Further Progress, Persistent Constraints: Findings From a Second Survey of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. More Emphasis Is Now Placed on WtW Publicity and Direct Outreach


Grantees appear to be relying somewhat more heavily on their own outreach and customers' self-referrals as a recruitment strategy. These efforts are expected to account for a larger share of WtW participants--about 16 percent in the second survey, compared to about 9 percent in the first survey. This shift toward WtW publicity and direct outreach by grantees is explained partly by a change in the composition of the survey respondent sample. Competitive grantee respondents are now a larger share of the respondent sample than in the first survey. In many cases, competitive grantees are community-based organizations (CBOs), which are more likely than other types of grantee organizations to use direct outreach and self-referral approaches to WtW recruitment. However, the increase in the number of CBO grantees in the sample appears to account for only about one-third of the increased reliance on community outreach and self-referral.

Grantees' publicity efforts are potentially important, not only to attract enrollment from the community, but also when grantees (and other organizations serving welfare recipients) find themselves competing for referrals from TANF or WIA/JTPA agencies. Many grantees have found themselves operating as one of numerous work-related programs from which TANF recipients can choose to fulfill their work activity requirements. In that context, such publicity efforts as media campaigns or mass mailings may be intended to capture a grantee's share of agency referrals, not simply to attract direct interest from the community. Regardless of the local circumstances, the second survey suggests that WtW grantees have assumed a more active role in publicizing their programs, identifying eligible customers, and guiding them through the enrollment process.

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