Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Intermediaries in a Work-Based Assistance System
Regardless of whether a state's welfare program is state or county administered,
local welfare offices always have had significant control over how to structure
the delivery of employment services for welfare recipients. While some
local welfare offices provided these services in-house prior to the
implementation of TANF, others forged close relationships with the JTPA system,
collaborated with the local community college, or contracted with community-based
organizations. In order to provide services in a timely manner to the
expanded pool of recipients required to work or participate in work-related
activities, most communities have had to develop new or expanded service
delivery systems. The shift from a human capital development to a
work-first approach to serving welfare recipients also has required them
to reorient their service delivery systems toward job search and placement
rather than participation in longer-term education and training programs.
Within a work-based assistance system, a broad range of tasks must be performed
to provide families with cash assistance and to help them make the transition
to self-sufficiency. The primary employment-related services provided
to most TANF recipients are case management and job search and placement
assistance. Secondary employment-related services, provided on a more
limited basis, include work experience, education, training, supported work,
job retention, and advancement programs. In deciding how to use
intermediaries to provide these services, local welfare offices or their
designee face three key decisions:
How much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries
Whether to transfer responsibility to a single intermediary or multiple
How and how much to reimburse intermediaries for the services they provide
Using these three key decisions as our framework, in this chapter, we examine
the choices the local sites made regarding how to use intermediaries to help
welfare recipients make the transition to employment. A summary of
our key findings is presented in Table II.1.
How Much Responsibility to Transfer to Intermediaries
Use of a Single Intermediary or Multiple Intermediaries
Reimbursing Intermediaries for the Services They Provide
The amount of responsibility the local sites transferred to intermediaries
ranged from full responsibility for all employment-related services to no
responsibility (see Table II.2). Of the 20 study
sites, 18 transfer some responsibility for providing employment-related services
to intermediaries. The two sites that do not transfer any responsibility
to intermediaries are both rural sites that provide all employment-related
services in-house or rely on existing resources in the community. Decisions
regarding how much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries not only
define the role intermediaries play in linking welfare recipients with jobs
but also the extent to which the welfare office plays a role in helping welfare
recipients to find and/or maintain employment. Several key patterns
emerge regarding how much responsibility the local sites transferred to
1. The employment-related responsibilities transferred to intermediaries most often are job search and placement assistance, although a substantial number of communities also transfer responsibility for case management.
Intermediaries provide job search and placement assistance in all of the
sites that transfer some work-related responsibilities to intermediaries.
In 12 of these (seven urban and five rural), intermediaries have responsibility
for providing case management for the majority of the TANF caseload that
is required to look for work; in three of the urban sites welfare office
staff also provide case management, but for a relatively small portion of
the overall caseload.
Given the emphasis on shifting the focus of the welfare office from determining
eligibility to helping TANF recipients make the transition to unsubsidized
paid employment, it is noteworthy that so many of the sites, especially in
the urban areas, transferred primary responsibility for providing case management
services to intermediaries. Cleveland is the only urban site where
former eligibility staff have been retrained to function as "self-sufficiency
coaches," assuming responsibility for eligibility and case management.
The other urban sites that provide case management have separate staff, usually
working in a separate unit, who have responsibility for this function.
When case management responsibilities are transferred, the intermediary is
responsible not only for linking TANF recipients with jobs but also for working
with the recipients to develop self-sufficiency plans and linking them with
the resources they need to achieve the goals outlined in their plans.
