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|Thursday, Sept. 10, 1998 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
Michael H. McCoy
For more information, contact:
Jan Van Vleck, 608/266-6722
W-2, AFDC "leavers" study
underway by state agency
Madison, Wis. -- Interviews will continue next week for the fourth week with former welfare recipients who did not participate in W-2 as AFDC ended, a state agency announced today. The goal is to find out why they dropped out and how they have fared.
The study also is attempting to determine why some left AFDC in the three months before that program ended, said Linda Stewart, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
A random sample was chosen from the 3,564 persons who left AFDC or W-2 between January and March, 1998. Those included in the survey group comprise about 17 per cent of the total, she said.
About 125 persons already have been interviewed since the survey began Aug. 21. About 600 persons will be contacted within the next several weeks.
A final report is expected in late-October if there are no complications, she said.
The interviews consists mainly of telephone calls and some "face to face" discussions with those without telephones. Participation is voluntary.
W-2 began Sept. 1, 1997, while AFDC ended April 1 this year. Some of those being contacted had enrolled in W-2 but then left during the first three months of this year, while others on AFDC chose not to continue in AFDC or to participate in W-2.
Stewarts agency administers the W-2 program statewide and commissioned the University of Wisconsin Survey Research Laboratory to conduct the telephone surveys.
"Besides telling us why people left welfare and W-2, the study will examine individual efforts to obtain jobs and remain employed, quality of life issues, and such job-related issues as child care, medical insurance and transportation," Stewart said.
The design phase of the project began in June, and is based on a modified version of a survey that was used in South Carolina. A Wisconsin "pre-test" involving 50 randomly-selected persons was conducted in early August in Wisconsin to work out any problems.
Those for whom English is not a primary language are being contacted by interviewers with knowledge of those languages.
Stewart said those who chose not to participate in W-2 still may enroll in the program, if they have had second thoughts or their situation has changed since they made their earlier decision. Anyone who returned to the program after June 30 will be dropped from the study.
"Interviewers are telling us that most of those contacted so far have been pleased to have an opportunity to talk about their experiences," Stewart said. Only 13 persons who have been contacted thus far have refused to participate, she added.
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