The LFA program implemented in Riverside, CA, focused on rapid job placement for single-parent Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients to promote self-sufficiency.
The LFA program implemented in Riverside, CA, encouraged clients to move quickly into work without being selective about which job to take. Participants first spent one week in a job club operated by Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program staff at the local public assistance office. Then, participants applied to jobs for at least two weeks and were required to make 25 to 35 employer contacts per week.
Case managers were accountable for the employment and education outcomes of their clients and therefore encouraged success by recommending that participants take the first available job (including part-time or low-paying jobs) while full-time job developers continued searching for other opportunities for the participant. Case managers also emphasized program participation. Staff could impose financial sanctions for nonparticipation, and child care and transportation assistance were available. The combined job club and job search time lasted for about five weeks month, and clients who completed job club but remained unemployed at the end of the five-week period could receive multiple rounds of short-term education or vocational training for periods of nine months.
Eligible participants included single parents who received AFDC and who were required to enroll in the JOBS program as a condition of continuing to receive public benefits. However, AFDC recipients were exempt from JOBS if they had children younger than 3, were employed 30 hours or more per week, were medically unable to work, or were in the last trimester of pregnancy.
Riverside’s LFA program was evaluated as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies that also tested LFA programs implemented in Atlanta, GA, and Grand Rapids, MI. The demonstration also compared the effectiveness of LFA programs versus Human Capital Development programs in Atlanta, GA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Riverside, CA.