Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program. Analysis Issues


Some facets of the integrated and traditional programs, such as the resources, facilities, and strategy used to prepare recipients for employment, were not expected to vary by program approach. The designers of the Columbus evaluation, however, expected that the two case management approaches would differ along one important dimension: service delivery. Specifically, as mentioned in Chapter 1, they hypothesized that the integrated structure would allow case managers to more efficiently and effectively deliver program services and monitor welfare recipients' situations than the traditional structure.

The evaluation designers assumed that integrated case management would operate more efficiently than traditional because each recipient would work with only one staff member. This would reduce time spent on communication among staff, as well as reduce delays between case events. Efficiency is difficult to gauge and was not directly measured in this evaluation.

They also thought that integrated staff would have closer relationships with the recipients they worked with and would know more about them. Because integrated case managers handle both eligibility and employment services, they would see recipients more often and would have a more complete picture of their situation. This chapter explores this assumption by discussing the level of personalized attention in the programs and the degree that staff monitored participation in program activities.