Interim Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform. Illinois


Through a contract with the University of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Human Services is sponsoring a study of how Illinois families fare after they leave cash assistance, with an emphasis on understanding the factors associated with success in maintaining self­sufficiency.  Through a combination of state funds ($350,000) and federal funds granted under this Appropriation ($250,000), the project is studying cases that closed between July 1997 and December 1998.  The Illinois project integrates administrative data from multiple systems with interview data from selected families.  The administrative data, tracked over a 6- to 23-month follow-up period, includes data on earnings, TANF, food stamps, Medicaid, Project Chance, child care, foster care, child protective services, and other programs.  The survey data are being collected from samples of families that exited in December 1997, June 1998, and December 1998.  The federal grant has been used to extend the study cohort by six months (through December 1998), extend the period of administrative data tracking by six months (through June 1999), and fund a survey of 800 cases closing in December 1998.  Those survey participants who cannot be reached by traditional telephone procedures will be targeted by more intensive field work, in order to raise survey response rates beyond those of the earlier state­funded cohorts.

Estimated Completion Date:  A final report is expected in the fall of 1999.