Responsibility Transferred to Intermediaries
Responsibility Retained by the Welfare Office
# of Primary Intermed.
Method of Assignment
Urban Sites (TANF Caseload)
San Diego, CA (38,000)
Cleveland, OH (33,000)
Phoenix, AZ (15,219)
San Antonio, TX (13,598)
St. Paul, MN (9,300)
Hartford, CT (5,800)
Richmond, VA (4,539)
Omaha, NE (3,500)
Little Rock, AK (2,168)
Jacksonville, FL (3,984)
New London, CT (2,400)
Olmsted, MN (807)
Wise, VA (757)
Scotts Bluff, NE (600)
Napa, CA (590)
Yavapai, AZ (582)
Jefferson, AK (329)
Suwannee, FL ( 311)
Columbiana, OH (200)
Uvalde, TX (200)
P = Primary Responsibility; S = Secondary Responsibility
2. Some welfare offices that transfer significant responsibility for providing primary employment services to intermediaries continue to provide these services for at least some portion of the TANF caseload. Some welfare offices, however, have no responsibility for providing employment-related services to TANF recipients.
Many welfare offices developed some capacity for providing employment-related
services to welfare recipients through their implementation of the JOBS
program. Several of the sites have continued to rely on this expertise
to provide employment-related services to at least a portion of the TANF
caseload (see Table II.2). For example, in Maricopa
County (Phoenix), full responsibility for TANF implementation was transferred
to an intermediary in only part of the county; in the remainder of the county,
former JOBS staff provide case management services and operate a semi-structured
job search assistance program for all TANF recipients required to find
employment. In St. Paul and San Diego, welfare office staff provide
case management and job search and placement services to a portion of the
TANF caseload; the remainder of the caseload receives these services from
an intermediary. In Richmond, welfare office staff provide case management
services for all TANF clients and job search and placement services are provided
in-house for some clients and by intermediaries for others. In Omaha,
welfare office staff refer all clients to intermediaries for job search and
placement services but provide case management in-house for almost half the
caseload. In many of the sites, job ready clients are referred to a
resource room located at the welfare office to look for employment on their
Due to their smaller size, the rural welfare offices have maintained more
responsibility for providing primary employment-related services to TANF
recipients. For example, in Wise County, welfare staff provide case
management, job search assistance and placement and develop and monitor
recipients' participation in work experience placements. When appropriate,
welfare office staff refer TANF clients to existing employment or training
programs in the community. Even in Columbiana and Scottsbluff, where
intermediaries are used to provide primary employment services to some TANF
recipients, welfare staff provide job search and placement assistance to
the majority of the TANF caseload. As its caseload declines, TANF staff
in Columbiana are taking on more responsibility for helping clients find
employment, reducing the number of clients served by Columbiana's primary
Welfare offices in three of the ten states (Connecticut, Florida, and Texas)
have no responsibility for providing employment-related services to TANF
recipients. In Connecticut and Texas, full responsibility for providing
employment-related services has been transferred to the workforce development
system. In Florida, local WAGES coalitions decide who will provide
employment services to TANF recipients. Some local WAGES coalitions
rely on the local community college to provide these service while others
have used a competitive bidding process to select one or more intermediaries
to provide them.
3. When secondary employment-related services are provided, they are almost always provided by intermediaries, however, in most sites, these programs are still in the early stages of development.
Although some secondary services are provided in all of these sites, they
do not reach large numbers of recipients and are in the very early stages
of development. When secondary employment services are provided they
almost always are provided by intermediaries, usually using funds from the
Welfare-to-Work program. Unlike primary employment services that include
similar elements across all of the sites, secondary services vary
considerably. In some sites the only secondary service provided is
work experience; in others, short-term training or programs to promote job
retention and advancement are emphasized. Work experience programs
and intensive case management and outreach for sanctioned families are the
only secondary employment programs that are sometimes provided by welfare
Using Intermediaries to Help the Hard-to-Employ Find Employment
Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) stands apart from the other study sites in both
its approach and the comprehensive nature of the secondary employment services
it provides to TANF recipients. In late 1998, Cleveland issued a request
for proposals to identify intermediaries who could provide employment services
to TANF recipients who are deemed "hard-to-employ." Through this process,
Cleveland now has 19 intermediaries who will provide specialized job search
and supportive services for ex-offenders, recipients with chronic barriers
to employment such as substance abuse or mental health and "intermittent"
workers who can find, but do not retain employment.
