This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), a welfare reform initiative implemented in three urban and four rural counties of the state. The program was intended to increase employment and reduce poverty and dependence on public assistance with financial incentives for individuals who found employment. Participants in the program were compared to a control group of participants in the traditional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Employment, welfare receipt, and other outcomes were measured over a three-year period. The evaluation found that employment and income increased for single-parent long-term recipients. However, welfare costs for the Family Investment Program were higher than the costs for AFDC, because MFIP families continued to receive benefits after they were employed to supplement their income. The increase in income among MFIP families resulted in increased child and family well-being, marriage rates, and academic achievement and decreased incidence of domestic abuse and child behavior problems. Two-parent MFIP families were more likely to stay married than AFDC families. The report highlights the impact of the program on single and two-parent families in the context of income and employment, as well as secondary effects on well-being. Lessons learned from the study are also outlined. 2 figures and 4 tables.
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Reforming Welfare and Rewarding Work: A Summary of the Final Report on the Minnesota Family Investment Program.