ASPE awarded approximately $2.9 million in grants to states and counties in FY 1998 to study the outcomes of welfare reform on individuals and families who left the TANF program, who applied for cash welfare but were never enrolled because of non-financial eligibility requirements or diversion programs, and/or who appeared to be eligible but were not enrolled.
All fourteen (14) grantees used a combination of linked administrative data and surveys to study welfare reform's outcomes on families leaving the TANF program. Their research questions were grouped into eight general research topic areas: employment and earnings, case closures and recidivism, other income supports, health insurance, child care, child well-being, barriers to self-sufficiency, insecurity/deprivation, and other topics. In addition to the original FY 1998 funding, ASPE provided $837,000 in FY 1999 funds for continuations and extensions of several of the FY 1998 projects.
The fourteen (14) grantees funding in FY 1998 were:
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio
- The District of Columbia
- Los Angeles County, California
- New York
- San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties, California
- South Carolina
Each project is summarized below.
This project, the TANF Cash Exit Study, involved cohorts from both the fourth quarter of 1996 and the first quarter of 1998, with administrative data from multiple systems for both cohorts and a sample survey of 800 cases from cohort two. Arizona has waivers which allow for 24 months of transitional child care and Medicaid. The project looked at whether individuals and families leaving TANF have been advantage of these benefits and the reasons why or why not. The state also studied whether progressive sanctioning, ending in full-family sanctions, has succeeded in motivating participation in work activities. Arizona released interim reports in May and July 1999 analyzing outcomes from administrative data for both of their study cohorts, and a final report in January 2000 that included both administrative and survey data on leavers. In addition, a second year follow-up report, supported by ASPE continuation funding in FY 1999, was released in October 2001.
Grantee Contact: Mark McCain, Arizona Department of Economic Security
Phone: (602) 364-0958
Cuyahoga County, OH
This project, conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), provided an addition to MDRC's Urban Change project with a focus on leavers. Cohorts were drawn from the third calendar quarters of 1996 and 1998. The project included analysis of ten years of full population administrative data developed for the Urban Change project, as well as a small mixed-mode sample survey drawn from a cohort surveyed between July and December 1999. This project and the Los Angeles project, also by MDRC, effectively made up a two-site study that has allowed for comparisons while controlling for study design. Cuyahoga County released an interim report in May 1999 with administrative data outcomes for the cohort of third quarter 1996 leavers. The final report for this project was released in April 2001.
Grantee Contact: Nandita Verma, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
Phone: (212) 340-8849
District of Columbia
This project was managed by researchers at the Urban Institute, and looked at families who left the TANF program in the last quarter of 1997 and the last qua rter of 1998. It used administrative data on TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and foster care. This information, dating back to 1992, was available from the District's integrated system, eliminating the need for difficult linking. In addition, a mixed mode-survey of 277 families who exited welfare in the fourth quarter of 1998 was administered approximately nine months after exit. The final report for this project was released in January 2001.
Grantee Contact: Gregory Acs, The Urban Institute
Phone: (202) 261-5522
Florida looked at three populations: those who left the WAGES (Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency) system, those who were diverted (informally, by withdrawing voluntarily or failing to complete the application process), and those who appeared to be eligible but did not enroll into the TANF program. The project involved both administrative data linking and a very large telephone survey effort (15,000 households both from statewide and across four geographic regions). ASPE funds supported 10,000 of the 15,000 interviews, including all of the interviews for cases of diversion and the eligible but not enrolled. The final report for this project was released by Florida's subcontractor, Florida State University, in November 2000.
Grantee Contact: Bob Crew, Florida State University
Phone: (850) 644-6284
This project assessing the impact of welfare reform on women leaving TANF in Georgia added a new component to a larger ongoing study involving two cohorts: a sample of 2,000 leavers from January to October 1997 tracked with administrative data; and a telephone survey of 200 leavers per month from July 1998 to June 2001. ASPE funding allowed the state to add a two-wave survey of sanctioned cases, before exit and again six months later, which has provided for non-experimental analyses of the impact of leaving TANF. In June 1999, Georgia released administrative data findings on individuals who left welfare in the first quarter of 1997. The final report for this project , which included survey findings, was released in January 2001.
