Performance Improvement 2002. Administration for Children and Families



To promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities.

Evaluation Program

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers a broad range of entitlement and discretionary programs, including income maintenance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families); child support; children and family services (Head Start, Child Welfare, Family Preservation and Support, and youth programs); four block grants; and special programs for targeted populations, such as the developmentally disabled, immigrants, and Native Americans.

The objectives of ACF’s evaluations are to furnish information on designing and operating effective programs; to test new service delivery approaches capitalizing on the success of completed demonstrations; to apply evaluation data to policy development, legislative planning, budget decisions, program management, and strategic planning and performance measures development; and to disseminate findings of completed studies and promote application of results by state and local governments.

ACF actively engages with other federal agencies, state and local policy and program officials, national organizations, foundations, professional groups and practitioners, and consumers to stay current on emerging issues affecting its programs and to identify questions for evaluation studies. Systems changes and how they affect vulnerable populations, particularly children, are of primary concern. The movement toward devolving responsibility for health and human services to state and local organizations offer both tremendous opportunities and unprecedented challenges in redefining and implementing services for families.

Evaluation study designs are negotiated carefully with the states and other interest groups. Studies often are funded as joint ventures with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and other federal agencies and foundations. Such collaborations permit large-scale efforts that are better informed and more representative of varying perspectives. Proposals are reviewed by multidisciplinary experts. Work groups of various kinds are used to monitor the progress of projects and to advise on design refinements and the presentation of findings.

Completed Evaluations

National Evaluation of Family Support Programs Final Report: Vol. A: The Meta-Analysis

This work evaluating the effectiveness of family preservation and family support programs is the first of three volumes of the Final Report. They report on distinctly different aspects of the overall study of family support programs. This volume reports findings from a meta-analysis of existing research on programs that provide family support services. The results presented in this analysis asked the following questions: What are the effects of family support programs and services? What characteristics of programs or the families they serve account for differences in effects? A summary of the findings included in the meta-analysis, which represent a broad cross-section of programs that provide family support services, have small but statistically significant average effects in all nine outcome domains, e.g., children’s cognitive development, social and emotional development, parenting attitudes and knowledge, parenting behavior, and family functioning. The report notes, however, that in every outcome domain, a small group of programs accounted for the average effect. In child cognitive achievement, child social and emotional functioning, and parenting behavior the effects of family support programs are consistently meaningful, though small. The “meaningfulness” of effect size is not always clear, however, and must be considered in the context of evidence about their potential importance for a given population and the cost of obtaining the effect.
PIC ID: 5848; CONTACT: Mary Bruce-Webb, 202-205-8628; PERFORMER: Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA

Delivering Employment Retention and Advancement Services

The state of Iowa made an early commitment to job retention and advancement services based on evaluation results of its welfare program, the Family Investment Program (FIP). These results indicated that FIP had increased employment and earnings among recipients but had not directly resulted in families leaving welfare. The state developed a model for post-employment services. The Post-Employment Pilot (PEP) Program tests that model in three sites across the state and lays the groundwork for future retention and advancement services in Iowa. This is the final report of the process study of the PEP program. It examines the decisions made by the three pilot sites about recruitment and referral processes, services, and staffing structures as well as the challenges and successes experienced by the sites during the first 10 months of program operation. A summary of the findings is: (1) The main challenge faced by all three pilot sites is low participation, mainly due to lack of time. (2) Clients participating in PEP have frequent contact with PEP staff, but most of those contacts do not occur in person, and the average length of time that clients spend in the program is relatively short (averaging 3.5 months). (3) While the core components of the PEP program are group activities, participants indicated they were more satisfied with one-on-one interactions with their caseworker. (4) The program failed to provide clients with services/resources addressing their most severe personal difficulties and challenges, such as transportation and child care. (See also PIC ID 6762)
PIC ID: 6761; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Iowa Department of Human Services, Des Moines, IA

Enhancement to the Process and Impact Analysis of the Youth Employment and Training Initiative (YETI)

The purpose of this final report was to assess the impact of the Youth Employment Training Initiative (YETI) on key outcome measures and to suggest policy and programmatic implications of these findings. In addition to summarizing earlier analyses, new analyses reported here uses data drawn from several sources: (1) school-based records, (2) Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) wage files, and (3) Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) records of cash assistance from the TANF program. Hypotheses related to the impact of YETI on academic achievement, earnings, and dependence on public assistance were tested. This report shows, as did the previous reports, that the YETI program has had a modestly positive impact. The report concludes by offering several program and research implications generally derived from interviews with served and control group members. They highlight the value of the sustained presence of caring and knowledgeable adults for optimal adolescent transitions to adulthood and the benefits of the program’s sustained attention, guidance, and social skill-building components.
PIC ID: 6821; CONTACT: John Maniha, 202-401-5372; PERFORMER: Illinois Department of Human Services, Springfield IL

