A Map for You? Geographic Information Systems in the Social Services
Working Paper No. 97-08
Posted: 16 May 2000
Date Written: September 1997
We introduce and illustrate the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for administration, practice, and research in the social services. Our illustrations use 1996/1997 child care licensing data for the Lowell/Framingham area of Massachusetts and Resource and Referral (R&R) data from the Dade County/Greater Miami area of Florida. By mapping the location of child care centers, we show how the location and characteristics of service providers can be depicted on a map that can be made available to clients. Mapping the ratio of child care slots to the number of children in the population, we sho how social service workers and locate and study areas with potential service-availability gaps. Mapping the take-up rate for child care subsidies, we show how administratiors can identify areas for potential client outreach. Finally, we map the "daily schlep" for poor families in one area of Miami. This map suggests that the transportation problem of poor is primarily a work transportation problem and not a child care transportation issue and provides support for the hypothesis of a spatial mismatch between home and jobs for poor families.
JEL Classification: J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation