Performance Improvement 2003. Highlights


Eleven mandatory welfare-to-work programs were evaluated for their long-term effects on welfare recipients and their children. This multi-year study of alternative approaches to helping welfare recipients find employment concentrated on answering the question of ‘What works best, and for whom’.  Welfare recipients were randomly assigned to one of two or three research groups, depending on the site. Three sites conducted two different programs simultaneously.  One site used a three-group random assignment design (to two case management models or to a control group). The remaining three sites used assignment to existing programs versus no program enrollment as the comparison. All welfare-to-work programs increased participation in employment-related activities, but had little impact on total combined income (as earnings were substituted for public assistance). Employment–focused programs generally produced larger employment gains than educational programs.

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