The San Diego Saturation Work Initiative Model (SWIM) was a program for recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), who were required to participate in a series of activities designed to help them find work.

The San Diego Saturation Work Initiative Model (SWIM) was a program for recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), who were required to participate in a series of activities designed to help them find work.

The sequence of required activities began with a two-week job search workshop, then three months of unpaid work experience (typically 20–30 hours per week) with concurrent biweekly job club sessions, and finally assessments to refer participants to outside education or training programs, if necessary. The program also provided referrals to community education and training programs. Part-time employment could substitute for some SWIM activities. Individuals were placed in SWIM if they were applying for or receiving AFDC benefits from participating AFDC offices and met criteria for required participation. Participation was required if the applicant was either a head of a two-parent household or a single head of household with children age 6 or older, unless the applicant was already employed at least 20 hours per week or was an undocumented parent of a U.S. citizen. SWIM was implemented in two AFDC offices in San Diego, CA.

Year evaluation began: 1985
Populations and employment barriers: Cash assistance recipients, Parents
Intervention services: Sanctions, Unpaid work experience, Work experience, Work readiness activities, Job search assistance
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 Little evidence to assess support 0
Long-term Little evidence to assess support $0 per year 0.00 4550
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Supported favorable 6% (in percentage points) 0.15 4550
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 1% (in percentage points) 0.02 4550
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Supported favorable $-385 per year -0.14 4550
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-303 per year -0.11 4550
Very long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $-28 per year -0.01 4550
Increase education and training All measurement periods No evidence to assess support

Sample Characteristics

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State or region: California

Participant race and ethnicity
Black or African American
36%
White, not Hispanic
27%
Hispanic or Latino of any race
30%
Unknown or not reported
7%

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 2