Performance Improvement 2000. Human Services Policy

01/01/2000

A Research Synthesis of the Findings from ASPE's "Leavers" Grants

This study will critically analyze and synthesize the findings of ASPE's grants that have studied welfare outcomes for individuals and families who have left cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The project will result in an Initial Synthesis Report and a Final Report. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) awarded grants to states and counties to study the outcomes of welfare reform on individuals and families who leave TANF, individuals and families entering the caseload, and TANF applicants and potential TANF applicants. All of the grantees are using a combination of linked administrative data and surveys to study the outcomes of the TANF "leavers." The grantees include: Arizona, Cuyahoga County, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, San Mateo County, Washington, and Wisconsin. Additional information about these grants, including grantee interim and final reports, are available at ASPE's leavers website: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/leavers99/index.htm.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Health Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Lyon, Matthew
202-401-3953

PIC ID: 7368

PERFORMER: Urban Institute
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 06/30/2001

Abstinence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Efforts Targeting Boys

The purpose of this project is to: (1) identify abstinence-based pregnancy prevention programs that target boys or both boys and girls; (2) utilize a framework to assess and summarize the state of the field; and (3) provide the information in a format useful to state, local, and community policy-makers. Adolescent pregnancy is a complex issue, and understanding its causes, as well as effective prevention strategies, is still not well-developed. Traditionally, adolescent pregnancy prevention research and programs have focused on adolescent girls. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that adolescent boys and young men must share that focus. At the same time, there has been a recent influx of funding for programs that use an abstinence- based approach. States and communities have shown an interest in providing services and programs for boys and young men, but have also expressed frustration that they do not have access to information about what strategies have been tried, if these have been successful, and how they can access funding for the development and operation of these programs. The project will result in a final report identifying existing abstinence-based teen pregnancy prevention efforts undertaken by youth organizations serving boys, target populations, and results of any evaluation activities. It will include information on issues of approach, cost, target group, impact, community support, geography, race/ethnicity, and special needs. This project is an integral part of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Clinton Administration's Fatherhood Initiative.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Chessen, Sonia
202-690-8471

PIC ID: 6726

PERFORMER: South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
Bronx NY

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 09/30/2000

Child Outcome Study of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-work Strategies: Two-Year Impacts

The Child Outcomes Study is a substudy of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS), a longitudinal evaluation of a set of welfare-to-work strategies implemented under the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program as a part of the 1988 Family Support Act. In the three sites selected for the Child Outcomes Study--Atlanta, GA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Riverside, CA--the evaluation is examining the impacts of two types of welfare-to-work approaches. The "labor force attachment (LFA) approach" encourages a rapid transition into the labor force, whereas the "human capital development (HCD) approach" follows a long-term strategy of investing in recipients' basic education, with the aim of increasing qualifications for higher wage jobs. The Child Outcomes Study seeks to evaluate the impacts of each strategy on children's development and behavior in three domains: (1) cognitive development and academic achievement, (2) behavioral and emotional adjustment, and (3) physical health and safety. It will examine which maternal, family, and contextual characteristics help to explain these impacts on children. Background information is included on such topics as: (1) mothers' educational attainment, (2) current and previous employment, (3) welfare history, (4) household composition, (5) psychological well-being, and (6) welfare-related attitudes. This and other information (e.g., parenting, child care, father involvement) was collected at two and five years after random assignment from administrative records and in-home surveys. In addition, the five-year follow-up will survey teachers about children's school progress and behavior. Funding for this project was provided in part by the Administration for Children and Families.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Mirsky-Ashby, Audrey
202-401-6640

PIC ID: 6576.4

PERFORMER: Child Trends, Inc.
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 02/28/2000

Diagnosed Health Conditions and Health Care Service Utilization of Children in Foster Care

