Caseload Dynamics: How is the TANF caseload changing over time?

We've developed three interactive figures to look at example monthly caseload entries, exits and net monthly change based on synthetic TANF caseload data over a five-year timeframe.

Figure 1: Caseload Entries There is an overall decline in case entries from 2011-2015. Observe there is some evidence of a seasonal pattern. Would you expect something similar in your state? Or something different? What other patterns might be identified by case entries?

Figure 2: Caseload Exits There is a small spike in case exits preceded by a drop in case exits in 2015. Perhaps there was a change in the program policy or practice governing case closings or data entry that is driving the change. Shifts in the economic environment can also impact these trends. Can you think of circumstances in your state that might drive case exit patterns?

Figure 3: Caseload Dynamics The gap between entries and exits, and thus the rate of change in caseload size, is relatively consistent from 2011 to 2014. Overall case exits were at their highest in 2012 and subsequently declined. There are more exits than entries, for consistently negative net change — a decrease in caseload counts. This pattern changes with the net increase of 320 cases in the middle of 2015. By then end of 2015, the net monthly change is negative and close to zero. What could you learn from a net change analysis of your TANF data?

Want to dive in further?

  • Use the "Case Type" filter to examine patterns for different case types (child-only, one-parent, two-parent, and Total) and for urban versus rural cases.
  • Use the "Churning Month Bridge" feature to adjust the churn factor (i.e., cases that close for very short periods, often for administrative reasons such as delays in redetermination, and then reopen) in the sample graphics and observe how the results change.

What do these results suggest? How could this information be useful to inform agency planning?

Notes: These figures uses synthetic TANF caseload data created by NORC at the University of Chicago as part of the Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center (FSSDC) and modified by Chapin Hall to incorporate additional features for this purpose.