Status of Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform, 2000. Background

12/01/2000

In its report for the FY 2000 Appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Conference Committee added funds for the third year to the Policy Research account in the Office of the Secretary and directed in its report that the funding support studies of the outcomes of welfare reform:

"The conference agreement includes $7,150,000 to continue the study of the outcomes of welfare reform. It is recommended that this effort include the collection and use of state-specific surveys and state and federal administrative data. The study should focus on improving the capabilities and comparability of data collection efforts and developing and reporting reliable State-by-State measures of family hardship and well-being and of the utilization of other support programs. The study should 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. The conference agreement includes sufficient funds to continue supporting efforts at Iowa State University to develop state-level data on low-income families that can be integrated with national data collection efforts. A report is to be submitted to the Appropriations Committees within nine months."
(H. Rept. 106-479, page 622)

The following report has been prepared by the Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), in response to the requirement for a report. Unless otherwise noted, this report discusses only the welfare outcomes research agenda supported by the $7,150,000 targeted appropriation. No attempt has been made to reflect the separately funded welfare research agenda of the Department's Administration for Children and Families (ACF)(1) or ASPE's or the Department's health research agenda, except to the extent that some projects were supported jointly by welfare outcomes funding and funds from other sources.