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. [Portland- JOBS]
Additional Citations: Scrivener, Susan, Gayle Hamilton, Mary Farrell, Stephen Freedman, Daniel Friedlander, Marisa Mitchell, Jodi Nudelman, and Christine Schwartz. (1998). National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies—Implementation, participation patterns, costs, and two-year impacts of the Portland (Oregon) welfare-to-work program, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; and the 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: Portland (Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program)
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, Education, Financial incentives or sanctions, Health services, Job development/job placement, Occupational or sectoral training, Soft skills training, Supportive services, Training, Work experience, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term employment, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term earnings, 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 = 46.2 Adjusted mean = 35.3 10.9 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 UI records, year 2

Employed in all 4 quarters of year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 28.7 Adjusted mean = 20.9 7.9 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 UI records, year 2
Toggle Long-term earningsLong-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Total earnings, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 4,374 Adjusted mean = 3,183 1,192 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 UI records, year 2
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.

Received AFDC payments in final quarter of year 2, %1
Adjusted mean = 41.3 Adjusted mean = 53.0 -11.7 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 AFDC records, year 2

Total AFDC payments received, years 1-2, $1
Adjusted mean = 5,818 Adjusted mean = 7,014 -1,196 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 AFDC records, year 2

Ever received Food Stamps in last quarter of year 2, %1
Adjusted mean = 58.7 Adjusted mean = 63.3 -4.6 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 Food Stamps records, year 2

Total Food Stamps amount, years 1-2, $1
Adjusted mean = 3,954 Adjusted mean = 4,359 -405 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Portland sample 5,547 Food Stamps records, year 2

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail The study only examined single parents. Over 93 percent of the sample was female, nearly 70 percent was white, and the average age was 30.3 years. Almost half of the participants were never married at the time the study began. The average number of children was two per family. About 40 percent had some earnings in the 12 months before the study began, and fewer than 10 percent were employed. Nearly 66 percent had a high school diploma or GED. A little over one percent received no Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits at random assignment (they had just applied).
Program Services Portland’s program focused on moving clients immediately into work. Case managers first assessed clients’ employability during a one-on-one meeting and then assigned them to services. They assigned clients who, according to the assessment, had a good chance of rapidly attaining a GED to GED preparation classes. Depending on their needs, other clients not ready for employment could receive secondary or postsecondary education, vocational training, or “life skills” training. Other clients were assigned either to begin searching for jobs immediately or to start with a job club (30 hours per week for two weeks), followed by up to six weeks of job searching during which clients had to contact 20 employers per week. Job developers who worked closely with employers helped identify employment opportunities. Staff in Portland stressed that clients should continue searching for a stable, high-paying job (rather than take the first job available). They used both encouragement and the threat of sanctions to maintain client participation. The program provided funding for child care, transportation, and health care (through Medicaid).
Program Duration Not specified.
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 In this randomized controlled trial, evaluators assigned 5,547 AFDC applicants and recipients into the JOBS program group or a control group between February 1993 and December 1994 as applicants and recipients attended a program orientation at the employment and training office.

The study included a survey of 610 individuals who were randomly assigned into the JOBS program group or a control group between March 1993 and February 1994.
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 authors reported employment, earnings, and public benefit receipt outcomes for time points and variable definitions that are not the focus of this review.
Subgroups Studied Level of disadvantage; educational attainment; employment in year before random assignment; benefit receipt in year before random assignment
Other Domains Examined Health care coverage and child care expenses; Child wellbeing
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The program took place in Portland, Oregon.
Timing of Study Random assignment took place between February 1993 and December 1994. The study reports impacts five 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