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The Dynamics of Leaving Welfare: A Study of Long-Term Welfare Recipients in Utah

This report of the “Understanding Families with Multiple Barriers to Self Sufficiency” study presents data and findings from Phase III, conducted from June 2000 to July 2002. Phase III had three major components:

  1. Longitudinal analysis of welfare leavers, especially those who were closed because they reached Utah’s 3 year lifetime limit for cash assistance;
  2. In-depth data collection for a subset of respondents who achieved success despite possessing multiple barriers to self-sufficiency; and
  3. A report problem areas and intervention strategies for leavers found to be in a situation which immediately threatened their ability to provide food, clothing, shelter or physical and emotional care for themselves or their families.

Data collection for all components was initiated through in-person, in-depth interviews with 1482 respondents. Of those, 813 completed three interviews over the course of the study. The 813 respondents were followed longitudinally for at least 14 months post-closure to assess their family and personal situation over time. Twenty respondents were selected to participate in additional qualitative interviews to appraise their ability to find success despite multiple barriers. Respondents found to be in crises were referred to the intervention specialist for follow-up. 

Read the project report

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Last Updated: 12/12/23