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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Kornfeld, Bob; Porcari, Diane; Peck, Laura R.
    Reference Type:
    Year: 2003

    This report summarizes a three-year study of the implementation, impacts, and costs of the Arizona Works Pilot Program, a program that privatized Arizona’s Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Beginning on April 1, 1999, the TANF program in most of Eastern Maricopa County was administered by MAXIMUS, Inc., a private company. During these three years, MAXIMUS, Inc. was responsible for operating the TANF program and its welfare-to-work program, child care for TANF families, Transitional Child Care, the state-funded General Assistance program, and the Food Stamp Employment and Training program. The goal of the impact study is to compare the performance of Arizona Works and the performance of EMPOWER Redesign, the publicly administered TANF program in the comparison area, which is the rest of Maricopa County. The study also examines a version of Arizona Works in Greenlee County, although this program lasted only a few months.

    During the period from April 1, 1999 through March 31, 2002, Arizona Works and EMPOWER Redesign also differed because only Arizona...

    This report summarizes a three-year study of the implementation, impacts, and costs of the Arizona Works Pilot Program, a program that privatized Arizona’s Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Beginning on April 1, 1999, the TANF program in most of Eastern Maricopa County was administered by MAXIMUS, Inc., a private company. During these three years, MAXIMUS, Inc. was responsible for operating the TANF program and its welfare-to-work program, child care for TANF families, Transitional Child Care, the state-funded General Assistance program, and the Food Stamp Employment and Training program. The goal of the impact study is to compare the performance of Arizona Works and the performance of EMPOWER Redesign, the publicly administered TANF program in the comparison area, which is the rest of Maricopa County. The study also examines a version of Arizona Works in Greenlee County, although this program lasted only a few months.

    During the period from April 1, 1999 through March 31, 2002, Arizona Works and EMPOWER Redesign also differed because only Arizona Works received performance incentive payments and because the two programs had some different rules regarding time limits, the size of the monthly TANF grant, the treatment of earned income in the determination of grant levels, and other issues. The impact study considers the possible effects of privatization, the performance incentives, and differences in the program rules, and also attempts to take into account the pre-existing differences in the characteristics of the caseloads and neighborhoods served by the two programs.

    In June 2002, the state’s plan for the privatization of TANF services changed dramatically with the passage of Senate Bill 1037. Under this legislation, responsibility for determining TANF eligibility and benefits was restored to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) on October 1, 2002. The Arizona Works contractor continued to retain responsibility for case management and employment services. The legislation also removed program rules specific to Arizona Works and applied the EMPOWER program rules to the Arizona Works Pilot area, as of October 1, 2002.

    This report covers only the period from April 1999 through March 2002, when Arizona Works applied some unique program rules and was responsible for TANF eligibility determination. Because of extensive changes to the program, some of the findings of this study are unlikely to persist in the future. This evaluation nevertheless provides some insights about the possible effects of privatized TANF services with performance measures. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Beecroft, Erik; Lee, Wang; Long, David; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Thompson, Terri S.; Pindus, Nancy; O’Brien, Carolyn; Bernstein, Jenny
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Nearly a decade has passed since Indiana began planning its approach to welfare reform. In January 1994 Governor Evan Bayh announced an initial plan, called the “Partnership for Personal Responsibility.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a revised plan in December 1994 and, in May 1995, Indiana randomly assigned its entire welfare caseload (more than 60,000 families) to one of two groups for purposes of evaluation. The first was subject to the State’s new welfare reform rules and the other to its previous welfare policies. The goals of the program, as specified in 1995, were to increase clients’ employment and decrease their reliance on welfare, to make work more financially rewarding than public assistance, and to encourage responsible parenting.

    Since 1995, Indiana’s welfare reform goals and approach have been consistent. Under Governor Frank O’Bannon, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) made policy changes in 1997 and 2000 intended to strengthen welfare reform, but these changes were consistent with the program’s original goals...

    Nearly a decade has passed since Indiana began planning its approach to welfare reform. In January 1994 Governor Evan Bayh announced an initial plan, called the “Partnership for Personal Responsibility.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a revised plan in December 1994 and, in May 1995, Indiana randomly assigned its entire welfare caseload (more than 60,000 families) to one of two groups for purposes of evaluation. The first was subject to the State’s new welfare reform rules and the other to its previous welfare policies. The goals of the program, as specified in 1995, were to increase clients’ employment and decrease their reliance on welfare, to make work more financially rewarding than public assistance, and to encourage responsible parenting.

    Since 1995, Indiana’s welfare reform goals and approach have been consistent. Under Governor Frank O’Bannon, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) made policy changes in 1997 and 2000 intended to strengthen welfare reform, but these changes were consistent with the program’s original goals and most of the original policies remain in place. Relatively minor changes were required as a result of enactment of welfare reform at the federal level, in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).

