Countywide Evaluation of the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency Plan: Countywide Evaluation Report

By Elaine Reardon; Robert F. Schoeni et al. | Go to book overview

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act of 1997 (CalWORKs) provided Los Angeles County (hereafter, the County) with a large stream of funds. The County Board of Supervisors (hereafter, the Board) instructed the County's New Directions Task Force (NDTF) to develop a LongTerm Family Self-Sufficiency (LTFSS) Plan for CalWORKs recipients and the broader low-income population, with the purpose of selecting projects that would improve the capacity of families to become self-sufficient. Each of the projects was to: (1) have an adequate evaluation design to track achievement of measurable outcomes; (2) not duplicate existing services; (3) be culturally and linguistically sensitive; (4) not supplant existing funding; and (5) address a clearly documented need. To identify those projects and more broadly to guide the LTFSS effort, the NDTF adopted Mark Friedman's Results-Based Decision Making (RBDM) Framework (hereafter, the RBDM Framework). The NDTF effort resulted in the 46 projects known collectively as the LTFSS Plan that was approved by the Board on November 16, 1999.

The Chief Administrative Office (CAO) is the lead agency responsible for implementing the evaluation of the LTFSS Plan. The evaluation is taking place on two levels: the Countywide level and the individual projects level. The contract to evaluate outcomes at the county level was awarded to RAND by the Board after an open and competitive bidding process. In brief, this evaluation is not on the individual progress of 46 projects, but on the progress the County has made in achieving its goal of long-term family self-sufficiency. The contract stipulated that one deliverable would be an annual Countywide Evaluation Report. This document, which is the first of three such reports, draws from three previous RAND reports produced under the contract.


RESULTS AND OUTCOMES

The LTFSS Plan includes 46 projects working toward a single result: sustained self-sufficiency for CalWORKs families, former CalWORKs families, and other low-income families in Los Angeles County. In pursuit of this result,

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Countywide Evaluation of the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency Plan: Countywide Evaluation Report
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables ix
  • Figures xi
  • Executive Summary xiii
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Acronyms xxvii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - What's at Stake 5
  • 3 - Result and Outcomes 11
  • 4 - Baseline Data and the Story Behind the Baselines 15
  • 5 - The Projects and Their Partners 39
  • 6 - Assessment of the Ltfss Plan Framework 55
  • 7 - Assessment of the Evaluation Framework 91
  • 8 - Quality Improvement Steps 105
  • Appendix A - Data Sources 109
  • References 139
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