Family and Social Policy

Impacts of Workforce Services for Young, Low-Income Fathers: Findings from the Texas Bootstrap Project

Researcher(s):Daniel Schroeder, Sarah Looney, Deanna Schexnayder
Date Published:
October 2004
Publisher(s):
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: This was the second of two reports evaluating the Bootstrap Project, a program created as a supplement to the Texas Fragile Families Initiative (TFF). The TFF program helped organizations around the state increase their capacity to serve young, low-income fathers. Bootstrap provided enhanced services to fathers so they could develop the necessary resources to become responsible parents who met the needs of their children.

This impact evaluation addressed four primary research questions regarding the economic effects of necessary Bootstrap services on low-income noncustodial fathers. The research compared the outcomes for Bootstrap participants to those of a carefully selected comparison group of other young, low-income fathers on the Office of the Attorney General of Texas’ child support caseload. The results reported strongly suggested that the Bootstrap program was successful in achieving its goals of improving outcomes for young, low-income noncustodial fathers and the mothers of their children. However, the researchers cautioned that the results should be interpreted cautiously due to various factors needing clarification with further research.

Availability:

Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 

Supporting Responsible Fatherhood in Austin, TX: An Analysis of Current Programs and Opportunities

Researcher(s):Sarah Looney
Date Published:
August 2004
Publisher(s):
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin (professional report)

Abstract: The number of children living in single-parent households in the United States has increased dramatically since the 1960s. Today, most children are expected to spend some part of their childhood in a single-parent household, typically without a father present. Partially as a response to this phenomenon, the last decade experienced a surge in ‘responsible fatherhood’ initiatives designed to increase child support collections, further understanding of the important roles fathers can play, and increase fathers’ participation in the lives of their children. This report analyzes the lessons learned from efforts thus far in order to suggest opportunities to strengthen and expand responsible fatherhood programming in Austin, Texas.

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Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
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Factors Affecting Participation in Programs For Young Low-Income Fathers: Findings from the Texas Bootstrap Project

Researcher(s):Sarah Looney and Deanna T. Schexnayder
Date Published:
April 2004
Publisher(s):
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: This is the first of two reports evaluating the Bootstrap Project, a program created as a supplement to the Texas Fragile Families
Initiative (TFF). The TFF program helped organizations around the state increase their capacity to serve young, low-income fathers. Bootstrap provided enhanced services to fathers so they could develop the necessary resources to become responsible parents who met the needs of their children.

Bootstrap administrators found that recruiting and enrolling fathers to participate in the Bootstrap Program occurred at a slower pace than initially anticipated. As such, RMC researchers were asked to expand the scope of their research to explore this phenomenon. This evaluation addresses the research question: What are the primary factors contributing to the low enrollments in the Bootstrap program? Findings from our impact analysis of Bootstrap will be discussed in a second report, Economic Impacts of Workforce Services for Young, Low-Income Fathers: Findings from the Texas Bootstrap Project, that will be available in the fall of 2004.

Availability:

Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Printed Copies:
Contact:
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The Role of Child Support and Earnings in Texas Welfare and Poverty Dynamics

Researcher(s):Christopher T. King and Daniel Schroeder
Date Published:
September 2003
Publisher(s):
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: Most welfare reform research to date has focused on only one of the parents involved in the welfare system, the custodial parent (CP), typically the mother who is or has been on welfare. The non-custodial parent (NCP), typically the father of the dependents in question, has received both inadequate attention from policymakers and researchers and insufficient assistance from the existing array of programs. Thus, the available research offers ambiguous results on the role of NCP earnings and child support in promoting exits from welfare and poverty and reducing welfare recidivism. The studies focused mainly on pre-reform periods, leaving considerable room for further research. In the current paper, we report on additional research on the role of child support and both custodial and non-custodial parent earnings in Texas welfare and poverty dynamics in the post-reform era.

The main conclusions from our analysis of the role of child support and earnings in welfare and poverty dynamics in Texas, can be viewed as representing a best-case scenario. Our major conclusions stress that the receipt of child support plays a strong and significant role in increasing the probability of exit from and reducing the probability of recidivism to welfare. Finally since workforce participation and child support play such strong positive roles in welfare and poverty dynamics, policymakers may well want to prioritize services to NCPs coupled with effective child support enforcement and payment mechanisms as an effective anti-poverty strategy.

Availability:

Full Report (PDF)
 

Achieving Change for Texans: Evaluation of the Texas Welfare Reform Waiver: Final Summary Report

Researcher(s):Deanna T. Schexnayder
Date Published:
September 2003
Publisher(s):
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: In 1995, the Texas Legislature enacted H. B. 1863, which formed the basis for Texas’ waiver from existing Federal laws governing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The Texas waiver, officially known as the Achieving Change for Texans (ACT) demonstration, aimed to assist participants to achieve independence from welfare through an increased emphasis on employment, training, temporary assistance and support services. It included three primary components: time-limited benefits, a personal responsibility agreement and one-time payments in lieu of welfare payments.

The evaluation of the ACT demonstration consisted of three approaches: a process evaluation, a random-assignment impact analysis, and follow-up interviews with persons who reached their time limits or who elected to receive one-time payments instead of cash welfare assistance. This report summarizes findings from all facets of the evaluation and draws conclusions and policy implications for welfare policy development in the post-waiver time period.

Other reports from this evaluation can be found on the Achieving Change for Texans Demonstration Waiver Evaluation project page.

Availability:

Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Achieving Change for Texans: Evaluation of the Texas Welfare Reform Waiver: Final Summary Report (Powerpoint Presentation in PDF)

Printed Copies:
Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Texas Department of Human Services, (512) 438-3353

 


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