    Despite the consistency over time in goals and approach, both Indiana’s welfare caseload and the State’s economy have fluctuated substantially since 1995. Indiana’s welfare caseload dropped precipitously in the early phase of welfare reform and continued falling until mid-2000, when it began to increase sharply. The economy has gone from very low levels of unemployment in the early years of welfare reform to a current recession and State budget difficulties.

    In the face of these changes, and given the time that has passed, it is important to assess Indiana’s approach to welfare reform. The key question is: How has Indiana’s welfare reform program affected participating families, and have those effects changed over time? Especially relevant given the current budget situation is a second, related question: Has the program been cost-effective?

    The answer, provided in this report, is that the program has had real effects on participants, increasing employment and decreasing their use of welfare. The size of these effects is generally in the middle range of impacts found for welfare reform programs in other states. Indiana’s program also has been cost-effective, with the savings in welfare payments outweighing the costs of providing additional child care and employment services. The observed impacts, however, have not on average resulted in increased income for families. By that measure, therefore, the program has not made families substantially better off financially. (author abstract)

    *managed by OPRE, funded by Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

  • Individual Author: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Strong, Debra; Van Noy, Michelle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program is one of several major federally funded initiatives to help welfare recipients and other low-income parents move into employment. In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act authorized the U.S. Department of Labor to award $3 billion in WtW grants to states and local organizations. These grants were intended to support efforts to help the hardest-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as noncustodial parents, prepare for employment, find jobs, stay employed, and advance in the job market.

    This report examines the costs of selected WtW programs that operated with federal grant support. The main objectives of the WtW cost analysis were to understand the cost structure of these programs and factors that influenced their costs. Program evaluators and planners should find this information useful in assessing the outcomes of WtW programs and in making decisions about future programs with similar objectives. The WtW cost analysis was part of a comprehensive, congressionally mandated evaluation of the WtW...

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program is one of several major federally funded initiatives to help welfare recipients and other low-income parents move into employment. In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act authorized the U.S. Department of Labor to award $3 billion in WtW grants to states and local organizations. These grants were intended to support efforts to help the hardest-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as noncustodial parents, prepare for employment, find jobs, stay employed, and advance in the job market.

    This report examines the costs of selected WtW programs that operated with federal grant support. The main objectives of the WtW cost analysis were to understand the cost structure of these programs and factors that influenced their costs. Program evaluators and planners should find this information useful in assessing the outcomes of WtW programs and in making decisions about future programs with similar objectives. The WtW cost analysis was part of a comprehensive, congressionally mandated evaluation of the WtW federal grants program featuring a descriptive assessment of grantee efforts nationwide, a process and implementation study, and outcomes analysis. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Paulsell, Diane; Noyes, Jennifer L.; Selekman, Rebekah; Klein Vogel, Lisa; Sattar, Samina; Nerad, Benjamin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    In fall 2012, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project (CSPED) to identify effective approaches to enabling low-income noncustodial parents to pay their child support. OCSE competitively awarded grants to child support agencies in eight states to provide enhanced child support, employment, parenting, and case management services to noncustodial parents having difficulty meeting child support obligations. Grantees partnered with community organizations to deliver employment and parenting services. The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and Mathematica Policy Research are conducting an evaluation of CSPED that includes an impact study, an implementation study, and a benefit-cost study. This report presents early implementation findings from the first two years of the demonstration. (Author abstract)

    In fall 2012, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project (CSPED) to identify effective approaches to enabling low-income noncustodial parents to pay their child support. OCSE competitively awarded grants to child support agencies in eight states to provide enhanced child support, employment, parenting, and case management services to noncustodial parents having difficulty meeting child support obligations. Grantees partnered with community organizations to deliver employment and parenting services. The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and Mathematica Policy Research are conducting an evaluation of CSPED that includes an impact study, an implementation study, and a benefit-cost study. This report presents early implementation findings from the first two years of the demonstration. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wood, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout...

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout the demonstration, CSPED grantees and their partners grappled with a complex array of challenges. These included reorienting child support staff and systems toward helping low-income noncustodial parents obtain employment; recruiting noncustodial parents to enroll in CSPED; keeping participants engaged in services; addressing participants' barriers to employment; establishing partnerships and meshing different organizational cultures; and helping participants with parenting time issues.

    The successes and challenges experienced by CSPED grantees offer important insights into strategies from which future programs serving similar populations can learn, adapt, and innovate. These include investing in strong partnerships and communication systems; drawing on strong leaders with a commitment to facilitating a cultural shift towards a customer-oriented apporach within child support agencies; staffing programs with employees who support CSPED's goals, and hiring and retaining a sufficient number of staff to manage large and challening caseloads; developing services that take into account the substantial barriers to employment faced by the target population; and designing services to promote sustained participant engagement. (Author abstract)

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