The Achieving Change for Texans (ACT) demonstration was created after the enactment of Texas HB1863 in 1995, and operated in several Texas locations from June 1996 through March 2002. HB1863 stressed the temporary nature of welfare cash assistance and the need for people to move from welfare to work to gain independence and break the cycle of poverty. It was enacted over a year before the passage of the 1996 federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).
HB1863 contained several provisions that required waivers from existing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) rules in effect at the time. It time-limited AFDC benefits, changed transitional benefits, enacted a personal responsibility agreement, and authorized one-time emergency cash payments. The ACT waiver was approved in March 1996 and was one of the last AFDC waivers granted prior to the passage of PRWORA.
In 1997, the Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS) received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to evaluate ACT’s effectiveness. TDHS conducted an implementation study through its Program Evaluation Unit and contracted with the University of Texas for the remaining portions of the evaluation. At the University, the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources (Ray Marshall Center) conducted the impact analysis and overall summary of the evaluation, while the Center for Social Work Research (CSWR) interviewed participants in this demonstration to get their perceptions of welfare reform.
- PDF Achieving Change for Texans Evaluation, Final Summary Report (389.01 KB)