Welfare reform, though targeted at changing adult behaviors, has a strong potential for affecting children's well-being and development. Both positive and negative outcomes for children are possible, across an array of domains that include child health outcomes, cognitive/school-related outcomes, and socio-emotional/behavioral outcomes. Almost all ASPE welfare outcomes grantees propose to study some indicators of child well-being, generally relying on survey data (e.g., parental reports), but also using administrative data to examine such issues as child abuse and neglect, and foster care placements. In addition to studying direct child outcomes, most grantees also study child care arrangements, health insurance coverage, and other "intervening mechanisms", or factors that may shape child outcomes. Like other outcome measures in non-experimental studies, the child outcomes reported in leavers and diversion studies are descriptive indicators, which are useful for monitoring purposes, but cannot be considered impacts attributable to policy changes under welfare reform.
- Cross-State Findings on Child Well-Being and Child Care. December 2001. From "Final Synthesis Report of Findings from ASPE's 'Leavers' Grants", by Gregory Acs and Pamela Loprest with Tracy Roberts, The Urban Institute (funded by ASPE).
- Dynamics of Children's Movement Among the AFDC, Medicaid, and Foster Care Programs Prior toWelfare Reform: 1995 1996. March 2000. By Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago; Center for Social Services Research, University of California, Berkeley; School of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and American Institutes for Research, Prime Contractor.
- Potential Constructs and Items for a Child Well-Being Module in Leavers Studies. No date. By Martha Zaslow, et al, Child Trends.
- Child Outcomes in Leavers Studies: Exact Items from the Surveys Covering Child Outcomes. Fall 1999. By Child Trends. (In PDF format)
- Review of Child Outcomes in Leavers Studies. Fall 1999. Table prepared for ASPE by Child Trends. (Tables including Selection of Focal Child; Coverage of Intervening Mechanisms and Child Outcomes; and Comparing Experiences on and off Welfare)
- Fall 1999 ASPE Welfare Outcomes Grantee Meeting: Overview of Child Well-Being Session. Fall 1999. By ASPE staff.
- Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth 2000. The fifth edition of an annual HHS report on trends in the wellbeing of Americas children and youth.
- Child Trends
- National Survey of America's Families