Process/Implementation Evaluation: Capitalizing the Bridge from Welfare to Work to Independence Demonstration Program

This project was designed to expand the employment and training services provided by Goodwill Industries by constructing new centers in four counties in southwest Florida and six parishes in southeast Louisiana. During the three-year evaluation period both regions met their placement quotas and are currently ahead of their goals. The report found that providing funds for construction up-front results in significant job placements after those facilities open for business, and for the foreseeable future. However, both Goodwill Acadiana and Goodwill Manasota are established organizations with proven track records and clearly defined goals. Whether or not this model will work in other settings as an initial start up operation is unclear.
PIC ID: 6755; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Goodwill Industries of Manasota, Inc., Sarasota, FL and Goodwill, Industries of Acadiana, Inc., Scott, LA

Promoting Employment Retention Among TANF Recipients: Lessons from the GAPS Initiative

The Pittsburgh Foundation, in collaboration with the Allegheny County Assistance Office (ACAO) of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), developed the GAPS initiative, an employment retention program that consisted of case management and other support services for employed Allegheny County welfare recipients. The program was called “GAPS” because it aimed to help welfare recipients bridge the gap between dependence on welfare and self-sufficiency. This report is the second and final report on the GAPS initiative. Through site visits, service use, survey, and administrative records data, the following key findings about participants’ experiences and program operations emerged: (1) Most GAPS participants experienced steady economic progress during their first 18 months in the program.

(2) Substantial challenges remain in spite of the economic progress of participants, for example, affording health insurance and child care. (3) GAPS participants valued the supportive counseling, personal attention, and advice their case managers provided. (4) Supplementing case management with additional tangible services may help gain participants’ trust and, ultimately, improve their economic outcomes. (5) A greater emphasis on job advancement for newly employed welfare recipients may be needed. Many participants indicated on follow-up surveys that they were looking for another job, usually with higher wages or better benefits.
PIC ID: 6760.1; CONTACT: Nancye Campbell, 202-401-5760; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Plainsboro, NJ

Second Assignments to Iowa’s Limited Benefit Plan

In 1993 Iowa implemented a comprehensive set of welfare reforms in the form of the Family Investment Program (FIP). A key component of FIP is the requirement that able-bodied adults participate in PROMISE JOBS, the state’s employment and training program for welfare recipients. If those clients do not comply with PROMISE JOBS requirement, their FIP cases are assigned to the Limited Benefit Plan (LBP), a short-term plan that restricts eligibility for FIP cash assistance. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of second LBP assignments--including how often they occur, who they affect, why they occur, and their policy implications. The study shows that about one-quarter of all FIP clients assigned to a first LBP ultimately enter a second LBP. LBP policy changes may reduce LBP recidivism through stricter rules that will require clients to comply with the employment and training activities before reapproval of a FIP application. Most clients that failed to keep a schedule appointment with PROMISE JOBS often cited personal and family circumstances, such as transportation problems, work and school schedule conflicts and child care problems. Finally, once in a second LBP clients were more likely to be employed after entering a second LBP than before, and average total household income was higher after entering a second LBP than before.
PIC ID: 6762; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Iowa Department of Human Services, Des Moines, IA

Work-Based Strategies for Hard-To-Employ TANF Recipients: A Preliminary Assessment of Program Models and Dimensions

This study was designed to achieve two goals: (1) identify and provide detailed information about the design and structure of work-based programs that serve or that have the potential to serve hard-to-employ TANF recipients and (2) assess the feasibility of conducting a rigorous, large-scale evaluation of such programs. The project was intended to be exploratory in nature. Information was gathered on 65 programs based on written materials and conversations with a broad range of individuals. Then, information telephone conversations were conducted with 33 programs and site visits made to nine programs. Out of the assessment, four different program models were identified that are currently being used to help hard-to-employ individuals find and maintain employment: Model I) - paid work experience programs, (Model II) - supported transitional publicly funded jobs programs, (Model III) - supported transitional structured employment programs, and (Model IV) - supported competitive employment programs. Model I is targeted primarily to individuals who lack work experience although very little additional support, such as intensive case management or job coaching, is provided. Model II programs subsidize participant wages by using government funds, making them more costly than Model I programs. These programs provide temporary paid work experience. Model III programs provide transitional employment opportunities in a controlled setting such as a sheltered workshop, a social enterprise, or a group placement within a private company. While in transitional employment, participants receive substantial support. Model IV programs are almost always targeted to TANF clients with disabilities and provides significant support to promote success at the workplace.
PIC ID: 7016; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Plainsboro, NJ

In-Progress Evaluations

Head Start Child and Family Experiences Survey (FACES)

