• 0.62,1.00
  • 0.62,1.00
  • 0.24,1.25
  • 0.31,1.00
  • 0.08,1.00

Good Transitions served noncustodial parents with low income by providing subsidized employment combined with case management and training to help them connect to stable employment.

Good Transitions served noncustodial parents with low income by providing subsidized employment combined with case management and training to help them connect to stable employment.

After two days of initial skills assessment, Good Transitions participants were placed in a subsidized job at Goodwill Industries stores. An on-site job coach provided feedback and support while program staff provided case management and job development services. After one month at the Goodwill position, Good Transitions placed participants in a new position, with less on-site support and coaching than the Goodwill position, for about three months. During this time, Good Transitions continued to provide case management and job development services and also provided life-skills workshops, occupation-specific training, and a weekly job club to help participants find unsubsidized work. After three months at the second subsidized position, participants would either enter an unsubsidized job or continue to receive education, training, and job development services until they found an unsubsidized job. The program was designed to move participants into unsubsidized employment within four months. Participants were noncustodial parents with low income who had child support orders, had passed a drug test, and were registered with Selective Service (applicable to males only).

Good Transitions was implemented in Atlanta, GA. The evaluation of Good Transitions was part of the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) evaluation, which also tested similar subsidized employment programs implemented in Milwaukee, WI (Supporting Families Through Work); San Francisco, CA (TransitionsSF); Syracuse, NY (Parent Success Initiative); Fort Worth, TX (Next STEP); Indianapolis, IN (RecycleForce); and New York, NY (Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work). 

Year evaluation began: 2012
Populations and employment barriers: Parents
Intervention services: Case management, Training, Occupational or sectoral training, Soft skills training, Subsidized employment, Employment coaching, Job development/job placement
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 Supported favorable $1,632 per year 0.078 996
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $962 per year 0.046 996
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Supported favorable 20% (in percentage points) 0.494 996
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 4% (in percentage points) 0.097 996
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-347 per year -0.126 802
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Supported favorable 15% (in percentage points) 0.307 812

Participant race and ethnicity
Black or African American
91%
White, not Hispanic
4%
Hispanic or Latino of any race
3%
Another race
2%

Implementation details

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Dates covered by study

The Good Transitions transitional job intervention is currently active. Referrals and enrollment for the study began in March 2012 and continued until December 2013. Study participants worked in subsidized jobs in the Good Transitions intervention through April 2014. Participant impacts were measured 12 and 30 months after random assignment.

Organizations implementing intervention

Goodwill of North Georgia, an affiliate of Goodwill Industries International, and the Georgia Division of Child Support Services’ Fatherhood Program implemented the Good Transitions intervention together. Goodwill of North Georgia provides employment and training services to local residents with barriers to employment. The Fatherhood Program, operated by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services, provides employment and training services to noncustodial parents who have child support orders.

Populations served

During the study period, Good Transitions served low-income, noncustodial parents who (1) had child support orders or who would be establishing orders within 30 days of intervention enrollment, (2) passed a drug test, and (3) registered with Selective Service or obtained a waiver. Most participants were referred by the Fatherhood Program, and the rest were recruited by Goodwill from community programs that served noncustodial parents. Participation was voluntary.

The population examined was 94 percent male and 91 percent Black. Sixty-nine percent of the population held high school diplomas or the equivalent. Eighty-nine percent of the population studied had children who were minors. At random assignment, ninety-one percent of all parents had a current child support order, and 10 percent had an order for child support debt.
Pre-enrollment intake and screening was an intensive three-day process that included in-person attendance, written assignments, worksheets, team-building exercises, and role-playing exercises. The intensity of the process suggests that those who completed the process and enrolled were particularly motivated.

Description of services implemented

Good Transitions placed intervention participants in subsidized jobs using a two-stage employment model—first at Goodwill stores and then at private companies in the community—to gradually increase participants’ work skills, provide private-sector work experience, and engage in a trial period of private-sector employment. The Goodwill placement lasted about 1 month for 20 to 40 hours each week, during which an employment coach supervised participants and supported their work-readiness and soft-skills development during every shift. The program set aside part of each shift for participants to search for jobs. Job developers prepared participants for private-sector applications and interviews with associated employers. In the second stage, Good Transitions placed participants in jobs at private companies for about three months to provide work experience that more closely resembled the unsubsidized labor market. Goodwill paid participants minimum wage ($7.25 an hour before child support and tax deductions) during both stages.
In addition to these key program components, participants received the following services:

  • Weekly case management, starting after intervention enrollment in the first stage and provided at the Goodwill store employing the participant. In the second stage, Good Transitions case managers routinely visited participants and their employers on-site at the private company.
  • Weekly job clubs in which participants practiced work-readiness skills and received job search assistance.
  • Workshop trainings provided by external organizations, including occupational, financial literacy, and soft-skills training.
  • Retention services to verify employment and reconnect participants to Good Transitions if they had lost jobs.
  • Financial incentives of public transportation or gas cards, ranging from $20 to $25, for continuing to communicate with a retention specialist and for continuing to verify unsubsidized employment.

The implementation of the subsidized private-sector jobs stage differed somewhat from initial plans. The program intended to place participants based on their skills and interests, but job developers did not form relationships with as large a range of private-sector companies as intended, so most participants were placed in retail or local nonprofit private-sector jobs.

Service intensity

Ninety-seven percent of participants worked in subsidized jobs at Goodwill stores for between 20 to 40 hours a week for about 1 month, and 63 percent of participants worked in subsidized jobs at private-sector employers for about 3 months. All participants received at least 1 program service that was not a subsidized job.

Participants’ take-home wages were low, with some as low as $2.31 per hour, because of child support wage withholding. Low take-home wages presented challenges to keeping participants motivated.

Comparison conditions

Individuals who were randomly assigned to the comparison group could participate in other programs, which included receiving other services from the Division of Child Support Services’ Fatherhood Program. Members of the comparison group were not placed in subsidized jobs at Goodwill and private-sector partner employers.

Partnerships

The Center for Working Families Inc., a nonprofit focused on financial stability, partnered to provide occupational, financial literacy, and soft-skills workshops to participants.

The Urban League of Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit serving African Americans in Atlanta, also partnered with Good Transitions to provide occupational, financial literacy, and soft-skills workshops to participants.

Multiple local, private-sector retail and nonprofit organizations partnered with Good Transitions to offer subsidized job placements.

Staffing

Job coaches in each of the five participating Goodwill stores, up to four case managers, and up to four job developers provided services. In addition, one vocational evaluator managed enrollment, assessment, and determinations of which participants were a good fit for the intervention. Two retention specialists verified unsubsidized employment and allocated financial incentives. All staff participated in job clubs and assessment sessions in addition to their specific roles.

All staff had previous experience working in Goodwill programs or with populations served by human and employment services programs. All staff were trained by Goodwill on diversity and disability awareness, crisis prevention, and sexual harassment prevention. In addition, job developers were trained in conducting employer needs analyses, which included finding roles intervention participants could fill.

Local context

The intervention took place in Atlanta, GA.

Fidelity measures

The study did not discuss any tools to measure fidelity to the intervention model.

Funding source

The Good Transitions intervention was part of the federal Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Good Transitions received a federal grant through this demonstration from the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Cost information

The cost per participant in Good Transitions was about $7,100 (in 2016 dollars), which included program operations, incentive payments, and participant wages. The study does not discuss a comparison of costs and benefits.

Studies of this intervention

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Study quality rating Study counts per rating
High High 1