Do Mandatory Welfare-to-Work Programs Affect the Well-Being of Children?. Child Impacts

This section summarizes impacts for children, using data from the Child Outcomes Study (COS) sample in three sites and from the client survey sample in all seven evaluation sites. COS data provide a rich, in-depth look at a subset of young children; child data from the client survey sample, though more limited, cover more sites and programs, provide information about a large number of children who were age 6 or over at study entry, and are available for families in four sites who had children as young as age 1 at baseline. (See Appendix C for a discussion of how the children in the control groups in this study and national samples of children compared developmentally at the two-year follow-up point.) Given, however, that many of the client survey questions applied only to school-age children, most analyses reported below narrow the client survey sample to only those who had all school-age children at study entry. (21)(Results for client survey sample members with children of all ages are shown in Appendix D.) Child impacts, as was the case with the previously discussed impacts, are measured by comparing outcomes for children of program group members with outcomes for children of control group members. Child impacts are presented for three child outcome areas: behavioral and emotional adjustment, cognitive functioning and academic achievement, and health and safety.(22)