Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform, 2002. Competitive Grant Programs


Continuation of 1998 Grants to States and Localities to Study Welfare Outcomes (1998 and 1999)

Some of the ASPE leavers grantees (1) have findings that were not released in time to be included in the synthesis report (see Chapter II), or have not yet released a final report. These reports can be separated into two categories: those releasing their final reports from their studies funded in FY 1998, and those grantees that received additional funding in FY 1999 to extend the studies and administer a second or third wave of interviews, allowing analysis of longer-term outcomes for former recipients.

Studies Funded in FY 1998 (Wisconsin, Los Angeles County (CA), New York)

In November 2001, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released its final report on individuals and families who left the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program between April and December 1998. According to findings from the survey, about 58 percent of leavers were employed at the time they were interviewed, and 82 percent had been employed at some point since exit. Those W-2 leavers who were employed worked for an average of just over 35 hours per week, at wages averaging about $7.95 per hour. Four out of five leavers were receiving Medicaid, and 63 percent were receiving food stamps, in the fourth quarter following their exit from W-2. The majority of respondents (86 percent) with children under 13 reported having some child care arrangements while at work, and less than a third reported that a child care problem had interfered with their work efforts. Further, among survey respondents, 60 percent reported feeling better about themselves since leaving W-2, while only 7 percent reported feeling worse about themselves.

The Los Angeles County (CA) project was conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), and provided an addition to MDRC's Urban Change project with a focus on leavers. Cohorts were drawn from the third calendar quarters of 1996 and 1998. The project included analysis of ten years of full population administrative data developed for the Urban Change project, as well as a small mixed-mode sample survey drawn from a cohort surveyed between July and December 1999. This project and the Cuyahoga County, OH project, also by MDRC, effectively made up a two-site study that has allowed for comparisons while controlling for study design. Los Angeles also received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to draw a sample of welfare leavers who received housing assistance, both through public housing and Section 8. MDRC and Los Angeles County have submitted a draft final report for this project to ASPE and it is expected to be released in Summer 2002.

New York's two-year study included both TANF exiters and individuals under sanction, whether or not they left assistance. The goals of the project included: determining the frequency of outcomes such as employment, job retention, use of transitional assistance and returns to assistance; identifying barriers to self-sufficiency; examining the effectiveness of sanction policies in changing behavior; and developing a longitudinal tracking capacity for welfare outcomes in New York City. The state used full population administrative data from TANF, SSI, food stamps, Medicaid, foster care, child support, and wage records to analyze cohorts from the first quarter of 1997 and the first or second quarter of 1999. The FY 1999 cohort involved a 900-case survey in the first quarter of 2000. The state released an interim report in July 1999 with administrative data findings on the first cohort of leavers. A revised version of this report was released in December 1999. A final report for this project has been submitted to ASPE and is expected to be released by the state in Summer 2002.

Studies Receiving FY99 Continuation Funding (Arizona, San Mateo County (CA), Missouri)

Three of the FY 1998 grantees - Arizona, Missouri, and a consortium of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties - received additional funding in FY 1999 to extend their studies and administer a second or third wave of interviews, allowing analysis of longer-term outcomes for former recipients.

The Arizona study followed a large group of individuals who left cash assistance in the first three months of 1998 for two years. The state released its final report on the second year follow-up of leavers in October 2001. It found that many who left the rolls were self-sufficient after two years. Results from administrative data showed that fewer leavers utilized state services during the second year of the study compared the to the first year, and reported wages of employed leavers increased by 25 percent. However, those who were utilizing state services in the second year averaged more usage than they did in the first year. Surveys of the leavers showed that a majority of respondents felt their "general conditions" improved during both years of the study, though some particular indicators worsened in the second year.

Funding in FY 1999 allowed the SPHERE Institute to add a third survey at 18 months after exit and extend administrative data tracking of a cohort of individuals and families who left welfare in the fourth quarter of 1998 in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties, CA. The final report, released in November 2001, showed that conditions generally improved for leavers and informally diverted families over the 18-month follow-up period. In addition, trends in the awareness and use of transitional assistance were positive, but indicated room for future improvement. After 18 months, two-parent leaver families were somewhat better off than one-parent leaver families and families informally diverted from welfare.

