Teenage Parent Demonstration and Evaluation

11/01/1998

The Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) tested a mandatory program designed to move first-time teenage mothers on welfare (AFDC) into self-sufficiency.

Overview of Demonstration and Evaluation

The Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) operated in Camden, Newark, and the south side of Chicago between late 1987 and mid 1991.  All teens who applied for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) during the demonstration period in these sites and who were randomly assigned to the demonstration program were required to participate in education, job training, or employment-related activities, as appropriate, or be sanctioned until they did participate.  The sites paid for or provided child care, transportation, and other services so that such needs were not a barrier to participation in required activities.  Each teen was assigned to a case manager who developed a self-sufficiency plan, guided the teen to needed services, and monitored her progress in required activities.  The sites provided initial workshops and other services to prepare the teens for later education, training, and employment-related activities.  Program costs were modest:  averaging $2,200 per year per participant including community-provided services, such as alternative educational services, but not counting the AFDC grant nor the cost of regular high school attendance.

Almost 6,000 teens participated in the demonstration.  For evaluation purposes, half the incoming teens were randomly assigned to receive regular services that non-demonstration teens would have received (the control group) and half received the enhanced services described above (the treatment group).  Data for the evaluation included site observations, interviews with program staff, program data, state records data, baseline interviews, focus groups, in-depth semi-structured interviews, case reviews with program staff, and two follow-up surveys of the teens -- one conducted 2.5 years after the teens enrolled in the demonstration and the other about 6.5 years after enrollment.  The evaluator conducted special studies on child care use and supply, in-home assessments of the parenting skills of the young mothers and the well-being of their oldest child, surveys of the case managers and site staff, and regular site monitoring visits.

The Demonstration was funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The evaluation of the TPD was funded jointly by ACF and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).  Mathematica Policy Research conducted the evaluation.

The full title of the TPD is Demonstration of Innovative Approaches to Reducing Long-Term AFDC Dependency Among Teenage Parents.  The Evaluation Project Officer was Reuben Snipper, ASPE;  the Demonstration Project Officer was Nancye Campbell, ACF.  The contract number was HHS 100-86-0045.

Key Features of the Demonstration and Evaluation

  • The demonstration operated from late 1987 through mid-1991 in three sites:  Camden and Newark, New Jersey; and Chicago, Illinois.
  • Target population:  in general, all teenage mothers with one child entering welfare (AFDC) for the first time as their own case (not on their mother's case) in each site.
  • Mandatory participation:  the demonstration programs required these teenage mothers to participate in education, job training, or employment-related activities or be sanctioned until they did participate.  Only a short exemption for teens with very young infants was allowed.
  • Child care, transportation, and other services were paid for or provided by the sites as needed. The sites met such needs to eliminate major barriers to participation in required activities.
  • Case management was key:  each teen was assigned to a case manager who developed self-sufficiency plans, guided the teen to needed services, and monitored her progress in required activities.
  • All teens were required to participate in initial workshops to enhance their personal skills, to help them cope with parental responsibilities, and to prepare them for later education, training, and employment-related activities.
  • Program costs were modest:  average program spending per participant was about $1,400 per year (not counting the AFDC grant).  These direct expenditures were supplemented by an average of about $800 per participant in community-provided services (counting alternative educational services, but not regular high school).
  • Evaluation:  An experimental design with random assignment of almost 6,000 teens, split evenly between the treatment and control group.
  • Data:  baseline interviews, administrative records, focus groups, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and two follow-up surveys of the teens – one 2.5 years and the other about 6.5 years after the teen entered the demonstration.  Special studies were conducted on child care use and supply as well as in-home assessments of the parenting skills of the young mothers and the well-being of their oldest children.
  • The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded the demonstration; both the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and ACF jointly funded the evaluation.
  • Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) conducted the evaluation.

Time Line, Milestones, and Reports

The Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) tested a mandatory program designed to move first-time teenage mothers on welfare into self-sufficiency.

Dates Milestones Major Reports
1986 Sites selected and evaluation contract awarded
Late 1987 Demonstration begins
  Demonstration continues Design report
Mid-1991 Demonstration ends
  Reports on specific aspects of the Demonstration and lessons learned
1993 Impacts of Demonstration, two years after teens started Building Self-Sufficiency Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents
1998 Impacts of Demonstration, six to seven years after teens started Moving into Adulthood:  Were the Impacts of Mandatory Programs for Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents Sustained After the Programs Ended?
1998 Final report synthesizes the TPD and two other demonstrations -- very readable Moving Teenage Parents into Self-Sufficiency:  Lessons from Recent Demonstrations

Selected Project Reports and Related Publications

Gleason, Philip, Rebecca Maynard, Walter Nicholson, Denise Polit, and Anu Rangarajan.  Service Needs and Use of Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1993.

