Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. COMMUNITY BARRIER MEASURES


In this chapter, we turn to community-level characteristics that could potentially function as barriers to employment and self-sufficiency for TANF recipients. These characteristics have to do with the influence communities can exert, both positive and negative, on inhabitants in the realm of work readiness and attendance. Specifically, we include in the area of “community barriers” the subtopics of transportation, crime, housing problems, as well as the lack of affordable housing, inadequate job availability, and inadequate social and community service availability.

Table VI.1 summarizes our recommendations and priorities for measuring community barriers in the survey of TANF recipients. The estimate of total time to administer all the “A”-rated items in the community barriers domain, as indicated in Table VI.1, is five minutes.


Community Barriers Number of Items Past Survey(s) Estimate of Time (minutes) Priority Rating
Transportation Problems
How does Respondent get to work (usual mode of of transportation)? 1 WES; MO; NE; AC; IL .25 A
How long it takes to get to work? 1 WES; NE; AC; IL .25 A
Does Respondent have a valid driver’s license? 1 WES; MO; NE; AC; IL .25 A
Does Respondent own or have access to a car? 1 WES; MO; NE; AC; IL .25 A
Did Respondent’s car break down last month? 1 IL .25 A
Do transportation issues keep Respondent from working? 1 MO; NE; IL .25 A
Could Respondent get to work via public transportation, if needed? 1 None .25 B
How long would it take to get to work via public transportation? 1 None .25 B
High Crime Rates
In Respondent’s neighborhood, how much of a problem is… drug use or dealing in the open, unemployment, rundown buildings and yards, crime, assaults, and burglaries? 4 IL; YFC .50 A
Is Respondent afraid to walk alone within 8 blocks of home? 1 IL; YFC .25 A
Does Respondent feel safe at home at night? 1 IL; YFC .25 A
Does Respondent feel neighborhood is a safe place for children to play? 1 IL; YFC .25 A
Housing Problems and Lack of Affordable Housing
Is affordable housing available in Respondent’s area? 1 WES .25 A
Has Respondent been homeless during the past year? 1 WES .25 A
Has Respondent been evicted during the past year? 1 WES .25 A
Inadequate Job Availability
Do people in Respondent’s neighborhood have to travel a long way to work? 1 YFC .25 A
Is there high unemployment in Respondent’s neighborhood? 1 IL; YFC .25 A
Inadequate Social and Community Service Availability
Are the following services available in Respondent’s community... career or job counseling, counseling or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, counseling to help with other personal or family problems, health clinics or places for emergency health care? 4 YFC .75 A
Are the following services available… community day care or after-school program, literacy, GED, or tutoring program? 2 WES .25 A

View full report


"report.pdf" (pdf, 367.08Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®