The third grantee to receive continuation funding from ASPE in FY 1999, Missouri, has used the funding to more extensively track of their study cohort of those who left welfare in the fourth quarter of 1997. A final report on this follow-up study is expected from Missouri in Summer 2002.

Estimated Completion Date: varies by project

Grants to States and Localities to Study Welfare Reform Outcomes, with an Emphasis on Diversion (1999)

One of the Congress's major objectives in providing welfare outcomes money to ASPE over the last several years is to measure outcomes for a broad population of low-income families, welfare recipients, former recipients, potential recipients, and other special populations affected by state TANF policies, including diversion practices (2). To this end, ASPE issued a request for applications from states and large counties in April 1999 with an emphasis on the study of applicants and potential applicants to the TANF program. ASPE awarded seven grants under this announcement, six of which specifically support state efforts to gather a variety of information about individuals and their families who apply to TANF, including those who are formally or informally diverted. In addition, several of the leavers studies funded in FY 1998 had significant applicant components to their projects.

ASPE is particularly interested in learning about the degree to which TANF applicants receive, or are aware of their potential eligibility for, Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs and services that are important in helping low-income families make a successful transition to work. Below are summaries of the grants provided to states and large counties in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 with a particular emphasis on TANF applicants and diversion from TANF. "Diversion" in this context is not limited to participation in formal diversion programs, but also includes "informal" divertees. These are usually defined as individuals who began the application process but were either deemed ineligible for non-monetary reasons, withdrew voluntarily after completing the process, or failed to complete the process for some other reason. A synthesis of available findings is included in Appendix A.

New York (1999)

New York, which also received a FY 1998 leavers grant from ASPE, included divertees, all other denials, and entrants in their sample for this study. Their analysis has focused on comparing TANF applicants who were diverted with those who received cash assistance. Twenty-one local districts participated in the study, including New York City and other sites ranging from large urban to rural areas. In most districts, state researchers have used administrative data to track a March 2000 sample of divertees, denials, and entrants for 12 months after the application. The sample was drawn through intercept interviews with TANF applicants in each of the local districts using a methodology that allowed New York to include individuals who entered the TANF office with the intent to apply but who did not submit written applications. The state's contractor, ORC Macro, administered the survey to the sample of 864 families, evenly split between diverted applicants and entrants. The state is finishing up its analysis of the data and writing the final report.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Washington (1999)

Following up on the leavers grant that they received in FY 1998, Washington studied formal and informal divertees and entrants. The state compared the experiences of individuals who participated in the state's Diversion Cash Assistance program, those who entered TANF, and those who were diverted and received assistance from neither program. They have analyzed administrative data for the full populations of each of these groups from the fourth quarters of 1997, 1998, and 1999, including data from up to 12 months prior to and 12 months after the selection quarter. The state has nearly completed administrative data collection.

The state also surveyed individuals who applied for TANF or Diversion Cash Assistance between July and October of 1999. The survey was administered between four and eight months after the time of application. The draft final report has been submitted to ASPE and is currently undergoing revisions within the state.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Wisconsin (1998 and 2000)

This study of individuals applying for Wisconsin Works (W-2) assistance in Milwaukee has been undertaken by the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. This portion of the study focuses on three subgroups of applicants: those who request assistance and subsequently participate in the W-2 program, those who request assistance but are determined to be ineligible for program participation, and those who request assistance, appear to be eligible, but do not participate in W-2. A six-month cohort of applicants is being tracked through a combination of linked administrative data (e.g., public assistance, quarterly earnings, child support, foster care, and mental health data) and three waves of surveys, the third being funded by ASPE in FY 2000. A report detailing findings from Wave 1 of the survey, administered at the time of application, was released in July 2001, and a link to the report is posted on the ASPE web site. A report on Wave 2 of the survey is expected in Summer 2002. The third wave of the survey is currently in the field; a descriptive report on this survey is expected in late fall 2002.

