Early Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Report to Congress. Recruitment Will Rely Most Heavily on Referral from TANF Agencies


TANF agencies are expected to be the principal link for referrals and recruitment of WtW participants (Table C.3).  Almost all WtW grantees plan to recruit from TANF, and most expect to identify more than half of their clients through TANF referrals.  The normal JTPA intake and assessment process will be used as an additional recruiting source for a little more than half of the grantees (this is not surprising, since most WtW grantees are PICs/WDBs).5  However, most grantees expect to recruit relatively small proportions of their WtW participants from JTPA sources.

The emphasis on recruiting from TANF agencies reflects the fact that grantees' WtW programs are one of the ways that TANF recipients can satisfy requirements to participate in an employment activity.  Even if they are not explicitly required to participate in a WtW program, many TANF recipients still face substantial pressure to become employed within two years of the time they start receiving TANF.  Many states go further, requiring nonexempt recipients to participate in an employment activity immediately, without regard to how much of their two years has passed.  In these states, entering a WtW program is one way, but not the only way, for recipients to comply, since they can also find a job independently or, in some sites, participate in an employment activity arranged through some other means than the WtW grantee's program (including the regular TANF work program).


(Percentage of Grantees)

  Grantees Planning to Recruit from These Sourcesa Estimated Share of Participants to Be Recruited from Each Sourceb
0­25% 26­50% 51­75% 76­100%
TANF Agency 98.0 10.9 16.4 24.3 48.4
JTPA 58.5 94.6 3.9 0.5 1.0
Courts/Corrections 37.8 97.7 2.3 0 0
Child Support Enforcement 54.5 95.8 3.0 0.6 0.6
Grantee's Community Outreach 48.6 88.2 8.8 2.4 0.6
Other Organizations' Community Outreach 34.4 89.8 5.1 2.6 2.5
Self­Referral 45.7 99.4 0.6 0 0
Grantee's Existing Caseload 37.2 83.2 7.2 6.4 3.2
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare­to­Work Grants Program, First Grantee Survey (November 1998­February 1999).

a Based on the 352 grantees that identified their recruiting sources.  They represent 85 percent of all responding grantees.

b These columns include only grantees that are already or expect to be recruiting from each listed source.

Recruiting noncustodial parents presents different challenges from those faced in recruiting TANF recipients and will require different approaches to finding participants.  The emphasis on serving noncustodial parents  the most common specific targeting criterion among narrowly targeted programs  appears to be reflected in the relatively common plan to obtain referrals from the courts and corrections institutions and from the child support enforcement system.  More than half of grantee respondents indicated they expect to get referrals from the child support enforcement process, and almost 40 percent of the grantees say they will get referrals from the courts and departments of corrections (Table C.3).  However, these sources will account for a small proportion of the participants grantees expect to serve; almost all say they will find fewer than 25 percent of their participants in these ways.6