Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT REVIEW PROCESS


The process of reviewing and analyzing existing survey instruments took roughly eight weeks. We began by collecting all the relevant survey instruments fielded specifically for use with welfare populations in the past five years, while paying close attention to the instruments that focused on barriers to employability and self-sufficiency. We then reviewed the surveys for content, focusing on instruments with relevant barrier measures and weeding out those with no particular measures of interest. Table I.1 includes the full list of survey instruments initially reviewed during this preliminary phase.

We then reduced our initial list into a core group of 11 survey instruments that contained all the barrier measures of interest, and compiled into one table a list of measures and questions found in each instrument (see Appendix A).(1) We reviewed the measures and questions across the entire group of 11 instruments and studied their differences and common themes. We chose the measures and questions to be recommended for inclusion in the new survey instrument based on their ability to accurately measure the domains of demographics, employment, and personal, family, and community barriers to employability and self-sufficiency. We then chose that instruments measure that captured the necessary information best  factoring in the survey administration mode and time constraints on the survey to be designed.


  1. Alameda County CalWORKS Needs Assessment survey (AC) 1998
  2. Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being (NSMHWB)
  3. Current Population Survey (CPS)
  4. Healthcare for Communities (HCC) Survey 1998
  5. Illinois Food Stamp Leavers (IL) 1999
  6. Iowa Core Survey 1998
  7. Iowa Child Impact Survey (Iowa CI) 1998
  8. Iowa Limited Benefit Plan Survey, Waves I and II 1996 and 1998
  9. Iowa TANF Leavers Survey 2000
  10. Iowa Work and Welfare Survey 2000
  11. JOBS Child Outcomes Study; EIH and 2-year
  12. Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey 2000
  13. Massachusetts survey
  14. Milwaukee Survey of Former AFDC Recipients 1998
  15. Missouri TANF Leavers and Stayers (MO) 1999, 2000 and 2001 surveys
  16. National Evaluation of Welfare to Work Grants Program Follow-Up Survey 2000
  17. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
  18. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
  19. National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) 1997 and 1999
  20. Nebraska Client Barriers Survey (NE) 2000
  21. New Chance 18 and 42-month surveys
  22. Pennsylvania Job Retention Evaluation (GAPS) 6-month 1998
  23. Pennsylvania Job Retention Evaluation (GAPS) 18-month 1999
  24. Six-County (CalWORKS) Study Prevalence Report
  25. Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) 1999
  26. Teenage Parent Demonstration
  27. Women's Employment Study (WES), Waves I and II, 1997 and 1998
  28. Work First NJ - Initial Participant Questionnaire 1999
  29. Work First NJ - Second Participant Questionnaire 2000
  30. Work First NJ - Third Participant Questionnaire 2001
  31. Work First NJ - Study of Affected Communities Resident Survey 2000
  32. Work First NJ Child Only Questionnaire 2001
  33. World Mental Health 2000 (WMH2000)
  34. Youth Fair Chance Community Survey 1997 (YFC Comm)

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