In order to provide longitudinal information on a periodic basis on Head Start program quality, family characteristics and experiences, and child outcomes in comprehensive domains of school readiness, the Head Start FACES study was launched in Fall 1997. The first cohort of 3200 children in 40 nationally representative programs was followed by a second cohort of 2800 children in 43 programs. Data are disseminated through regular progress reports, e.g., Head Start FACES: Longitudinal Findings on Program Performance (Third Progress Report, 2001). A final technical report on the 1997 cohort will be published in 2002.
PIC ID: 6331.3; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Louisa Tarullo, 202-205-8324; PERFORMER: Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD

Children of Color in the Child Welfare System

The objectives of this project are threefold: (1) to gain insights into how race, ethnicity, and culture are taken into account in the decision-making and service provision in the child welfare system; (2) to assess current efforts, and to identify promising practices that address disproportionalities or perceived inequities in service provision among racial and ethnic groups; and (3) to produce products that will provide guidance and assistance to the field in terms of policy and practice.
PIC ID: 7620; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Mary Bruce Webb, 202-205-8628; PERFORMER: Caliber Associates, Fairfax, VA

Descriptive Study of Families Served by Head Start

This three-year descriptive study will provide information on a nationally representative sample of families served by Head Start in forty programs across the country. Through a survey and more intensive case study methods, the study will chart families’ demographics, strengths, needs, expectations and experiences within Head Start programs, as well as programmatic efforts to join in partnership with families. (See PIC ID 6331.1)
PIC ID: 6331; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: Louisa Tarullo, 202-205-8324; PERFORMER: Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA

National Longitudinal Study of Children and Families in the Child Welfare System

(National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being). The purpose of this study is to describe the outcomes experienced by children and families who come to the attention of the child welfare system, and to gain an understanding of the factors, including system-level and service factors, as well as child and family characteristics, that contribute to those outcomes. The study will select a nationally representative sample of 5,400 children upon entry into the child welfare system, and additional sample of 700 children who will have been in foster care for one year at the time they are selected. Information on these samples will be collected at baseline and at two follow-up interviews from the children and their caregivers, caseworkers, and other agency personnel and service providers. Public use data sets will be prepared following each wave of data collection.
PIC ID: 6748; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: Mary Bruce-Webb, 202-205-8628; PERFORMER: Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC

A Research Synthesis of the Effects of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program

This project will synthesize the most current research information available on the effect of TANF on income, earnings, receipt of government benefits, and family formation and structure, for individuals and families who were potentially affected by welfare reform, including both current and former TANF recipients, as well as others at risk of becoming dependent on cash assistance. It will also synthesize information available concerning the amount and duration of welfare and other benefits such as Medicaid, child care, child support, and food stamps. Finally, in addition to synthesizing research in subject areas that have been extensively studied, it will also document areas that have not been studied to identify possible ideas for future research.
PIC ID: 7540; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA

A Study of Infant Care Under Welfare Reform

Twenty-two states have used the new flexibility granted under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) to require work of parents whose youngest child is less than one year old. The purposes of this study are to learn more about the policy and program challenges facing states that are encouraging welfare parents with infants to work or attend school, and to build the foundation for future research on programs, policies, and strategies that can successfully transition parents from welfare to work while promoting the health and development of infants. To achieve these objectives, the study will examine three central issues: (1) the policies, programs and strategies that states are currently using to transition parents with infants off of welfare and arrange child care for infants; (2) the ways in which parents who are transitioning from welfare to work meet the competing demands of work and family responsibilities and how they meet their infant care needs; and (3) the availability of infant care and its impact on parents’ ability to meet welfare program requirements.
PIC ID: 7113; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Richard Jakopic, 202-205-5930; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC

Achieving Change for Texans

This project continues an evaluation of the State of Texas’ original welfare reform demonstration. The demonstration consists of four major components: (1) a number of policies implemented Statewide addressing such recipient responsibilities as immunization for children, school attendance and adherence to a personal responsibility agreement; (2) a number of policies implemented in counties operating JOBS, the primary feature of which is differential benefit time limits based on consideration of work experience and the need for education; (3) a number of policy options implemented in four counties, providing for individual development accounts and fill-the-gap budgeting; and (4) a one-county pilot offering a check for $1,000 in lieu of regular Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), with no re-application for benefits for one year.
PIC ID: 6765; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: John Maniha, 202-401-5372; PERFORMER: State of Texas, Department of Human Services, Austin, TX

Assessing Effective Welfare-to-Work Strategies for Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors in the Options/Opciones Project

This 5-year (1997-2002) research project studies the effective strategies in addressing the needs of abused women as they try to enter the labor market. This project documents the needs of battered girls and women on welfare, and will identify successful strategies employed to eliminate violence and exit welfare.
PIC ID: 6833; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Mary Ann MacKenzie, 202-401-5272; PERFORMER: Center for Impact Research, Chicago, IL

