Understanding the Costs of the DOL Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Outreach and Recruitment Were Important WtW Investments for Some Programs


Outreach and recruitment costs represented only five percent of the costs for the average WtW program (Figure III.2), as only eight programs incurred costs for such activities. Although devoting resources to outreach and recruitment was not always planned, these eight programs spent from $27,426 to more than $274,000 to try to identify and recruit eligible WtW participants (TableIII.1). Their outreach and recruitment costs translated into $92 (Philadelphia-TWC) to $1,302 (Phoenix-EARN) per enrollee during the cost analysis year.

Figure III.2
Average Allocation of Total Costs Across WtW Components

Figure III.2 Average Allocation of Total Costs Across WtW Components

Table III.1
WtW Programs with Outreach and Recruitment Costs
  Outreach and Recruitment Costs During Cost Analysis Year New Enrollees During Cost AnalysisYear Implied Cost of Outreach and Recruitment per
WtW Program Costs Percent of Total
West Virginia-HRD $27,426 2 85 $323
Boston-Marriott $37,001 17 51 $726
Boston-Partners $46,760 10 51 $917
JHU-Florida $59,451 19 79 $754
JHU-Maryland $63,829 16 104 $614
Nashville-Pathways $64,687 5 592 $109
Philadelphia-TWC $155,129 2 1,691 $92
Phoenix-EARN $274,812 14 211 $1,302

Most of the outreach and recruitment costs these programs incurred represented the time some WtW staff had to devote explicitly to participant recruitment. Phoenix-EARN and Philadelphia-TWC, the programs with the largest outreach and recruitment costs, had dedicated outreach staff whose principal responsibility was to help identify and recruit prospective WtW participants. In the other programs, directors, case managers, and other WtW staff members reported spending a fair amount of their time visiting welfare offices and other potential referral sources to try to increase referrals by "talking up" their programs.

The remaining 10 programs could, in general, rely on well-established relationships with the local TANF agencies to get enough WtW referrals. While the outreach and recruitment costs for these programs are reported as zero, staff members from many of these programs reported investing small but indeterminate amounts of time in general outreach activities. For example, program directors, case managers, or other WtW staff in Chicago or Fort Worth periodically visited welfare offices and other potential referral sources to maintain these important relationships. Thus, even programs with minimal outreach and recruitment costs considered these efforts important.

Unanticipated recruitment difficulties arose from the restrictiveness of the initial WtW criteria, falling TANF caseloads, and the availability of alternative WtW or other programs in some areas.(1) In spite of their outreach efforts, some of the WtW programs included in our analysis may have had the capacity to serve additional individuals at a relatively low marginal cost, which could have reduced their average costs somewhat.

View full report


"report.pdf" (pdf, 643.95Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®