Estimated Completion Date: Winter 2003

Grants to States and Localities to Enhance Studies of Welfare-Related Outcomes

The purpose of these grants is to enhance state-specific surveys of populations affected by welfare reform, by expanding or improving data collection activities. Grants to states are being used, for example, to add additional survey waves to measure longer-term outcomes, collect data to support greater sub-group analyses, and gather more detailed information on non-respondents. To be eligible, states had to have an existing survey that had been administered at least once, so the grants can facilitate real improvements, without paying for basic startup costs. Survey efforts needed to fill an important knowledge gap that could not be filled with states' existing data. The data cover a variety of welfare reform outcomes, such as measures of family hardship and well-being, barriers to employment, poverty status, and utilization of support programs. The surveys focus on various subsets of the low-income population including long-term welfare recipients, child-only cases, former recipients, potential recipients, welfare leavers with little or no reported income, and other special populations affected by state TANF policies. The funded proposals include:

Alameda County, CA (2000)

Alameda County builds on its existing survey of current TANF recipients and TANF leavers who were interviewed at baseline and at 15 months. Under this project, researchers are conducting a 27- month follow-up survey and maintain the same detailed focus on health barriers to employment, including issues related to mental health and substance abuse. Researchers from the Public Health Institute are conducting in-person interviews and linking responses to the state's administrative data systems to gain information on demographics, earnings and program participation. The data gathering has been completed and analysis of the data are underway.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Missouri (2000)

Missouri is building on its ASPE-funded study of former TANF recipients who left the rolls in 1996 and 1997, and is adding a cohort of recipients who have remained on TANF for at least 36 months. The study seeks to characterize and contrast the self-sufficiency outcomes and barriers for current and former TANF recipients, and to identify which factors are most predictive of successfully transitioning off welfare, as well as those characteristics most predictive of exhausting the time limit. Survey data is linked with administrative data on TANF, food stamps, child care, Medicaid, and some community-based assistance. Thus far, the contractor for the study, the Midwest Research Institute, has selected the sample of long-term recipients and has fielded the questionnaire on barriers to work. Data analysis is ongoing.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

San Mateo County, CA (2000)

This study uses both administrative and survey data to study child-only cases, including cases that have left TANF and those that remain on the rolls. The study seeks to better understand the characteristics and outcomes of these families, many of whom are headed by immigrant parents. The study takes place in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and is being conducted by the SPHERE Institute. Their study also draws on administrative data from county case files, wage records and Medicaid eligibility data. Thus far, researchers have developed their research design, coordinated with various county offices, fielded the survey instrument, and constructed the administrative data files. Data analysis is ongoing.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Wisconsin (2000)

This project adds a third wave of interviews to the Institute for Research on Poverty's existing study of a cohort of TANF applicants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The findings from this wave will reflect outcomes for this cohort approximately two years after the baseline data were collected. The study is based on a sample of applicants, and the survey will contain results for those who have entered and subsequently left TANF, those still receiving TANF, and some who never received TANF. Adding a third wave to the applicant survey will support analysis of a significant number of cases who have reached the time limit in Wisconsin, and a significant number of cases who have cycled off and on the rolls. The researchers will examine a large number of outcomes related to employment, well-being and program participation. They anticipate that of the 1200 respondents from Wave 1, approximately 900 will complete interviews for Wave 3. The Wave 3 survey is currently in the field, and a descriptive report should be available in late fall.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2002

South Carolina Welfare Outcomes Grant (1998, 2000 and 2001)

This project continued ASPE's support of a multi-year effort by South Carolina's Office of Budget and Control Board's Office of Research and Statistics to link administrative data and additional data from surveys of former welfare recipients. The funds provided through an ACF cooperative agreement allowed South Carolina to continue its contract for the expansion of the follow-up studies. Final reports on the first year follow-up on welfare leavers have been released (3), as well as first- and second-year reports focusing on those families diverted from cash assistance. A final 36-month follow-up report, summarizing previous reports on both leavers and divertees, is expected in the fall.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2002

State Studies of TANF Caseload (2001)