This project will conduct a study of health care issues regarding children in foster care. The study will use State Medicaid Research Files (SMRF) for three States to examine the extent of diagnosed illness and disability among children in foster care and the receipt of health care by these children. SMRF data includes information on health care claims made through the Medicaid program as well as information regarding the diagnoses associated with those claims. The study will examine questions regarding: (1) the extent of diagnosed illness and disability among children in foster care as compared to other children on Medicaid; (2) receipt of health care services including acute care, care for chronic health conditions and preventive services; (3) receipt of health care services following transitions into and out of foster care; and (4) subgroups of children in foster care, such as adolescents' use of substance abuse treatment and/or pregnancy-related services.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Radel, Laura
202-690-5938

PIC ID: 7149

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 12/20/1999

Disaggregating the TANF Child-Only Caseload in Three States

The purpose of this study is to give the Department of Health and Human Services more detailed information about the make- up and trends of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) child-only population three States. Child-only cases are those in which benefits are paid only on behalf of minor children, and there are no adults in the household receiving assistance. In some cases the children are living with adults other than their parents. In such a case, the caretaker receives assistance on behalf of the child, but not for himself/herself. In other cases, a parent is in the household but is ineligible for benefits for one of several reasons, including: (1) receipt of SSI, (2) unqualified alien status, or (3) imposed sanctions. Such cases currently make up 21 percent of the TANF caseload, a proportion which has grown significantly in recent years. This study will use administrative data, case file reviews, and interviews with program and policy staff in three States to provide a better understanding of the issues regarding child-only TANF cases.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Radel, Laura
202-690-5938

PIC ID: 7188

PERFORMER: The Lewin Group
Fairfax, VA

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 12/20/1999

Domestic Violence and Welfare: An Early Assessment

This project will study early implementation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Family Violence Option and child support enforcement program responses, including the use of good cause waivers for battered women. Evidence suggests that some battered women seek employment and child support while others need specialized assistance in addressing partner abuse. To address domestic violence, States may have policies regarding screening and other forms of identification, assessment of a battered woman's needs, service provision, confidentiality, corroboration required, staffing arrangements, agreements with community resources and other considerations. The study will provide information about these policy issues, the status of program implementation and descriptions of useful models.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Silverman, Gerald
202-690-5654

PIC ID: 6724

PERFORMER: Urban Institute
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 04/30/2000

Economic and Health Status of Immigrants, Their Communities, and the Organizations that Serve Them

This project will conduct research on the economic and health status of immigrants, their communities and the organizations serving them. The research will profile the status of immigrants with regard to health, employment and participation in programs administered by public and private agencies, with special attention to distinguishing categories of immigrants and drawing comparisons with the Native population. The project will also explore the impacts of welfare reform on immigrants and organizations, with special attention to both individual and institutional adaptations. Since the loss of food stamps appears to be the most far-reaching and permanent change affecting current legal immigrants, its impact on immigrants and their families will be a particular focus of the study. The project will supplement an examination of existing secondary data with intensive secondary data collection in Los Angeles and New York, the two cities that together account for one-fourth of the immigrant population. Primary data collection in the two cities has been designed to develop profiles of immigrants in these cities and the agencies serving them. This effort has several components, including: (1) interviews with 1,200 immigrant households in each city; (2) telephone interviews with most of the non-profit agencies providing services to immigrants; (3) in-depth interviews with 100 immigrants who lose Food Stamps and with additional immigrants who retain food stamps in each city; and (4) in-depth interviews with administrators and staff in public and private agencies.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Nielsen, David
202-401-6642

PIC ID: 6747

PERFORMER: Urban Institute
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 10/01/2000

Indicators of Welfare Dependence, March 2000

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. Each annual Report on Welfare Indicators is developed with the advice and recommendations of the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare indicators, the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The purpose of this report, as stated in the law, is "to provide the public with generally accepted measures of welfare receipt so that it can track such receipt over time and determine whether progress is being made in reducing the rate at which and, to the extent feasible, the degree to which, families depend on income from welfare programs and the duration of welfare receipt."

