Study Details for:
Freedman, Stephen, Daniel Friedlander, Gayle Hamilton, JoAnn Rock, Marisa Mitchell, Jodi Nudelman, Amanda Schweder, and Laura Storto (2000). National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies—Evaluating alternative welfare-to-work approaches: Two-year impacts for eleven programs, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; and U.S. Department of Education. [Riverside— LFA]
Additional Citations: Hamilton, Gayle, Thomas Brock, Mary Farrell, Daniel Friedlander, and Kristen Harknett (1997). National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies–Evaluating two welfare-to-work program approaches: Two-year findings on the labor force attachment and human capital development programs in three sites, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; and U.S. Department of Education.

Study URL: http://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/national-evaluation-welfare-work-strategies (Link not working?)

Evaluation: National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS)

Program Studied: Riverside (Labor Force Attachment)
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

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

Populations Targeted Parents, Single parents, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided Case management, Financial incentives or sanctions, Job development/job placement, Supportive services, Work experience, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term employment, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term earnings, Education and training, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term benefit receipt

Findings

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

Employed in last quarter of year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 31.3 Adjusted mean = 27.1 4.2 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 UI records, year 2

Employed in all 4 quarters of year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 18.9 Adjusted mean = 15.2 3.7 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 UI records, year 2

Employed at the end of year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 40.9 Adjusted mean = 34.6 6.2 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA survey sample versus control 1,678 Two-year survey
Toggle Long-term earningsLong-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 3,028 Adjusted mean = 2,472 556 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 UI records, year 2

Weekly pay at the end of two years, $
Adjusted mean = 94.2 Adjusted mean = 73.3 20.9 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA survey sample versus control 1,678 Two-year survey
Toggle Education and trainingEducation and training
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Received a high school diploma or GED, %
Adjusted mean = 1.3 Adjusted mean = 1.6 -0.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA survey sample versus control 1,678 Two-year survey

Received a trade license, %
Adjusted mean = 7.0 Adjusted mean = 7.5 -0.5 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA survey sample versus control 1,678 Two-year survey
Toggle Long-term benefit receiptLong-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Negative impact is favorable.

AFDC amount, years 1-2, $1
Adjusted mean = 8,292 Adjusted mean = 9,600 -1,308 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 AFDC records, year 2

Received Food Stamps in last quarter of year 2, %1
Adjusted mean = 46.8 Adjusted mean = 54.4 -7.6 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 Food Stamps records, year 2

Received AFDC payments in final quarter of year 2, %1
Adjusted mean = 50.0 Adjusted mean = 56.1 -6.4 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 AFDC records, year 2

Total Food Stamps amount, years 1-2, $1
Adjusted mean = 2,372 Adjusted mean = 2,725 -353 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 6,726 Food Stamps records, year 2

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail The study only examined single parents. Across all three assignment groups in Riverside, 89.4 percent of participants were female and their average age was 32.0 years. The majority was white (49.0 percent), followed by Hispanic (30.2 percent). Participants had, on average, 2.0 children. Most (56.2 percent) held a high school diploma or GED at the time of random assignment and 40.7 had any earnings in the year before random assignment.
Program Services The Labor Force Attachment (LFA) program focused on rapid job placement. Staff encouraged clients to move quickly into work without being selective about which job to take. Staff could impose financial sanctions (by reducing welfare grant amounts) if clients did not participate in required activities.

In Riverside, LFA program staff first assigned clients to a job club that Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) staff operated in a JOBS center. After one week, clients began applying to jobs for at least two weeks. Clients had to make 25 to 35 employer contacts per week. Job developers who worked closely with employers helped identify employment opportunities. People who completed the job club/job search process were assigned to a different (unspecified) program activity. Case managers were accountable for the employment and education outcomes of their clients and therefore encouraged success, emphasized program participation, and sanctioned nonparticipating clients. The program also offered support with child care and transportation costs
Program Duration Job club lasted for approximately one month, and clients who completed job club but remained unemployed could receive multiple rounds of short-term education or vocational training for periods of nine months. The study did not specify how long the program monitored clients to examine whether a sanction should be applied to their case.
Comparison Services People in the control group could not receive any program services but were also 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.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation Evaluators randomly assigned a total of 8,322 single-parent Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients who were required to enroll in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program in Riverside, California into the Labor Force Attachment (LFA) program, the Human Capital Development (HCD) program, or the control group. Random assignment occurred between June 1991 and June 1993. State law limiting the eligibility for HCD services resulted in two separate random assignment processes. Recipients without a high school diploma/ GED, with reading or mathematics skills below a basic threshold, or requiring English-as-a-second-language instruction were randomly assigned to the HCD, LFA, or control groups. Recipients who did not meet any of these criteria at the time of random assignment were assigned to either the LFA or control group, but not to the HCD group. AFDC-recipients were exempt if they had children younger than 3, were employed 30 hours or more per week, were medically unable to work, or were in the last trimester of pregnancy. The random assignment occurred following a JOBS orientation (which not all JOBS-mandatory individuals attended, but they faced sanctions for failing to appear). Voluntary JOBS participants were not randomly assigned and were excluded from the analysis.

The evaluators administered a two-year follow-up survey to a stratified random sample of participants randomly assigned between September 1991 and May 1993. Some study participants were excluded from the survey: teen parents, people with children under age 3, people who did not speak English or Spanish, and people whose educational or family composition records were incomplete.

This review focuses on the LFA group versus the comparison group (for analysis, authors combined each group across the two levels of education strata).
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 and then weighted based on the proportion of persons in need of and not in need of basic education.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The authors report employment, earnings, and public benefit receipt outcomes for time points and variable definitions that are not the focus of this review.
Subgroups Studied With or without a high school diploma or GED; no high school diploma or GED and were not employed the year before random assignment
Other Domains Examined Physical health; Child wellbeing
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place in Riverside, California. In 1990, the Riverside population was approaching 1.2 million, after four years of population growth of more than 35 percent. The unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in 1990, increasing to 11.7 by 1992. Prior to the NEWWS evaluation, Riverside implemented a program called Greater Avenues to Independence, which emphasized job placement and sanctioned the public benefits of people who did not comply with work requirements.
Timing of Study Individuals were randomly assigned from 1991 to June 1993. The study reports impacts two years after random assignment.
Study Funding The 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.
Study URL http://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/national-evaluation-welfare-work-strategies