Semistructured interviews involve an interviewer asking some prespecified, open-ended questions, with follow-up questions based on what the interviewee has to say. This Reflections on Methodology post describes a semistructured interview protocol recently used to explore how children who experience poverty perceive their situations, their economic status, and public benefit programs.
Successful Collaborations That Improve Outcomes in Prisoner Reentry and Child Support
In this article originally published in Policy & Practice magazine, MDRC’s Dan Bloom and Cindy Redcross offer lessons from successful collaborations to improve employment and other outcomes for reentering prisoners and noncustodial parents.
A Review of the Qualitative Literature
One in five U.S. children live in poverty. This review examines how children and parents think and feel about poverty and public benefits, as well as how families discuss their economic circumstances. Children report awareness of both material deprivation and stigma.
While we know how to help low-income individuals prepare for and find work, too many end up in low-wage jobs and never advance up the career ladder. This policy memo describes what we’ve learned about advancement strategies — both those that show promise and those that don’t work.
Findings from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project
This 12-page practitioner brief examines the work, education, and training patterns of single parents in the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project, which evaluated strategies to promote employment stability among low-income workers. The findings support other research in underscoring the importance of changing jobs and of access to “good” jobs as strategies to help low-wage workers advance.
The Employment Retention and Advancement Project
Participants in an intensive care management program for public assistance recipients with substance abuse problems were slightly more likely to enroll in treatment than participants in less intensive services. However, the intensive program had no effects on employment or public benefit receipt among the full sample.
An evaluation of a case management program for long-term welfare recipients shows little effect on participants’ involvement in program services or on their employment, earnings, or public assistance receipt during the first one-and-a-half years of follow-up.
Five-Year Impacts of Pre-Employment Services in the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies
This report finds that — over a five-year follow-up period — both mandatory employment-focused and education-focused welfare-to-work programs helped young adults attain higher earnings.