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Isaacs, Julia
202-690-6805

PIC ID: 7281

PERFORMER: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Health Policy
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 03/30/2000

Integration of Welfare and Workforce Development Systems

This study will: (1) build on research which examined State-level coordination and integration, and (2) provide an examination, using a case study approach, of the ways in which welfare agencies are working with other organizations involved in workforce development at the local level. It will provide additional insights into possible implications of various approaches to integration for individuals who are receiving public cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, and who must seek employment and move toward economic self-sufficiency in a time-limited welfare environment. In addition to providing current information for policymakers and program administrators regarding the challenges to coordination and integration and lessons learned by local officials, the study will help to identify issue areas requiring in-depth study.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Mirsky-Ashby, Audrey
202-401-6640

PIC ID: 7144

PERFORMER: Urban Institute
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 02/28/2000

Making Ends Meet: How Mothers Manage When Their Welfare Grants Are Cut

This study will describe how family life adjusts to sanctions, through collection of in-depth qualitative data from mothers who are currently experiencing a cut in their welfare budget due to an imposed sanction. The data will include details on: (1) changes in financial resources, (2) how family members are affected, (3) where families turn for additional support, (4) additional reported and unreported employment activity, (5) mothers' perceptions about conflicts between work and family responsibilities, and (6) perceptions about the availability of affordable child care.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Kaye, Kelleen
202-401-6634

PIC ID: 6893

PERFORMER: Columbia University
New York, NY

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 09/30/2000

National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is undertaking a study of the effectiveness of welfare-to-work programs. as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS), the effects of two approaches to preparing welfare recipients for employment will be compared in three sites (Atlanta, Grand Rapids, and Riverside). In one approach, the human capital development approach, individuals are directed to avail themselves of education services and, to a lesser extent, occupational training before they seek work, under the theory that they will then be able to get better jobs and keep them longer. In the other approach, the labor force attachment approach, individuals are encouraged to gain quick entry into the labor market, even at low wages, under the theory that their work habits and skills will improve on the job and they will thereby be able to advance themselves. The evaluation uses a random assignment design in order to get reliable results. Sample members are being followed for five years from the time they entered the study. Comprehensive data on economic outcomes, including information on quarterly Unemployment Insurance-reported earnings and monthly Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamp payments is being collected.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Mirsky-Ashby, Audrey
202-401-6640

PIC ID: 7089

PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
New York, NY

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 06/30/2001

Pregnancy Prevention Programs Targeting Boys and Young Men: Policy Information Dissemination Strategy

This project will develop a research and policy information strategy to inform regional, State, and local policy officials and community-based organizations serving children and youth of the program models, primarily directed at boys and young men, that can be implemented to help teenagers avoid premature sexual activity and unintended pregnancies. Project staff will: (1) review activities within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and outside the Federal government to collect information about pregnancy prevention activities targeted at boys and young men; (2) meet with national, State, and community leaders to determine information needs; (3) develop information packets; and (4) test strategies to get information to State and community decision makers in a timely and usable format. This project is an integral part of the National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Clinton Administration's Fatherhood Initiative, which promotes delaying fatherhood until a man is emotionally and financially ready, and encourages fathers to take a more active role in providing support and guidance to their children. It is also being undertaken in collaboration with the activities of the non-profit, non- partisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Mellgren, Linda
202-690-6806

PIC ID: 6766

PERFORMER: Urban Institute
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 02/28/2000

Study of Welfare-to-Work Programs Serving Non-Custodial Parents

The U.S. Department of Labor's Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program provides funds to states and local organizations to support efforts to help the hardest-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as certain non custodial parents, get and keep jobs. Recent changes to the WtW eligibility criteria have reemphasized the importance of non custodial parents (NCPs) as a key population in need of WtW interventions. By targeting NCPs, the WtW program aims to increase absent fathers' involvement with their children's lives and their commitment to their families' economic and personal well-being. This study was initiated by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify and describe some of the WtW programs serving NCPs. The study will gather and present information on a variety of program models and service approaches that can help guide the larger community of social service and workforce development agencies in their efforts to serve the needs of non custodial parents and their families. The study will focus on how WtW grantees serving NCPs design and implement their programs, identify and recruit their clients, and develop partnerships with other organizations serving NCPs such as the local child support enforcement and TANF agencies.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Landey, Alana
202-401-6636

