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Evaluation of Employment Coaching for TANF and Related Populations, 2016-2021

Project Overview

OPRE launched this project in 2016 to evaluate interventions that apply coaching practices to promote job entry and retention among TANF populations and other low-income individuals. Coaching-based interventions have been put forth as one way to give people the tools to overcome various barriers in order to build employment-related skills and to secure work. The hypothesis underlying these approaches is that participants’ challenges may be addressed through coaching by specially trained staff who help them identify goals for change and steps needed to attain them. While coaching-focused employment programs for individuals with disabilities have been evaluated extensively, it is not yet known to what extent similar models will translate into impacts for low-income and other vulnerable groups. This project seeks to fill that gap in the research and contribute to the body of evidence regarding what works for helping TANF clients and related populations move toward self-sufficiency.

Led by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with Abt Associates, the project is conducting impact evaluations and complementary implementation assessments of the five sites selected to participate in the evaluation. The evaluation is also examining the impact of coaching on self-regulation skills, and the role of these skills in generating any impacts on employment outcomes. The five sites participating in the evaluation are:

  • MyGoals for Employment Success in Baltimore, MD and Houston, TX (being evaluated as two distinct sites)
  • LIFT in New York, NY; Chicago, IL; and Los Angeles, CA
  • Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS) program, operated by the Iowa Department of Human Rights
  • Goal4 It!, administered by the Jefferson County Department of Human Services in Jefferson County, CO

The points of contact are Hilary Bruck, Victoria Kabak, and Gabrielle Newell.

More Reports on this Project