This project funds six states - California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Missouri, and South Carolina - to study the characteristics of their TANF caseloads. Particular attention will be given to the personal, family and community factors that may present barriers to employment. States will survey a sample of the current caseload by telephone, in order to gather information in such areas as physical and mental health, disability, substance abuse, and domestic violence, as well as information on demographics, work experience and income. To improve the comparability of survey data, states will use a standardized survey instrument (see project description below). Each state will supplement this common instrument with additional survey questions according to their particular interests, and will augment their survey data with administrative data in order to examine changes over time in recipient characteristics and program utilization. States will compare characteristics of recipients and barriers to employment across various subgroups, such as short-term and long-term recipients or employed and non-employed recipients.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2003

Researcher Initiated Grants on Welfare Outcomes (1999, 2000 and 2001)

ASPE continued to support researcher-initiated proposals to study important questions related to the outcomes of welfare reform in FY 2001. Background on the FY 1999 and 2000 grant programs is included in Chapter II. In FY 2001, ASPE awarded eleven grants in support of policy-relevant research to broaden our understanding of welfare reform outcomes. Nine ASPE grantees received approximately $1.2 million; the Administration for Children and Families funded two grants totaling over $200,000. The issues being addressed under the 2001 grants include barriers to service delivery, particularly for special populations; family formation; child and youth outcomes; maternal employment; the low-wage labor market; family economic security; measurement of welfare utilization; and effects of TANF time limits. On-going projects are described below.

Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC): An Analysis of Caseload Composition and the Non-Working Welfare Leavers (2000)

Researchers are examining three groups of low-income populations (those who leave welfare for work, those who remain on the welfare rolls, and non-working welfare leavers) to address the following questions: (1) In what ways are the families who remain on welfare different than the ones who have left? (2) What are the characteristics and circumstances of people who leave welfare and are not working? The project uses data from seven evaluation studies of welfare programs (six used random assignment) conducted by MDRC.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Urban Institute: The Link Between Marriage and Low-Income Family Well-Being (2000) (formerly How Important is Marriage to Low-Income Family Well-Being?)

This project, which began in September 2000, is examining the interactions between family formation status and economic well-being to better understand the extent to which marriage is a protective factor against economic hardship, particularly among the disadvantaged population. The study examines various types of family formation, including single, married and cohabiting parents, and it looks at measures of poverty as well as material hardship. The project is producing four reports, based on various data sources. The first report has been completed (see Chapter II).

The second report is based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and explored in more depth the degree to which the protective role of marriage differs for more and less disadvantaged populations. Preliminary findings indicate that even among disadvantaged groups, marriage continues to significantly reduce the likelihood of being in poverty, although by some measures the effects were somewhat smaller among the disadvantaged population. The report, Married and Unmarried Parenthood and the Economic Well-Being of Families: A Dynamic Analysis of a Recent Cohort, is expected to be completed by Summer 2002.

The third report is based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and focused more on measures of material hardship, including lack of phone service, housing inadequacy, food insecurity and utility shut-offs. Preliminary results indicate that, even after controlling for differences in income, married families tended to experience less material hardship than either cohabiting or single-parent families, and that this may be in part because married families have greater access to help from families, friends and communities. The report, The Relationship Between Marriage and Other Family Structures and the Material Hardship Experienced by Households with Children: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, is expected to be completed by Summer 2002.

The final report will be a literature review of various studies that analyze the returns to marriage, particularly for disadvantaged families.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Columbia University: Fragile Families and Welfare Reform (joint with ACF) (2000)

This study will describe the conditions and capabilities of vulnerable mothers and fathers in the first few years following enactment of PRWORA and begin an evaluation of the impact of TANF and child support policies. Specifically, researchers will document the composition of the actual and eligible welfare caseload, how unwed mothers are packaging various forms of support and government programs, and how well families are doing as a result of individual efforts and social policies. Researchers also will conduct subgroup analyses on teenage parents and immigrants. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, a random sample of new unmarried mothers and fathers in 20 large cities across the United States, will be utilized. The first report under this grant, a baseline report that provides demographic and descriptive statistics as well as a comparison of mothers who are receiving public assistance to those who are not, is currently under review and is expected to be released in Summer 2002. Upcoming reports will use 12-month follow-up data to analyze length of assistance receipt, use of public and private supports, employment, changes in circumstances, and city and policy variations.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2003

UCLA/RAND: A Proposal to Examine the Reporting of Welfare Benefits in the SIPP Using Matched Administrative Records in California (joint with ACF) (2000)

This two-year study examines the accuracy of self-reports of program participation in survey data. In particular, researchers are comparing self-reported program participation among Californians interviewed in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) with California administrative files of program participation for the same individuals. Researchers will document the degree of misreporting in a variety of programs, including AFDC/TANF, Medicaid, and food stamps, and investigate the implications of misreporting for conclusions about the dynamics of welfare participation.