All of these services are being funded with TANF funds, making it possible
for the welfare office to set and, if necessary, redefine the eligibility
criteria for receipt of these more specialized services. The expectation
is that TANF recipients referred to these more specialized intermediaries
will receive more intensive services than recipients who receive regular
job search and placement assistance; follow-up services may be provided for
some participants for as long as 18 months. The intermediaries that
will provide these services are primarily local nonprofit organizations,
including several that specialize in providing supportive and/or employment
services to hard-to-employ populations outside of the TANF system.
4. The local sites' decisions regarding how much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries were influenced by their current and potential administrative capacity, their previous experience with intermediaries, the TANF administrative structure, caseload size, and legislative mandates.
Even though the local sites are operating in a range of policy environments,
these policies seemed to have little, if any, influence on the decisions
the local sites made regarding how much responsibility to transfer to
intermediaries. Instead, the factors that most affected their decisions
focused primarily on administrative considerations, including whether the
local site had or could hire sufficient staff to provide services in-house
and their previous experience working with intermediaries or their perceptions
of the advantages of doing so.
Limited Administrative Capacity. Lack of administrative
capacity significantly influenced several local offices' decisions regarding
how much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries. For example,
San Diego estimated that they would need 433 additional staff to provide
employment services to the portion of their TANF caseload that was mandated
to find employment. Operating in an environment where there is considerable
support for privatizing government operations, county officials enthusiastically
embraced the decision to transfer significant responsibility to intermediaries
rather than add this number of additional staff to the county's payroll.
In Omaha, where the welfare office is under a statewide hiring freeze, the
decision to transfer significant responsibility to intermediaries was viewed
as a necessity, rather than the optimum service delivery arrangement.
History. Previous experience with intermediaries played
a much greater role in the decision to use intermediaries in some of the
local sites. For example, having used intermediaries to provide case
management and employment-related services under the JOBS program, Ramsey
County (St. Paul) was able to build on established relationships with providers
in the community to expand its capacity for providing employment-related
services to TANF recipients. Napa, operating one of the oldest one
stop centers in the country, already had a comprehensive, well-functioning
collaborative service system in place on which they could build. New
London chose to design a service delivery system that would take into account
the strengths of the organizations already providing employment-related services
in the community.
Administrative Structure. In the sites where the welfare
office retained administrative responsibility for TANF employment programs,
responsibility for providing employment-related services was usually shared
between the welfare office and intermediaries. However, when administrative
responsibility for TANF employment programs was transferred to the workforce
development system, all responsibility for providing employment services
was transferred to intermediaries, leaving the welfare system with no
Caseload Size. The urban sites were more likely to
transfer responsibility to intermediaries than the rural sites. However,
within the urban sites, caseload size did not seem to be the primary determinant
of how much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries. For example,
the three sites with the largest TANF caseloads made very different decisions
regarding how much responsibility to transfer to intermediaries. One
of the largest sites transferred responsibility for case management and job
search and placement assistance to intermediaries for two-thirds of its TANF
caseload. A second transferred responsibility for job search and placement
assistance but not case management for its entire TANF caseload. A
third currently provides all primary employment services in-house for the
majority of its TANF caseload.
Legislative Mandates. The legislatures in three of
the states enacted legislation to encourage greater use of intermediaries.
The Arizona legislature mandated that full responsibility for operation of
the TANF program (including eligibility determination) in a portion of Maricopa
County (including part of Phoenix) be transferred to the private sector.
If the intermediary selected to operate the TANF program meets its performance
goals, the legislature's long-range plan is to transfer statewide operation
of the TANF program to the intermediary. The legislatures in Arkansas
and Florida mandated the creation of new administrative structures to increase
the role of the private sector in the implementation of TANF. In Arkansas,
the state Transitional Employment Board (TEB) and local Transitional Employment
Assistance (TEA) coalitions have responsibility for planning and coordinating
the delivery of employment-related services for TANF recipients. In
Florida, this responsibility rests with the state Work and Gain Economic
Self-Sufficiency (WAGES) Board and the local WAGES coalitions.
