Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment

This portfolio addresses innovative approaches for increasing economic self-sufficiency and reducing public assistance dependency, including rigorous evaluations of promising employment and training strategies. Studies address a variety of topics including alternative welfare-to-work strategies, career pathways and post-secondary training models, employment retention and advancement approaches, subsidized employment and job search strategies, and tests to understand the effects of employment coaching models. Many studies are designed and implemented in close collaboration with other offices within HHS as well as with other federal agencies such as the Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration.

 

Featured Resources

Projects on this Topic

OPRE launched the Youth Demonstration Development Project (YDD) in 2009 to systematically review the current field of research on youth development and successful transition to adulthood. The primary objective of YDD, which is being conducted for OPRE...

This project provided a descriptive study of the dynamics of county versus state administered TANF programs. The project gathered detailed information from a sample of county and state administered TANF programs identified as having promising TANF-WIA coordination practices...

Achieving Change for Texans: Statewide, the following were key program provisions: (1) time limit of 12 to 36 months for able-bodied adults, depending on work experience and education, with exemptions for severe local economic conditions and personal...

The first component of the Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium is the Advancing Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency Research project (also known as Project AWESOME). Led by Mathematica Policy Research, this contract provides research support and a flexible research and evaluation mechanism for responding to rapidly emerging policy priorities and research opportunities...

The Advancing Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency Research follow-on contract provided timely and flexible research and evaluation support to ACF and its stakeholders and a flexible research and evaluation mechanism for responding to rapidly emerging policy priorities and research opportunities. In particular, the contractor...

The Approaching Time Limits study explored what States have done with clients as they approached or already reached Federal and/or State TANF time limits....
The Assessing Enhanced Transitional Employment Programs (ETE) project identified and described operating employment-focused programs that helped individuals who faced significant employment challenges by providing transitional employment or work...
Assessing Medicaid and Food Stamps Access and Participation project, with the cooperation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation helped participating States create and analyze performance data on how their Medicaid, SCHIP, and Food stamps enrollment...
This evaluation examines Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) under the largest federally funded IDA program: the Assets for Independence (AFI) program administered by ACF. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that...

Many human services programs are designed such that individuals must make active decisions and go through a series of steps in order to benefit from them — from deciding which programs to apply for, to completing forms, attending meetings, showing proof of eligibility, and arranging travel and child care...

The Child Outcomes Synthesis Project was designed to synthesize the results from the Project on State-Level Child Outcomes, a series of demonstrations in five States that measured the impacts of welfare reform on the well-being of children...
The Connecticut Welfare Reform Evaluation Project continued the originally planned evaluation of Reach for Jobs First, which was implemented in January 1996, as an amendment to an earlier welfare reform demonstration, and subsequently incorporated in...

This project provided a descriptive study on the implementation of Tribal TANF programs and document lessons learned. The study also documented, identified and recommended potential approaches for further study...

Nationally, job search activities are a significant area of program attention, including TANF and WIA. Yet, while job search activities are often included as an essential component of programs that have been the subject of OPRE-sponsored evaluations, they have not independently been the focus of rigorous examination...

The Economic Analysis of the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home Visitation Program study examined cost savings to the government resulting from a prenatal and early childhood home visitation program that had been studied in a series of three...
The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation was a comprehensive effort to learn about effective strategies to promote employment retention and advancement among welfare recipients and low-wage workers. The project began in 1998, when HHS...

The Employment Sector Analysis for TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Families project synthesized existing literature and resources for identifying federal, state, and local labor market data in high-growth fields; and analyzed labor market information...

The Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER) was a systematic review of the evaluation research (as it existed between 1990 and 2014) on employment and training programs for low-income adults. ESER produced a searchable, public database and a series of briefs synthesizing the results of the review and highlighting promising strategies identified by the review...

The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation project assessed the effectiveness of programs designed to enhance employment outcomes for current or former TANF recipients and other low-income parents who have demonstrated...
OPRE jointly sponsored with the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) a study of subsidized summer 2010 employment opportunities for low-income youth operated with the TANF Emergency Fund offered as part of the American...
The Evaluation of Community Based Job Retention Programs project included two phases. In Phase 1, the project provided a detailed implementation analysis and short-term outcome findings for participants receiving various mixes of job retention and...
The Evaluation of Los Angeles Jobs-First GAIN project evaluated the results of changing Los Angeles' Greater Avenues to Independence (GAIN) program, a human resource focused welfare-to-work program into Los Angeles Jobs-First GAIN, a labor force...

