Hard to Place...Population...Strategies/Part II of II [via Sonny]

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 03:28:30 -0700 (PDT)


FWD via "H. C. Covington" <ach1@sprynet.com>

The Hard-to-Place: Understanding the Population and Strategies to Serve
Them

By Fredrica D. Kramer

March 1998

CONTINUED (PART II OF II - article was too long for one post)

Innovative Practices

Since state programs are only beginning to address the complex set of
personal and family-centered issues, or those deriving from barriers such
as extremely low skill levels or substance abuse, the pool from which to
draw "best practices" is relatively small. However, as TANF agencies begin
to work with other service providers, they will want to look for key
features that programs that have dealt with similar populations have used.

Special needs. The Washington State Learning Disabilities Initiative,
operating for three years, has offered a Life Skills Class and individual
tutoring and has reported success in clients obtaining GEDs. It is now
developing a simple diagnostic tool that could be used by intake workers.
(Contact Melinda Giovengo, 206-760-2393). Kansas has a related initiative
and hopes to identify service strategies that can be used within existing
work programs. (Contact Phyllis Lewin 913-296-3713).

A joint effort of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance
Abuse Services and Office of Vocational and Educational Services for
Individuals with Disabilities integrates short-term vocational skills
training (using community colleges and tailored to prospective employment
in nursing assistant, clerical/word processing, food service work) while in
upstate residential drug treatment, thereby substantially reducing the time
necessary to prepare for employment once individuals reenter their home
communities. (Contact Doug Bailey, 518-473-7213).

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia
University is beginning demonstration programs, using controlled
experimental designs in multiple locations, to help women in particular (a
departure from most drug treatment programs) become both drug free and job
ready and improve parenting skills. A key feature will be the development
of effective screening tools for substance abusing welfare recipients. The
project will also produce a manual to help states understand and address
substance abuse problems in the welfare population, and will offer
technical assistance to states wishing to replicate the model. Also, CASA
and the American Public Welfare Association are surveying the states on
their plans for connecting substance abuse with welfare-to-work strategies.
(Contact Mary Nakashian, 212-841-5200).

The Center for Employment and Training (CET), based in San Jose, California
and operating in cities around the country, has a long history of working
with individuals with extremely low skills and does not prescreen
applicants. It features math and literacy training primarily in the context
of a specific job and classroom vocational training in a simulated work
setting with real work expectations and geared to employer needs. The U.S.
Department of Labor is funding CET to provide technical assistance for
replication. (Contact David Lah for replication project, 202-219-5782 or
CET website http://www.best.com/~cfet/main.htm).

Post-employment strategies. Marriott Corporation regards welfare hires like
all entry-level employees, whose access to certain supportive services will
pay off in reduced turnover, tardiness and lower productivity. Hence, in
addition to their Pathways to Independence program aimed directly at
welfare recipients, they operate the Associate Resource Line Service, a
toll-free confidential 24-hour hotline staffed by professionals to assist
with personal and family matters and direct employees to help. (Contact
Donna Klein, 1-800-638-8108, ext. 86856).

Oregon=92s Post-Employment Services Demonstration, in recognition of
inevitable job cycling and of the need for career advancement, created
"resource rooms" at most welfare-to-work sites. They offer job listings,
telephones, typewriters, word processors, paper, fax and copiers, and other
materials for job applications, as well as staff to assist on an individual
and group basis, and are available evening and weekends. (Contact Shirley
Iverson, 503-945-6902).

Kentucky is mailing materials to those already in jobs and off TANF about
eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Food Stamps, Medicaid
and continued case management support. They also expect to test different
strategies through special funding to selected counties. (Contact Sharon
Perry, Cabinet for Families and Children, 502-564-0417).

The New York State Education Department=92s Education for Gainful Employment
(EDGE) program uses many providers, combined funding, and different models
for unpaid work and study for the hardest to employ welfare recipients. One
program, Closing the Revolving Door, is designed for cyclers. It takes
welfare recipients who have failed in the workplace and, with employers and
past students and half-day classroom and half-day supervised work
experience, examines what went wrong with specific jobs, and how to remedy
problems for future jobs. (Contact Ted Hale, 716-658-7820, or Dale Sells,
Livingston County Department of Social Services, 716-243-7388).

        For additional examples of the use of intermediaries and other
post-employment supports, see Employer Involvement in Welfare Reform. WIN
Resources for Welfare Decisions. November 1997.

Comprehensive models. Project Match, operating for 12 years in Chicago's
Cabrini-Green, and its recent Pathways project for the most disadvantaged
welfare recipients, holds that independence is achieved incrementally over
time and over many job experiences, and that individuals will achieve
different rungs on the ladder to independence at different points over
time. Flexibility based on individual and family circumstance is key to
success, and programs ought not preordain program components, sequences, or
duration. Education (especially classroom training) and paying jobs may not
be useful "first rung" activities for those who have previously failed in
these venues. But alternatives such as activities with children, or hobbies
or athletics for self-improvement, may be good vehicles for work
preparation. Frequent (monthly) goal setting and resetting encourages
feedback, avoids holding patterns and discouragement, and more closely
resembles natural pathways for those with uncertain success in the work
environment. The program also provides ongoing services such as counseling,
treatment or other support services irrespective of welfare status=97for many
as long as 3-5 years. (Contact Toby Herr or Ria Majeske, 312-755-2250). The
Los Angeles County Office of Education's Passport to Success, with LA
County GAIN, expects to apply the incremental goal setting concept in
training public housing workers to continue ongoing case monitoring and
goal setting after GAIN job search ends. (Contact David McElwain,
562-806-0447).

