.
MORE ABOUT SHERIDAN
Sheridan’s research focus stems from his time as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sheridan’s insight into how federal policies are crafted provide him a unique lens for conducting research that informs policymakers’ decisions on public investments in and structuring of social policy programs.