To supplement the case studies, we analyzed administrative data from management information systems in two of the study sites El Paso County, Colorado and Utah. To the extent that data were available, we collected information on the number and types of activities to which recipients are assigned, the number of hours they are assigned to participate, the extent to which they actually participate in assigned activities, and their progress over time. This information revealed both the extent to which recipients are engaged in program activities and the circumstances of those who are not counted in the federal participation rate.
The administrative data in El Paso County include all 1,204 adult recipients who were on TANF in August 2003 and reflect their participation from August 2003 through December 2003. The administrative data in Utah include the 6,187 adult recipients who were subject to program requirements in May 2003.(4) Most analyses cover the six months from May 2003 through October 2003, but some cover all months from the opening of each TANF case through December 2003. August 2003 and May 2003 reflect typical months in El Paso County and Utah, respectively.
(1) The caseload decline must not be as a result of changes in state or federal policy in order to count toward the caseload reduction credit.
(2) While the ACF data are available for both the county and state, other sources of information on work requirements are not as readily available at the county level. Therefore, we did not attempt to systematically classify counties in the same manner as states. In order to identify counties that intend to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients in work or work-related activities, we relied on suggestions from knowledgeable individuals outside of MPR in the second step of the site selection process.
(3) In Ohio, where the TANF program is operated and administered at the county level, we selected two counties for the study: Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, and Franklin County, which includes Columbus.
(4) We excluded 927 adult recipients who were ineligible aliens, disqualified for fraud, deemed parents, or receiving Supplemental Security Income.