To support future employment, the HCD program implemented in Riverside, CA, focused on providing education and training to single parents who were Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients.

To support future employment, the HCD program implemented in Riverside, CA, focused on providing education and training to single parents who were Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients.

The HCD program implemented in Riverside, CA, stressed that participants should spend time receiving education or training to prepare for good jobs. If participants did not have a high school diploma or general education diploma, the program provided basic education classes in the public school system to help participants make progress toward their goals (such as increasing their literacy level).

Case managers were accountable for the employment and education outcomes of their clients and therefore encouraged success and emphasized and enforced program participation. Staff could impose financial sanctions (by reducing welfare grant amounts) if clients did not participate in required activities. The program also offered support with child care and transportation costs. Riverside’s HCD program expected that most clients would complete training or educational activities within two years but would approve longer durations based on participant needs.

The program focused on single-parent AFDC recipients who were required to enroll in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program. AFDC recipients were exempt, however, 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.

Similar HCD programs were implemented and tested in Atlanta, GA, and Grand Rapids, MI. Riverside’s HCD program was examined as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies that evaluated and compared the effectiveness of two distinct strategies for AFDC recipients: HCD and labor force attachment (LFA). HCD focused on providing education and training as a precursor to employment, whereas LFA focused on placing people into jobs quickly to build work habits and skills.

Year evaluation began: 1991
Populations and employment barriers: Parents, Single parents, Cash assistance recipients
Intervention services: Case management, Education, Sanctions, Supportive services
Setting(s): Urban only

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

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Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term Not supported unfavorable $-1,652 per year -0.08 2328
Long-term Supported favorable $1,130 per year 0.05 3135
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 0% (in percentage points) 0.00 3135
Long-term Supported favorable 5% (in percentage points) 0.12 3135
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-157 per year -0.06 2328
Long-term Supported favorable $-352 per year -0.13 3135
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Supported favorable 7% (in percentage points) 0.14 1350

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1