Integrated Case Management provided personalized case management to single-parent Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) applicants and recipients to help them improve educational and vocational skills in preparation for securing a job. This evaluation directly compared Integrated Case Management to a separate intervention, Traditional Case Management, in order to better understand which of the two interventions might be more effective. The distinctive features of Integrated Case Management were personalized attention from case managers and careful monitoring of training participation.
Integrated Case Management participants worked with a single case manager to improve their educational and vocational skills and to determine their welfare eligibility and payment issuance. Participants who did not have a high school diploma or general education diploma were assigned to basic education; participants with basic education credentials were assigned to vocational training, postsecondary education, or work experience. Case managers provided job search assistance after they determined that participants were employable. The program paid providers for child care costs incurred as a result of participation and also had a free on-site child care center for participants with children between ages 2 1/2 and 5. In addition, the program gave participants work allowances to pay for their transportation and other incidental costs. Case managers closely monitored and enforced program participation, and participants who did not meet the program participation requirements were sanctioned with a reduction in their monthly welfare payments. Services ended when clients exited AFDC.
Participants in Integrated Case Management were single-parent AFDC applicants and recipients whose youngest child was at least 3 years old. The intervention was implemented in Columbus, OH, and was mandatory for all participants as part of the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training welfare-to-work program, unless they met one of several exclusion criteria. The effectiveness of Integrated Case Management when compared with Traditional Case Management indicates the effect of the services that are unique to Integrated Case Management, or how much better Integrated Case Management met participants’ needs than Traditional Case Management. Participants in Integrated Case Management worked with a single case manager for their welfare services and employment and training services, whereas participants in Traditional Case Management worked with separate case managers for these services. Integrated Case Management case managers had smaller caseloads than case managers in the Traditional Case Management program and were able to provide more intensive services and monitor participation more closely.