ERIC Number: ED419864
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
New Chance. Final Report on a Comprehensive Program for Young Mothers in Poverty and Their Children.
Quint, Janet C.; Bos, Johannes M.; Polit, Denise F.
This report focuses on young mothers who had children as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children. It was a voluntary demonstration project that provided comprehensive education, training, and other services intended to increase the long-term self-sufficiency and well-being of these mothers and their children. The evaluation of New Chance is one of the few large-scale, rigorous evaluations of programs designed to change the outcomes for this population. This is the last in a series of reports from the study. A variety of community-based organizations implemented the program well in 16 diverse sites, although participation by the enrollees was uneven. At the 18-month follow-up point, the program had created a substantial increase in educational attainment, with acquisition of a General Educational Development certificate by many participants, greater use of good quality child care, and improvement in parenting skills, balanced against high rates of repeat pregnancy, inconsistent program attendance, and the fact that more than 80% of the participants were still on welfare. A monograph based on 50 interviews with participants explored some of the circumstances behind these findings. This report extends the study to 42 months of follow-up. The 2,079 young mothers who were studied in the follow-up are now 22.4 years of age on average. For many measures, outcomes have improved for these young women since they enrolled in New Chance, but the sobering news is that the absolute levels of progress leave these families far from self-sufficiency. For most outcomes, New Chance did not improve progress over and above that shown by an equivalent group of young women who did not attend New Chance. Although the New Chance experience provides few definitive answers about what should be done, it does raise critical questions about the direction and consequences of public policy, and it does indicate the need for public policies that move beyond the scope of the welfare system to enhance young mothers' efforts to become self-sufficient. (Contains eight tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Children, Demonstration Programs, Dropouts, Educational Attainment, Mothers, Poverty, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Tables (Data), Urban Youth, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services, Young Adults
MDRC, 16 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016 ($18); telephone: 212-532-3200; world wide web: http://www.mdrc.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
WWC Study Page: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/study/30012
IES Cited: ED499774