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

8.
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STEPS

INTRODUCTION

As of January 2002, almost three years after the initiation of the planning process and two years after the approval of the LTFSS Plan, about half the projects have begun to serve clients. This schedule is slower than had been expected, but in retrospect, implementation has proceeded about as fast as should have been expected. The LTFSS Plan is designed to achieve its desired result—long-term self-sufficiency for low-income families—by implementing projects developed around the RBDM Framework. The new model includes increased community involvement in planning, flowing funds across departments, and service integration. It is not surprising, then, that project rollout under this new, more complicated model is not complete. The history of the LTFSS Plan to date suggests promise. The County has shown that it can plan and implement according to this new model—”planning for results” as conceptualized by the RBDM Framework. As experience accumulates, refined procedures and processes should allow for improved Plan performance.

Thus, this is an appropriate time for the NDTF to consider what progress the Plan has made toward achieving its goal. Moreover, the County's financial picture has changed, bringing with it a reassessment of its spending, including for the LTFSS Plan. The Plan was conceived and executed at a time when there was considerable funding for the effort. A combination of federal funding through block grants with a State Maintenance of Effort requirement and rapid caseload decline resulted in generous funding for State and County welfare operations. The CalWORKs legislation also provided that all the savings resulting from any decline in aid payments were to be returned to the counties in the form of “Performance Incentive Payments. ” The robust economy and the rapidly dropping caseload led to the accumulation of such PIF monies well in excess of any initial expectation. By early 1999, the County had “earned” about $400 million in PIF monies (later raised to about $460 million). By January 2002, however, the State's and County's financial situations had changed because of the economic recession and declining business investment, especially in technology.

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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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