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.
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. 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.