Performance Improvement 2001. Feedback From Potential Users of a Comprehensive Welfare Rules Database: Final Report


This report describes the reactions of researchers, policy makers, and state welfare administrators to the possibility of a comprehensive database of states' rules for providing cash assistance to low-income families with children--specifically, AFDC/JOBS rules for 1996 and prior years, and TANF rules for 1997 and future years. The goal was to obtain feedback on specific aspects of a comprehensive welfare rules database, and to provide insight into the broader question of whether a single database is an appropriate and achievable goal. The database used to generate comments and discussions for this project is the Urban Institute's Welfare Rules Database (WRD), under development for the past three years. The database currently focuses on welfare rules and does not include information on budgets, caseloads, outcomes, or administration. WRD project staff obtained comprehensive feedback and the report provides a list of nine recommendations for a useful database. After considering the recommendations, Urban Institute staff and HHS staff determined that the best area for immediate improvement was the documentation. Urban Institute staff prepared a users guide and wrote documentation of the categories of information as well as the specific variables.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

FEDERAL CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537

PIC ID: 6837

PERFORMER: Urban Institute, Washington, DC