OPRE awarded a contract to NORC at the University of Chicago, in conjunction with Red Star Innovations and the National Indian Health Board, to design and conduct a comprehensive implementation and outcome evaluation of the five Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) programs awarded in 2010...

The Ex-Prisoner Reentry Strategies Study (or “Father Reentry Study”) was an implementation study of six Responsible Fatherhood programs initially funded in 2011 under the Responsible Fatherhood grant program. The grantees administered their programs to incarcerated, soon-to-be released, and recently released fathers both in correctional institutions and in the community...

Bayesian methods are emerging as the primary alternative to the conventional frequentist approach to statistical inference. Bayes' theorem is a model for learning from data. Using Bayes’ theorem, a researcher weights their prior beliefs about the size of an intervention’s effect by the data observed through experimentation.

This cooperative agreement, awarded to Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago in 2013, supported the development, implementation, and ongoing operations of technical assistance to support family self-sufficiency research and administrative data analysis...

To fill gaps in family self-sufficiency and stability research and data activities and to complement its ongoing research, OPRE developed and launched a multi-faceted Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium (The Consortium)...

Hurricane Katrina was perhaps the largest single natural disaster in America’s history. Millions of people were on the hurricane’s path. About half a million people in New Orleans were displaced by floods caused by Hurricane Katrina...
Provisions of the Florida Family Transition Program (FTP) Evaluation demonstration included: (1) a time limit of 24 months on assistance in any 60-month period for most recipients, with a limit of 36 months of receipt out of any 72 months for certain...

The purpose of this project was to explore how emerging insights from psychology can strengthen programs aimed at helping families achieve self-sufficiency. In particular, the project reviewed the implications of existing research on psychological...

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study used an experimental design to examine the short-term impacts of HPOG 1.0 on participants’ educational and economic outcomes at 15 months after random assignment. The study includes 42 local HPOG programs implemented by 23 of the 32 HPOG 1.0 grantees (those awarded in 2010).

This project provided recommendations for the design of an evaluation to assess implementation, systems change, and outcomes of the 27 non-tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 1.0 programs (those awarded in 2010). Additionally...

In 2016, OPRE awarded a second round of Health Profession Opportunity Grants University Partnership Research Grants, referred to as HPOGUP 2.0. These grants augmented OPRE’s multi-pronged evaluation strategy for HPOG by funding university research teams that partnered with HPOG program grantees. Through these partnerships, the teams aimed to conduct research and evaluation studies focused on questions relevant to HPOG program goals and objectives and benefit the broader employment and self-sufficiency research field.

ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

The Home Visiting: Approaches to Father Engagement and Fathers' Experiences Study is a qualitative project that will collect information about innovative approaches used by existing home visiting programs to actively...

This contract produced a series of research briefs on issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. The briefs were based on analyses of data collected as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Options Study Visit disclaimer page , a multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions on homeless families.

The Human Services Research Partnership of the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) explored issues related to social service needs and public welfare systems in the territory. This cooperative agreement supported partnerships among researchers, local governments, and community-based organizations to define and evaluate research questions relevant to low-income people in the U.S. Virgin Islands and to both the Head Start and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs.

This project explored the issues and options related to the development of an employment-related outcome performance measurement system for the TANF program, including potential target groups, performance measures, performance standards, data needs, and accountability approaches. The project...

This project explored current strategies to facilitate employment of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) adult recipients living with mental, intellectual and physical disabilities. It examined innovative efforts to promote and support the...
The purpose of this study was to examine state and local efforts to divert TANF applicants from applying for cash assistance. This examination involved gathering information from a range of sources such as state and local TANF offices and national...
The Improving State Capacity to Address the Needs of Low-Income Working Families project was jointly funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the Office of Family Assistance within ACF, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and...
The Indiana Welfare Reform Evaluation Project implemented the following major policy provisions: a 24-month time limit for adults eligible for JOBS; a family benefit cap; child immunization and school attendance requirements; a higher resource limit...
The Innovative Employment Strategies project gathered and synthesized information on cutting edge approaches and programs for assisting applicants and recipients to gain, retain and advance in employment. Considerable research has already focused...