Assessing Enhanced Transitional Employment (ETE) Programs

This project will identify and describe employment-focused programs that help individuals who face significant employment challenges by providing transitional employment or work experience that builds the skills and capacity of participants through a supportive environment that may include close supervision, peer supports, and progressive performance expectations, and linkage or provision of needed services as well as other methods. The project will provide detailed descriptions of the programs identified, an assessment of program capacity and the feasibility of expanding existing programs to serve more participants, and, if not now served, TANF recipients with significant employment barriers; suggestions on how these programs might be replicated in other state/local settings; and an assessment of the feasibility of conducting a large-scale evaluation of such employment strategies, including an impact evaluation based on an experimental design.
PIC ID: 7539; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC

Assessing Medicaid and Food Stamps Access and Participation

This project, in cooperation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will help 12-14 states create and analyze performance data on how their Medicaid, SCHIP, and Food stamps enrollment and reapplications are functioning for families. It will identify root causes of problems in these processes, and develop specific implementation plans to solve identified problems and increase participation. In addition, 10 promising practice site visits will be conducted to help develop improvement implementation plans.
PIC ID: 7546; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC

California Welfare Reform Impact Evaluation

This demonstration will attempt to estimate the impact of California’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Generally, impacts will be assessed by comparing outcomes in the post-TANF period with the pre-TANF period. The impact of various county programs may also be examined by comparing outcomes among the counties. In developing models to estimate impacts, California will use a 10 percent statewide sample of welfare recipients. These samples date back to 1987, providing a rich database to use to test the models. The sample data consist of Department of Social Services information on Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal and foster care. These data have been supplemented by data on unemployment and disability insurance, and Department of Health Services data on births. The major research questions concern the impact of states’ TANF program on self-sufficiency, family composition, and child well-being. To the extent possible, the impacts of TANF on different subgroups will be considered. Subgroups will include racial and ethnic subgroups, as well as urban and rural subdivisions. Attempts will also be made to determine the impacts of differing implementation of TANF among the counties.
PIC ID: 5548; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: California Department of Social Services, Sacramento, CA

Child Impact Studies

This project augments the existing welfare reform demonstration evaluations in five states (Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota) to assess the effects of different welfare reform approaches on child well-being outcomes, including school achievement, behavioral problems, and health status. The effect of intervening mechanisms, such as the quality and regularity of the home environment, child care arrangements, and parental employment and income, will also be examined.
PIC ID: 6847; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Multi-Professional Services Contracts

Child Outcomes Synthesis Project

This project will synthesize the results from the Program on State-Level Child Outcomes, a series of demonstrations in five states that measure the impacts of welfare reform on the well-being of children.
PIC ID: 7527; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC

Economic Analysis of the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home Visitation Program

This study will examine cost savings to government, resulting from an investment in a program of prenatal and early childhood home visitations that have been studied in a series of three randomized controlled experiments. The experiments will be conducted in three different settings (Elmira, NY, Memphis, TN, and Denver, CO) with different sample compositions.
PIC ID: 7547; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Kempe Prevention Research Center for Family & Child Health, Denver, CO

Economic Independence and Inclusion Model: A Person-Centered Approach

This project is intended to develop and test the feasibility of an effective local/community-based, long-term and holistic service delivery model for individuals with severe or multiple disabilities. The model will be person-centered and -controlled with easy access to a coordinated network of flexible services and supports designed to enhance the opportunity for these individuals to enter and/or remain in the job market under more satisfactory conditions. The methodology will consist of reviewing and analyzing research literature and pertinent federal and state policies and programs; conducting 22 case studies of past and present approaches and best practices; designing, field testing (in three sites) and finalizing the desired model; using an expert advisory panel to review all products. The feasibility of the draft/proposed model is currently being tested in three states.
PIC ID: 7544; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Hossein Faris, 202-205-4922; PERFORMER: McIver, Diana & Associates, Inc., Austin, TX

Employment and Retention and Advancement Project

In about 13 sites in nine (9) states, this project will conduct an evaluation of program techniques for enhancing employment retention and advancement of low income families. The methodology includes random assignment to experimental and control groups compared for impacts; process analyses in about 13 sites; and, cost effectiveness studies.

