Texas Families in Transition / Surviving Without TANF: An Analysis of Families Diverted From or Leaving TANF

Researcher(s):Deanna Schexnayder, Daniel Schroeder, Laura Lein, David Dominguez, Karen Douglas, and Freddie Richards
Date Published:
January 2002
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, The University of Texas at Austin; and the Center for Innovative Projects for Economic Development, Prairie View A&M University

Abstract: In the post-welfare-reform era, many states have begun conducting research to determine how the new policies affect the families they serve. In particular, states need to understand if former welfare recipients are employed or receiving other types of economic supports, how many have returned to welfare, and reasons for families’ success or failure.

This report addresses the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of families who left or were diverted from TANF?
  • To what extent are these families participating in other government programs, especially Medicaid and food stamps?
  • To what extent are these families employed and/or receiving other economic supports, such as child support and child care subsidies?
  • Over time, how do these families manage and what hardships do they face?
  • How do potential applicants view the diversion/application process?
  • Are there particular points after leaving TANF at which people are the most vulnerable to returning?
  • Which factors are associated with leaving TANF, being employed, or returning to TANF?

This report examines these research questions for two populations of low-income families: those diverted from TANF prior to enrollment and those who have left TANF. Among ‘diverted’ families, three types are being studied: families redirected prior to TANF application, those denied TANF for non-financial reasons, and approved TANF applicants opting to receive a one-time payment in lieu of TANF benefits.


Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Executive Summary (HTML) Printed Copies: 225pp.
To order please contact the Texas Department of Human Services, (512) 438-5101
Ray Marshall Center

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