In addition to providing an annual summary report of welfare leavers in our longitudinal study called Life After Welfare, we also occasionally focus in on special topics or subgroups of leavers that are relevant. We have covered topics such as full-family sanctions, disconnection from work and welfare, child support receipt among welfare leavers, and regional analyses, among others.

Click here for Life After Welfare Annual Issues.

Reports are free of charge, and may be downloaded from this page.

15 Years Later: Long-term Outcomes for Families Leaving Welfare
(February 2017) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, Elizabeth Gleason,
& Letitia Logan Passarella

This report provides a comprehensive look at early Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) leavers in Maryland over a 15-year span of time. Specifically, we examine outcomes for a sample of families who exited the TCA program from October 1996, the first month of TANF implementation in Maryland, through March 2000. We provide a profile of these early leavers and examine 15 years of their employment and earnings outcomes as well as their receipt of public assistance, including TCA, Food Supplement, and Medical Assistance. This information provides insight into the long-term experiences of Maryland’s early leavers affected by welfare reform.

Life after Welfare: Disconnected Leavers who Reconnect
(March 2016) Elizabeth Gleason & Letitia Logan Passarella

Previously, we found that 70% of clients who exited the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program experienced at least one spell of disconnection from work, TCA, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that lasted for an average of one year. However, among leavers who were disconnected in the quarter immediately following their exits from TCA, some were able to reconnect to a source of income in the subsequent quarter. This research brief focuses on those clients in order to determine what source of income they reconnected to, how long they remained connected to that source of income, and what were their short-term welfare and employment outcomes compared to the leavers that remained disconnected for two consecutive quarters.

Climbing the Ladder? Patterns in Employment and Earnings after Leaving Welfare
(October 2015) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli

In this brief, we follow a sample of work-eligible clients who exited TCA for five years, examining how their employment and earnings changed over time. More than two in five leavers have a successful employment trajectory, meaning their employment remains high or increases over time. About three in ten leavers have positive earnings trajectories; their earnings are either substantial—that is, consistently above the federal poverty threshold for a three-person family—or they increase over time. We also examine the likelihood of returning to TCA by trajectory, finding that leavers with stable employment and continuous substantial earnings were far less likely to return to TCA.

Life after Welfare: Disconnected Leavers
(February 2015) Elizabeth Gleason, Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, & Letitia Logan Passarella

In our annual Life after Welfare reports, we document the percentage of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) leavers that are not working or receiving TCA in the first year after their exit—the disconnected. Stakeholders are concerned about this group, because they tend to possess more severe barriers to employment and may be among the most economically under-privileged of all TCA leavers. In this brief, we examine the percentage of families that are disconnected from both work, welfare (TCA), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) over a five-year period.

Life after Welfare: Work and Welfare Status
(October 2014) Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli & Letitia Logan Passarella

In the annual Life after Welfare report, we categorize TCA leavers into one of four groups—work only, welfare only, combined work and welfare, and disconnected from work and welfare—based on their annual participation in TCA and employment. While this analysis, which we call “work and welfare status,” provides some insight into how leavers are faring, we do not address how work and welfare status in the first year after exit affects outcomes in subsequent years. In this brief, we sort leavers into work and welfare groups based on their status in the first year after exit. We examine client characteristics by group, then investigate work and welfare status for each group in the second through fifth years after exit.

Life after Welfare: The Effects of Recession
(September 2014) Elizabeth Gleason, Lisa Thiebaud Nicoli, & Letitia Logan Passarella

The Great Recession, extending from 2007 into 2009, was the worst economic downturn since the 1920s and profoundly impacted the economy and the TANF population. In order to explore the outcomes of clients exiting Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) in Maryland during this recession relative to other economic conditions, we compare the employment and earnings of clients who exited TCA during one of three periods: the 2001 recession, the subsequent recovery period between 2005 and 2007, and the Great Recession.