Evaluating the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Welfare Benefits Using Matched Administrative Records from California

This project will complete a comparative analysis of patterns and trends in welfare participation and reporting in SIPP. It will also determine the accuracy of SIPP program data by comparing it against state administrative records.
PIC ID: 7536; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA

Evaluation of Arizona Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility Program (EMPOWER)

Under this Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) demonstration, recipient families are encouraged to become self-sufficient by: (1) time-limiting cash assistance for adult recipients, (2) imposing a family cap, (3) extending transitional Medicaid and child care to 24 months, (4) eliminating the 100 hour rule for two parent families, (5) requiring unwed minor parents to live with a responsible adult, and (6) requiring 13 to 16 year old parents to participate in Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS).
PIC ID: 6818; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: Arizona State Department of Economic Security, Phoenix, AZ

Evaluation of Community-based Job Retention Programs

This project includes two components. In one, the project will provide an implementation analysis and outcome findings for current and former welfare recipients receiving employment retention and post-employment services through the GAPS program. The services will be provided to about 600 employed TANF recipients through five community-based organizations in the Pittsburgh area that received funding from The Pittsburgh Foundation. A common set of services will be provided but within the context of different existing service delivery systems among the five organizations. The project will describe the experiences of providers and participants, report on the economic success of participants over time, and present lessons for program administrators. The second component will include a descriptive analysis of the Community Solutions program through which the state Department of Human Services contracted for pre- and post-employment services from service providers using benchmark-based contracting and payments. Providers receive incremental payments when TANF recipient participants attain certain benchmarks including maintaining steady employment for 12 months. This component of the study focuses primarily on the experiences of service providers operating programs under the requirements and payment schedules of benchmark-based contracts.
PIC ID: 6760; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Nancye Campbell, 202-401-5760; PERFORMER: Pittsburgh Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

Evaluation of the Employment First Program

This process evaluation will primarily focus on implementation and operation of the Nebraska Employment First Program and will conclude a special study to assess successful case management. In addition, a separate client barriers study oversampling rural areas will be conducted.
PIC ID: 6826; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: Nebraska State Department of Health and Human Services, Lincoln, NE

Experience of Tribal TANF Programs: Problems, Solutions, and Lessons Learned

This project will develop national-level research information on tribal TANF programs that will be responsive to the needs of Native American tribal governments in deciding to initiate or improve their own TANF programs, as well as the needs of policymakers at federal, state and local levels. The project will include a survey of all TANF tribes funded as of August 30, 2000 and a sample of non-TANF tribes, supplemented by in-depth on-site case studies of a sample of nine tribes. It is primarily an implementation study that will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data and analytical methods.
PIC ID: 7542; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Hossein Faris, 202-205-4922; PERFORMER: Support Services International, Inc., Silver Spring MD

Fragile Families and Welfare Reform

This project will describe the conditions and capabilities of low-income unwed parents with a new child and examine the complex relationships between welfare reform legislation and families’ economic and non-economic well-being. The project will document how unwed mothers are packaging various forms of support and government programs, and how well families are doing as a result of individual efforts and social policies. The study utilizes the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Survey that includes a random sample of new unmarried mothers and fathers in 20 large cities that are representative of large cities in the United States. The cities are stratified by policy regime and labor market strength so they represent an array of economic and policy conditions in the U.S. The study undertakes an analysis of the relationships between city variation (policies, economic conditions, etc.) and a number of outcomes including the types of assistance upon which unwed parents rely and individual and child well-being.
PIC ID: 7534; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: Brendan Kelly, 202-401-5600; PERFORMER: Columbia University, New York, NY

Front-Line Management and Practice Study

This is a study of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) implementation at the local level, and is embedded in the larger SUNY-Albany State Capacity study, which is a 20 state implementation analysis. The principal objective of the Front-Line Management and Practice Study is to evaluate whether front-line workers are implementing the welfare goals and policies established by the states. Locally-based researchers conducted in-depth observations in three local offices from each of four states. A criterion for site selection dictates that the state give primary emphasis to work and job preparation, thus enabling the researchers to make comparisons among management practices that aim to affect the same sort of policy outcomes. Some sites have been chosen because they use traditional rule-based management and others because they rely on performance-based management.
PIC ID: 6841; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY

Impact Study of the New Hampshire Employment Program

This demonstration is designed to determine the impact of New Hampshire’s entire Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It will attempt to determine the effects of TANF on caseload and on employment and earnings, as well as the effects on areas such as foster care placements, child abuse and neglect, homelessness and child support collections.
PIC ID: 6828; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: New Hampshire DHHS, Concord, NH

Indiana Welfare Reform Evaluation Project

This project continues the evaluation of implementation and impacts of the “Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training Program” (IMPACT) welfare reform waiver demonstration, now operating under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
PIC ID: 6869; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Indianapolis, IN

