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

Project Overview

Launched in 2016, this project will evaluate three or more 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.

This project will select sites that use evidence-based or research-informed coaching interventions that are either currently implemented or at the point of being ready to be demonstrated and evaluated. The project will conduct impact evaluations and complementary implementation assessments of the sites selected to participate in the evaluation. The coaching interventions are expected to be part of broader employment programs that may include training and job development among other services.

Mathematica Policy Research is conducting the study in partnership with Abt Associates.

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

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