This study uses data from the National Survey of America's Families 1997, 1999, and 2002, to summarize what we have learned about families potentially affected by welfare reforms passed in 1996. We describe outcomes for low-income families currently on welfare, families that recently left welfare, and those that have never received welfare. Changes in welfare policy, the economy and broader societal trends potentially affected all three groups. Our results show important differences in the relative well-being of these three groups over time, including changes in employment, poverty, and the share of families disconnected from either cash government assistance or work.
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