In 1994, Florida started the Family Transition Program (FTP) as a pilot test site in Escambia County, the first welfare reform initiative to test time limits for eligibility and continued benefits. Families were limited to only 24 months of assistance during a 60-month period (36 months out of 72 for the least job ready) and were provided services and incentives to find work. The evaluation was a random assignment comparison group study of welfare recipients placed in the FTP and others receiving traditional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits. The findings showed that FTP recipients, compared to those in the AFDC group, and had lower length of time on welfare, had few positive or negative impacts on children, with the exception of adolescents and their school performance. FTP families gained in income more than they lost in welfare payments. Slightly less than half of the FTP families who reached their time limits were able to work steadily in the subsequent 18 months, many relying on family, friends, Food Stamps, and housing assistance. The conclusion was that time limits can be imposed without widespread impact on families, but that the robustness of the local economy may be a strong contributing factor.
AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
FEDERAL CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537
PIC ID: 6820
PERFORMER: Florida Department of Children and Families, Tallahassee, FL