Interim Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform. Grants to States and Counties to Determine the Status of TANF Recipients After They Leave the TANF Caseload, Eligible Families who are Diverted Before Being Enrolled, or Eligible Families Who Fail to Enroll


ASPE awarded approximately $2.9 million in grants in September 1998 to study the outcomes of welfare reform on individuals and families who leave the TANF program, who apply for cash welfare but are never enrolled because of non­financial eligibility requirements or diversion programs, and/or who appear to be eligible but are not enrolled.  The grants were awarded to 10 states and 3 large counties or consortia of counties under a competitive announcement published in the Federal Register in May 1998.  In addition, a grant was made to South Carolina, under a different grant announcement, to conduct a similar study of families leaving TANF.  Funding for these projects was supplemented with interagency transfers from the Departments of Agriculture and Labor, and the DHHS Administration for Children and Families.

The major purpose of the grants is to enable grantees to track and monitor how individuals and their families do in the first year after they leave welfare and to provide a foundation for longer follow up.  Grantees are using administrative data, survey data, or a combination of both types of data to address a number of important research questions, grouped into eight general research topic areas:  employment and earnings, other income supports, health insurance, child care, child well­being, case closures and recidivism, barriers to self­sufficiency, insecurity/deprivation, and other topics.  Interim reports have been released by four of the grantees; others are expected within the next few months.  Final reports are due at the end of the project period, which varies from 12 to 17 months for most grantees.  Three grantees proposed a two­year project period, with second­year funding subject to grantee performance and availability of funds.

Brief descriptions of each project, including estimated completion dates, are included in Appendix A.