Program administrators randomly assigned single-parent AFDC applicants and recipients whose youngest child was at least age 3 to one of three conditions: traditional case management, integrated case management, or a comparison condition. Random assignment took place from September 1992 to July 1994 at the income maintenance office before recipients had undergone program orientation. Evaluators administered a survey two years after random assignment to a simple random sample of participants randomly assigned between January 1993 and December 1993, and sampled a slightly higher proportion of cases from the comparison group than from the traditional and integrated case management groups. This study focuses on the comparison between traditional case management and the comparison (no additional services) condition. Other studies examine the contrast of integrated case management and the comparison condition and integrated vesus traditional case management.
Random assignment took place between September 1992 and July 1994. Individuals were followed for five years after random assignment.
The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) evaluation was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation) and by the U.S. Department of Education.
The study only examined single parents. In the full sample, which includes those randomized to the integrated and traditional program groups as well as to the comparison group, more than 90 percent were female (94) with an average age of about 32 and an average of two children. A slight majority were Black (52 percent), and the remainder were primarily White (47 percent). When the study began, fewer than half of sample members, 43 percent, had ever worked full time for an employer for six months or more, and a comparable proportion (42 percent) had earned no educational credential at or above a high school diploma or GED level. Roughly 45 percent of sample members had received AFDC for five or more years.
Ohio Department of Human Services and the Franklin County Department of Human Services
Program administrators developed both intervention arms—the traditional and integrated case management conditions—for this demonstration.
Case management focused on the development of clients’ (welfare recipients) skills as preparation for securing a job. Case managers who dealt with training and employment often encouraged clients to take higher-paying jobs once they began their job search. In this program, a separate income maintenance case manager handled clients’ welfare eligibility determination and payment issuance. Case managers usually assigned clients without a high school diploma or general education diploma to basic education classes. Clients who had basic education credentials were assigned to vocational training, postsecondary education, or work experience. The program also offered a life skills workshop to prepare clients for employment. After staff decided that clients were employable, they referred them to job searching (supported by a job club). The program paid for child care costs, offered an on-site child care center, and covered transportation and other incidental work costs. Traditional case managers provided less personalized attention and monitored participation less closely compared with the integrated case management approach. However, enforcement was still generally high, and case managers strongly enforced participation requirements by sanctioning clients who did not meet those requirements.
People in the comparison group could not receive any program services and were not subject to participation requirements (and therefore the risk of nonparticipation sanctions) for program services or employment. These clients could, however, participate in employment-related activities available in their communities.
During the study period, all welfare recipients in Columbus, OH, were required to participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training welfare-to-work program unless they met one of several exclusion criteria. Participants who did not meet participation requirements were sanctioned.
Not specified, but services ended when clients left AFDC.
State of Ohio; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The study took place in Columbus, OH.