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


Data from the staff and client surveys and field research indicate that overall, as expected, the integrated program provided more personalized attention and encouragement to recipients than the traditional program. Administrators and researchers designed the integrated program to facilitate close interaction between case managers and recipients, and they communicated this intention to staff. As noted, integrated caseloads were larger than planned. Integrated staff felt they could not spend as much time as they wanted getting to know recipients, exploring their situation, and helping them, but field researchers concluded that, despite staff frustration, the integrated staff did provide more personalized attention than many welfare-to-work program case managers.

Figure 2.3 shows that although the percentage of staff who tried to identify and remove barriers to participation was similar in the two programs, a higher percentage of integrated staff than traditional staff tried to learn in depth about recipients during program intake and provided positive reinforcement to them. Recipients' survey responses corroborated this difference: More recipients in the integrated program than in the traditional program said they felt their case manager knew a lot about them and their family, and more said they believed program staff would help them resolve problems that affected their participation in activities.

Figure 2.3
Personalized attention and encouragement

Personalized attention and encouragement