MDRC, in partnership with Abt Associates and MEF Associates, is conducting an evaluation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment services among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and SNAP Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs). The evaluation is part of a broader study called Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES). BEES is funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Three sites in Washington State have been selected for this study: Compass Career Solutions, serving Spokane County, CORE Health, serving Cowlitz County and Lewis County, and Sunrise Services, serving Snohomish County.
Broadly, IPS is an evidence-based model for delivering employment services originally developed for people with serious mental illness and implemented in community mental health settings. This study is an opportunity to build upon the strong evidence base about IPS services to explore its effectiveness for TANF recipients and SNAP ABAWDs.
The evaluation is using a randomized controlled trial to understand how access to IPS affects outcomes related to employment and earnings. Individuals who receive TANF or are SNAP ABAWDs, who are eligible for and interested in receiving employment services, are assigned at random to a treatment group, who is offered IPS services, or to a control group, who are referred to other services in the community. The goal is to enroll at least 720 individuals in the study. Outcomes will be measured over a 12-month follow-up period. The main outcomes to be measured are number of quarters employed during the follow-up period, total earnings during the follow-up period, and employment in the last quarter of follow-up.