The BNF program provided customized support through home visitation to rural Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to improve job readiness, life skills, and family management practices, and to assist in the transition to economic independence.

The BNF program provided customized support through home visitation to rural Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to improve job readiness, life skills, and family management practices, and to assist in the transition to economic independence.

The BNF program provided customized, interactive life-skills education, mentoring, and service coordination through home visits. BNF participants received weekly or biweekly home visits during which master’s-level educators (with small caseloads of 12 to 18 clients) delivered curricula designed to improve life skills and family management practices.

Educators tailored curricula to fit immediate participant needs and used interactive activities such as developing and maintaining a budget, practicing interviewing skills, and understanding effective communication with spouses, partners, and employers.

The educators worked with BNF participants and sometimes involved other family members. The educators also provided informal counseling, referrals, and support in accessing services and resources.

After enrolling in the program, BNF participants were required to participate and could be sanctioned, facing reduction in their TANF grant if they did not. Sanctions could include the complete loss of cash assistance for the family, including a penalty of 1 month for the first sanction, 3 months for the second, and 12 months for the third.

The program consisted of one-hour home-based sessions weekly or biweekly during an eight-month period. Participants had access to the BNF program activities for up to six months after they found employment. BNF focused on TANF recipients who had faced difficulty meeting work participation requirements in the past. The program was implemented in more than 65 rural counties in Nebraska.

Year evaluation began: 2002
Populations and employment barriers:
Intervention services: Case management, Financial education, Soft skills training, Employment coaching
Setting(s): Rural 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 Little evidence to assess support favorable $1,213 per year 0.06 600
Long-term Little evidence to assess support 0
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Supported favorable 10% (in percentage points) 0.25 600
Long-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable -1% (in percentage points) -0.03 600
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-44 per year -0.02 600
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-74 per year -0.03 600
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods No evidence to assess support

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1