Building Self-Sufficiency Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents: Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration. Program-Induced Increases in Activity Levels

06/01/1993

Overall levels of participation in school, job training, or employment over the two years following intake were substantially higher than they would have been in the absence of the programs and the supportive services they offered.  Only two-thirds of those receiving regular AFDC services were in school, job training, or a job during the two years after sample enrollment, while nearly 80 percent of the enhanced-services group members were active.  The net result was a 12 percentage point (19 percent) increase in participation levels. (See Table ES-3)

For all three sites, the programs were most effective in increasing school enrollment levels -- resulting in estimated increases of 12 percentage points, from 29 to 41 percent.  Program-induced increase in the likelihood of receiving job training or having a job over the two years following intake were substantially smaller (four and five percentage points, respectively).  Over the follow-up period, 43 percent of those receiving regular services and 48 percent of those in the demonstration programs had some employment; 23 percent of those receiving regular services and 27 percent of those in the demonstration programs had some type of job training. (See Table ES-3)

The impact of the programs on overall activity rates, school enrollment, and employment emerged very early after intake and persisted throughout the 24 months of enrollment.  During any month, between one-fourth and one-third of the enhanced-services group (including those still receiving AFDC and those not) were in school, job training, or employed, compared with 19 to 29 percent of those in the regular-services group.  (See Table ES-3)

The net result is that the enhanced-services group members spent a much higher proportion of their time in school, job training, or employment than did those offered only regular services.  For example, over the 24 months following intake, those in the regular-services group were active 27 percent of the time, while those in the enhanced-services group were active 35 percent of the time -- a 28 percent increase.  (See Table ES-3)

It is especially notable that the pattern of impacts was similar across all three sites.  Yet, the programs tended to promote different types of activity gains among various groups.  For example, they tended to increase school attendance most among younger mothers, those with low basic skills, and those who had not graduated from high school -- characteristics that parallel the JOBS-mandatory participation requirements.  Impacts on job training and employment were especially large for older youth and those with higher basic skills.

Impacts on all three activities were largest for Hispanics.  Compared with those in the regular- services group, Hispanics in the enhanced-services group were 55 percent more likely to engage in a major activity (74 versus 49 percent), twice as likely to attend school (42 versus 21 percent), 37 percent more likely to have job training (23 versus 17 percent), and 68 percent more likely to have a job (42 versus 25 percent).