When Washington state’s Division of Child Support closed its offices in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, its employment program—Families Forward Washington—kept running with minimal interruption, because the original design was based on working remotely. Its model may offer useful pointers for other service agencies for adapting to the pandemic.
Amid keen interest in helping students, young adults, and low-wage workers build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy, MDRC is studying a range of programs that feature employer involvement, such as career pathways from high school into college and the workforce, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and sectoral training.
The Breaking Barriers program, based in San Diego, provided employment services to lower-income individuals with disabilities. MDRC carried out a random assignment evaluation of the program. As part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-income Families project, MDRC is collecting additional administrative records to extend the original evaluation.
Implementing Individual Placement and Support in a Workforce Setting
Breaking Barriers was a San Diego-based program that provided employment services to low-income individuals with a range of disabilities or other health conditions. Preliminary analyses based on a survey found that the program did not have an impact on the primary outcomes measured — employment, length of employment, and total earnings — during a 15-month follow-up period.
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.
Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income serve low-income individuals with disabilities. Yet the programs’ differences in approach and structure pose challenges to coordinating services. The Administration for Children and Families and the Social Security Administration contracted with MDRC and its partners to conduct the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project. Five publications from the project have just been released.
A sizable portion of the adult TANF population has disabilities, but identifying the needs of clients with disabilities and offering them appropriate services can prove difficult. This brief describes assessment strategies used by local TANF agencies and organizations, discusses their strengths and weaknesses, and offers points to consider in choosing methods.
Lessons from an In-Depth Data Analysis
Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may serve low-income individuals with disabilities. This brief uses MDRC’s analysis of merged national-level TANF and SSI data — two rich data sources that have never before been linked — to better understand the extent of the two programs’ overlap.
A Guide for TANF Staff Members
Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may serve low-income individuals with disabilities. This brief compares the SSI disability determination process with TANF procedures, discusses how some TANF agencies gauge who is likely to qualify for SSI, and reviews the employment support programs of both.
Innovative Strategies for Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities
Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may serve low-income individuals with disabilities. Yet the two programs’ differences in approach and structure pose challenges to coordinating services. This report describes the implementation and findings of three promising pilot interventions intended to address that problem.