PIC ID: 7086

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 11/01/2000

The National Evaluation of the Welfare to Work Grants Program

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 authorized the Department of Labor to award $3 billion in welfare-to-work grants to States and local communities to promote job opportunities and employment preparation for the hardest-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and for non-custodial parents of children on TANF. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of welfare-to-work initiatives, including those undertaken by the welfare-to-work grantees and by American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal organizations. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in conjunction with the Departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development, has designed an evaluation to address five key questions: (1) What are the types and packages of services provided by welfare-to-work grantees? (2) What are the net impacts of various welfare-to-work program approaches on employment and on family well-being? (3) What challenges are confronted as grantees implement and operate the programs? (4) Do the benefits of the programs outweigh the costs? and (5) How well do private industry councils and other non-TANF organizations meet the challenges of implementing the programs for the hard to employ? The evaluation study includes four main components: (1) a descriptive assessment of all welfare-to- work grantees based on mail surveys and site visits; (2) in-depth impact and cost-effectiveness study; (3) in-depth process and implementation study; and (4) a special process and implementation study focusing on tribal welfare and employment systems.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Landey, Alana
202-401-6636

PIC ID: 7147

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 10/20/2003

The Role of Intermediaries in Welfare to Work

Moving millions of welfare recipients into the workforce is the cornerstone of the recently enacted welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. Efforts to employ welfare recipients under PRWORA will not be successful without the involvement and support of private sector employers. Across the country, businesses are getting involved to varying degrees in welfare-to-work, including more than 2,500 member companies of the Welfare to Work Partnership who have pledged their commitment to hire welfare recipients. Many of these businesses are in turn relying on intermediaries to help them hire welfare recipients. The role of intermediaries varies significantly, from providing referrals or assistance with filing for tax credits, to providing extensive pre and post-employment services. While the importance of intermediaries is growing rapidly, little is known about them. This study provides two types of information on intermediaries. The first is a broad description of the types of intermediaries currently participating in welfare-to-work efforts in several sites across the country. This information will be presented for a large number of intermediaries, but will be fairly general, focusing on the basic characteristics of the intermediaries and the types of services provided. The second part of the project will present in-depth information on implementation issues based on site visits to the communities of approximately ten of these intermediaries.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Kaye, Kelleen
202-401-6634

PIC ID: 7151

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 10/20/1999

Welfare Outcomes Panel Study

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (OASPE) is conducting a panel study with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to evaluate the design of current, proposed and future studies of the effects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. This panel study will assist the department in: (1) reviewing existing research efforts on the effects of welfare reform; (2) examine the appropriate data sources, research designs and statistical methods for analyzing welfare reform outcomes; and (3) identify research gaps and data needs for the continued study of welfare reform. Specific topics to be covered by the panel of experts include: (1) the appropriate outcome measures needed to effectively evaluate the outcomes of welfare reform; (2) the appropriate population of study; (3) the design and usefulness of existing national-level surveys (e.g., the Survey of Program Dynamics and the Survey of Income and Program Participation); (4) data needs for monitoring State and sub-State variation in outcomes; (5) potential uses and limitations of administrative data; and (6) integration of survey and administrative data. Over the course of the study, the NAS expert panel will address the above mentioned tasks through workshops, quarterly panel meetings and the publication of both an interim report and a final report. The interim report (see PIC # 7145.1) included early recommendations of the panel and the final report will document the comprehensive list of final recommendations to the department.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Hauan, Susan
202-690-8698

PIC ID: 7145

PERFORMER: National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 03/02/2001

Welfare Reform and Changing Program Participation Patterns in Four States

The purpose of this study is to understand how families' use of a variety of safety net programs changes over time as welfare reform is implemented. This will be an early look at how welfare waivers and the welfare reform law influenced families' program participation. Using administrative data in four States from 1994-1997, the study will examine a series of questions regarding whether families' program participation patterns change in response to program eligibility changes and policy shifts. It will examine the child and family outcomes in such areas as family self sufficiency, child living arrangements and child abuse and neglect reports. The study's unique contribution will be its effort to look at families' pathways across a series of safety net programs.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Human Services Policy

FEDERAL CONTACT: Feig, Laura
202-690-5938

PIC ID: 7148

PERFORMER: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 10/20/1999