Assessing the Initial Impact of Welfare Reform: A Synthesis of Research Studies (1998-2002)


The research examining welfare programs and populations has increased substantially since the enactment and implementation of the Personal Opportunity and Work Responsibility Act (PRWORA), the most substantial change in welfare policy since 1935. This literature review examines studies conducted between 1997 and 2002. It captures the major findings in four principle areas of inquiry: (1) barriers to employment, (2) population characteristics, (3) welfare to work service programs and the impact on service delivery organizations, and (4) outcomes of welfare reform with regard to family well-being and family formation. The review concludes with a research agenda that can guide the next phase of research in a post-welfare reform environment that continues to await federal reauthorization.

Carnochan, S.
Ketch, V.
DeMarco, A.
Taylor, S.
Abramson, A.
Austin, M.J.
Publication date: 
October 16, 2008
Publication type: 
Journal Article