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  • Individual Author: Hickey, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    As transit systems expand and deliver improved connectivity, demand for housing within walking distance of transit stops is expected to grow, leading to higher rents and home prices that may price existing and prospective lower income households out of these neighborhoods. This paper examines the potential role of community land trusts (CLTs) to help address these concerns and ensure that transit-oriented development (TOD) is affordable to lower income households over the long term. Using case studies of CLTs engaged in TOD efforts in Atlanta, Denver, and the Twin Cities, this paper explores the opportunities, challenges, and supports that exist for CLTs eyeing future TOD endeavors. (author abstract)

    As transit systems expand and deliver improved connectivity, demand for housing within walking distance of transit stops is expected to grow, leading to higher rents and home prices that may price existing and prospective lower income households out of these neighborhoods. This paper examines the potential role of community land trusts (CLTs) to help address these concerns and ensure that transit-oriented development (TOD) is affordable to lower income households over the long term. Using case studies of CLTs engaged in TOD efforts in Atlanta, Denver, and the Twin Cities, this paper explores the opportunities, challenges, and supports that exist for CLTs eyeing future TOD endeavors. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; Moore, Quinn; Clarkwest, Andrew; Killewald, Alexandra; Monahan, Shannon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation assessed the impacts of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy marriage and relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child.  While many unmarried parents live together when their children are born, their relationships are often tenuous and most end within a few years of the child’s birth. Research suggests that children do better when raised by both of their parents in healthy environments.  The BSF program model included curricula-based group workshops on relationship skills; individual support from family coordinators; and assessment and referral to other needed services. The key question addressed through the BSF evaluation is whether the interventions improved the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships, increased the likelihood that they remained together, and improved the well-being of children. This report presents final impact results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.  A separate technical supplement...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation assessed the impacts of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy marriage and relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child.  While many unmarried parents live together when their children are born, their relationships are often tenuous and most end within a few years of the child’s birth. Research suggests that children do better when raised by both of their parents in healthy environments.  The BSF program model included curricula-based group workshops on relationship skills; individual support from family coordinators; and assessment and referral to other needed services. The key question addressed through the BSF evaluation is whether the interventions improved the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships, increased the likelihood that they remained together, and improved the well-being of children. This report presents final impact results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.  A separate technical supplement details the analytic approaches and includes additional analyses. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Moore, Quinn; Santillano, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and...

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor designed the ITA experiment to provide federal, state, and local policymakers, administrators, and program managers with information on the tradeoffs inherent in different ITA service delivery models.

    As a part of the experiment, nearly 8,000 customers of One-Stop Centers in eight different sites were randomly assigned to one of the three ITA service delivery models tested in the ITA Experiment. These models varied along three policy-relevant dimensions (Table ES.1): (1) the ITA award structure (that is, whether the award amount was fixed for all customers or tailored to the customer’s needs); (2) required counseling (that is, whether ITA counseling was mandatory or optional, and its intensity); and (3) program approval (that is, whether counselors could reject customers’ training choices and deny an ITA, or had to approve them if the customer had completed his or her ITA requirements). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha J. ; McGroder, Sharon M. ; Moore, Kristin A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    As we seek to understand the effects on families of the 1996 welfare reform law, we can build on the foundation of a rigorous evaluation study focusing on the effects on families of welfare-to-work programs implemented under the previous welfare law, the Family Support Act of 1988. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (the NEWWS, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education) is evaluating the impact of a set of welfare-to-work programs operated under "JOBS" (the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program). A pioneering feature of this national evaluation is that it simultaneously considers program impacts on adult economic outcomes and on the development and well-being of the children in the families.

    This summary report presents a summary of findings from one of a set of three complementary reports from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies' two-year follow-up (with results from a further follow-up, completed five...

    As we seek to understand the effects on families of the 1996 welfare reform law, we can build on the foundation of a rigorous evaluation study focusing on the effects on families of welfare-to-work programs implemented under the previous welfare law, the Family Support Act of 1988. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (the NEWWS, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education) is evaluating the impact of a set of welfare-to-work programs operated under "JOBS" (the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program). A pioneering feature of this national evaluation is that it simultaneously considers program impacts on adult economic outcomes and on the development and well-being of the children in the families.