ACF launched the Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project in September 2015. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of approaches that intentionally combine intensive, high quality, adult-focused services with intensive, high-quality, child-focused programs. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, this project will provide options for evaluating these emerging models...

 

Iowa Welfare Reform Evaluation complemented a separately funded evaluation completed on Iowa's Family Investment Program (FIP). The evaluation consisted of two studies–a study of repeat limited benefit plan (LBP) assignments and a study of...
This project examined how the local management of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs has evolved and adapted practices in the years following the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of...
This study, the Meta-Analysis of Welfare-to-Work Programs, analyzed the results of welfare-to-work demonstrations carried out since 1982. The purpose was to determine how impacts in those demonstrations are related to a wide range of variables...
The following were the key features of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP): 1) requiring long-term public assistance recipients to participate in intensive employment/training services, including mandatory case management; 2) making work pay...
The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) project evaluated alternative welfare-to-work strategies in seven sites (Riverside, CA; Atlanta, GA; Grand Rapids, MI; Detroit, MI; Columbus, OH; Oklahoma City, OK, and vicinity; and...

The National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) included the 27 non-tribal HPOG 1.0 programs (those awarded in 2010) and had three major components —  a Descriptive Implementation Study, a Systems Change Analysis, and an Outcome Study.

 

The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) documented the nation's utilization and availability of early care and education (including school-age care) in 2012, in order to deepen the understanding of the extent to which families' needs and preferences coordinate well with provider's offerings and constraints. The experiences of low-income families were of special interest as they are the focus of a significant component of early care and education/school-age (ECE/SA) public policy.

New Jersey Substance Abuse Research Demonstration provided information about the effectiveness of a type of evaluation several states have experimented with to move substance abusing welfare clients toward self-sufficiency. The intervention New Jersey...
The New Visions Self-Sufficiency and Lifelong Learning Project is a joint venture of the Riverside Community College (RCC) in California and the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. The purpose of the demonstration is to improve the...

To learn about the implementation and effects of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs, ACF awarded a contract in 2011 to Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The evaluation had multiple components: separate impact and process studies for responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage programs and five sub-studies.

In 2007, ACF initiated the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project, a multi-site, random assignment evaluation of promising strategies for increasing employment and self-sufficiency among low-income families. During the project’s development, consensus emerged that the evaluation should...

The Post-Employment Services Demonstration and Evaluation project was designed to test whether the provision of additional services, including extended case management and temporary financial supports, promote job retention and advancement or, when...

This project investigated how existing work on racial and ethnic disparities could inform more accurate identification and interpretation of ethnic and racial differences in programs administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Through this work, this project...

OPRE, supported by a contract with Mathematica and the Williams Institute, in coordination with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), conducted extensive work to identify knowledge gaps and propose research recommendations related to the human service needs of low-income and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations...

The Research Synthesis of the Effects of TANF project synthesized the most current research information available on the effect of TANF on income, earnings, receipt of government benefits, and family formation and structure, for individuals and...

This multi-year national evaluation project, Rural Welfare-To-Work Strategies Demonstration, was designed to learn how best to help TANF and other low-income rural families move from welfare to work. The evaluation increased information on rural...

The purpose of this study was to understand how sanctions have been implemented in recent years in a select group of sites. It also explored developing more rigorous research on the use of sanctions to achieve higher work participation rates...

OPRE awarded eight cooperative agreements to fund research to conduct secondary data analysis of archived ACF data, specifically the Building Strong Families (BSF), Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM), and Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) datasets. The grantees are covering topics such as the economic benefits of marriage and relationship education (MRE) programs, child outcomes related to MRE, race/ethnic differences in marriage health and stability, and the experiences of fathers in MRE.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) is undertaking a descriptive study to document the approaches and strategies utilized by tribal organizations awarded cooperative agreements under the Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare...

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...

