Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Two-Year Impacts of the Portland (Oregon) Welfare-to-Work Program: Executive Summary. Notes

05/01/1998

  1. Pub. L. No. 104-193.
  2. In July 1996, through waivers of the law in effect prior to the 1996 reform, Oregon expanded the participation mandate to parents with children as young as 90 days old; expanded the definition of program participation to include some nontraditional activities, such as mental health counseling; and increased the ultimate penalty for noncompliance with the program to closure of a family’s grant.  The program continued to provide the wide array of employment­related activities discussed in this report.  The 1996 reform law allows states to continue any waiver plans in effect on the day the act became law and remain exempt from any provisions of the law inconsistent with that waiver until the end of the waiver period; Oregon chose to do this.  While most of the data for this report cover early 1993 through mid 1996, the report includes impact data through the end of 1996 for some sample members.
  3. Statistical significance indicates the probability that the program actually produced the observed difference.
  4. For two­year results for the work first and skills­building programs, see Gayle Hamilton, Thomas Brock, Mary Farrell, Daniel Friedlander, and Kristen Harknett, Evaluating Two Welfare­to­Work Program Approaches:  Two­Year Findings on the Labor Force Attachment and Human Capital Development Programs in Three Sites (Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 1997).  For a description of all 11 programs, see Gayle Hamilton and Thomas Brock, The JOBS Evaluation:  Early Lessons from Seven Sites (Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education, 1994).  The two­year impacts for all programs will appear in a forthcoming report.
  5. For presentation of findings, see James Riccio, Daniel Friedlander, and Stephen Freedman, GAIN:  Benefits, Costs, and Three­Year Impacts of a Welfare­to­Work Program (New York:  MDRC, 1994); and Stephen Freedman, Daniel Friedlander, Winston Lin, and Amanda Schweder, Five­Year Impacts on Employment, Earnings, and AFDC Receipt (New York:  MDRC, 1996).
  6. The sum of the three contributions does not equal 100 percent because a small portion of the earnings impact is attributable to interactions among the components.
  7. Analysis not presented in this report shows that substantial impacts were also found for subgroups with and without young children (those with children age 2 or under, 3 to 5, and 6 or over).
  8. Owing to inflation and differing costs­of­living, a dollar change had a different value in the two sites.
  9. Mary Jo Bane and David T. Ellwood, Welfare Realities:  From Rhetoric to Reform (Cambridge:  Harvard University Press, 1994).
  10. Two­year results from Columbus — the site in the NEWWS Evaluation that tested integrated and traditional case management side by side — indicate that recipients with integrated case managers had significantly higher rates of participation in program activities and significantly lower welfare payments than recipients with traditional case managers.  However, there was no difference between the two groups’ employment rates and earnings.  See Thomas Brock and Kristen Harknett, Welfare­to­Work Case Management:  A Comparison of Two Models (New York:  MDRC, 1998).
  11. Many AFDC recipients in the three sites did not participate or work for 20 hours in every week of a month for a variety of reasons.  For example, they were waiting for an activity to begin, were having child care or transportation problems, or were sick or had a sick family member.  In some instances, staff had temporarily "lost track" of them.