In the study sites, the roles and responsibilities of intermediaries have
been further defined by the decisions the localities made regarding whether
to transfer responsibility to a single intermediary or multiple
intermediaries. In the urban sites, these decisions primarily affected
the number of clients intermediaries would serve and how clients are assigned
to a particular intermediary. In the few rural sites that chose to
use multiple intermediaries these decisions influenced the range and/or type
of services each intermediary would provide. Key findings regarding
the use of a single intermediary or multiple intermediaries are presented
1. Most of the urban sites, but only a few of the rural sites, transferred primary employment-related responsibilities to multiple intermediaries. When secondary services were provided, in most of the urban sites and some of the rural sites, they are almost always provided by multiple intermediaries.
Seven of the 10 urban sites and three of the rural sites transferred
responsibility for providing primary employment services to multiple
intermediaries (see Table II.2). Given their larger
caseload size, it is not surprising that the use of multiple intermediaries
is more common in the urban areas than in the rural areas. However,
the size of the caseload in the urban sites did not appear to be the main
factor that determined how many intermediaries were given responsibility
for linking welfare recipients with jobs. One of the largest urban
sites transferred responsibility for primary employment services to nine
intermediaries, the most of any of the sites. Two additional urban
sites, one medium-sized and one small, transferred responsibility to seven
intermediaries. The remaining sites transferred responsibility to only
two or three intermediaries.
The larger sites that transferred responsibility for primary employment services
to multiple intermediaries also transferred responsibility for secondary
services to multiple intermediaries, although they tended to transfer
responsibility for these more specialized services to a larger number of
intermediaries. The two largest sites, San Diego and Cleveland, transferred
responsibility for secondary employment services to 19 and 24 intermediaries,
respectively. Intermediaries that provide secondary services often
have more flexibility to define the services they will provide than
intermediaries that provide primary employment services. Consequently,
in contrast to primary employment services, the secondary services provided
by multiple intermediaries are not necessarily part of a continuum of services
nor are they comparable to one another.
Creating "Managed Competition" Among Multiple Intermediaries
To compare the performance of difference types of intermediaries, San Diego
County officials decided to divide the county into six service delivery
areas. Their plan was to have the County operate TANF employment programs
in two of the six regions and to attract non-profit and for-profit organizations
to operate the other four. Intermediaries were permitted to bid to
operate all four districts, however, the County planned to award no more
than two districts to a single intermediary. This restriction was made
to ensure continuing competition and to encourage a diversity of approaches
to providing employment services to TANF recipients.
Lockheed Martin and Maximus, both for-profit companies and Catholic Charities,
a non-profit, were selected to act as intermediaries in the four regions.
(Lockheed Martin operates the TANF employment program in two of the
regions.) Each of the intermediaries and the County are all subject
to the same performance outcome measures. During an eight-month start-up
period, the intermediaries were paid on a cost-reimbursement basis; now,
they are reimbursed on a pay-for-performance basis. Over time, the
County plans to use the information it collects on the intermediaries'
performance to determine whether one type of organization (i.e., for-profit,
non-profit or public) does a better job of placing TANF recipients in
employment. If so, the County may decide to turn over full operation
of its TANF programs to that sector.
2. In the urban areas, when responsibility for providing primary employment services was transferred to multiple intermediaries, each intermediary provided the same services to a portion of the TANF caseload. However, in the rural sites, multiple intermediaries were more specialized, providing employment services to specific subgroups of the TANF caseload or a narrowly defined set of employment services to all TANF clients.
When the local sites transferred responsibility for providing employment
services to multiple intermediaries, they had to develop a strategy for
allocating TANF clients and/or responsibilities to individual
intermediaries. In some sites, TANF clients are referred to intermediaries
based on where they live. In others, they are referred through a
centralized referral process or based on specific criteria. In some
sites, the decision regarding which intermediary a client should be referred
to is left up to individual welfare eligibility staff. Given their
smaller caseload size and smaller number of intermediaries, the referral
process is usually far less complex in the rural sites than in the urban
sites. The various strategies used to assign TANF clients to intermediaries
are discussed below.
