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ERIC Number: ED560260
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 164
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
Implementing a Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Two American Cities: Early Lessons from Family Rewards 2.0
Dechausay, Nadine; Miller, Cynthia; Quiroz-Becerra, Victoria
In 2007, New York City launched the first test of a conditional cash transfer program in the United States. Called Family Rewards, the program sought to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by offering cash assistance to poor families to reduce immediate hardship, but conditioned this assistance on families' efforts to improve their health, further their children's education, and increase parents' work and earnings, in the hope of reducing poverty over the long term. The program had positive effects on some outcomes, but left others unchanged. Building on the lessons learned from that evaluation led to the next iteration and test of the model--called Family Rewards 2.0, the subject of this report. Family Rewards 2.0 was launched in July 2011 in the Bronx, New York and Memphis, Tennessee. While still offering rewards in the areas of children's education, family health, and parents' work, Family Rewards 2.0 has fewer rewards in each domain, offers the education rewards only to high school students, makes the rewards more timely by paying them each month, and includes family guidance. The addition of guidance, or having staff members actively help families develop strategies to earn rewards, represents the biggest change to the original model. MDRC is evaluating the program through a randomized controlled trial involving approximately 1,200 families in each city, half of whom can receive the cash rewards if they meet the required conditions, and half of whom have been assigned to a control group that cannot receive the rewards. This report presents early findings on the program's implementation and families' receipt of rewards during the first two years. Appendices include: (1) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 1; (2) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 2; (3) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 3; and (4) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 4.
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: MDRC
Identifiers - Location: New York; Tennessee