Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume One. 3.5..2 Welfare Reform Initiative

12/01/2002

With the passage of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, the Cabinet for Families and Children was concerned about the impact that the new time limits and work requirements would have on the Kentucky welfare population. Questions to be answered included: Would there be adequate resources to train people within the five year limit and would homelessness and poverty become endemic? Could the hard-core unemployable go to work and would clients keep jobs and become self-sufficient? The Cabinet contracted with the University of Louisville's Urban Studies Institute (USI) to conduct a longitudinal, outcome-based evaluation of the effects of welfare reform. The evaluation had two components. The first was to work with Cabinet Departments to develop a database to track the trends and impact of reform on individual clients, and enable the Cabinet to meet the research and evaluation mandates accompanying welfare reform. USI also conducted a panel study of current and former clients to measure their quality of life for up to five years, with additional cohorts added each consecutive year. Recipients, prior to welfare reform, were also included in the study. Administrative data files summarizing client activity in 1994, 1995, and 1996 were included. The data from years prior to the establishment of TANF were used as a source of baseline data.

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