The Chicago Commons Employment Training Center serves the hardest to serve
welfare recipients, over half of whom are current victims of domestic
violence and a quarter have past experience, a third have a child with a
severe learning or other disability, and many have current or past
addictions. Its comprehensive services include life skills and basic
education, which may last a year or more but still fulfill TANF
participation requirements. It is also able to use vocational education
programs that are characteristically inaccessible to those with very low
educational levels by removing the social issues (e.g., attitudinal, child
care) that prevent their participation, by previewing program content to
prepare their clients, and by understanding that the GED is not the only
appropriate exit from work preparedness training. (Contact Jenny Wittner,
773-772-0900).

Wildcat Service Corporation, based on the original supported work model and
serving the most disadvantaged groups including welfare longstayers and
those from the criminal justice system, now competes for New York City
service contracts, which provide paid work experience in entry level jobs.
They may mix work and remedial training, and sometimes match up service
contracts with grants from a public agency to provide soft skills training
and supportive services. Like the original supported work, they are also
trying to identify product niches, such as late night data processing,
mail-order catalogue work, and off-hour construction work, for which their
participants would be suited and in which they might have a competitive
edge. (Contact Jeffrey Jablow, Senior Vice President, 212-219-9700).

Saturation models. Utah's Family Employment Program, begun under the Single
Parent Employment Demonstration, developed individualized, highly focussed
efforts to help families with multiple barriers, adding specialized staff,
increased routine and team review, and facilitating AFDC and JOBS workers
focus on potential longstayers. They hired social workers at each site as a
resource to case managers and offered 24 months of post-placement case
management. At some
sites, specialized workers carried very small caseloads, and used intensive
monitoring and follow-up (they could offer up to six months of counseling
and conduct home visits). One office developed a short life skills program
for cases with mental health problems and no other mental services. The
program, now statewide, finds that when eligibility and employment
functions are combined employment planning is sometimes compromised.
(Contact John Davenport, 801-468-0244).

Oregon has trained case managers to identify problems and make referrals,
hired specialists, including mental health workers for their JOBS program,
and allows wide variation in assessment strategies across the state. Some
offices do urine testing, others use paper assessment tools, others rely on
interpersonal interaction for assessment, and they use SASSI to identify
individuals in denial. In general, they treat substance abuse as in an
employee assistance model only after it becomes a problem. But beginning in
1992 they have required treatment as a condition of eligibility for those
identified as substance abusers. (Contact Shirley Iverson, 503-945-6902).

The Kenosha County (Wisconsin) JOBS Center, a one-stop service center, has
been committed throughout its 7-year operation to placing all new AFDC
applicants in a work situation within eleven weeks. It has reduced the
county caseload dramatically, using integrated service teams for case
management from all the agencies involved=97a major culture change for those
agencies, a simulated work week to enforce adaptation to the demands of
work, and strong "Work First" labor force attachment strategies. (Contact
Larry Jankowski, 414-697-4552).

Michigan=92s Project Zero, a pilot begun in eight counties in 1996, aimed to
identify barriers to employment in those families with no earned income and
develop strategies that would assure every family had some earnings within
sixty days. Counties have used a range of strategies to expand
transportation, child care, mentoring and other services. Though they have
seen marked success in increasing work participation, full participation
has remained largely elusive as new families enter the rolls and the
programs are increasingly having to address problems including literacy,
substance abuse, and domestic violence. (See website www.mfia.state.mi.us).

For More Information=BC

RESOURCE CONTACTS

DHHS/Administration on Children and Families. Contact Mack Storrs,
Director, Division of Self-Sufficiency, 202-401-9289.

DHHS/Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Disability,
Aging and Long-term Care Policy.
http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/daltcp/home/tanf.htm Also, Interagency Work Group
on Welfare Reform and Persons with Disabilities will develop and share
information and technical assistance on TANF-related issues. Contact
William P. Marton, 202-690-6613.

DOL/Employment and Training Administration. Contact John Heinberg, Team
Leader, Welfare-to-Work Technical Assistance Implementation Team,
202-208-7281, ext. 183.

Legal Action Center. Also, National Coalition of State Alcohol and Drug
Treatment and Prevention Associations, for state, community-based
providers. Contact Gwen Rubinstein, 202-544-5478.

Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Contact Amy Brown,
212-532-2300.

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Contact La Donna Pavetti, 202-484-4697.

National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center for information on
learning disabilities and the workplace. Contact Eve Robins 202-884-8177.

