Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families (BEES): The Journey

Last registered on February 24, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families (BEES): The Journey
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007589
Initial registration date
April 21, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 22, 2021, 6:22 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
February 24, 2022, 2:16 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
Withdrawn
Start date
2021-04-01
End date
2021-12-15
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
MDRC, in partnership with MEF Associates and Abt Associates, is conducting an evaluation of The Journey, as part of broader study called Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES). BEES is funded by Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Journey, originally a pilot program run by the Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency (FCCSEA) in Ohio, provides a package of employment supports, structured parenting classes, and individualized case management to noncustodial parents with new child support cases. The goal of The Journey is to achieve a better and more productive start of the relationship with noncustodial parents, to increase their rates of employment, improve their engagement with children, and improve their adherence to child support orders through early intervention. Under a BEES evaluation, both FCCSEA and the Stark County Child Support Enforcement Division (SCCSED) will implement The Journey, and the BEES evaluation will test an enhanced version of Franklin County’s pilot services in both Franklin and Stark counties. Individuals eligible for and interested in receiving The Journey services are assigned at random to a treatment group, who will be offered the full Journey services, including employment services combined with parenting services, enhanced child support and other services, or to a control group, who would receive “business as usual” services with the child support agency and have access to other services in the community. The goal is to enroll 1,400 people in the study across the two counties (1,020 in Franklin County and 380 in Stark County). In each county, sample members will have an equal chance (50%) of being randomly assigned to the program or the control group. The main outcomes to be measured are total earnings during the 12-month follow-up period, and number of quarters employed during the 12-month follow-up period.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Martinson, Karin and Charles Michalopoulos. 2022. "Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families (BEES): The Journey ." AEA RCT Registry. February 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7589
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
There is only one treatment group in this study. Individuals eligible for and interested in receiving The Journey services are assigned at random to a treatment group, who are offered employment services combined with parenting services, enhanced child support and other services, or to a control group, who would receive “business as usual” services with the child support agency and have access to other services in the community.
Intervention Start Date
2021-04-01
Intervention End Date
2021-12-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The confirmatory outcomes are total earnings during the 12-month follow-up period, and number of quarters employed during the 12-month follow-up period.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Employment outcomes will be constructed using administrative records from the National Directory of New Hires.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Exploratory outcome variables include quarterly employment rates, quarterly earnings, total child support payments during the 12-month follow-up period, child support debt balance at the end of the 12-month follow-up period, proportion of child support obligation paid during the 12-month follow-up period, applied for or receiving SSI/SSDI during the 12-month follow-up period, child support enforcement during the 12-month follow-up period, non-custodial parent relationship with the child support agency at the 6-month point, and non-custodial parent relationship with child at the 6-month point.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Employment outcomes will be constructed using administrative records from the National Directory of New Hires. Outcomes related to child support payments, obligation due, debt, and enforcement will be constructed using data from county child support administrative records. For enforcement, the following actions will be measured separately and also, combined to measure if any enforcement action was taken: contempt referral, driver's license suspension, professional license suspension, financial institution data match, tax offset, and credit reporting. The SSI/SSDI outcome will be constructed using administration data from the Social Security Administration. The non-custodial parent relationship with the child support agency will be constructed on a scale of 1 to 4 from a set of items from a 6-month follow-up survey asking about the last conversation the participant had with their child support caseworker on a 4-point agreement scale: "strongly disagree," "disagree,", "agree," and "strongly agree." The non-custodial parent relationship with child will be measured from an item from the 6-month follow-up survey using a 5-point scale: "Excellent, "Very Good", "Good", "Fair", and "Poor".

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study includes one treatment group and one control group. The treatment group is offered employment services combined with parenting services, enhanced child support and other services. The control group receive “business as usual” services with the child support agency and have access to other services in the community.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is done by a web-based MDRC system and is accessed electronically by The Journey program staff.
Randomization Unit
Individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,400 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,400 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Individuals will have a 50 percent chance of being randomly assigned to the treatment group and a 50 percent chance of being randomly assigned to the control group resulting in approximately 700 in each group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Expressed as an effect size, the study would be positioned to detect an impact of 0.14 standard deviations. For earnings in the 12-month follow-up period, the study would be positioned to detect an increase of $945 (21.0% of the control group average). For number of quarters employed in the 12-month follow-up period, the study would be positioned to detect an increase of 0.21 quarters (14.7% of the control group average).
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
MDRC
IRB Approval Date
2020-09-17
IRB Approval Number
1653752

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials