Performance Improvement 2008. Why and How Use Vouchers in Federal Assistance Programs?


This study represented a first step toward better understanding the role of indirect funding mechanisms, such as vouchers, in advancing two important policy goals: increasing client choice of social service provider and expanding the array of available providers to include faith-based and community organizations.

Research found that voucher use varied greatly between Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), the two programs studied. Some TANF programs integrated client-choice concepts into their contract-based service delivery system by offering clients a choice from among a set of contracted providers. However, the use of vouchers alone did not maximize client choice; program policies and procedures also influenced the level of choice. And while program officials recognized and appreciated the role of faith-based and community organizations in providing child care and services to the low-income, they do not seem to consider vouchers as a specific means of expanding the role of faith-based and community organizations in the service delivery network.

Report Title: Using Vouchers to Deliver Social Services: Considerations Based on the CCDF and TANF Program Experiences,
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact:
Alana Landey, 202-401-6636
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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