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


  • During years 1 to 5, program group members in all sites became more self-sufficient than control group members by spending less time on welfare and receiving more of their total income in the form of earnings.
  • Most programs did not raise program group members' income above control group levels, and some programs decreased income relative to the control group. Effects on income varied by site rather than program approach.
  • With some exceptions, programs led to more favorable effects (larger increases or smaller decreases) for sample members who had received a high school diploma or GED certificate before random assignment than for those who had not.
  • At the end of year 5, virtually all sample members reported having some source of income, either of their own or from other household members. However, programs had little effect on income sources other than sample members' earnings and public assistance.