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The majority of women who receive AFDC are short-term assistance users and leave AFDC within two years. Long-term users of public assistance, however, present a dilemma to both state and national policymakers in terms of cost and perceived "welfare dependency." The federal Family Support Act and its Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program now directs states to focus upon education, training, job search, and job development activities for potential long-term users of AFDC. Using five years of Family Income Study data, this study compared the characteristics of short-term and long-term users of AFDC in Washington State during the period of 1988-1992.