The Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Enrollee Outcomes One Year After Program Entry. What Were the Demographic Characteristics of Enrollees?

02/01/2004

Consistent with the profile of TANF recipients nationwide, the majority of WtW enrollees in the study sites tended to be unmarried women, less than 40 years old, and of a minority race or ethnicity (Exhibit II.1). The Boston site typifies this pattern. There, 93 percent of enrollees were women and 93 percent were also minorities. Only 5 percent of WtW enrollees in Boston were married. In sharp contrast to the typical study site, Milwaukee's Nontraditional Opportunities for Work (NOW) program, which served noncustodial parents who were on probation or parole or were scheduled to be released soon from prison, had a clientele that was 95 percent male. WtW enrollees in the three primarily rural sites (West Virginia, St. Lucie County, and Yakima) also defied typical patterns: they were less likely than their counterparts in the study's urban sites to be women or members of a minority group and somewhat more likely to be married. In West Virginia, only 17 percent of enrollees were minorities and more than a quarter were married.

In most sites, women represented more than three-quarters of WtW enrollees. Furthermore, over 90 percent of enrollees were women in all sites except Milwaukee (5 percent), West Virginia (79 percent), and Yakima (80 percent). In Nashville and Philadelphia, practically all WtW enrollees were women.

The majority of WtW enrollees were African American in all sites except West Virginia, where the proportion of enrollees who were black was 14 percent. In Chicago and Philadelphia, about 90 percent of WtW enrollees were black, reflecting the prevalence of African Americans in their TANF populations. Hispanics accounted for more than one in four WtW enrollees in Boston and Ft. Worth, reflecting the profile of the welfare population in these areas. In St. Lucie County, only 8 percent were Hispanic, despite a large Hispanic presence in Florida.

Very few WtW enrollees were married when they entered the program. With the exception of West Virginia, fewer than one in six WtW enrollees was married at the time of program entry. Moreover, also with the exception of West Virginia, the majority of enrollees had never been married. Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia exhibited particularly high rates of enrollees  about three in four  who had never been married at the time of program entry.

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