Jobs-Plus: Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families

This is a seven and one-half year demonstration program aimed at dramatically increasing employment, earnings and job retention among the working-age residents of family housing developments, a large percentage of whom are on public welfare or at risk of dependency. The program supports the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of locally-based approaches to providing saturation-level employment opportunities, including a combination of training and supportive services, financial and other incentives (occasioned by the welfare reform and new public housing policies), and vigorous efforts to rebuild and strengthen the community in support of work. The bottom line question for the Jobs-Plus Demonstration is: Does the program achieve its primary goal of dramatically increasing employment and earnings among public housing residents? And, does a large increase in employment and earnings lead to a better quality of life for residents? Questions concerning the sites’ implementation strategies and experiences are also important and will be a major focus of the research. The evaluation design developed for the demonstration combines experimental and quasi-experimental methods in an unusually rigorous approach for studying the effectiveness of a place-based comprehensive social intervention. (It uses randomly selected sets of treatment and comparison sites.) The study will use administrative records data as well as survey data covering a wide variety of outcomes. It will examine whether the program’s impacts vary across sites and whether certain program strategies are likely to yield better results. The evaluation will include comprehensive cost and benefit-cost analyses.
PIC ID: 6835; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2004; CONTACT: Hossein Faris, 202-205-4922; PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

Maryland Family Investment Program Evaluation

This is a Statewide process study to examine and document front-line assessment and allocation practices under TANF in Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions. The objective of this analysis will be to help clarify the relationship between agency factors and county-level characteristics by describing county-level variation in front-line procedures.
PIC ID: 6823; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Lawrence Wolf, 202-401-5084; PERFORMER: University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD

Minnesota WorkFirst Program (Track 2)

Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test/post-test comparison group design consisting of both an impact and process study, this study will compare the WorkFirst and MFIP-S programs. WorkFirst uses a rapid labor force attachment strategy versus MFIP-S, which represents a progressive labor force attachment model.
PIC ID: 6825; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Lawrence Wolf, 202-401-5084; PERFORMER: Minnesota Department of Human Services, St. Paul, MN

National Study of Child Care for Low Income Families

This project will study the low income child care market in 25 communities in 17 states with a sub-study to examine the family child care market in 5 neighborhoods drawn from these communities. In addition, the project will conduct a survey of 2,500 low-income families in the same 25 communities to determine how child care decisions are made and to study the relationship of child care subsidies to their choices. The information provided from the study will help inform the issues surrounding subsidized child care and its implementation by the states, with particular attention to the provisions in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) over time, as well as how significant shifts in welfare policy and programs affect the child care market for welfare recipients and the working poor at the community level.
PIC ID: 6845; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: Richard Jakopic, 202-205-5930; PERFORMER: Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA

Neighbors, Services Providers, and Welfare Reform in Los Angeles County

This project will examine neighborhood variation in the availability of public and private social services throughout Los Angeles County. It will investigate how agencies are adapting to the current and anticipated changes in demand for their services as a result of welfare reform.
PIC ID: 6763; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2005; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA

New Hampshire Employment and Training Program Process and Outcome Study

This Process and Outcome Study goes hand-in-hand with the New Hampshire Impact Study. By using surveys of recipients, staff and employers, this process study will determine how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was planned, designed and implemented. There will also be several special studies concerning diversion from welfare, sanctions, child care and transitional case management.
PIC ID: 6827; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: New Hampshire DHHS, Concord, NH

New Jersey Substance Abuse Research Demonstration

This evaluation will provide information about the effectiveness of a type of evaluation several states are experimenting with to move substance abusing welfare clients toward self-sufficiency. The intervention New Jersey is implementing includes screening welfare recipients for substance abuse problems, treatment referral mechanisms with enhanced case management, and substance abuse treatment coordinated with employment and training or vocational services. The intervention being evaluated is intended to improve the post welfare prospects of TANF recipients with substance abuse problems. The evaluation is being conducted in two New Jersey counties, Essex County and Atlantic County.
PIC ID: 7528; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: K.A. Jagannathan, 202-205-4829; PERFORMER: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York NY

Ohio Works First Evaluation

This demonstration will evaluate the Ohio Works First provisions and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) policies which include: (1) completion of a self-sufficiency contract, (2) more generous income disregards, (3) a 36-out-of-any-60 month time limit, and (4) whole family sanctions. In Ohio, local jurisdictions have great flexibility in running their TANF programs, and this evaluation will attempt to determine the differential effects of the various local programs.
PIC ID: 6758; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: Ohio Department of Human Services, Columbus, OH

Partner and Father Involvement in the Lives of Low-Income First Time Mothers and Their Children

This project will investigate the role that fathers and partners play in improving the material, emotional, and developmental well-being of low-income women and children. It consists of a set of secondary analyses using data from three longitudinal experiments of a program of prenatal and infancy home visitation serving first time mothers from various ethnic and racial groups.
PIC ID: 6799; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Lawrence Wolf, 202-401-5084; PERFORMER: Children’s Hospital, Denver, CO

Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home Visitation Program - Replication/Dissemination

