The Training Focused program allows newly employed Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to reduce work requirements in order to pursue education and training opportunities.
With their case manager’s approval, participants could opt to participate in education and training activities in place of some or all of the required 32 hours per week of work hours. Participants received intensive case management services, including access and referrals to mental health, domestic violence, and substance use treatment services. Participants were also automatically eligible for supportive services, including child care and transportation assistance, which would otherwise have required enrolling in a separate program. Services continued until participants obtained employment, but they could continue pursuing education and training for as long as they wished.
The program was available to TANF recipients who had worked at the state minimum wage or higher for at least 20 hours in one or more weeks in the prior 30 days. Participants also had to have completed a preemployment program and expect to be working at least 20 hours per week on average for the next month.
The Training Focused intervention was implemented in Riverside County, CA. The evaluation also tested a Work Plus intervention and compared the effects of the Training Focused and Work Plus interventions.