Grantee Contact: Dana Rickman, Georgia State University
Phone: (404) 651-4825
This project, carried out through a contract with the University of Illinois, looked at cases that closed between July 1997 and December 1998. It integrated administrative data from multiple systems with interview data from selected families. The administrative data, tracked over a 6- to 23-month follow-up period, included data on earnings, TANF, food stamps, Medicaid, Project Chance, child care, foster care, child protective services, and other programs. The survey data were collected from samples of families that exited in December 1997, June 1998, and December 1998. The federal grant was used to extend the study cohort and the period of administrative data tracking by six months and fund a survey of 514 cases closing in December 1998. The final report for this project was released in August 2000.
Grantee Contact: Linda Brumleve, Illinois Department of Human Services
Phone: (217) 785-0754
Los Angeles County, CA
Survey Instrument (in PDF format)
This project by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) provided an addition to their Urban Change project with a focus on leavers. Cohorts were drawn from the third calendar quarters of 1996 and 1998. The project included analysis of ten years of full population administrative data developed for the Urban Change project, as well as a small mixed-mode sample survey drawn from a cohort surveyed between July and December 1999. This project and the Cuyahoga County, OH project, also by MDRC, effectively made up a two-site study that has allowed for comparisons while controlling for study design. Los Angeles also received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to draw a sample of welfare leavers who receive housing assistance, both through public housing and Section 8. MDRC and Los Angeles County have submitted a draft final report for this project to ASPE and it is expected to be released in Summer 2002.
Grantee Contact: Nandita Verma, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
Phone: (212) 340-8849
This project looked families who left welfare between December 1998 and April 1999. The focus of the project was a detailed, mixed-mode survey of 570 cases conducted by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. The surveys were administered between six and sixteen months after the families left welfare. The survey findings were supplemented by administrative data on the full population of the cohort. The population studied in this project included the first group of TANF recipients to "hit" Massachusetts' time limits. Approximately two-fifths of case closings during this period were, in fact, due to time limits. The final report was released by Massachusetts in November 2000. A supplemental report looking specifically at leavers receiving housing assistance was released in June 2001.
Grantee Contact: Gloria Nagle, Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
Phone: (617) 348-8426
This project was based on two valuable databases: a comprehensive statewide collection of administrative data from health and human services programs, employment and training programs and wage records maintained by the University of Missouri, and a unique database of nonprofit emergency assistance in metropolitan Kansas City created by the Mid-America Assistance Council, a consortium of nonprofit agencies using shared forms and intake procedures. These existing databases were linked to each other and to a two-cohort survey of TANF leavers by the Midwest Research Institute. In addition, Missouri received continuation funding from ASPE in FY 1999, which has allowed for more extensive tracking of their study cohort of those who left welfare in the fourth quarter of 1997. Rather than produce one final report containing all of their findings, Missouri has released a series of reports on a variety of different topics. The follow-up report on the fourth quarter 1997 cohort of leavers is expected to be released in Summer 2002.
Grantee Contact: Rich Koon, Missouri Department of Social Services
Phone: (513) 751-3060
This two-year study included both TANF exiters and individuals under sanction, whether or not they have left assistance. The goals of the project included: determining the frequency of outcomes such as employment, job retention, use of transitional assistance and returns to assistance; identifying barriers to self-sufficiency; examining the effectiveness of sanction policies in changing behavior, and; developing a longitudinal tracking capacity for welfare outcomes in New York City. The State used full population administrative data from TANF, SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, foster care, child support, and wage records to analyze cohorts from the first quarter of 1997 and the first or second quarter of 1999. The FY 1999 cohort involved a 900-case survey in the first quarter of 2000. The state released an interim report in July 1999 with administrative data findings on the first cohort of leavers. A revised version of this report was released in December 1999. The final report for this project was released in June 2002.
