Tracking Welfare Reform: Designing Followup Studies of Recipients Who Leave Welfare. Survey of Closed Cases – South Carolina


Survey of Former Family Independence Program Clients: Cases Closed January Through March 1997

Date: March 3, 1998

Investigator: Department of Social Service, Division of Program Quality Assurance

Contact Person: Marilyn Edelhoch, Director of Research and Evaluation, 803/734-5937

Method—Phone interviews and home visits with a sample of families who had case closings from January through March 1997. Random selection of 532 cases from a universe of 5,320 closed cases. Initial contacts were made by telephone for interview, but when respondent could not be contacted by telephone, a home interview was attempted. 395 interviews were completed. Response rate was 78 percent with ineligible cases excluded.

Findings in Brief

Most common response for leaving program—reflects respondent opinions

  • Got a job 42%
  • Earned too much money 15%
  • Did not want to be on welfare 14%
  • Have child support income 9%

Employment status at time of interview

  • Employed at time of interview 65%
  • Not employed since leaving welfare 15%
  • Average Hours Per Week 34
  • Average Hourly Wage $6.00

Reasons for unemployment (if no job at time of interview)

  • No transportation 25%
  • Lack of child care 24%
  • Can't find a job 16%
  • Illness or injury 12%

Household deprivation on welfare after leaving

  • Period without money to buy food 6% 14%
  • Behind in rent or housing payment 12% 18%
  • Behind in utility bill 16% 19%
  • Lack of money for child care 12% 11%
  • Could not pay for medical care 3% 9%
  • About one third of those families eligible for transitional child care did not know of their eligibility and about one quarter of those eligible for transitional Medicaid did not know of their eligibility.