ERIC Number: ED477817
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jun-27
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Outcomes in Washington's WorkFirst Program: Are Post-Employment Services the Answer?
Lidman, Russell M.; Weeks, Gregory C.
The Washington State welfare reform program WorkFirst is designed to move individuals from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) into the workforce. A critical question facing the program is how to assist participants in sustaining and advancing their employment. Three studies of those who exited the program measured multiple outcomes against targets. Worker occupations were found to be low-skill, low-wage jobs with limited advancement opportunities. The average monthly household income for participants who worked all year was much higher than for those who did not work. Two thirds of those who exited from WorkFirst remained out, while one-third returned to assistance within one year. Only half of those receiving a WorkFirst benefit are moved into a job search workshop. A program designed to minimize impact on the unemployment insurance system was unsuccessful. A measure of caseload reduction has shown that WorkFirst is becoming less effective over time in maintaining families' economic independence. Analysis showed that a better approach is to emphasize retention or to assist with rapid job transitions. The researchers concluded that also needed are the following: (1) a greater emphasis on moving WorkFirst participants through the program, off the program, and into follow-on support such as the Job Success Coach Initiative; and (2) services specifically designed for returners. (SLR)
Descriptors: Career Counseling, Dropout Characteristics, Employment Counselors, Employment Level, Employment Patterns, Employment Services, Family Financial Resources, Job Search Methods, Job Training, Minimum Wage, Participation, Postsecondary Education, Reentry Workers, Transitional Programs, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services
For full text: http://wdr.doleta.gov/conference/pdf/lidman.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington State Employment Security, Olympia.
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families