Performance Improvement 2009. How Did Sites Apply Revised Work Participation Rate Requirements?


This follow-up study sought to determine what changes five sites (in Arizona, Georgia , Missouri, New Jersey, and Wisconsin) were making toward meeting more stringent work participation requirements as set forth in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). This study was based on information gathered in mid-2007 and represents early efforts to address DRA requirements.

Four of the five states studied low had pre-DRA work participation levels so that meeting the new requirements was challenging. Researchers found the following state level changes: making sanctions provisions more stringent, targeting the hard-to-employ, moving some clients to solely state funded programs so that those clients would not count in the work participation rate calculation, making engagement in work activities an eligibility requirement, and updating data systems. Changes initiated at the local level included designating specialized staff to monitor work participation to ensure missed hours were documented and to free up case manager staff to focus on working directly with clients, making greater efforts to identify cases with significant barriers to work, and initiating efforts to more closely monitor caseworker performance.

Report Title: Local Implementation of TANF in Five Sites: Changes Related to the Deficit Reduction Act
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Marc Fucello, 202-401-5750
Performer: The Lewin Group
PIC ID: 8867

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