Understanding the Costs of the DOL Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Estimating Average Costs

08/01/2002

The decision to enroll an individual in WtW represented an offer of job readiness, employment placement, case management, supportive services, retention and advancement followup, and other assistance. Because not all participants needed or used all these services, the WtW programs did not require the capacity to provide all participants with all services. The average cost per participant describes the average value of the package of WtW services that individuals who enrolled actually received. While any individual participant's actual resource use is likely to differ from this average, this estimate provides a sound basis for comparing programs, as well as for planning interventions with goals and target populations similar to those of WtW programs.

The ultimate aim of WtW programs was to place participants in unsubsidized jobs that could make them economically self-sufficient. However, not all individuals who enrolled in WtW programs entered unsubsidized employment. Therefore, when assessing and comparing WtW programs, it is important to take into account their overall rate of success in helping participants

achieve this objective. For each WtW program, we collected information on the number of participants ever placed in unsubsidized employment during the cost analysis period and on the program's overall rate of participant placement in unsubsidized employment. We used this information to estimate average costs per participant placed in unsubsidized employment.(10)

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