Welfare Rolls No Longer in Rapid Decline

This report examines the dramatic decline in welfare cases in the Washington area after the enactment of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in 1996, from 47,730 to 22,994 in 2000. In the past two years, however, caseloads have leveled off and even increased slightly in some suburban jurisdictions.

This leveling off was expected at some point because there are cases that will need continuous assistance, such as child only cases, where the child is being cared for by a relative, and exempt cases involving persons with disabilities or other problems that make it permanently impossible for them to work.