National Association of Counties webpage on model programs includes several
initiatives appropriate for the hard-to-place.
http://www.naco.org/research/modprogs/modprogs.htm

National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. Contact
Kathleen Sheehan 293-0090. www.nasadad.org

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Contact
Jenifer Urff. 703-739-9333. Also, their National Technical Assistance
Center for State Mental Health Planning. Contact Bruce D. Emery,
703-739-9333. www.nasmhpd.org/ntac

National Institute for Literacy. Contact Glenn Young, 202-632-1042. Also,
for exemplary programs that are using basic skills instruction as a vehicle
out of long-term welfare dependency, contact Garrett Murphy, 518-459-0738.

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Two papers (forthcoming) in
Practice Series on ways to assist battered women=92s access to welfare and
child support information systems. Contact Ann Menard, Director,
800-537-2238, ext. 140.

National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness
http://www.prainc.com/nrc/natl_orgs.htm

The Urban Institute is beginning a 50-state survey of state plans to treat
disabilities and innovative approaches to serving TANF individuals with
disabilities. Contact Pamela Holcomb or Pamela Loprest, 202-833-7200.

PUBLICATIONS

Acs, Gregory, and Pamela Loprest. The Effect of Disabilities on Exits from
AFDC. Urban Institute. July 1997. 202-833-7200.

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. An Uncertain Future: How the New
Welfare Law Affects Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance and Their
Families. November 1996. 202-467-5730.

Herr, Toby, Suzanne L. Wagner, and Robert Halpern. Making the Shoe Fit:
Creating a Work Preparation System for a Large and Diverse Welfare
Population. Erickson Institute. December 1996. 312-755-2250.

Herr, Toby, Robert Halpern, and Suzanne L. Wagner. Something Old, Something
New: A Case Study of the Post-Employment Services Demonstration in Oregon.
Erickson Institute. November 1995. 312-755-2250.

Legal Action Center. Making Welfare Reform Work: Tools for Confronting
Alcohol and Drug Problems Among Welfare Recipients. September 1997.
202-544-5478.

Lyon, Eleanor. Poverty, Welfare and Battered Women: What Does the Research
Tell Us? National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. 1997. 800-537-2238.

Loprest, Pamela, and Gregory Acs. Profile of Disability Among Families on
AFDC. Urban Institute. November 1995 (revised August 1996). 202-833-7200.

Meyers, Marcia, Anna Lukemeyer, and Timothy Smeeding. Work, Welfare, and
the Burden of Disability: Caring for Special Needs of Children in Poor
Families. Income Security Policy Series Paper No. 12. Center for Policy
Research, Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs. Syracuse
University. 1996.

Nightingale, Demetra Smith, Regina Yudd, Stacey Anderson, and Burt Barnow.
The Learning Disabled in Employment and Training Programs. Urban Institute
Policy Memorandum. March 1991.

Olson, Krista and LaDonna Pavetti. Personal and Family Challenges to the
Successful Transition from Welfare to Work. Urban Institute. May 17, 1996.
http://www.urban.org/welfare/report1.htm

Pavetti, LaDonna. How Much More Can They Work: Setting Realistic
Expectations for Welfare Mothers. Urban Institute. July, 1997.
http://www.urban.org/welfare/howmuch.htm

Pavetti, LaDonna. Welfare Reform Options for Families Facing Personal or
Family Challenges: Questions and Answers. Urban Institute. August 1997.

Pavetti, LaDonna. Against the Odds: Steady Employment Among Low-Skilled
Women. Urban Institute. July 1997. http://www.urban.org/welfare/odds.htm

Pavetti, LaDonna and Gregory Acs. Moving Up, Moving Out or Going Nowhere: A
Study of the Employment Patterns of Young Women and the Implications for
Welfare Mothers. Urban Institute. July, 1997. Executive Summary:
http://www.urban.org/welfare/jobtr.htm

Pavetti, LaDonna, Krista Olson, Nancy Pindus, Marta Pernas, and Julie
Isaacs. Designing Welfare-to-Work Programs for Families Facing Personal or
Family Challenges: Lessons from the Field. Urban Institute. August 1996.
http://www.urban.org/welfare/report2.htm

Pavetti, LaDonna, Krista Olson, Demetra Nightingale, Amy-Ellen Duke, and
Julie Isaacs. Welfare-to-Work Options for Families Facing Personal and
Family Challenges: Rationale and Program Strategies. Urban Institute.
August 1997. http://www.urban.org/welfare/pave1197.html

Raphael, Jody and Richard M. Tolman. Trapped by Poverty-Trapped by Abuse:
New Evidence Documenting the Relationship between Domestic Violence and
Welfare. Taylor Institute and University of Michigan School of Social Work.
April 1997. 773-342-5510.

Young, Nancy, K. and Sidney L. Gardner. Implementing Welfare Reform:
Solutions to the Substance Abuse Problem. Children and Family Futures and
Drug Strategies. 1997. 202-663-6090.

The Welfare Information Network is supported by grants from the Annie E.
Casey Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Edna McConnell
Clark Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Foundation for Child
Development.

The Welfare Information Network has additional information on the
Hard-to-Place and other issues of importance to welfare reform.

Call us to talk to staff directly at 202- 628-5790, or e-mail our staff
with questions.