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Study of Work Participation and Full Engagement Strategies

Publication Date
Aug 31, 2004

It is likely that when TANF is reauthorized, states will be required to assess all adult recipients and to engage them in appropriate activities leading towards self-sufficiency. ASPE contracted with Mathematica to study sites that have already adopted such policies, seeking to understand the strategies and practices that they use to promote universal engagement. The report addresses the questions: Which state and local programs currently strive to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients (other than those in child-only cases) in work or work-related activities? What program services and administrative procedures do these state and local programs use to engage TANF recipients in work or work-related activities? To what extent are programs that attempt to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients succeeding, and how do levels of engagement in these programs compare to program participation rates as defined by the federal TANF legislation? These answers will be useful both to policymakers determining goals for TANF programs and to program administrators attempting to achieve high levels of participation in work and work-related activities.