Approaches to Evaluating Welfare Reform: Lessons from Five State Demonstrations. B. ROLE OF FOLLOW-UP SURVEYS


Many of the welfare reform changes are likely to have their most immediate impacts on employment, earnings, and public assistance outcomes. Such impacts can be measured through administrative data. Nonetheless, the waiver terms and conditions required states, to the extent feasible, to collect data on outcomes related to family stability and children's welfare. These outcomes are often of considerably policy interest, but cannot readily be measured with administrative data. States have almost always proposed surveys in response to this requirement.

This section considers the appropriate role of follow-up surveys of experimental (or demonstration) and control (or comparison) group members in an impact analysis. Other possible roles for surveys (such as to collect data on program participation as part of a process analysis) are not considered here.