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.

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.

Year evaluation began: 2001
Populations and employment barriers: Cash assistance recipients, Employed, Parents
Intervention services: Case management, Education, Substance use disorder treatment and mental health services, Supportive services, Training
Setting(s): Tested in multiple settings

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

Back to top
View Table Help Need more context or definitions for the Outcome Domain table below? View the "Table Help" to get more insight into terms, measures, and definitions.

Scroll to the right to view the rest of the table columns

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 unfavorable $-837 per year -0.04 1497
Long-term Little evidence to assess support $0 per year 0.00 1752
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable -3% (in percentage points) -0.08 1497
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 0% (in percentage points) 0.01 1752
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Little evidence to assess support $0 per year 0.00 1497
Long-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable $83 per year 0.03 1497
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods No evidence to assess support

Sample Characteristics

Back to top
State or region: California

Participant race and ethnicity
Black or African American
19%
White, not Hispanic
34%
Hispanic or Latino of any race
43%
Asian
2%
Another race
1%
American Indian or Alaska Native
1%

Studies of this Intervention

Back to top
Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 2