Grantee Contact: George Falco, New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Phone: (518) 486-6340
San Mateo County, CA consortium
This project involved a consortium of three contiguous counties: San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara, together with the SPHERE Institute. They used full population administrative data for the fourth quarter 1996 cohort, and a combination of full population administrative data and three 30-minute mixed mode surveys for the fourth quarter 1998 cohort. The project linked several administrative databases and included an elaborate sampling plan in an attempt to look at a large variety of policy relevant subgroups across the three counties, including "diverted" families who initiated TANF applications but did not enroll in the program. Continuation funding allowed SPHERE to add a third survey at 18 months after exit and extend administrative data tracking of their study cohort. An interim report with administrative data findings on fourth quarter 1996 leavers in San Mateo County was released in May 1999. A second interim report, including findings from the Wave 1 survey of the fourth quarter 1998 cohort of leavers, was released in December 2000. The final report from SPHERE incorporating the second and third waves of survey data was released in November 2001.
Grantee Contact: David Mancuso, The SPHERE Institute
Phone: (650) 558-3980 x.13
This project has studied cohorts who left the Family Independence Program (FIP) program in the first half of 1996 and the first half of 1997 using linked administrative data and 1,000 in-person interviews. The state has examined the outcomes of four groups: leavers due to earnings, sanctions or time-limits and eligibles who never enroll. Each of the initial interviews had a follow-up one year later; another survey was be administered two years after the initial interview. The study has focused particular attention on issues of child well-being and use of the child welfare system. The project also includes 40 in-depth stories about 10 families from each group who participated in a more detailed and extensive survey. Reports detailing findings for the one-year follow-up interviews of both leavers and "diverters" (eligible but not enrolled) were released in 2001. The two-year follow-up reports are expected in Summer 2002.
Grantee Contact: Marilyn Edelhoch, South Carolina Department of Social Services
Phone: (803) 898-7461
Washington State focused chiefly on individuals and families who left welfare, but also looked at those who are diverted (in this case through lump-sum payments), and those who appeared to be eligible but did not enroll onto TANF. Three cohorts were analyzed by linked administrative data: a pre-TANF cohort from the fourth quarter of 1996; an early-implementation cohort from the fourth quarter of 1997; and a full-implementation cohort from the fourth quarter of 1998. Each cohort included a sample of individuals staying on welfare, for purposes of comparison. A mixed mode survey of 708 cases was administered to the cohort of fourth quarter 1998 leavers. The survey sample was split between TANF leavers and entrants, with an emphasis being placed on leavers in rural areas of the state. Washington released separate final reports containing administrative data and survey findings, as well as a smaller report synthesizing the two data sources, in March 2000.
Grantee Contact: Shon Kraley, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Phone: (360) 413-3086
Wisconsin used its funding to build on and expand two projects. First, Wisconsin used state funds to build a longitudinal database to study families who either left AFDC prior to implementation of Wisconsin Works (W-2) or who did not convert during the transition. This data was used in conjunction with a series of surveys of families who left W-2 in 1998. The state funded a survey of clients who exited in the first quarter of 1998, the results of which were released in January 1999. Nearly half of their funding under this announcement was used to extend this survey to clients who exited during the last three quarters of 1998. A report on this cohort of leavers, including both administrative and survey data, was released in November 2001.
In addition, Wisconsin used HHS funding to expand an applicant diversion study undertaken by the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This portion of the study has focused on three subgroups of applicants: those who request assistance and subsequently participate in the W-2 program; those who request assistance but are determined to be ineligible for program participation; and, those who request assistance, appear to be eligible, but do not participate in W-2. A six-month cohort of applicants is being tracked through a combination of linked administrative data (e.g., public assistance, quarterly earnings, child support, foster care, and mental health data) and three waves of surveys, the third being funded by ASPE in FY 2000. A report detailing findings from Wave 1 of the survey, administered at the time of application, was released in July 2001. A Wave Two survey report is expected in Summer 2002.
Grantee Contact: Mary Rowin, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Phone: (608) 267-9022