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Appendix B. Case 2: ROI for Data Integration in Health and Human Services

Project goals and the context of State-Level welfare reform

The information reported here was done for a project designed to integrate information resources used by Iowa agencies in the administration of welfare programs and welfare reform efforts. The project was a response to the changed requirements for the administration of welfare programs resulting from the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) passed by Congress in 1996. The Act gave states welfare block grants and increased discretion in the allocation of these welfare resources. Iowa, as did most other states, responded to this major policy shift by creating its own new policies and administrative arrangements. The project analyzed here, the Welfare Reform Related Technology Fund, was one of those responses. The fund supported system developments for the major welfare programs in the State, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, and Medicaid.