Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program. Total Gross Cost per Program Group Member

06/01/2001

Table 4.4 shows that the sum of the JOBS and non-JOBS costs produces a total gross cost per person of $3,018 for the integrated program and $2,589 for the traditional program, with post-secondary education and vocational training accounting for much of the difference between the groups.

Table 4.4
Estimated Total Gross Costs and Net Costs for Employment-Related Services
Within a Two-Year Follow-Up Period, by Program
(in 1993 Dollars)
Program and Activity or Service Total Gross Cost per Program Group Member ($) Total Gross Cost per Control Group Member ($) Net Cost per Program Group Member ($)
Integrated program

Orientation and appraisal

15 0 15

Job searcha

71 6 64

Basic education

464 80 384

Post-secondary educationb

1,045 243 802

Vocational training

623 203 420

Work experience

74 6 68

Subtotal (operating)

2,292 538 1,754

Child care

511 311 199

Child care administrationc

16 10 6

Participation allowance

199 10 190

Total

3,018 869 2,149
Traditional Program

Orientation and appraisal

8 0 8

Job searcha

90 6 84

Basic education

568 80 488

Post-secondary educationb

940 243 697

Vocational training

281 203 78

Work experience

57 6 51

Subtotal (operating)

1,944 538 1,406

Child care

496 311 184

Child care administrationc

15 10 6

Participation allowance

133 10 124

Total

2,589 869 1,720
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.

As discussed earlier in this chapter, owing to the different point of random assignment in Columbus, a direct comparison of this site's costs with those of the other programs in the NEWWS Evaluation would not be meaningful. An approximation that results in more comparable figures is achieved by considering the costs of activities per participant in the activity (calculated by dividing the cost per program member by the participation rate). The integrated program had the lowest per-participant cost for basic education of all the programs in the NEWWS Evaluation; the traditional program cost was also relatively low. (The cost of basic education per participant was $1,615 in the integrated program and $2,088 in the traditional program. Among the other JOBS programs, the Riverside labor force attachment program had the lowest per-participant cost in basic education at $1,845.) The average per-participant costs for post-secondary education and vocational training were higher than the average costs in the other programs.(9)

The high levels of office automation and administrative support for staff, described in Chapter 2, may have contributed to lower case management costs in Columbus. In addition, by co-locating contracted job search and basic education activities at the JOBS center, most clients were funneled into services provided by lower-cost agencies. Although on-site services were provided as a convenience for clients, this arrangement may have also reduced the effort required of case managers to monitor participation in these activities.