How Effective Are Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches? Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs. Educational Attainment


There is not a one-to-one relationship between impacts on mothers' educational attainment and impacts on young children across programs. Given the literature on the importance of mothers' education for children's developmental outcomes, one would expect increases in mothers' education to bode well for children.(25) On the one hand, this appears to be the case: Both the Atlanta and the Riverside HCD programs increased mothers' receipt of an education credential, and impacts of these programs on young children were favorable, whereas the Grand Rapids LFA program decreased receipt of such a credential, and impacts of this program on young children were unfavorable. On the other hand, increases in mothers' education do not appear necessary for improving child outcomes. The Atlanta LFA program did not increase mothers' educational attainment, nor did the Riverside LFA program for the subgroup of mothers lacking basic skills at baseline, yet these programs also improved child outcomes. Similarly, the Grand Rapids HCD program did not alter mothers' educational attainment but, like the LFA program in this site, it led to uniformly unfavorable impacts on children. Thus, impacts on mothers' education may, in part, underlie impacts on children in some programs, but not in other programs.