The FY 1998 state and county grantees studying the outcomes of welfare reform are making significant use of administrative data available to them. They are using a combination of linked administrative data and surveys to study welfare reform’s outcomes on families leaving the TANF program. For virtually all of these (see Figure 2), the administrative data sets to be used include TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and some type of wage records.
Administrative Data Used to Study TANF Leavers
Number of Grantees Using Data Source
Source: Grantee revised work plans, as of 1/99.
Most of the wage records will come from the Unemployment Insurance system, though at least two will use their State Department of Revenue records. Child welfare, child support, and JOBS or JOBS successor data will be analyzed by about half the grantees. Other administrative data sets used by fewer grantees include child care subsidies, general assistance, SSI, substance abuse services, publicly funded mental health services, WIC, housing assistance, vocational education, school attendance, emergency services, and JTPA data. Some grantees will be linking fullcaseload samples, while others will link only subsamples. Some plan to use longitudinal data reaching back as far as 10 years, while others will include data only from 1997 forward.