The national Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project tested the effectiveness of over a dozen innovative programs in eight states that were intended to promote steady work and earnings growth among current and former welfare recipients –– that is, recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) –– and other low-wage workers. The programs offered services primarily to single parents, but nine programs also offered services to adult members of two-parent families.
This report describes the background characteristics, employment and earnings patterns, and patterns of TANF and food stamp receipt for adult members of two-parent families in the ERA sample. Not much is known about the low-income two-parent population’s need for employment retention and advancement services or about their responses to offered services. This population has particular policy relevance in that two-parent TANF cases include more family members and receive higher average monthly grants than do single-parent recipients. These families therefore require higher income (from employment of one or both parents) to achieve self-sufficiency.