Study Details for:
Bloom, Dan, Richard Hendra, Karin Martinson, and Susan Scrivener (2005). The Employment Retention and Advancement project: Early results from four sites, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [South Carolina]

Study URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/early_results.pdf (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

Program Studied: Moving Up—South Carolina
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

Strength of Evidence: 1-High High (3 of 3)

Populations Targeted General low-income population
Setting Rural only
Services Provided Case management, Employment retention services, Financial incentives or sanctions, Health services, Substance abuse and mental health services, Supportive services, Training, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Short-term employment, Short-term earnings, Short-term benefit receipt

Findings

Toggle Short-term employmentShort-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Ever employed, quarter 5, %
Adjusted mean = 51.5 Adjusted mean = 49.5 2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 UI records, quarter 5

Employed 4 consecutive quarters, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 39.3 Adjusted mean = 36.9 2.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 UI records, year 1
Toggle Short-term earningsShort-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 6,016 Adjusted mean = 5,951 66 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 UI records, year 1
Toggle Short-term benefit receiptShort-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Ever received TANF, %
Adjusted mean = 8.9 Adjusted mean = 7.2 1.7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 TANF records, year 1

Amount of TANF received, $
Adjusted mean = 71 Adjusted mean = 65 6 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 TANF records, year 1

Ever received Food Stamps, %
Adjusted mean = 63.5 Adjusted mean = 61.2 2.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 Food Stamps records, year 1

Amount of Food Stamps received, $
Adjusted mean = 1,820 Adjusted mean = 1,838 -18 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) South Carolina sample 1,839 Food Stamps records, year 1

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail People eligible for the study were those who had left TANF for any reason between October 1997 and December 2000 in the study counties, regardless of employment status at the time of random assignment, and this study examines people assigned through June 2002. The average age of participants was 31.5 years. More than 78 percent of members were black non-Hispanic, and about 20 percent were white non-Hispanic. Almost all sample members had at least one child at the time of random assignment. Almost half of the sample had no high school diploma or GED. Approximately 67 percent of the sample had worked in the year prior to random assignment, and about 51 percent had worked in the quarter prior to random assignment. More than half of the sample had received TANF for two years or more at baseline.
Program Services The Moving Up program provided participants with individualized case management services. It provided pre- or post-employment services, depending on the employment status of program participants. Program activities included counseling on career goals and job readiness, job search assistance, short-term education or training, child care and transportation assistance, and/or mental health and other support services. Moving Up was optional; therefore, to promote engagement, it offered modest incentives, including cash rewards or gift certificates for reaching specific benchmarks (such as finding a job, holding a job, getting a promotion, completing education/training activities, and so forth).
Program Duration Participants had received one year of services at the time of data collection. Many continued to receive services after the one-year data collection.
Comparison Services The members in the control group could participate in other programs that were normally available and offered in the community.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation In this randomized controlled trial, evaluators randomly assigned clients to the treatment group or to the control group. Each month from September 2001 to January 2003, evaluators placed 100 randomly selected individuals into each of the treatment and control groups through a lottery-like process. This study reflects findings for persons randomly assigned through June 2002, including 1,839 of the total 3,036 participants randomly assigned in South Carolina.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for baseline demographics.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The study also reports average quarterly employment and average earnings per quarter; employment, earnings, and case assistance during the final quarter of year 1; and quarterly employment and earnings outcomes.
Subgroups Studied Participants' employment status at baseline
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place in six rural counties of South Carolina (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion, and Marlboro), and the project was operated by the state's Department of Social Services (DSS).
Timing of Study For this study, sample members were randomly assigned between September 2001 and June 2002 and were followed for one year after random assignment.
Study Funding The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the study, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/early_results.pdf