Numerous studies have identified substantial overlap in families and individuals served by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Over the past decade, as the TANF program has developed...

This study, TANF Caseload Composition and Leavers Synthesis Report, summarized current knowledge on two questions concerning the TANF caseload and those leaving TANF (i.e. leavers): 1) How do the characteristics of the TANF caseload compare with the...

The introduction of Federal time limits on the receipt of cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program was a central and major part of welfare reform. The purpose of this study was to conduct a follow-up to an...

The purpose of the TANF and CCDF Research Synthesis Project was to inform research planning and support evidence-based decision making related to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) programs...

The Teenage Parent Demonstration and Evaluation project was designed to test the effectiveness of a mandatory program for first-time teen parents entering the welfare rolls. The program included requirements to attend school or an alternative education...

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Two Parent Families Study is a descriptive study that will collect information about two parent families who receive or are eligible to receive TANF. This study will document: 1) the characteristics of...

Effect sizes are increasingly applied to describe the magnitude of findings about program effectiveness across a range of policy contexts. Though more researchers are recognizing the importance of including effect sizes in manuscripts, at times these...
The Effects of Welfare Reform on Special Populations project provided information regarding the extent to which program policy and implementation at different levels influenced the access to, and use of, government assistance programs by immigrant...

The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) was a cooperative agreement awarded to Temple University with a subcontract to the Center for Policy Research in Denver, CO. The FRPN pursued three main goals...

The key provisions of Iowa Family Investment Program (FIP) were: (1) recipients were required to help develop a social contract, the Family Investment Agreement (FIA), which established activities and a time frame for achieving self-sufficiency...
The Underreporting of Welfare Utilization in Current Population Survey Data Evidence for Matched California Administrative Data (CPS) study examined the incidence of under- and over-reporting of welfare participation in the Current Population Survey...
This project documented the types of services or activities funded by states with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and state Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE) program funds categorized in Federal reporting as “Other” and...

The purpose of this project is to implement an exploratory research study to better understand the challenges and context for family self-sufficiency of low-income Alaska Natives and American Indians living in urban areas and their interactions with...

The Understanding the Demand Side of the TANF Labor Market project developed, conducted, and analyzed a national survey of employers, in order to gain a better understanding of the policies, practices, and opportunities in the entry-level, low-skill...

Since the creation of TANF in 1996, there has been concern about TANF recipients who leave TANF without finding work, as well as low-income individuals who may be eligible for TANF but are neither receiving TANF nor working. Low-income individuals and...

In the fall of 2014, ACF launched a descriptive study to document the similarities and differences between Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance and the Refugee Cash Assistance program. ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) administers...

In 2011, OPRE awarded five University Partnership Research Grants for the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program to support research and evaluation studies focused on questions relevant to HPOG program goals and objectives. Applicants were required to demonstrate a partnership with one or more of the HPOG programs funded in 2010 as an integral part of the research plan development and execution...

Vermont Welfare Restructuring Project's time limit triggered a work requirement rather than the termination of cash assistance. The following were key provisions of the program: (1) the scope of mandatory participation in work or work activities...
The What Works Best for Whom: Effects of Welfare Reform Policies on Subgroups of Current and Former Welfare Recipients project investigated the effects of recent welfare policies on various subgroups of welfare recipients. It added to earlier work on...

This was a two-part project dealing with Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 extended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and contains a section on reports required from the states...

States and communities across the country have been exploring innovative ways to strengthen and align the programs that serve children and their families. One way to do this may be through coordinated service delivery. Through this project, awarded to Mathematica, ACF seeks to learn more about how states and communities coordinate early care and education, family economic security, and/or other health and human services to most efficiently and effectively support the well-being of low-income children and their families.

Linking administrative data sets to program evaluation records is a promising and potentially low-cost means of tracking long-term impacts of social interventions. For the purposes of this project, long-term is defined as greater than five years.

From 1998 until 2017, ACF operated the Assets for Independence (AFI) program, a demonstration program that supported an assets-based approach for increasing the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and families with low-incomes through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). In 2011...

