Understanding the AFDC/TANF Child-Only Caseload: Policies, Composition, and Characteristics in Three States. Case File Data


A more in-depth analysis of the child-only caseload is presented in Chapter 3. This is based on information collected from income maintenance case files of 761 child-only cases randomly selected from each of three county's child-only caseloads in May 1999. The sample was selected to be representative of each county at the 90 percent confidence level.

A focal child was randomly selected from each sampled child-only case, and counties were requested to pull all case files associated with the focal child since the child's birth. In some instances, earlier case files had been archived or destroyed and information on the earlier cases was unavailable, although complete information was generally available for the current case. As a result, much of the information presented in Chapter 3 focuses on the current child-only case.

Information was collected on the characteristics of the caregiver, focal child, and absent parent, the household composition, the circumstances surrounding the child-only case (i.e., how it became child-only), and the household's benefit receipt and income.