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. [Columbus—Traditional Case Management]

Study URL: (Link not working?)

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

Program Studied: Columbus (Traditional Case Management)
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, Occupational or sectoral training, Soft skills training, Supportive services, Training, Unpaid work experience, Work experience, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term employment, Long-term earnings


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 = 84.2 Adjusted mean = 81.3 2.9 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Columbus Traditional versus control, early cohort 3,585 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 = 18,574 Adjusted mean = 17,359 1,215 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Columbus Traditional versus control, early cohort 3,585 UI records, year 4

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail The study did not provide study sample characteristics for the early cohort. These baseline characteristics are based on the full sample, all of whom were single parents. Across all three conditions, over 90 percent of sample members were female (93.5), at an average age of approximately 32 years when the study began and an average of two children. A slight majority of sample members was black (52 percent), while the remainder was primarily white (46.5 percent). At the time the study began, only 42.5 percent of sample members had ever worked full-time for an employer for six months or more, and a comparable proportion (42.3 percent) had earned no educational credential at or above a high school diploma/ GED level. Roughly 45 percent of sample members had received Aid to Families with Dependent Children for five or more years.
Program Services Case management focused on the development of clients’ (welfare recipients) skills through preparation for securing a job. Case managers who dealt with training and employment often encouraged clients to take higher-paying jobs once they began their job search. A separate income maintenance case manager handled clients’ welfare eligibility determination and payment issuance.

Case managers usually assigned clients without a high school diploma or GED to basic education classes. Clients with basic education credentials were assigned to vocational training, postsecondary education, or work experience. The program also offered a “life skills workshop” to prepare clients for employment. After staff decided that clients were employable, they referred them to job searching (supported by a job club). The program paid for child care costs, offered an on-site child care center, and covered transportation and other incidental work costs.

Traditional case managers provided less personalized attention and monitored participation less closely as compared to the approach under integrated case management. However, enforcement was still generally high, and case managers strongly enforced participation requirements by sanctioning clients who did not meet the requirements.
Program Duration Not specified, but services ended when clients left AFDC.
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 sample of eligible Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: the traditional case management treatment condition, the integrated case management treatment condition, or the control condition.

This review focuses on the comparison between traditional case management and the control group; and another review on this site examines integrated case management.
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 Columbus, Ohio.
Timing of Study The report included four-year impact estimates for those sample members who entered their respective programs early enough to provide four full years of follow-up data. These sample members entered as early as June 1991 and were tracked by evaluators through December 1997.
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