A Synthesis of Research
Most welfare programs seek to ensure that poor families have adequate income while at the same time encouraging self-sufficiency. Based on studies of 28 programs involving more than 100,000 sample members, this synthesis compares the costs, benefits, and returns on investment of six welfare program strategies – from the perspectives of participants, government budgets, and society as a whole.
One of the most controversial features of the 1990s welfare reforms was the imposition of time limits on benefit receipt. This comprehensive review, written by The Lewin Group and MDRC, includes analyses of administrative data reported by states to the federal government, visits to several states, and a literature review.
Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods
Welfare caseloads fell, employment increased, and neighborhood conditions improved in Los Angeles during a period of economic growth and welfare reform. However, most welfare recipients still remained poor, the concentration of poverty increased, and those who worked were usually in low-wage jobs without benefits.