The Behavioral Interventions Scholars (BIS) grant program supports dissertation research by advanced graduate students who are applying a behavioral science lens to specific research questions relevant to social services programs and policies and other issues facing low-income and vulnerable families in the United States. As part of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency research portfolio, these grants are intended to facilitate the completion of high-quality research projects that will add to the growing body of knowledge on effective behavioral interventions for ACF programs and populations.

Many human services programs are designed such that individuals must make a series of decisions and take a number of active steps in order to realize a benefit. From deciding which programs to apply for, to completing forms, attending meetings, showing proof of eligibility, and arranging travel and child care, program designers often assume that individuals make decisions about how to proceed based on careful consideration of their options and best interests.

There is great interest in identifying effective strategies that build fathers’ capacity to support their children, both emotionally and financially. Since 2006, Congress has provided funds for discretionary grants to programs aimed at supporting fathers in three core areas: responsible parenting, economic stability, and healthy marriage.

The purpose of this project is to strengthen ACF’s understanding of effective interventions aimed at supporting low-income individuals to find jobs, advance in the labor market, and improve their economic security.

The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes Study is rigorously evaluating the intermediate impact of career pathways programs first studied in the federally-sponsored Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study and Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Study. The intermediate impact studies... 

The Career Pathways Long-term Outcomes (CPLO) Study is rigorously evaluating the long-term impact of career pathways programs first studied in the federally-sponsored Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study and Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Project. CPLO will use administrative data and survey responses to examine long-term impacts on educational progress, labor market outcomes, and family well-being approximately six years after participants were randomly assigned into either a treatment group that could access the career pathways program or to a control group that could not.

Career pathways programs connect education, training, and related supports in a pathway that is intended to lead to employment in a specific sector or occupation or to further training. The approach is gaining attention as a promising strategy to improve post-secondary education and training outcomes for low-income and low-skilled adults.

The purpose of the Career Pathways Secondary Data Analysis Grants is to stimulate and fund secondary analysis of data collected through the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Project, Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study, and HPOG National Implementation Evaluation (NIE) on questions relevant to career pathways programs’ goals and objectives. More information about these archived data sets is available on OPRE’s Archived Data page.

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families leads and supports investigation of the needs of Hispanic populations served by ACF and of promising approaches to promote social and economic well-being among low-income Hispanic families. The Center’s research focuses on early care and education; poverty reduction and economic self-sufficiency; and fatherhood, family structure, and family dynamics. In addition to generating new research to inform ACF programs and policies to better serve Hispanic children and families, the Center aims to build research capacity by providing tools, resources, and support for the research community and emerging scholars.

The Child and Family Data Archive (CFData) is the place to discover, access, and analyze data on young children, their families and communities, and the programs that serve them. OPRE funds numerous data collection efforts through research studies on a wide range of early care and education (ECE) topics within and across child care, Head Start, and home visiting.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has awarded a contract to MEF Associates and its subcontractor, Child Trends, to conduct a study to better understand the range of child welfare services and benefits provided through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program. The URM Program serves refugees and...

This project provided recommendations for the design of an evaluation to assess the implementation, outcomes, systems change, and impacts of the second round of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) awarded in September 2015 (referred to as HPOG 2.0)...

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 Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Scholars Network (the FSSRN) supports independent researchers working to enhance and improve family self-sufficiency research at the state and local levels. The FSSRN promotes productive partnerships between social science scholars (the grantee’s Principal Investigators, or PIs) and state or local human services agencies.

The Family Strengthening Scholars grant program is designed to build research capacity in the healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood field (HM/RF). These grants are to support dissertation research on HM/RF policy issues and are meant to build capacity in the research field to focus research on questions that have direct implications for HM/RF decision-making and program administration.

The purpose of the Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation and Cross-Site Project is to support ACF’s third cohort (2015-2020) of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) grantees through...

OPRE is rigorously evaluating the second round of grants awarded under the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 2.0) Program through the HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation. The 27 non-tribal grantees operate 38 HPOG programs across 17 states. This project, the HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation Long-term Follow-up Study, extends the follow-up period for the impact evaluation and the cost-benefit analysis initiated as part of the HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation.

The purpose of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.