Location. In three of the 10 urban sites, TANF recipients
are referred to an intermediary based on where they live. In San Diego,
the county is divided into six regions. In four of the six regions,
an intermediary acts as the "gatekeeper" for all employment services.
(The welfare office performs this function in the remaining regions.)
The intermediary can choose to provide all services themselves, can subcontract
with other intermediaries to provide services or can refer clients to existing
services in the community (including those providing secondary services through
the WtW program). Little Rock uses a more targeted neighborhood
approach. When the system is fully operational, clients will be referred
to a "Family Development Center" in their neighborhood for employment
services. TANF staff will be co-located in the centers to provide easy
access to all public benefits. St. Paul and Cleveland are also in the
process of developing neighborhood-based service delivery models.
Centralized process. In Cleveland and Hartford, clients
are referred to intermediaries through a centralized process. In Cleveland,
the process is managed by welfare office staff while in Hartford it is managed
by the workforce development system. This centralized referral process
is designed to ensure that all intermediaries receive equal consideration
when client referrals are made.
Staff discretion. In St. Paul, welfare eligibility
staff have primary responsibility for deciding to which intermediary a TANF
client should be referred. They make their decisions based on client
choice and their knowledge about the intermediary and how well they can meet
the clients' needs.
Functional specialization. In the rural areas, sites
that use multiple intermediaries refer clients to intermediaries in a more
specialized manner. New London, for example, uses one intermediary
to conduct assessments, a second intermediary to provide case management
and job search assistance, and a third intermediary to place TANF recipients
in employment. This process makes the intermediaries more interdependent
than in most of the other sites, making communication that much more
critical. In Olmsted, clients are referred to one of three intermediaries
based on their language needs or disability status. Napa uses a one-stop
collaborative model of service delivery with various service components delivered
by members of the one-stop.
3. Caseload size, the amount of responsibility transferred to intermediaries and the decision whether to use one or multiple intermediaries influence the number of TANF clients any one intermediary will serve and the kinds of organizations that will act as intermediaries.
The decisions the local sites made regarding how much responsibility to transfer
to intermediaries and whether to transfer this responsibility to one intermediary
or multiple intermediaries defines the scope and scale of services provided
by individual intermediaries. These decisions, in turn, influence the
kind of organizations that act as intermediaries. For-profit organizations
are most likely to act as intermediaries in the sites that require intermediaries
to provide a broad range of services and serve large numbers of clients.
Sites that define the responsibility of intermediaries more narrowly or use
multiple intermediaries to provide a broader range of services make it possible
for a broader range of organizations to act as intermediaries. The
use of intermediaries in San Diego and Cleveland illustrates how this plays
out in practice.
San Diego and Cleveland, with TANF caseloads of 38,000 and 33,000 respectively,
both allocate responsibility to multiple intermediaries. To function
as an intermediary in San Diego an organization had to have the capacity
to provide comprehensive employment services for at least 1,000 TANF
recipients. San Diego selected three intermediaries, two for-profit
and one non-profit to provide employment services in four of its six regions
(one for-profit provides services in two regions). To function as an
intermediary in Cleveland an organization had to be able to provide job search
and placement assistance to an unspecified number of TANF clients.
Among the nine intermediaries selected to provide primary employment services,
seven are non-profit and two are for-profit organizations. These
intermediaries will provide employment services to as few as 25 and as many
as 700 TANF recipients.
On average, the TANF intermediaries included in this study expect to serve
370 TANF clients, but the range of clients served is wide, with the smallest
intermediary expecting to serve only 20 recipients and the largest expecting
to serve 4,000 (see Table II.3.) On average, for-profit
organizations expect to serve the largest numbers of clients. Forty
percent of the for-profit intermediaries in the study sites expect to serve
more than 500 clients, compared to only 10 percent of the non-profit
organizations. Because they are more likely than other types of
organizations to serve large number of clients, for profits are projected
to serve 40 percent of the total TANF caseload in the study sites, even though
they account for only 15 percent of the intermediaries.
