The Research Team conducts a multi-faceted, multi-year research program focused on Maryland's public (cash) assistance and child support programs. The mission of the Research Team is to conduct quality research on current social policy issues, linking social science findings to policy formation and decision-making.

All studies provide policymakers with empirical data that can be used to inform policy and service development, program management, and program monitoring and evaluation. The core of our analytic approach consists of profiling customer characteristics (demographics) and circumstances, describing program participation and employment patterns, and examining how these domains interact with one another. The methodological approach is mixed, logically combining the most appropriate methods of different disciplines.

Our interdisciplinary policy research has continually relied on administrative data to answer many of our research questions. By utilizing a number of state administrative databases, the Research Team is able to gather detailed information on individuals and their program participation, which is usually available for the entire population served and is longitudinal rather than cross-sectional. Study findings are also enriched by drawing upon telephone and mail surveys, interviews and case note reviews.

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