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The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration: Implementation and early impacts of the next generation of subsidized employment programs (Redcross et al., 2016)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated

Review Guidelines

Absence of conflict of interest.


Redcross, C., Barden, B., Bloom, D., Tso, A., & Fink, B. (2016). The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration: Implementation and early impacts of the next generation of subsidized employment programs. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


  • The study examined the implementation of the TransitionsSF program, a transitional jobs program for noncustodial parents in San Francisco, CA.
  • The study authors conducted an implementation evaluation using qualitative and quantitative data collected from site staff and program participants.
  • The study found the program faced operational challenges with participants successfully completing pre-employment activities and their placement in subsidized jobs.
  • The study authors do not detail the data collection methods and analyses used in the study.
  • The companion impact study was reviewed by CLEAR in June 2022.

Intervention Examined

TransitionsSF Program

Features of the Intervention

  • Type of organization: Government organization; non-profit
  • Location/setting: San Francisco, CA
  • Population served and scale: Adults, Unemployed, Parents; 501 participants
  • Industry focus: Not included
  • Intervention activities: Transitional employment, case management, training services
  • Organizational partnerships: Employers
  • Cost: Not included
  • Fidelity: Not included

The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected seven organizations to operate transitional job programs for low-income noncustodial parents or formerly incarcerated individuals. The program in San Francisco, CA was operated by Goodwill Industries with San Francisco Department of Child Support Services and was referred to as TransistionsSF. Building off the basic transitional jobs model, TransitionsSF included three stages: pre-transitional job, transitional job, and follow-up. Preparing participants for employment was the focus of the pre-transitional job period during which participants began with assessments followed by two weeks of job-readiness training. Next, depending on their job readiness, participants were placed in a five-month transitional job with a nonprofit, private-sector employer, a public sector entity; or a for-profit, private-sector organization. The assignments were based on work experience, education level, and performance in the pre-transitional job period. During the transitional job stage, staff conducted job searches with participants so that they could successfully transition into unsubsidized employment. The follow-up stage began after the transitional jobs ended. During this year-long period, staff continued the job-search process for participants that had not obtained jobs. For those participants that had obtained jobs, staff worked with them on job retention and advancement. During these three stages participants also received financial incentives and child support assistance. Participants had to meet the following eligibility criteria to be enrolled in the TransitionsSF program: resident of San Francisco, unemployed or underemployed, noncustodial parent between the ages of 18 and 60, and at least one of several child support-based criteria. These included: at least 121 days behind in child support payments; zero/reserved orders because of low incomes or no income; required to have orders established within 30 days; or in the past 120 days had payments of less than $100 (aside from income withholding).

Features of the Study

Eligible study participants for the TransitionsSF program were identified through the database from the San Franciso Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). DCSS conducted outreach to a selected sample of them each month to reach the program goal of enrolling monthly cohorts of 22 to 26 participants. The implementation study collected qualitative data from multiple site visits which included semi-structured interviews with program administrators and program staff and from focus groups with program participants and review of program materials. The implementation study also used quantitative program data from a management information system to track program participation and services provided. The authors also had program staff and participants complete program questionnaires. No information was provided on analysis methods used for qualitative and quantitative data collected.


  • The study found the program provided child support incentives to participants including release of suspended licenses and modifications of the child support orders.
  • The study found participants were assigned to different tiers for work assignments (nonprofit, private sector, public sector) but the process used to determine the assignments was not clear. Participants may have ended up in job assignments different from the tiers they were assigned to.
  • The study found that 44% of the program participants participated in a subsidized job.
  • The study found that program staff conducted intensive outreach but had difficulty meeting recruitment targets due to a limited number of eligible participants and difficulty getting eligible participants to attend the program orientation.
  • The study found the program suffered from high attrition during the early stages of the program. The program also had difficulty placing participants in unsubsidized employment due to ongoing barriers among the participants and lack of open positions.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The data collection methods and analysis are not fully discussed. There was no information on how personal data were kept confidential during data analysis. The study authors do not describe the observations made during study visits.

Additional Sources

Barden, B., Juras, R., Redcross, C., Farrell, M., & Bloom, D. (2018). New Perspectives on Creating Jobs: Final Impacts of the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs. Washington, D.C: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Reviewed by CLEAR

August 2023

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