Experimental evidence of a work support strategy that is effective for at-risk families: The building Nebraska families program

Alicia Meckstroth, Quinn Moore, Andrew Burwick, Colleen Heflin, Michael Ponza, Jonathan McCay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the effects of an intensive life skills education and home visiting program, Building Nebraska Families (BNF), on the employment, earnings, and personal and family well-being of work-mandatory cash welfare recipients. Based on a randomized controlled trial, the analysis used survey and administrative data for more than 600 hard-to-employ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients across 11 sites in Nebraska. Statistically significant, robust effects were observed on the employment, earnings, and various measures of personal and family well-being for a subgroup of more disadvantaged, very hard-to-employ TANF recipients. The magnitude of the effects grew over time and was most pronounced during the last 6 months of the 30-month follow-up period. Overall, the findings suggest that BNF’s approach, with its focus on developing life skills and improving personal and family functioning, can be an effective strategy for improving the employability and self-sufficiency of the most at-risk TANF recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-428
Number of pages40
JournalSocial Service Review
Volume93
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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