Early Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Report to Congress. E.   STARTUP AND EARLY IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS

After grantees are awarded WtW funding, program implementation unfolds in stages.  Staff may have to be hired or transferred from other duties.  Grantees must start processes for recruiting or obtaining referrals from other organizations.  Expectations for the success of referral and recruitment approaches must be tested against reality and, in some cases, revised to meet targets for participation and service delivery.  Services associated with recruiting, intake, and assessment may get under way first, with some delay before the earliest entrants are placed in jobs or other workplace activities.  Arranging some types of employment activities and placing participants in them may be accomplished more readily than doing so for other types.  The roles of cooperating organizations, negotiated in concept at the grant application stage, must be translated into specific assignments for agency units and individual staff.  Considerable variation across grantees can be expected in which of these startВ­up elements go smoothly and which do not.

The survey conducted at the end of 1998 found WtW grantees in varying stages of this process, which could be expected since grants were received at the local level in stages throughout the year.  The survey data from 415 grantee respondents can help document several aspects of start ­up and early implementation progress:

  • When service delivery of any type actually began or is expected to begin;
  • The extent to which grantees have already begun enrolling participants and how enrollment to date compares to overall enrollment targets; and
  • The extent to which enrolled participants have been enrolled in employment activities and in what types