Single female-headed families with children (SFHFwC) have historically been the primary recipients of federal public cash assistance payments in the United States. Recent welfare reform initiatives established work requirements and cumulative time limits on public cash assistance payments. Three findings in this paper have significant implications for the long-term efficacy of welfare reform initiatives. First, SFHFwC made significant and broad-based gains in their economic well-being from 1993 to 1999. Second, increased propensities of single mothers to leave welfare and enter the workforce from 1993 to 1999, behavior consistent with incentives created by welfare reform measures, do not account for a major portion of these observed gains. Third, improved area economic conditions and increased educational levels of single mothers account for a major share of gains in well-being. Copyright 2001 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.