In this project, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is exploring the application of Human-centered Design (HCD) across its service delivery programs at the federal, state, and local levels. To date, little is known regarding what HCD looks like in the context of human services, the requirements for implementation across a range of programs; the measurable outcomes and effectiveness of HCD approaches; the evaluability of HCD approaches; or the sustainability of HCD approaches.

The Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation features a multi-site, random assignment evaluation to measure the relative impact of specific job search services offered by TANF programs on short-term labor market outcomes such as earnings and time to employment. The evaluation, led by Abt Associates...

In 2015, OPRE launched a comprehensive evaluation of the second round of grants awarded under the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program. The HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation is rigorously assessing the HPOG programs administered by the non-tribal grantees awarded grants in 2015. The 27 non-tribal grantees operate 38 HPOG programs across 17 states.

To further build the evidence around effective strategies for helping low-income individuals find and sustain employment, OPRE contracted with Mathematica to conduct the Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies (NextGen) Project. This project will identify and test innovative, promising employment interventions designed to help individuals facing complex challenges secure a pathway toward economic independence.

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee program; formerly the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program) was created following the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The program provides assistance to help youth currently and formerly in foster care achieve self-sufficiency by providing grants to States and eligible Tribes that submit an approvable plan.

OPRE’s welfare and family self-sufficiency research includes experimental impact evaluations...

This project builds on the earlier OPRE Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services (RED) project. RED helped build a base of knowledge to inform the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)’s identification and understanding of ethnic and racial differences across the service delivery system... 

In 2013, OPRE commissioned four interrelated reports on self-regulation and toxic stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. That team and other experts have since created multiple practice-oriented resources grounded in the initial reports. Together, these reports and resources comprise the ’Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series.’ 

For several years, ACF has provided resources to facilitate updating and expanding the State TANF Policies Database. The Urban Institute began developing the database in early 1997, as part of the Assessing New Federalism project...

Project Overview

This project will identify promising and innovative employment and training programs for low-income individuals that include TANF recipients and produce case studies of the selected programs. The programs...

This project will evaluate subsidized and transitional employment approaches for critical low-income populations, potentially including welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial parents. The project will examine subsidized employment strategies designed to address two distinct goals...

People who run programs for job seekers with low incomes and those seeking to promote policies that can improve employment outcomes for individuals with low incomes need evidence about what works. While a large body of evidence exists it can be challenging for program administrators and policymakers to know where to find that evidence and determine how it might apply to their programs and populations.

In 2015, OPRE awarded a contract to Abt Associates, in partnership with MEF Associates, Insight Policy Research, Urban Institute, and NORC at the University of Chicago, to conduct impact, outcome, and implementation studies of the second round of grants awarded under the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program. The five Tribal HPOG 2.0 grantees are participating in a comprehensive implementation and outcome study led by NORC at the University of Chicago. The five Tribal HPOG 2.0 grantees are...

The purpose of this project is to provide guidance and support to Tribal TANF Child Welfare Coordination Grantees that promotes excellence in performance measurement, continuous quality improvement, and grantee-led collaborations between child welfare and TANF agencies in their tribal communities. The project is intended to (1) provide guidance to grantees in revising project logic models to align project activities with intended outcomes; (2) provide support for grantees’ identification and collection of performance measures to track project activities and outcomes; (3) provide support to grantees in using data for quality assurance and continuous quality improvement; (4) provide programmatic guidance on ways to strengthen Tribal TANF and Child Welfare coordination in order to strengthen outcomes specified by grantees in their applications; and (5) document these activities and lessons learned. This project will provide universal guidance and peer learning opportunities, as well as grantee specific guidance on a variety of topics which may include identification of measurable goals and objectives, data systems and data privacy, data analysis and interpretation, continuous quality improvement, and dissemination of program successes.

The Understanding Poverty project, which is being conducted by MEF Associates in partnership with MDRC, is examining the organizational culture of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) offices and the perspectives of families and children living in poverty.

This brief summarizes the impact findings from three recent federal evaluations of programs serving disadvantaged noncustodial parents: the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD), the Parents and Children Together Demonstration (PACT), and the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED). It finds positive results on employment and earnings and parenting outcomes, but no impact on the amount of child support paid. It discusses possible explanations for this null effect and suggests that future research will want to further examine this issue.