Gleason, Philip, Anu Rangarajan, and Peter Schochet.  The Dynamics of AFDC Spells Among Teenage Parents.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1994.a

Hershey, Alan M.  Case Management for Teenage Parents:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., December 1991.

Hershey, Alan M.  Designing Program Workshops for Teenage Parents:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., December 1991.

Hershey, Alan M.  Enrolling Teenage AFDC Parents in Mandatory Education and Training Programs:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., December 1991.

Hershey, Alan M., and Rebecca Maynard.  "Designing and Implementing Services for Welfare Dependent Teenage Parents:  Lessons from the DHHS/OFA-Sponsored Teenage Parent Demonstration."  Written statement for the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing on Education, Training, and Service Programs for Disadvantaged Teens, March 6, 1992.

Hershey, Alan M., and Charles Nagatoshi.  Implementing Services for Welfare Dependent Teenage Parents:  Experiences in the DHHS/OFA Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., June 1989.

Hershey, Alan M. and Anu Rangarajan.  Delivering Education and Employment Services to Teenage Parents:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., June 1993.

Hershey, Alan M., and Marsha Silverberg.  Costs of Mandatory Education and Training Programs for Teenage Parents on Welfare:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1993.

Kisker, Ellen Eliason, Rebecca A. Maynard, Anne Gordon, and Margaret Strain.  The Child Care Challenge:  What Parents Need and What Is Available in Three Metropolitan Areas.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1989.

Kisker, Ellen Eliason, Rebecca A. Maynard, Anu Rangarajan, and Kimberly Boller.  Moving Teenage Parents into Self-Sufficiency:  Lessons from Recent Demonstrations.  Final Report.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., September 1998.  [This is the final synthesis report of the project.]

Kisker, Ellen Eliason, Anu Rangarajan, and Kimberly Boller.  Moving Into Adulthood:  Were the Impacts of Mandatory Programs for Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents Sustained After the Programs Ended?  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1998.  [Full final evaluation report]

Kisker, Ellen Eliason, and Marsha Silverberg.  "Child Care Utilization by Disadvantaged Teenage Mothers."  Journal of Social Issues, vol. 47, no. 2, 1991, pp. 159-178.a

Kisker, Ellen Eliason, Marsha Silverberg, and Rebecca Maynard.  Early Impacts of the Teenage Parent Demonstration on Child Care Needs and Utilization.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., December 6, 1990.

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.  Barriers to Self-Sufficiency and Avenues to Success Among Teenage Mothers:  Executive Summary.  (Full report authored by Denise Polit.)  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1992.

Maynard, Rebecca.  Building Self-Sufficiency Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., June 1993.

Maynard, Rebecca.  Promoting Program Participation Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Mothers:  Home Visits and Other Case Management Strategies.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. July 16, 1992.a

Maynard, Rebecca, Alan M. Hershey, Anu Rangarajan, and Reuben Snipper.  "The Wisdom of Mandatory Programs for Welfare-Dependent Teenage Mothers."  Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy and Management's Fourteenth Annual Conference.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1992.a

Maynard, Rebecca, Walter Nicholson, and Anu Rangarajan.  Breaking the Cycle of Poverty:  The Effectiveness of Mandatory Services for Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1993.

Maynard, Rebecca, and Denise Polit.  Overview of the DDHS/OFA-Sponsored Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1987.

Maynard, Rebecca, Denise Polit, Alan M. Hershey, John Homrighausen, Ellen Eliason Kisker, Myles Maxfield, Charles Nagatoshi, Walter Nicholson, and Shari Dunstan.  The Evaluation Design of the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1988.

Maynard, Rebecca, and Anu Rangarajan.  "Contraceptive Use and Repeat Pregnancies Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents."  Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 26, no. 5, September/October 1994, pp. 198-205.

Polit, Denise.  Barriers to Self-Sufficiency and Avenues to Success Among Teenage Mothers.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1992.  [Executive Summary available on-line.]

Polit, Denise, Ellen Eliason Kisker, and Rhoda Cohen.  Barriers to Self-Sufficiency Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Mothers:  Preliminary Evidence from the Teenage Parent Demonstration.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., June 1989.

Rangarajan, Anu, Ellen Eliason Kisker, and Rebecca Maynard.  Selecting Basic Skills Tests for Program and Evaluation Purposes.  Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., January 17, 1992.a

Schochet, Peter Z., and Ellen Eliason Kisker.  Meeting the Child Care Needs of Disadvantaged Teenage Mothers:  Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration. Princeton, NJ:  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., March 31, 1992.a

 


a Not supported under contract funds.

 


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Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 2393
Princeton, NJ 08543-2393
(609) 799-3535
jwatterworth@mathematica-mpr.com

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