ERIC Number: ED435495
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
Beyond Declining Caseloads: Advocates' Tools for Monitoring Welfare Reform. Issue Brief.
Freeley, Theresa J.; Brady, Sheri A.
Noting that child advocates are increasingly implementing monitoring projects to track the status of former welfare families and are using the findings to inform their agendas, policymakers, and the general public, this issue brief introduces monitoring strategies and suggests issues for consideration in designing a monitoring project. Monitoring, defined as tracking a family's income, composition, and other social and economic indicators, is useful for illustrating trends and highlighting what is happening to children and families. The brief highlights issues that should be considered in developing a monitoring project: (1) envisioning the final product; (2) choosing a focus; (3) identifying and accessing the target population; (4) ensuring statistical validity; and (5) identifying resources. Monitoring methodologies discussed in the brief are surveys, longitudinal tracking of families, focus groups, and the use of administrative data. Examples of various methodologies are highlighted in descriptions of individual state efforts. Also considered are issues related to selecting appropriate measures and maintaining credibility. Sample indicators are defined and operationalized. The brief also discusses the importance of communicating the project's results, including identifying target audiences, developing a message, connecting with the media, and disseminating the information. The brief concludes by noting that child advocates must remind the public and policymakers that the success or failure of welfare reform should be judged on the basis of its impact on the well-being of children and families. (Contains 20 notes.) (KB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: National Association of Child Advocates, Washington, DC.