Estimated Completion Date: September 2002

UCLA/University of Wisconsin: The Effects of the Work Pays Demonstration, EITC Expansions and the Business Cycle on the Labor Market Behavior of the California Caseload (2000)

This project will examine the effect of: 1) welfare changes, 2) the 1990 and 1993 expansions of the EITC, and 3) changes in the business cycle on three specific issues concerning the California welfare population. These issues include: 1) how do these factors contribute to the economic well-being of families; 2) how do they affect labor market and transfer program participation; and 3) how do they affect employment changes and earnings trajectories? The project will use California administrative data drawn from the welfare, unemployment insurance, and tax systems. This project has experienced delays in negotiating and securing the necessary data sharing agreements with the various agencies.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2002

University of Wisconsin: Toward Understanding the Longitudinal Health Insurance and Food Stamp Status of Short- and Long-Term Welfare "Leavers" (1999)

Subsidized medical insurance and food purchases through the Medicaid and Food Stamp programs potentially improve the health and economic well-being of low-income people, but only if eligible participants receive program benefits. Reports of low take-up rates and decreases in food stamp and Medicaid participation rates following passage of welfare reform legislation in 1996 raised concerns about the health care coverage and nutritional status of low-income people, particularly former recipients of cash welfare. This project explores the long-term utilization of food stamp and Medicaid benefits for two cohorts of welfare recipients who left cash assistance in Wisconsin. The first cohort consists of those who left cash welfare in 1995 (under welfare reform waivers); the second cohort consists of those who left welfare two years later, in 1997. The paper estimates both initial take-up rates (i.e., participation rates among those eligible immediately after exit from cash welfare) and participation rates for extended periods after leaving assistance. Preliminary findings show that participation eroded over time after exiting cash welfare in similar patterns for the two cohorts, but the overall level of take-up was substantially higher for the latter (1997) cohort of leavers.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

Child Trends: Maternal Employment and Adolescent Functioning During the Early Implementation of PRWORA: The Role of Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Adolescent Employment (2001)

This project will examine how the lives of adolescents in single-mother, low-income families who have received welfare during the early stages of PRWORA implementation are affected by their mothers' employment. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort, the project will investigate how maternal employment in these families relates to key aspects of adolescents' lives, including their autonomy, their relationships with their parents, and their own employment. This project will examine how these changes in adolescents' lives relate to their well-being. It also will investigate how relationships among these variables differ for various subgroups of adolescents, as well as whether they are indicative of a process occurring in single-mother, low-income families more generally, or are specific to families receiving welfare.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

Johns Hopkins University: A Study of TANF Non-Entrants (2001)

This project will use data from the Three-City Study, a study of low-income families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. It will examine the employment rates, earnings, income, and other measures of well-being for families who have not applied for welfare or who have applied and been rejected or diverted. Specific questions from the Three-City Study survey regarding experiences with application and diversion will be used to document how common these events are. Longitudinal analyses will be conducted using two waves of survey data, examining how families fare after having been diverted or not having applied. The survey data will be supplemented by ethnographic, participant-observation data on families who have not entered TANF or who have applied and been rejected or diverted.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

New Jersey Department of Human Services: Are Former Welfare Recipients Likely to be Eligible for UI? Evidence from New Jersey (2001)

This project will examine the extent to which former welfare recipients who leave welfare for work are likely to be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). Pre-welfare reform data has indicated that many prior welfare recipients who leave work are ineligible for UI. Using a set of administrative and survey data from the ongoing Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) evaluation, this study will focus on three main questions, in a post-welfare reform sample: 1) How many former welfare recipients who leave welfare for work are likely to be eligible for UI? 2) What are the actual UI experiences of welfare recipients who lose their jobs? and 3) What is the total extent of the safety net of these individuals, including welfare and UI amounts and durations?

