This volume of an evaluation report on the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) examines the effect of the welfare-to-work program on the children of welfare recipients. The MFIP program was established before the implementation of the welfare reform requirements of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. Components included financial incentives for work, participation requirements for long-term recipients, and streamlined enrollment procedures for AFDC, food stamps, and the Family General Assistance program. The evaluation compared outcomes for more than 14,000 families who were randomly assigned to the MFIP program and AFDC. The analysis of effects on children was based on families with children age 2 to 9 years old in urban counties. Findings revealed that the children of long-term recipients who participated in MFIP had fewer behavior problems than children in families receiving AFDC. In addition, MFIP children were more likely to be enrolled in childcare and have continuous health coverage than children of mothers receiving AFDC. Other positive outcomes for families receiving MFIP included higher incomes, more work opportunities, greater work stability, and increased likelihood of marriage. Single mothers who received welfare less than 24 out of the 36 months before assignment to the MFIP sample group reported similar levels of behavior and school problems, income, and well-being as short-term welfare mothers receiving AFDC benefits. These results indicate that MFIP had the greatest effect on long-term welfare recipients. Numerous references, 13 figures, 58 tables.
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Reforming Welfare and Rewarding Work: Final Report on the Minnesota Family Investment Program. Volume 2: Effects on Children.