Welfare Recidivism in Maryland: A Review of Administrative Case Narratives
(October 2013) Letitia Logan Passarella & Catherine E Born

A return to welfare may be necessary for some families on their path to self-sufficiency, and this report attempts to document the reasons why a family returned to cash assistance. We found that there was no single reason for a family’s return to welfare, but we did find three major themes: 1) barriers to employment and episodic employment; 2) missing appointments and paperwork; and 3) noncompliance with program rules.

TANF Recidivism: A Profile of Welfare Returns in Maryland
(June 2013) Letitia Logan Passarella, Lauren A. Hall,
Catherine E. Born

By examining welfare leavers between April 1998 and March 2010, we find that many (61.2%) leavers did not return to welfare within two years of their exit. However, 13.8% of leavers returned to welfare between 31 and 90 days of exit, while one-quarter (25.0%) returned within 4 to 24 months of exit. This report examines the characteristics of these cases as well as their employment and welfare use patterns.

Full-Family Sanctions & Economic Recession
(January 2011) Sarah Williamson

This brief describes the population of sanctioned families and what happens to them in the short- and long-term aftermath of their involuntary welfare case closure.

Full Family Sanctions: Long-term Outcomes of Sanctioned Welfare Leavers
(October 2010) Pamela C. Ovwigho, Nicholas Kolupanowich, Catherine E. Born

This report information on the characteristics and outcomes of 15,259 families that exited Maryland’s welfare rolls between April 1998 and March 2008. We compare the characteristics and outcomes of those whose cases were closed because of a full family sanction for non-compliance with work to those who exited for other reasons.

Disconnected Leavers:The Circumstances of Those Without Welfare and Without Work
(June 2009) Pamela C. Ovwigho, Nicholas Kolupanowich, Catherine E. Born

This study attempts to shed light on the puzzling question of why, in this enconomy, recent caseload increases have not been more dramatic by empirically examining the issue of “disconnection.” This relatively new term in public welfare refers to the phenomenon where, having exited welfare, former cash assistance recipients have neither income from their own employment nor welfare income from having returned to the rolls. In other words, they have neither work nor welfare.

Estimating Welfare Work Exits: Case Closing Reasons vs. UI Data
(September 2004) Pamela C. Ovwigho, Kirk Tracy, Catherine E. Born

In this research brief, we utilize a subset of data from the Life After Welfare study to more closely examine the relationship between employment and administrative case closing reasons.

Life After Welfare: Regional Analysis of Recent Leavers
(May 2004) Catherine E. Born, Kirk Tracy

This report examines and reports on data describing recent welfare leavers in Baltimore City and Prince George's County--the jurisdictions with the largest caseloads and the largest numbers of exiting families--and compares the findings with those for the balance of the state.

Life After Welfare: Child Abuse & Neglect Reports Among Early & Later Leavers
(February 2003) Pamela C. Ovwigho, Katharine Leavitt, Catherine E. Born

Rates of child abuse or neglect reports are higher among children in later cohorts of welfare leavers than in earlier cohorts. This report presents analysis of post-exit child abuse and neglect reports among children in families leaving TANF.

Life After Welfare: Regional Patterns
(September 2000) Catherine E. Born, Pamela J. Caudill, Melinda L. Cordero

The data from Life After Welfare: Fourth Interim Report are revisited and examined by geographical region to provide a picture of trends occurring across Maryland and how those trends may differ from patterns for the state as a whole.

Child Support Among Children in Former TANF Families
(August 2001) Shafali Srivastava, Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born

This brief examines the role child support receipt may be able to play in enabling families to leave welfare, increase their incomes, and avoid recidivism or returns to welfare.

Life After Welfare: A Look at Sanctioned Families
(November 1999) Catherine E. Born, Pamela J. Caudill, Melinda L. Cordero

A detailed analysis of the use and effects of full-family sanctions for non-compliance with work and non-cooperation with child support during the first 18 months of welfare reform.










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