The PESD program provided additional case management services and support for employment expenses to newly employed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients to promote job retention and reemployment.
The PESD program 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.
PESD case managers provided participants with counseling and support, job search assistance, assistance in resolving benefits issues, and service referrals tailored to the needs of the participant. The program also increased the amount of financial support available to participants for initial employment expenses and expanded the range of eligible expenses. The program expected staff to maintain contact with all participants during the first few months after they became employed and expected that the need for contact would then decline. Case managers still had contact with about half of the participants one year after they became employed.
Eligible participants were AFDC recipients who were recently employed, with the majority of participants finding work through the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program.
The PESD was implemented in four cities: Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; Riverside, CA; and San Antonio, TX. In Portland, JOBS case managers continued providing some counseling to their clients after their clients became employed. In Riverside, all participants were required to participate in JOBS to receive AFDC benefits.