This evaluation was part of a five state evaluation of welfare reform’s impact on children. An in-home survey was conducted over a nine-month period during 2000. The survey was administered to 1,679 single parent families with children between the ages of 5 and 12. An additional set of outcomes for 1,126 adolescent children (between 13 and 17 years old) was also presented. The survey addressed child outcomes related to educational performance, social and emotional adjustment, and health. Other aspects in the children’s environment that were potentially affected by welfare reform measures, such as childcare and family stability, were also measured. Groups were randomly assigned to either the traditional welfare environment or the welfare reform program. The welfare reform groups were encouraged to find work as soon as possible, with a 24-month time limit imposed on receipt of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Personal responsibility provisions were also incorporated.
The welfare reform program did not appear to have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on elementary school-age children or on adolescents.