Final Report on Client Study of the Community Social Services Study of the Impact of Indiana's Welfare Reforms

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-1-2000


In May of 1995, Indiana became one of the first states to reform its welfare program. Using incentives and sanctions, the state tried to alter the behavior and circumstances of adult welfare recipients. Program goals included increased client self-sufficiency and decreased reliance on welfare; increased client employment; the encouragement of responsible parenting; and the development of working partnerships with local government, community agencies, churches and businesses. In June of 1997, there were numerous and significant changes to the State’s welfare program, changing both incentives and sanctions as well as expanding the proportion of the welfare population subject to new requirements.

Our evaluation of Indiana’s welfare reforms focuses on adult program participants who received cash assistance after June of 1997. Among this group, we examine needs; strategies and coping mechanisms for making ends meet including their use of local governments, religious organizations, and community social service providers; involvement in various education and training programs; strategies used to find employment; earnings, and; progress towards economic independence.


This report is made available by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.