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are supporting this initiative. The project allows for data collection and evaluation of an initiative to replicate and disseminate the nurse home visiting model. The model has been tested through randomized trials and found to be effective in improving outcomes for mothers and their children on a number of important outcome measures, including: (1) educational attainment, (2) employment, (3) welfare dependency, (4) parenting attitudes, and (5) subsequent pregnancies. The DOJ funded a grant to support technical assistance and training to replicate the model in selected sites. This project supports the evaluation component of the initiative to test the effectiveness of the replication process within normal operating environments. The initiative will answer questions pertaining to: (1) whether programs are implemented with fidelity to the original program model; (2) whether the program is reaching the target population of at-risk, low-income pregnant women; (3) the aspects of the model that are most difficult to implement and maintain; (4) the factors explaining site variation in program fidelity; and (5) the outcomes for pregnant women and families enrolled in each site.
PIC ID: 6757; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO

Rural Welfare to Work Strategies Demonstration Evaluation Project

As part of its multifaceted national strategy for welfare reform research and evaluation, ACF is funding the Rural Welfare to Work Strategies Demonstration Evaluation Project to learn how best to help TANF and other low-income rural families move from welfare to work. The demonstration evaluation will lead to increased information on well-conceived rural welfare to work strategies and lessons about the operational challenges and methods to address them that can be used by state and local TANF agencies and others. It is expected that four states/sites will participate in the national demonstration evaluation. The project will address the following key questions: 1) What types and packages of services are provided under the RWtW project, and how do they compare with services already available under TANF or other funding? 2) What are the issues and challenges associated with implementing and operating the service packages and policy approaches studies? 3) What are the net impacts of selected approaches under the project on employment and on families’ well-being? 4) What are the net costs of the programs, and do the programs’ benefits outweigh the costs? 5) What strategies should policymakers and program managers consider in designing approaches to improve the efficacy of welfare to work strategies for families in rural areas? The evaluation plan includes three main components: 1) In-Depth Process and Implementation Study; 2) Impact Study; and 3) Cost-Benefit Study.
PIC ID: 7247; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2005; CONTACT: James Dolson, 202-260-6165; PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC

Sexual Abuse Experiences of Runaway Youth

This project responds to a legislative requirement to conduct a study that will address the extent to which sexual abuse exists in runaway youths, and provide information about the perpetrators of any such abuse. The project will review available literature and conduct secondary analyses to examine the sexual abuse experiences of runaway youth, particularly experiences that occur prior to the youths’ leaving home.
PIC ID: 7549; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Mary Bruce-Webb, 202-205-8628; PERFORMER: Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC

South Carolina Project Independence

This project examines the state’s TANF implementation of two provisions: (1) relocation requirements and services affecting recipients in counties with higher unemployment rates; and (2) policies related to alcohol or drug abuse referral and treatment. In addition, Project Independence former and diverted clients will be surveyed, and the survey results will be linked to administrative records to determine the status and well-being of the families and their children.
PIC ID: 7550; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: South Carolina Department of Social Services, Columbia, SC

State Welfare Reform Evaluation Project (Connecticut’s Jobs First)

Using experimental methodology, this project continues an originally planned evaluation of the Jobs First demonstration, later incorporated into the State of Connecticut’s TANF plan. The evaluation includes: (1) a short (21 month) eligibility time limit for non-exempt recipients; (2) 24 months of transitional Medicaid; (3) liberalized disregards; (4) “Family Cap”, limited eligibility for children born while the family receives assistance; (5) strong job search emphasis, with employability assessment only if a search fails to yield a job; and (6) progressive sanctions for non-compliance.
PIC ID: 6819; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Lawrence Wolf, 202-401-5084; PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

TANF Time Limits

This project will report on what states are doing with clients that are approaching or that have reached TANF, federal and/or state time limits.
PIC ID: 7621; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

Testing Non-experimental Methodologies Using the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) Data

The purpose of this demonstration is to test various non-experimental evaluation techniques. The emphasis of this demonstration will be to test whether an adequate control group (not randomly assigned) can be established using propensity score matching techniques as described in recent research literature. The data to be used will be from the NEWWS demonstrations that involved efforts to improve employment and earnings outcomes of welfare recipients at a number of sites. In the NEWWS demonstrations, evaluations were carried out using random assignment to establish treatment and control groups at each site. This demonstration will test modeling techniques by comparing outcomes from the randomly assigned control groups to the outcomes from control groups defined by non-experimental methodologies. This demonstration will deal with data from seven NEWWS sites.
PIC ID: 7541; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

The Fiscal Effects of Welfare Reform

Building on a four-state pilot project, this study will conduct case studies in 13 states to assess how social services spending and policies have changed after welfare reform was implemented. More specifically, the study will examine changes in spending in absolute dollars, in real dollars per poor person, and as a percentage of state budgets. This will provide insights into how state budgetary priorities have changed, to learn about trends and differences across states, and to target inquiries about underlying state policy changes that have led to spending changes.
PIC ID: 7545; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442; PERFORMER: State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY

