The WtW sites that participated in this evaluation enrolled primarily individuals who had histories of welfare receipt. In all of the sites except Milwaukee where the WtW program targeted noncustodial parents 87 percent or more of WtW enrollees had received TANF or its predecessor AFDC under their own name at some time prior to program entry (Appendix Exhibit E.1). In contrast, only 14 percent of Milwaukees enrollees had ever received TANF or AFDC. In most of the study sites, only about one-third of the enrollees who had ever received TANF or AFDC had received those benefits for more than five years (Exhibit II.4).
During the year immediately preceding program entry, rates of TANF receipt among WtW enrollees varied widely across the study sites. In six of the sites, 60 to 90 percent of WtW enrollees were receiving TANF in each of the first three quarters of the year prior to program entry (Exhibit II.5). In four of the other five sites, rates of TANF receipt were lower, ranging from 30 to 45 percent over the same pre-entry quarters. Milwaukees very low rates of TANF receipt during this period clearly reflect the unique population (noncustodial parents) served by the NOW program. In most sites, the rate of TANF receipt increased over the year before program entry and was markedly higher during the quarter of program entry than at any point in the year prior.(21) This observation highlights the fact that, in general, the circumstances of enrollees had taken a turn for the worse shortly before they entered WtW.(22)
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