Fixing to Change: A Best Practices Assessment of One-Stop Job Centers Working With Welfare Recipients. Chapter 2: Successful Models and Program Elements

In many respects, all of the models reviewed by this study can be considered successful. They have established a new set of program and community relationships for using new technology and limited public resources to help welfare recipients find work. For veterans of social service and employment and training programs, this is no small accomplishment. However, "success" is frequently an elusive term, and in this context it requires some further definition.

Success in the context of this assessment of One-Stop models is intended to imply achievement of two objectives. First, it implies a service delivery system that meets the needs of families who seek help with employment barriers, and does not turn them away or let them slip through the cracks. Second, it implies a service delivery system that improves the prospects for a family to become self-sufficient, rather than simply lower caseloads by moving TANF recipients into low-wage work with little prospect for upward mobility.

While this assessment is not designed to definitively measure success, it is intended to identify some of the model design and programmatic elements that might lead to success, based on early observations and measurable patterns in client flows and outcomes. This section summarizes the authors' conclusions regarding the potential for success in the models reviewed, based on their observations and interviews with staff, clients, and employers.