This introductory chapter provides an overview of the specific summary measures of welfare dependence proposed by the Advisory Board. It also discusses summary measures of poverty, following the Board’s recommendation that dependence measures not be assessed in isolation from measures of deprivation. Analysis of both measures is important because changes in dependence measures could result either from increases in work activity and other factors that would raise family incomes, or from sanctions in welfare programs that would reduce welfare program participation but might not improve the material circumstances of these families. The introduction concludes with a brief discussion of data sources used for the report.
Chapter II of the report, Indicators of Dependence, presents a broader group of indicators of welfare recipiency and dependence. These indicators include measures of the extent of recipiency for each of the three programs considered separately, as well as information on income from all three programs in combination. Interactions of AFDC, SSI and FSP benefits with periods of employment and with benefits from other programs are also shown. The second chapter also includes data on movements onto and off of welfare programs, and on the extent to which welfare recipiency in adolescence is correlated with later adult recipiency.
Chapter III, Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt, focuses on predictors of welfare dependence -- risk factors believed to be associated with welfare receipt in some way. These predictors are shown in three different groups
- Economic security – including measures of poverty, receipt of child support, health care coverage, and so forth -- is important in predicting dependence in the sense that families with fewer economic resources are more likely to rely on welfare programs for their support.
- Measures of work status of adult family members also are important, because families must generally receive an adequate income from employment in order to avoid dependence without severe deprivation.
- Finally, teen behaviors are very important since a high proportion of long-term welfare recipients became parents as teens, often outside of marriage. Starting a family in these circumstances may lead to dependence because teens generally lack adequate skills, preparation and resources to support a child.
Additional data are presented in three appendices. Appendix A gives basic data on each of the three main welfare programs and their recipients over the past several years. These three programs are the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the Food Stamp Program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (Pub. L. 104-193), enacted in 1996, ended the AFDC program and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, which is run directly by the states. This year=s annual report includes data on the first year of the new program whenever those data have been available. The available data on TANF in 1997 are shown in Appendix A.
Appendix B provides additional detail on potential risk factors that could not be included in Chapter III because of space considerations. These risk factors are primarily measures of poverty and economic security. Finally, additional data on nonmarital childbearing are included in Appendix C.
"Introduction" (pdf, 47.84Kb)
"Indicators of Dependence" (pdf, 152.45Kb)
"Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt (First Half)" (pdf, 158.1Kb)
"Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt (Second Half)" (pdf, 150.06Kb)
"Appendices (First Half)" (pdf, 182.84Kb)