Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program. JOBS-Related Expenditures by the Welfare Department

06/01/2001

The Columbus welfare department incurred costs to operate the JOBS program, as well as for child care and other support services.

  1. Operating costs. Welfare department operating costs were determined using expenditure data that captured the costs of JOBS-related activities, starting at the point that sample members were randomly assigned. Total expenditures (salaries and overhead costs) were allocated to JOBS activities using time studies completed by case managers. In addition, payments made by the welfare department to outside organizations that were contracted to provide JOBS services (primarily job search and basic education) are included in the total welfare department costs. Costs incurred by the welfare department to accommodate MDRC research requirements and requests were excluded from total expenditures. As shown in Table 4.2 (column 1), these costs were $631 per integrated program group member and $318 per traditional program group member.
  2. Support service costs. Other JOBS-related costs include payments for child care and participation allowances that participants were eligible to receive. Table 4.2 (column 1) shows that the average JOBS child care cost was $341 per integrated program group member and $349 per traditional program group member.(7) Table 4.3 provides more detailed information about patterns of support service receipt. Average monthly payments of over $370 were high compared with the other programs studied in the NEWWS Evaluation, but low rates of receipt (less than 15 percent) and relatively short durations (about 6.5 months) put the cost per program member near the average of the other programs. The higher participation allowance payments to integrated program group members ($199 versus $133) mainly reflect a higher rate of receipt among sample members in that program  63 percent compared with 48 percent.
  3. Total JOBS-related costs incurred by the welfare department. Table 4.2 shows the combined costs of providing the services described above: the welfare department spent $1,182 per integrated group member for employment-related services and $810 per traditional group member. A large part of this difference is due to the higher cost in the integrated program for monitoring participants in post-secondary education and vocational training activities.
Table 4-2
Estimated Cost per Program Group Member for Employment-Related Services
Within a Two-Year Follow-Up Period, by Program and Agency
(in 1993 Dollars)
Program and Activity or Services JOBS Cost Non-JOBS Cost Total Gross Cost per Program Group Member($)
Welfare Department Cost ($) Non-Welfare Agency Cost ($) Total Program Cost ($) Welfare Department Cost ($) Non-Welfare Agency Cost ($)
Integrated program

Orientation and appraisal

15 0 15 0 0 15

Job searcha

68 0 68 0 3 71

Basic education

87 203 290 0 174 464

Post-secondary educationb

267 451 718 0 327 1,045

Vocational training

136 488 623 0 0 623

Work experience

59 0 59 0 15 74

Subtotal (operating)

631 1,141 1,773 0 519 2,292

Child care

341 0 341 170 0 511

Child Care administrationc

10 0 10 6 0 16

Participation allowance

199 0 199 0 0 199

Total

1,182 1,141 2,323 176 519 3,018
Traditional Program

Orientation and appraisal

8 0 8 0 0 8

Job searcha

90 0 90 0 0 90

Basic education

67 386 453 0 115 568

Post-secondary educationb

69 662 731 0 209 940

Vocational training

38 243 281 0 0 281

Work experience

46 0 46 0 12 57

Subtotal (operating)

318 1,291 1,608 0 336 1,944

Child care

349 0 349 147 0 496

Child care administrationc

10 0 10 5 0 15

Participation allowance

133 0 133 0 0 133

Total

810 1,291 2,101 152 336 2,589
Sources: MDRC calculations based on fiscal and participation data from the following: Franklin County Department of Human Services; Ohio Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education; Ohio Board of Regents; National Center for Education Statistics; and information from MDRC-collected case file data and the Two-Year Client Survey. Child care and other support service calculations are based on Ohio Department of Human Services payment data
Notes:Rounding may cause slight discrepancies in calculating sums and differences. aFor program group members, this measure includes participation in life skills workshops. bCourses for college credit at a two-year or four-year college. cAdministrative costs for determining child care needs and issuing payments were estimated as a percentage of the value of payments, i.e., by dividing total administrative costs by total payments. Child care administrative costs were 3 percent of total payments.