Study of Screening and Assessment in TANF/Welfare to Work, 1999-2002

Project Overview

The Study of Screening and Assessment in TANF/Welfare to Work (WtW) project highlighted and discussed critical issues in the development and use of screening and assessment tools designed to identify TANF and/or WtW recipients who experience barriers to employment. The barriers of specific interest for this study included substance abuse, mental health or illness, low basic skills, physical/developmental disabilities (including learning disabilities) and domestic violence. The project described state and local efforts to incorporate screening and assessment tools and procedures in their efforts to assist these recipients make the transition from welfare to work. Finally, this project provided opportunities for federal, state, and local TANF/WtW staff and other interested parties share information on screening and assessment.

Major Research Questions: What types of screening and assessment processes did states/localities use to identify and serve the target populations? How was the screening and assessment process developed? Why were particular screening and assessment tools chosen? What was the linkage between screening and assessment and referral to services? What types of coordinated services were being provided to TANF/WtW?

Research/Evaluation Design: This project was conducted as a series of 7 to 9 site visits lasting 3 or 4 days and include focus groups with workers and recipients. In addition, the project convened three 1.5 day conferences on screening and assessment with federal, state, and local TANF/WtW staff and other interested parties share information on screening and assessment.

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