This project assessed the relationship between welfare use, income, employment and training, and health care coverage, on the one hand, and multiple measures of child well-being within the TANF recipient population on the other. As families transition from welfare to work in the context of welfare reform policies, large variation in these features is inevitable. The focus of the research was the first three (3) years of an ongoing panel study involving 1,500 families who were receiving TANF in late 1998. Annual survey interviews assessed parental reports of each child’s academic performance, behaviors, and health, as well as key risk and protective factors. The survey data were combined with administrative data from the public welfare system, the unemployment insurance system, children’s school records, medical chart reviews of a subset of children from the sample, and Medicaid claims data. Major findings included: in Illinois, the goal of decreasing welfare dependence was clearly met; efforts to increase work were moderately successful, although early success appears to be leveling off; progress was also made towards the family formation goals, although it is unclear to what extent welfare reform was responsible for observed changes in marriage and childbearing.
PIC ID: 7533
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Yaffe, Alan, 202-401-4537
Performer: Northwestern University, Evanston IL