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


Over three years, the integrated and traditional programs produced similar employment and earnings gains. Researchers had hypothesized that the higher participation rate in the integrated program would lead to larger impacts on employment and earnings, but this was not the case. Quarterly impact patterns suggest, however, that the integrated program may prove more successful in the fourth year of follow-up than the traditional program.

The integrated program produced somewhat larger decreases in months of AFDC receipt and AFDC payments measured over three years, probably because integrated case managers could more quickly respond to changes in sample members' employment and welfare eligibility status, and because they had more knowledge about status changes than staff in the traditional program.

Neither of the programs increased average "combined income" from earnings, AFDC, and Food Stamps. On average, people in the programs replaced some public assistance dollars with earnings.

Among sample members who had a high school diploma or GED at random assignment (graduates), the two programs produced roughly similar effects. Among nongraduates, however, the integrated program was more successful than the traditional program in increasing earnings and decreasing cash assistance payments.