    This summary report presents a summary of findings from one of a set of three complementary reports from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies' two-year follow-up (with results from a further follow-up, completed five years after families enrolled, to be presented in the future). We focus in the present summary report on the findings related to impacts on children, reporting results from a special component of the evaluation, the Child Outcomes Study (see McGroder, Zaslow, Moore and LeMenestrel, 2000, for a detailed presentation of findings). This component of the evaluation focuses in depth on children's development and well-being for a sample of families with young (preschool-age) children at the start of the evaluation, drawn from three of the evaluation's seven research sites. A second report in this series focuses primarily on economic impacts in all seven of the evaluation's research sites, with a more limited examination of impacts on children of all ages (Freedman, Friedlander, Hamilton, Rock, Mitchell, Nudelman, Schweder, and Storto, 2000). A third report draws together findings on children from the in-depth look at young children in the Child Outcomes Study, and brief markers of well-being collected regarding children of all ages in families in the full evaluation sample (Hamilton, with Freedman and McGroder, 2000).

    The Child Outcomes Study of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies examines the impacts on both the parental and child generations of two distinct approaches to welfare reform implemented as part of the federal JOBS Program: a labor force attachment approach (emphasizing a rapid transition to employment), and a human capital development approach (emphasizing a longer-term strategy of education and training in order to obtain a better job). These strategies are precursors of the welfare reform programs now being implemented under the 1996 welfare law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The labor force attachment approach under JOBS is especially germane because of its emphasis on moving clients quickly into employment, the clear priority of new policies. However, the human capital development approach may provide an informative model for states as caseloads drop, and those families remaining on welfare face more barriers to employment (such as low literacy or limited education).

    Although welfare policies were initiated many years ago with the aim of protecting children in poor families, most of the evaluation research concerning these policies has focused on adult economic outcomes. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the most clearly targeted outcomes of these programs have been economic. The Family Support Act explicitly stated as its goal the reduction of long-term welfare dependency. Further, this law did not call for services aimed directly at enhancing the development of children (such as early childhood educational intervention, or developmental screening); rather authorized services focused on increasing adult employment.

    Nevertheless, a mother's assignment to a welfare-to-work program has the potential to affect the development of children, for example, by affecting the material resources available within the family, and by affecting children's experiences of care both within and outside of the home. The Child Outcomes Study of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies examines whether children can be affected by their mothers' assignment to a welfare-to-work program, how their development and well-being are affected (favorably or unfavorably), if at all, and in what ways any impacts on children come about.

    The Child Outcomes Study uses a rigorous experimental design. Two years after mothers were randomly assigned to one of the two JOBS welfare-to-work strategies or to a control group, outcomes for children (at that point between about 5 and 7 years of age) were examined. The children's cognitive development and academic achievement were measured through a combination of direct assessment (an assessment of the children's cognitive school readiness) and maternal report (for example, mothers' reports of academic problems). The children's behavioral and emotional adjustment were measured through maternal report (for example, using measures of the child's behavior problems and positive social behaviors). The children's health and safety were also measured through maternal report (for example, using an interview measure indicating whether the child has had an accident, injury or poisoning requiring emergency medical attention; an interview measure widely used in national surveys in which the mother indicates whether she sees the child's overall health as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor). Validation work indicates that the global health rating reflects primarily physical health problems (Krause and Jay, 1994).In general, all measures selected for use in the Child Outcomes Study have demonstrated sufficient validity and reliability (Bracken, 1984; Polit, 1996; Zill, 1985; Peterson and ZILL, 1986)

    In addition to examining mean scores on measures of cognitive school readiness, problem and positive behavior, and overall health, we also examined program impacts on the proportion of children with extreme scores on these measures in the interest of ascertaining whether JOBS welfare-to-work programs changed the distribution of children's outcomes — for example, reducing the proportion at the "unfavorable" end and/or increasing the proportion at the "favorable" end — which is possible even if the programs had no impacts on mean scores. Thus, in some cases a single response to a survey question can give rise to two or more impacts (e.g., one relating to the mean and one relating to the distribution).

    The Child Outcomes Study was conducted in three sites: Atlanta, Georgia; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Riverside, California. Families enrolled in the evaluation between September 1991 and January 1994. Data collection for the two-year follow-up was completed in January 1996, prior to the implementation of the new welfare law. Findings from this study must be seen in light of the fact that mothers were exempt from participation in JOBS welfare-to-work activities if they were needed at home to care for an ill or incapacitated family member, including a child. As a result, children with a health condition requiring such care were not included in the evaluation. The 1996 welfare law no longer provides an explicit exemption for a mother with an ill or incapacitated child.

