The Family Transition Program (FTP) was a welfare reform initiative designed to improve the self-sufficiency of single-parent recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in Florida.
FTP was one of the demonstration projects made possible by Section 1115 waivers to the rules in effect at the time for the AFDC program. These Section 1115 waivers allowed states to test new approaches to advance the objectives of the AFDC program.
FTP had four main components. First, it offered enhanced services, such as case management, enhanced employment and training services, adult education, unpaid work experience, social and health services, child care, and supportive services. Staff from the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security (DLES) delivered the enhanced services, often in the FTP service centers. Individuals were required to participate in the enhanced services for at least 30 hours per week until they obtained paid employment.
Second, participants were limited to either 24 months of cash assistance in any 60-month period or 36 months of cash assistance in any 72-month period after entering the program.
Third, participants were required to ensure that their school-age children attended school regularly, to talk to their children’s teachers each grading period, and to begin any necessary immunizations. Their cash assistance grants would be reduced if they failed to do these things.
Finally, FTP offered several financial incentives to encourage work. The first $200 plus half of their remaining earned income were disregarded from the calculation of a family’s cash assistance grant, meaning that families could keep more of their income as their earnings increased.
Individuals not in FTP would instead see their grants reduce by $1 for each dollar they earned. Families could also accumulate more assets than were normally allowed without losing eligibility for AFDC, and they were offered transitional child care for two years after they left FTP.
The program took place in Escambia County, Florida.