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

The SPHERE Institute: Implications for the Design of Federal Time Limit Rules: Who Will Hit TANF Time Limits in California? (2001)

This study is designed to: 1) estimate the number and proportion of California TANF cases likely to hit five-year federal time limits; 2) determine how families likely to hit the time limit differ from other TANF families; 3) estimate the number of working families likely to hit time limits; 4) determine how working families likely to hit time limits differ from working families that leave TANF, with a particular focus on differences in employment characteristics; and 5) consider the implications of these findings for the design of federal time limit rules, focusing on assessment of the current 20 percent hardship exemption and alternatives that account for employment behavior. Linked California statewide administrative data sources measuring TANF participation, recipient demographics and earnings, and employer characteristics will be used.

Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2002

University of Texas, Austin: Changes in Employment, Welfare Receipt, and Income as Predictors of Family and Child Care Contexts and Youth Risk and Resilient Behavior (2001)

This study will use longitudinal data from the New Hope evaluation (in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), a work-based, anti-poverty program, to investigate the relations of parents' employment, income, and welfare receipt to family organization, children's activities, and development of children and youth during the course of welfare reform in the late 1990's. The questions to be examined are: 1) Do the levels and changes in parents' employment, family income, and receipt of welfare for the period from 1995-2001 predict family organization, children's participation in child care and out-of school activities, and youth risk and resilient behavior? 2) Are effects of employment, income, and welfare on children and youth mediated by changes in family organization or child activities? 3) Are these relations different for children in middle childhood versus adolescents?

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

University of Washington: State Policy Variation and the Economic Security of Low-Income Families in the Wake of Welfare Reform (2001)

The three principal investigators have developed a database of state policy indicators for 11 program areas, in each of six years. Programs in the database capture the components of a package of supportive assistance available to low-income families with children, including some transfer, tax, in-kind, and work support policies. The study will address two questions: 1) How did the packages of "family support policies" provided by states change between 1994 and 1999/2000? and 2) What were the consequences for the economic well-being of families with children? For this study, time series data will be used to describe state policy developments from 1994 to 1999/2000, and innovative analytic techniques will make it possible to estimate the effects of state-level policies on families' resources, resource packages, and experience of hardship.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

The Urban Institute: The Interactions of Workers and Firms In the Low-Wage Labor Market: Implications for Welfare Reform (2001)

This study will examine the determinants of successful employment and wage outcomes among low-income workers. Using longitudinal administrative data on workers and the firms that employ them, researchers will address the following questions: 1) For those low-income workers who ultimately succeed by gaining higher earnings, to what extent are they generated by returns to job retention as opposed to mobility across firms? 2) Do these pathways to higher earnings differ by age, gender, race/ethnicity, geographic location, and time period for the disadvantaged workers in question? and 3) What characteristics of employers contribute the most to these successful outcomes? Are there particular matches between worker and firm characteristics that are most helpful for achieving worker success? Are there particular transition patterns across employers that are most likely to generate such success? Researchers will use the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data set, which includes an employer-worker data set based on state-level unemployment insurance data.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

Washington University: Children with Disabilities: Implications for the Transition from Welfare to Work (2001)

This project will examine aspects of the economic and psycho-social impacts a child with disabilities has on low-income and welfare-recipient, single-mother families. The project will document the incidence of child disability among low-income and welfare-recipient, single-mother families and examine the characteristics of families with disabled children. The impact that children with disabilities have on their families' ability to exit welfare and poverty, as well as the impact on adult labor supply in these families over time, will be examined.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003

Wilder Research Center: Barriers, Service Delivery Issues, and Outcomes for Somali, Hmong, and American Indian Participants in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (2001)

This study will examine culturally specific characteristics and service delivery issues that affect employment and welfare use among Somali and Hmong immigrants and American Indians in Minnesota, groups with the lowest welfare exit rates. Researchers plan to collect in-depth, qualitative information directly from members of the cultural groups. A better understanding of culturally related variations in characteristics, needs, and experiences will facilitate planning for more effective services and policies at a time when members of these three groups constitute a disproportionate share of those who are likely to exhaust their 60-month TANF limits.

Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2003