    In this experimental evaluation, mothers randomly assigned to a control group in each of the study sites were eligible for all welfare benefits. However, they did not receive the special messages and case management of a JOBS program, they were not mandated to participate in JOBS program activities, and they did not have access to the particular work preparation activities through JOBS. Control group members were eligible for child care assistance, similar to that offered to program group members, if they were participating in work preparation activities in which they had enrolled on their own. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Freedman, Stephen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This paper explores whether programs in the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) helped welfare recipients attain employment stability and earn more over time. These outcomes (defined in greater detail below) are important prerequisites for achieving long-term self-sufficiency and have served as goals of welfare-to-work programs past and present. The need for programs to promote stable employment and earnings growth has grown stronger since passage of PRWORA, which imposes time limits on most families’ eligibility to receive federally funded welfare benefits. Further, as welfare caseloads continue to fall, administrators and policy makers face the greater challenge of achieving these goals when working with recipients with more serious barriers to employment and at greatest risk of exhausting their eligibility to receive benefits.

    To meet the challenges of welfare reform, state and local administrators and policy makers require solid information on the types of welfare-to-work programs that help people maintain steady employment over several years and...

    This paper explores whether programs in the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) helped welfare recipients attain employment stability and earn more over time. These outcomes (defined in greater detail below) are important prerequisites for achieving long-term self-sufficiency and have served as goals of welfare-to-work programs past and present. The need for programs to promote stable employment and earnings growth has grown stronger since passage of PRWORA, which imposes time limits on most families’ eligibility to receive federally funded welfare benefits. Further, as welfare caseloads continue to fall, administrators and policy makers face the greater challenge of achieving these goals when working with recipients with more serious barriers to employment and at greatest risk of exhausting their eligibility to receive benefits.

    To meet the challenges of welfare reform, state and local administrators and policy makers require solid information on the types of welfare-to-work programs that help people maintain steady employment over several years and earn more over time. This paper helps address this need by describing useful ways of measuring employment stability and earnings growth and by analyzing the effects of ten welfare-to-work programs on these measures over a four-year followup period. The paper also describes ways of measuring unstable or sporadic employment and estimates program effects on these measures. Welfare recipients who work sporadically may benefit from additional pre- or post-employment services or financial incentives provided by welfare agencies. Results are presented for ten programs operated in six sites: Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; and Riverside, California. Welfare recipients who enrolled in these programs were required to participate in employment-related activities and could incur financial sanctions (reductions in welfare benefits) for noncompliance.

    Four programs (Atlanta, Grand Rapids, and Riverside Labor Force Attachment and Portland) were employment-focused. They encouraged rapid entry into the labor market in the hope that enrollees would work their way up to better jobs. The three Labor Force Attachment (or LFA) programs advocated work most strongly among the 10 programs. LFA program staff assigned nearly all enrollees to job clubs as their first activity and stressed the value of working even at low-wage jobs as a first step toward self-sufficiency. Portland’s program, in contrast, encouraged enrollees to look for jobs that paid above minimum wage and offered potential for advancement. In addition, Portland’s case managers had more discretion to assign some enrollees to skill-building activities as their first activity, although these activities were short-term and aimed at increasing employability. Program administrators in Portland hoped that these features would improve targeting of services: enrollees who would benefit from job search would go to job search; enrollees who would benefit from basic education would go to basic education. 

    The other six programs (Atlanta, Grand Rapids, and Riverside Human Capital Development, Columbus Integrated and Traditional, and Detroit) were education-focused. These programs sought to increase enrollees’ skills and credentials before they looked for work. Over time, welfare recipients in the education-focused programs were expected to make up for forgone earnings by obtaining more jobs or higher-quality jobs than they could have obtained on their own. 

    As discussed in previous reports and papers, the NEWWS Evaluation uses a rigorous experimental design based on random assignment to estimate program effects. The paper compares the employment experiences of program group members to those of control group members, who were precluded from these programs’ employment-related services and were not subject to the programs’ mandatory participation requirements.

    The paper discusses program control group differences, or impacts, on several indicators of employment stability and earnings growth. The paper also considers whether employment- or education-focused programs produced positive effects for sample members who entered the program with one or more serious barriers to employment, as well as for more job-ready sample members. 

    It is important to keep in mind that any effects on employment stability and earnings growth were produced solely from programs’ pre-employment services, messages, and mandates. In contrast to many programs that operate today, programs in NEWWS did not impose time limits on welfare eligibility and did not offer post-employment services to sample members who found jobs.

    The difference is especially pronounced in Riverside and Portland. Currently, the welfare departments in these sites provide case management services and arrange for vocational training for welfare recipients who find jobs. Nonetheless, the results for NEWWS remain important. The mandatory character of the programs in NEWWS and their pre-employment services and messages are similar to those operated today. Furthermore, to the extent that these programs did make a difference (especially for welfare recipients facing serious barriers to employment), the need for additional pre- or post-employment services or financial incentives will be that much smaller. (author abstract)

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