Employment Coaching Evaluation for TANF
- Coaches generally provided collaborative coaching, developing trusting relationships with participants.
- Interventions varied in coaching model, program length, incentives, and participants.
- Coaching models aimed to help participants develop self-regulation skills.
Coaching-based interventions have shown promise in a range of settings to help people identify and develop self-regulation skills needed to set and make progress toward goals. Building on a growing body of evidence, the Administration for Children and Families funded an evaluation to learn how one-on-one coaching might help low-income adults overcome barriers to employment and self-sufficiency. The study includes four employment coaching interventions (FaDSS, Goal4 It!, LIFT, and MyGoals) for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families populations and other low-income individuals. Abt led the implementation study component in partnership with Mathematica. We produced four project-specific reports and one cross-site report.
The implementation study draws on a variety of data sources:
- A baseline survey of study participants administered before study enrollment
- A survey of program managers and staff
- In-person discussions with program management and staff
- Observations of coaching sessions
- Video recordings of coaching sessions
- In-depth, in-person interviews with coaching participants
- Service receipt data as reported by program staff
- Reviews of documents, such as policy and procedure manuals, training manuals, curricula, participant enrollment forms, and assessment forms.
Two implementation reports are available:
LIFT: Implementation Findings from the Evaluation of Employment Coaching. This report found that:
- Using unpaid graduate student interns as coaches is cost-effective but undermines continuity of the coaching relationship
- Starting coaching right after intake ensures program participants receive at least one coaching session; participation decreases over time.
Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS): Implementation Findings from the Evaluation of Employment Coaching: This report found that:
- Home visiting is key to fostering relationships but challenging
- Family-focused coaching helps families set and achieve goals
- Small caseloads enable frequent participant contact
Forthcoming are reports on the MyGoals and Goal4It! interventions, a cross-site summary, and an impact study Mathematica is leading. Addtional reports will present short-term and longer-term findings on employment and earnings.