Type of Organization
In addition to making critical decisions about how much responsibility to
transfer to intermediaries and how to structure the delivery of services
at the local level, local welfare offices or their designee must also decide
how and how much to reimburse intermediaries for the services they
provide. The most common payment structures are cost reimbursement
where organizations are paid for the costs they incur or pay-for-performance
where organizations are paid based on their accomplishments. Key findings
regarding the use of different payment structures are summarized below.
1. Most intermediaries are reimbursed for their services through a cost reimbursement rather than a pay-for-performance arrangement. In an attempt to combine the benefits of these two payment systems, several of the sites have developed cost reimbursement payment systems that include performance bonuses or incentives.
The shift to a work-based assistance system and greater emphasis on program
outcomes has encouraged administrators of TANF employment programs to reconsider
how they should reimburse intermediaries for the services they provide.
The experiences of the study sites suggests that while a number of localities
have shifted to performance-based payment arrangements, many still reimburse
intermediaries on a cost-reimbursement basis. Some localities combine
the two, reimbursing the intermediary for part of their costs through a cost
reimbursement mechanism and the remainder through a performance incentive
structure (see Table II.4.) Many of the local sites
that rely on cost-reimbursement payment mechanisms include performance criteria
in their cost reimbursement contracts and evaluate the success of their
intermediaries against these criteria.
Cost reimbursement with performance incentives
Cost reimbursement; shifting to pay-for-performance
Pay-for-performance; shifting to cost reimbursement
New London County
Cost reimbursement for case management and assessment
Pay-for-performance for job placement
Cost reimbursement with performance incentives
Cost reimbursement with performance incentives
Pay-for-performance (job search and placement)
Partial cost reimbursement; partial pay-for-performance (specialized)
Cost reimbursement (training)
Pay-for-performance (job search and placement)
Cost reimbursement (training)
Critics of pay-for-performance reimbursement mechanisms argue that this payment
structure encourages program operators to "cream," that is, to provide services
to job-seekers who are the most likely to succeed rather than to those most
in need of assistance. Critics of cost-reimbursement payment systems
argue that program operators get paid even if the services they provide do
not produce results, wasting taxpayers' money and reducing incentives to
meet high performance standards.
It is too soon to know whether the way in which intermediaries are reimbursed
for their services or the amount they are paid influence program outcomes.
Welfare offices or other relevant administrative entities that reimburse
intermediaries on a cost basis believe they can demand high levels of performance
from intermediaries as long as clear program goals are established and
performance is monitored on an ongoing basis. Those that reimburse
intermediaries based on performance believe that pay-for-performance systems
play a critical role in emphasizing the importance of placing recipients
in jobs, not just engaging them in employment preparation activities.
All agree that administering a pay-for-performance reimbursement system is
much more complicated than administering a cost-reimbursement system.
2. The sites that reimburse intermediaries through a pay-for-performance system structure their reimbursements very differently, with some placing far greater emphasis on placement or retention than others.
The sites that have implemented pay-for-performance systems have structured
their payment mechanisms very differently. The sites differ in the
points at which they paid intermediaries (e.g., enrollment, placement and/or
retention) and how they allocate the total payment among the various payment
points. For example, Cleveland pays its intermediaries that provide
job search and job placement services at two points: 30-day job retention
(50 percent) and 90-day job retention (50 percent). Hartford pays its
intermediaries that provide the same services at three points: enrollment
(60 percent), placement (20 percent), and 90-day retention (20 percent).
The First Coast Workforce Development Board (Jacksonville FL) also pays its
intermediary at three points, but concentrates more of its payment on job
placement: enrollment (30 percent), placement (60 percent) and 90-day
job retention (10 percent).