The Illinois Families Study

As families transition from welfare to work in the context of welfare reform policies, large variation in welfare use, income, employment and training, and health care coverage is inevitable. This project capitalizes on this variation to assess the relationship between each of these factors and multiple measures of child well-being within the TANF recipient population. The focus of the research is the first three (3) years of an ongoing panel study involving 1,500 families who were receiving TANF in late 1998. Annual survey interviews assess parental reports of each child’s academic performance, behaviors, and health, as well as key risk and protective factors. The survey data will be combined with administrative data from the public welfare system, the unemployment insurance system, children’s school records, medical chart reviews of a subset of children from the sample, and Medicaid claims data.
PIC ID: 7533; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Northwestern University, Evanston IL

Time Limits, Welfare Transitions, and the Age Distribution of Children Receiving Welfare

This demonstration will analyze the effects of time limits on welfare entry, welfare exits, and the age distribution of children receiving welfare. The analysis will use SIPP data from the 1985 through the 1996 panels covering September 1984 through February 1998. The analysis will be of welfare spells of female-headed households. The effects of time limits will be determined by considering the implementation dates of time limits that states implemented under waivers prior to the passage of PRWORA. Various demographic and economic state-level variables will be incorporated into the models to be used.
PIC ID: 7537; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Leonard Sternbach, 415-437-7671; PERFORMER: University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA

Virginia Independence Program

This project evaluates the State’s TANF implementation, which continues policies begun under its welfare reform demonstration, Virginia Independence Program (VIP). Among the policies to be studied under the state’s VIP are: (1) diversionary assistance, (2) a family cap, (3) time-limited assistance, (4) personal responsibility agreements, (5) expanded earned income disregards, (6) school attendance requirements, (7) paternity establishment rules, (8) requiring minor parents to live in adult settings, (9) child immunization requirements, and (10) incentives promoting individual savings accounts and Medicaid and child care benefits.
PIC ID: 6831; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2003; CONTACT: John Maniha, 202-401-5372; PERFORMER: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Welfare Restructuring Project (WRP)

This project, operating statewide in Vermont, continues the evaluation of a welfare reform demonstration project. One of the key features is a time limit that requires some adult recipients to participate in community work experience after fifteen months (for two-parent families) or thirty months (for single-parent families) of receiving cash assistance. It also tests more generous earned income disregards to promote work. The evaluation is designed with two treatment groups. One treatment group receives only the enhanced work incentives; the second receives the work incentives and is subject to work requirements. This will allow the evaluation to measure the distinct impact of work requirement policies.
PIC ID: 6764; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202-401-5070; PERFORMER: State of Vermont, Department of Social Welfare, Waterbury, VT

Welfare-to-Work: Monitoring the Impact of Welfare Reform on American Indian Families with Children

The overall purpose of this project is to monitor and document the implementation, and assess the impact of, welfare reform on American Indian families and reservations in Arizona caused by the evolving State and tribal responses to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Extensive demographic, contextual, socioeconomic and case-level data are to be compiled from a variety of sources, and analyzed in order to document the baseline conditions and changing patterns, and to identify short-term outcomes. The researchers will: (1) use existing national data (e.g., Census, CPS, and SIPP) on American Indians to provide a context for the study of Arizona, (2) collect quarterly case- or household-level data on the welfare recipients on Indian reservations in Arizona to examine their characteristics and monitor changes in their situations under TANF, and (3) track and document TANF implementation by tribal entities using content analysis of relevant documents, in-depth telephone interviews and site visits. The evaluation of the long-term impact of the reform program is to be undertaken during the last four years of the project.
PIC ID: 6832; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Hossein Faris, 202-205-4922; PERFORMER: Washington University, School of Social Work, St. Louis, MO

What Works Best for Whom: Effects of Welfare Reform Policies on Subgroups of Current and Former Welfare Recipients

This project investigates the effects of recent welfare policies on various subgroups of welfare recipients. It adds to earlier work on subgroups by adding more programs to the analysis, looking at more outcomes, looking at more subgroups, and including longer follow-up for some programs. The major goals of the project are to help program operators target precious resources toward groups most likely to benefit from the programs they are running, and to help policy makers understand which groups may need new approaches to help them move to work, stay at work, advance in their jobs, or help their children. The study will use data on nearly 100,000 individuals from 25 programs in 11 states, from MDRC experimental studies of welfare employment programs.
PIC ID: 7532; EXPECTED COMPLETION: FY 2002; CONTACT: Alan Yaffe, 202-401-4537; PERFORMER: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY