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  • Individual Author: Rangarajan, Anu
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet...

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet the new demands of the workplace. In addition, welfare mothers often have to deal with new income reporting and accounting rules to continue to receive welfare and other benefits, including transitional child care and transitional Medicaid. Many welfare recipients also find low-paying entry-level positions in occupations with irregular hours or shifts that change to accommodate fluctuating workloads. These circumstances complicate child care and budgeting challenges. Compounding these new demands, many welfare recipients have little in the way of a social support network to help them weather some of the crises that affect their ability to hold a job. In fact, many welfare recipients report that friends and families undermine their efforts to attain self-sufficiency through work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Bos, Johannes; Polit, Denise
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across...

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across the country, sought to help the young mothers acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could secure jobs offering opportunities for advancement and could thereby reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants in postponing additional childbearing and to help them become better parents. Finally, New Chance was explicitly "two-generational" in its approach, seeking to enhance the cognitive abilities, health, and socioemotional well-being of enrollees' children. The program was, for the most part, voluntary; that is, young women were generally not required to attend in order to receive public assistance. Instead, most joined it because they wanted to earn their General Educational Development (GED, or high school equivalency) certificates and the program offered free child care to enable them to participate.

    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, young women who applied and were determined to be eligible for New Chance were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, whose members could enroll in the program, or the control group, whose members could not join New Chance but could receive other services available in their communities. To ascertain both short- and longer-term program effects, comparable information was collected from each member of both groups through in-home survey interviews conducted approximately 1½ and 3½ years after the individual had been randomly assigned. The measured average differences between the two groups' outcomes over time (such as their differences in rates of GED attainment, employment, or subsequent childbearing) and between the outcomes for their children are the observed results (or impacts) of New Chance. This, the final report on the New Chance program and its impacts, examines the trajectories of 2,079 young mothers who responded to the 3½-year survey.  (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha; Eldred, Carolyn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    The New Chance Observational Study — the subject of this monograph — is an in-depth examination of parenting behavior in 290 of the 2,322 families studied in the New Chance Demonstration, a national research and demonstration program operated between 1989 and 1992 at 16 locations in 10 states. The demonstration tested a program model intended to improve the economic prospects and overall well-being of low-income young mothers (aged 16 to 22) and their children through a comprehensive and intensive set of services. It was developed by MDRC and supported by a broad consortium of public and private funders.

    New Chance was directed at families central to the welfare reform debates that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 — families headed by young mothers who gave birth during their teenage years and were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC, the main cash welfare program). More specifically, New Chance focused on those who were especially disadvantaged because they were high school dropouts; as a group,...

    The New Chance Observational Study — the subject of this monograph — is an in-depth examination of parenting behavior in 290 of the 2,322 families studied in the New Chance Demonstration, a national research and demonstration program operated between 1989 and 1992 at 16 locations in 10 states. The demonstration tested a program model intended to improve the economic prospects and overall well-being of low-income young mothers (aged 16 to 22) and their children through a comprehensive and intensive set of services. It was developed by MDRC and supported by a broad consortium of public and private funders.

    New Chance was directed at families central to the welfare reform debates that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 — families headed by young mothers who gave birth during their teenage years and were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC, the main cash welfare program). More specifically, New Chance focused on those who were especially disadvantaged because they were high school dropouts; as a group, they and their children are at high risk of long-term welfare receipt and economic hardship.

    The New Chance Program sought to help the young mothers (who, for the most part, volunteered for the program) to acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could find and keep jobs offering opportunities for advancement and reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants to postpone additional childbearing and to become better parents. Because New Chance focused on young children as well as their mothers, it sought to further the cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as the health of participants’ children. Child care was provided at no cost to the parents, on site in most places, and the program facilitated access to health services for both mothers and children. The program was intended to be intensive (four to five days a week for up to 18 months), though in practice attendance was of much shorter term and often irregular. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

          Executive Summary/ Martha J Zaslow and Carolyn A. Eldred

    1. Introduction: The Context for the New Chance Observational Study/ Martha I Zaslow
    2. The Methodology of the New Chance Observational Study/ Donna R. Morrison, Carolyn A. Eldred, Martha I Zaslow, and M Robin Dion
    3. Participation in Program Components That Could Affect Parenting Behavior/ M Robin Dion, Martha I Zaslow, and Donna R. Morrison
    4. The Affective Quality of Mother-Child Interaction/ Nancy S. Weinfield, Byron Egeland, and John R. Ogawa
    5. Mother-Child Interactions Related to the Emergence of Literacy/ Jeanne De Temple and Catherine Snow
    6. Completing the Portrayal of Parenting Behavior with Interview-Based Measures/  Donna R. Morrison, Martha J. Zaslow, and M Robin Dion
    7. Integration: Looking Across the Differing Measures of Parenting/  Martha J. Zaslow, M Robin Dion, and Donna R. Morrison
    8. Parenting in a Broader Context: An Examination of the Multiple Influences on Child Outcomes/ the New Chance Observational Study Research Team
    9. Key Findings and Their Implications/ Martha J. Zaslow
    10. Expanding the Methodological Horizons of Child Development and Survey Research/  Carolyn A. Eldred
    11. Implementing Observational Research Within a Survey Context/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    12. Findings on the Administration of the Observational Session/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    13. An Assessment of the Data Collection Effort and Lessons for Future Research Efforts/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    14. Measurement Implications of the New Chance Observational Study/ Carolyn A. Eldred
  • Individual Author: Holcomb, Pamela A.; Pavetti, LaDonna; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Riedinger, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of...

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of the study states have experienced significant declines in their cash assistance caseloads that are well above the national average, low unemployment and strong economies.

    Work-oriented reforms in place at the time of this study were implemented at different points between 1993 and 1996. Since the passage of PRWORA, Indiana and Wisconsin both implemented new work-oriented reforms while Virginia, Massachusetts, and Oregon have made few changes.

    Thus, while this study captures state experiences at one point in time, it also reflects states at different stages in their own evolution toward a more employment focused welfare system. It is also important to note that this study took place too soon after TANF went into effect to fully capture the implications and impact of the new federal welfare reform law (e.g., progressively steeper participation rate requirements, lifetime limit on benefit receipt). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scrivener, Susan; Hamilton, Gayle; Farrell, Mary; Freedman, Stephen; Friedlander, Daniel; Mitchell, Marisa; Nudelman, Jodi; Schwartz, Christine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    As states and localities transform their welfare­-to-­work programs in response to the federal legislation, the need to learn about programs that have moved substantial numbers of people into work and off welfare increases.  The two ­year findings presented in this report show the Portland, Oregon, welfare-­to­-work program run between early 1993 and mid 1996 to be among the most successful large ­scale mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs studied, producing large increases in employment and earnings and equally large reductions in welfare receipt for a broad cross section of the welfare caseload.  The positive effects remained very strong at the end of the two ­year period studied, and preliminary data suggest they will continue into the third year.

    This report is the latest from an evaluation of mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs in seven sites called the National Evaluation of welfare-­to-­work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation), conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with...

    As states and localities transform their welfare­-to-­work programs in response to the federal legislation, the need to learn about programs that have moved substantial numbers of people into work and off welfare increases.  The two ­year findings presented in this report show the Portland, Oregon, welfare-­to­-work program run between early 1993 and mid 1996 to be among the most successful large ­scale mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs studied, producing large increases in employment and earnings and equally large reductions in welfare receipt for a broad cross section of the welfare caseload.  The positive effects remained very strong at the end of the two ­year period studied, and preliminary data suggest they will continue into the third year.

    This report is the latest from an evaluation of mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs in seven sites called the National Evaluation of welfare-­to-­work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation), conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education.  The report examines the mandatory welfare­-to-­work program run in Portland (Multnomah and Washington counties).  Through the program, Portland provided employment and support services to a broad cross section of the AFDC caseload, including parents with children as young as one year old.  These people were required to participate in program activities or face reductions in their welfare grants.  Although the program studied was designed and implemented prior to the 1996 reform, its overarching goal was similar to that of the new law:  to foster the self­ sufficiency of adult recipients through increased employment and decreased welfare receipt.  (The program that Portland is running under the 1996 welfare reform law includes some key features of the program studied in this report.

    This report describes the implementation, participation patterns, and cost of the Portland program, and presents estimates of the effects of the program on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt during the two years following people’s entry into the program. To determine the effects of Portland’s program, 5,547 single-parent AFDC applicants and recipients aged 21 and over who attended a program orientation between February 1993 and December 1994 were randomly assigned to either a program group, eligible for program services and subject to participation requirements, or a control group, not eligible for services and not subject to participation requirements (although they could participate in other services in the community). Because randomization makes the two groups similar at the start, any differences in average subsequent outcomes (such as two-year earnings) can be confidently attributed to the effects of the program. These differences, known as program impacts, will be discussed later in the summary and are statistically significant unless otherwise noted. (author abstract)

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