Acknowledging that its specialized intermediaries who provide services to
hard-to-employ populations face different challenges and have different goals,
Cleveland uses a combined cost reimbursement and pay-for-performance system
to reimburse these intermediaries. They receive 36 percent of their
contract in monthly installments to cover ongoing operating expenses; the
remaining 64 percent is paid based on performance. To encourage longer-term
involvement with clients, intermediaries providing services to ex-offenders
or holding "managed care" contracts to provide services to recipients with
mental health, substance abuse or other chronic barriers to employment receive
40 percent of the pay-for-performance portion of their reimbursement 30 days
after placement, 30 percent 90 days after placement and 30 percent 180 days
after placement. To encourage greater emphasis on helping recipients
sustain employment, the payment for intermediaries providing services to
intermittent workers is structured to provide less reimbursement for job
placement and more for job retention; 10 percent of the pay-for-performance
portion of their reimbursement is received 30 days after placement; 40 percent
90 days after placement and 50 percent 180 days after placement.
3. Regardless of the way in which intermediaries are reimbursed for their services, there is wide variation in the amount intermediaries are paid for the services they provide. This variation exists between the sites and between intermediaries within some of the sites.
The local sites have made different decisions about how much responsibility
to allocate to intermediaries. They also have made different decisions
about how much to reimburse intermediaries for the services they provide,
resulting in considerable variation in the amount intermediaries are paid.
In the eight study sites where we were able to obtain comparable reimbursement
data, intermediaries were paid as little as $355 and as much as $6250 per
recipient served. (See Table II.5). Some,
but not all, of this variation reflects differences in the services
intermediaries provide. On average, intermediaries that provide only
job search and placement assistance are reimbursed $1,320 per person while
intermediaries that provide specialized employment services are reimbursed
an average of $2970 per person.
Type of Site
Method of Reimbursement
Four Urban sites with multiple intermediaries
Site #1 (Comprehensive Servicesa)
Site #2 (Job Search and Placement)
Site #3 (Comprehensive Services)
Site #4 (Job Search and Placement)
Type of organizationb
Type of Services Provided (TANF)b
Job search and placement
a Comprehensive service includes case management
and job search and placement assistance.
b Based on data from eight sites: San Diego,
CA; Napa County, CA; Hartford, CT; St. Paul, MN; Olmsted, MN; Cleveland,
OH; Columbiana County, OH and Richmond VA.
Comparisons across four of the urban sites that used multiple intermediaries
to provide primary TANF employment services suggest that there is considerable
variation within and between the sites in how much intermediaries are reimbursed,
even when they provide similar
services.(1) The average per-person
reimbursement across the four sites ranges from $1,045 to $2,360. The
sites with the highest and lowest average reimbursement provide comprehensive
services job search and placement assistance and case
management to TANF clients, suggesting that differences in the
range of responsibility transferred to the intermediaries do not fully account
for the difference in the amount they are reimbursed for the services they
provide. In three of the four sites, the minimum and maximum payment
amounts vary dramatically even though the intermediaries have responsibility
for providing the same services. In one site, the highest-paid intermediary
is paid almost four times the lowest paid intermediary. In sites where
payments are comparable across intermediaries, program administrators negotiate
a similar price with intermediaries regardless of how much they indicate
it will cost to provide services. In sites where there is considerable
variation, program administrators accept the price set by intermediaries
in their response to the agency's request for bids to provide services.
1. The reimbursements in the sites that have
pay-for-performance arrangements in place are adjusted to reflect the
intermediaries placement and retention goals. Thus, the actual
reimbursement paid per client is higher than what is reported here.
Top of Page
Contents of This Section
Table of Contents of Report
Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Intermediaries
Implementation of the Intermediary Function
Lessons Learned and Next Steps
Appendix A: Site Descriptions
Appendix B: Examples of Organizations Functioning as Intermediaries
Appendix C: Number of Intermediaries by Type of Organization
Last updated 06/02/00