Fifteen focus group interviews were conducted in Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago between November 1996 and November 1997, with women who were current and former welfare recipients and with men who were familiar with the welfare system. Seven focus groups consisted of African Americans, six consisted of Hispanics (and were conducted in Spanish), one consisted of whites, and one had a mixture of whites and African Americans. Eleven groups were all female and four were all male.
We asked the participants what they had heard about the changes in welfare and what they thought about these changes. We discussed time limits, work requirements, measures to discourage additional births, and provisions to increase child support. The participants were asked to say what they thought the impact of the changes would be. In addition, they were asked what messages about the welfare changes they would give to lawmakers. (Author summary)