Building Better Programs

Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management

Welfare program case management is usually organized in one of two ways. Under traditional case management, welfare recipients interact with two separate workers: one who deals with welfare eligibility and payment issues, often called income maintenance, and one who deals with employment and training issues. Under integrated case management, welfare recipients work with only one staff member who handles both the income maintenance and employment and training aspects of their case. This report presents the results of a random assignment study designed to evaluate the two case management approaches, and thus it addresses some longstanding issues in the management of welfare programs. Additionally,  this report provides information on how the integrated and traditional programs were implemented, how they affected participation in employment-related activities, and the costs of providing employment-related services in the two programs. It also discusses program effects, measured three years after sample members’ entry into the study, on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt.

MDRC – Evaluating Two Approaches to Case Management: Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program