Study Details for:
Freedman, Stephen (2000). The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies—Four-year impacts of ten programs on employment stability and earnings growth, 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: 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]

Study URL: http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_376.pdf (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

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

Ever employed, years 1-4, %
Adjusted mean = 70.1 Adjusted mean = 60.5 9.6 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 4,971 UI records, year 4
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, years 1-4, $
Adjusted mean = 12,475 Adjusted mean = 10,565 1,910 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside LFA sample versus control 4,971 UI records, year 4

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail All sample members were AFDC recipients and were single parents. The study did not provide study sample characteristics for the early cohort. These baseline characteristics are based on the full sample. Across all three assignment groups in Riverside, over 89 percent of participants were female, and their average age was 32 years at the time the study began. Almost half were white (49.0 percent), followed by Hispanic (30.2 percent). Participants had, on average, two children. Most (56.2 percent) held a high school diploma or GED at the time of random assignment, and 40.7 percent 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 several 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 determine 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 This study reports on an early cohort of the full impact sample that evaluators randomly assigned into three groups between June 1991 and December 1993: the Labor Force Attachment (LFA) program, the Human Capital Development (HCD) program, or the control group. Evaluators used a stratified random assignment by education level. 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 any of the three groups. Recipients who did not meet any of these criteria at the time of random assignment were assigned to either the LFA or control groups, but not to the HCD group.

This review focuses on the comparison between LFA and the control condition for Riverside; another review on this site examines HCD.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for baseline characteristics, previous earnings and employment, and previous welfare and Food Stamps receipt.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The authors reported employment and earnings outcomes for time points and variable definitions that are not the focus of this review.
Subgroups Studied Education level; employment status in the year before random assignment
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place in Riverside, California.
Timing of Study Random assignment began in June 1991. The study reports impacts four 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://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_376.pdf