The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 has instituted major changes in providing for the poor in the United States. This article examines the importance of evaluating the impact of this legislation from a social work perspective. Using Mannheim as a theoretical orientation, welfare reform is examined in relation to dominant ideologies of the 90's. The salience of social work research, particularly qualitative research, in evaluating welfare reform outcomes is explored. Social workers are encouraged to challenge current ideology and utilize social work expertise to conduct research and disseminate information documenting the achievements and misfortunes of clients as a result of welfare reform.

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