Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program. Staff Training, Evaluation, and Job Satisfaction


Before starting work, newly hired integrated case managers received four weeks of training on income maintenance procedures and the automated case management system, CRIS-E, and one week of training on JOBS procedures; newly hired JOBS case managers also received one week of JOBS training. As Figure 2.2 illustrates, however, the percentage of JOBS and integrated staff who reported that they received helpful training on how to be an effective JOBS case manager is lower than the median for the NEWWS Evaluation programs.(7) The staff survey was administered in Columbus at the end of 1993; over time, as part of an agency-wide effort to improve staff performance, training was provided on topics ranging from automated case management procedures to recognizing and confronting substance abuse.

Almost all integrated case managers said that their supervisors paid close attention to case manager performance, compared with about four-fifths of traditional JOBS case managers. In addition, more integrated case managers said that good performance in general was recognized. Columbus did not use performance standards to evaluate individual staff members.

As Figure 2.2 shows, very few integrated staff reported high job satisfaction. When speaking with researchers, their main complaint was that their large caseloads limited the amount of "social work" they could do with recipients. Field researchers observed that the integrated case managers did perform more social work than most JOBS workers in other programs and concluded that their dissatisfaction was largely a product of their and the program administrators' high expectations for the integrated case management approach. Some traditional staff members also complained about large caseloads and noted their concern about the limited relationship between JOBS and income maintenance. Compared with staff in the other NEWWS Evaluation programs, however, the traditional JOBS case managers ranked as relatively satisfied with their jobs.

Figure 2.2
Stuff training, supervision, and evaluation

Stuff training, supervision, and evaluation