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Working Paper Number SPD97-1
Robert A. Kominski and Daniel H. Weinberg

Introduction

The Census Bureau is currently in the field collecting data for a new study, the Survey of Program Dynamics. The project has been brought to life as a result of the passage of welfare reform legislation developed during the 1996 Congress. The goal of the survey is to track some of the long-lasting effects of the decentralization of the welfare system in the United States, and the social, economic and demographic impacts these changes will  have on families, adults and children over time. The initial impetus for the survey did not arise from the welfare reform act, but in a desire to develop a vehicle for monitoring long-term changes in families. Preparatory work done during the past few years laid the groundwork for the Bureau to capitalize on the opportunity created by the passage of the welfare reform bill. In this paper, we discuss some of the background leading up to the development of the survey, the basic design as currently formulated, the main components of the survey design, some of the technical issues we have had to resolve thus far, and our current status.

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