The First CSDE Evaluation, 1997-2003

From September 1997 through June 1999, most cases entering W-2 were assigned to receive a full pass-through of any child support paid; a randomly selected control group was assigned to receive a reduced amount. These assignments remained in place until July 2002, when all cases began to receive the full pass-through.

The first IRP evaluation included three types of analysis: an implementation and process study, an impact analysis, and a nonexperimental study.

The impact analysis was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 focused on W-2 recipients who transferred from AFDC or who entered W-2 in the first 9 months after the program started in September 1997. Phase 2 compared the effects of the full pass-through policy on these earlier cohorts of cases and a later cohort of cases which entered W-2 in the first two quarters of 1999. In the evaluation, a control group of about 4,000 custodial mothers received either 41 percent of the amount paid or $50, whichever was greater, and a treatment group of about 16,000 mothers (all others participating in W-2) received the full amount of child support.