Performance Improvement 2009. Does an Innovative Program Combining Education and Mentoring Improve Employment and Other Outcomes for the Rural Poor?


This study examined impacts of Building Nebraska Families (BNF), part of a broader Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies (RWtW) demonstration evaluation assessing whether innovative programs could improve employment and other outcomes for rural low-income people. BNF provided individualized education, mentoring, and service coordination support with the goal of improving TANF clients’ basic life skills, self-sufficiency, family functioning, and well-being.

BNF improved employment near the end of the 30-month follow-up. The program group was significantly more likely to retain employment and advance in their jobs. There were not significant impacts on sample members’ earnings or public assistance receipt, but BNF significantly improved family income and reduced poverty. More disadvantaged program group members worked significantly more months and hours than more disadvantaged control group members. The more disadvantaged program group was significantly more likely to work in higher-paying jobs with better benefits, to retain employment, and to move to a better job. BNF led to significant, robust impacts on earnings, with the impacts growing.

Report Title: Teaching Self-Sufficiency: An Impact and Benefit- Cost Analysis of a Home Visitation and Life Skills Education Program. Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Michael Dubinsky, 202-401-3442
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
PIC ID: 8915

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