Study Details for:
Meckstroth, Alicia, Ann Person, Quinn Moore, Andrew Burwick, Andrew McGuirk, Michael Ponza, Shawn Marsh, Timothy Novak, Zhanyun Zhao, and Justin Wheeler (2008). Testing case management in a rural context: An impact analysis of the Illinois Future Steps program: Findings from the Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies Demonstration evaluation, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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

Evaluation: Rural Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Strategies Demonstration Evaluation

Program Studied: Future Steps
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, Supportive services, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Short-term employment, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term employment, Short-term earnings, Long-term earnings, Short-term benefit receipt, Long-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

Employed, quarter 6, %
Adjusted mean = 36.0 Adjusted mean = 36.0 -0.9 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 UI records, quarter 6

Employed, month 18, %
Adjusted mean = 56.1 Adjusted mean = 55.1 1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 533 18-month survey
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, quarter 14, %
Adjusted mean = 35.0 Adjusted mean = 32.0 2.8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 UI records, quarter 14

Employed, month 30, %
Adjusted mean = 61.8 Adjusted mean = 53.2 8.6 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 533 30-month survey
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, quarter 6, $
Adjusted mean = 879 Adjusted mean = 886 -7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 UI records, quarter 6

Earnings, month 18, $
Adjusted mean = 552 Adjusted mean = 589 -37 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 525 18-month 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, quarter 14, $
Adjusted mean = 935 Adjusted mean = 833 102 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 UI records, quarter 14

Earnings, month 30, $
Adjusted mean = 598 Adjusted mean = 525 73 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 525 UI records, month 30
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

Receipt of TANF, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 30.5 Adjusted mean = 26.1 4.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 TANF records, year 1

Receipt of Food Stamps, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 95.4 Adjusted mean = 92.2 3.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 Food Stamps records, year 1

Monthly amount of TANF received, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 33 Adjusted mean = 30 4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 TANF records, year 1

Monthly amount of Food Stamps received, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 185.0 Adjusted mean = 179.0 6.7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 Food Stamps records, year 1
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

Receipt of TANF, year 3, %
Adjusted mean = 10.7 Adjusted mean = 14.7 -4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 TANF records, year 3

Receipt of Food Stamps, year 3, %
Adjusted mean = 71.8 Adjusted mean = 69.5 2.2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 Food Stamps records, year 3

Monthly amount of TANF received, year 3, $
Adjusted mean = 17 Adjusted mean = 22 -5 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 TANF records, year 3

Monthly amount of Food Stamps received, year 3, $
Adjusted mean = 159.0 Adjusted mean = 151.0 7.8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 630 Food Stamps records, year 3

Amount of WIC received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 13 Adjusted mean = 15 -2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Amount of SSI received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 53 Adjusted mean = 70 -17 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Amount of Social Security received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 17 Adjusted mean = 26 -9 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Amount of Unemployment Insurance received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 7 Adjusted mean = 23 -15 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Amount of General Assistance received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 1 Adjusted mean = 4 -2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Amount of foster care received in the month prior to the 30-month survey, $
Adjusted mean = 1 Adjusted mean = 3 -2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample in Illinois 536 30-month survey

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail On average, sample members were 30 years old. Three quarters were female. Half were black, non-Hispanic, nearly half were white, non-Hispanic, and 5 percent were Hispanic or another race/ethnicity. Slightly more than one quarter of sample members did not have a high school diploma or GED, while 31 percent had more than a high school diploma or GED. 18 percent were working for pay at the time of baseline. A large majority (87 percent) reported earnings less than $10,000 in the year prior to baseline. More than half (56 percent) of sample members had ever received TANF or AFDC, and 15 percent were receiving it at the time of baseline. More than half (56 percent) were living in single-adult households.
Program Services Treatment group members received extended case management services, including (1) an assessment of skills and interests; (2) individualized job search, job placement, and skills enhancement programs; (3) referrals, supportive service payments, and mentoring to overcome personal and logistical obstacles; and (4) extended post-employment support up to three months after securing a job. Some clients in this group were volunteers, but others were required to participate or their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Food Stamps benefits could be reduced.
Program Duration The Future Steps program had at least one service contact with 93 percent of the individuals in the treatment group. The program had an average of 10.6 hours of contact time with those individuals with at least one service contact during the time the program was studied. On average, clients enrolled in services for 16 months.
Comparison Services Control group members could not enroll in Future Steps but could receive all other available services.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation In five rural counties in Illinois, TANF and Food Stamps recipients who were required to work, and other low-income volunteers who were available and willing to work at least 30 hours per week, were randomly assigned to the treatment or the control group in even proportions. The individual was the unit of assignment and the unit of analysis. A total of 630 people participated in the study (313 in the Future Steps group and 317 in the control group). Evaluators conducted a follow-up survey 18 months after random assignment and collected information from 520 people (252 Future Steps, 268 Control). For another survey, 30 months after random assignment, evaluators collected information from 536 people (261 Future Steps, 275 Control).
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for baseline demographic and socioeconomic variables, as well as two contextual variables (county of residence and year of program enrollment).
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 None
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The program took place in five rural counties in Southern Illinois. The five program case managers were based in each county's Illinois Department of Human Services office.
Timing of Study Sample members were enrolled between July 2001 and December 2002, and program services continued until September 2003.
Study Funding The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, funded the study.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/testing_case.pdf