Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study's objective was to examine the impact of the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt in seven sites. This profile focuses on the outcomes of the Parent Success Initiative in Syracuse, New York. The authors investigated similar research questions for other sites, the profiles of which can be found here.
- The study was a randomized controlled trial of a transitional job program in Syracuse, NY that assigned noncustodial parents to the transitional job group or control group. Using surveys and administrative records, the authors conducted statistical models to compare the outcomes of the transitional job and control group participants 30 months after the participants entered the study.
- The study found that transitional job program participants had significantly higher earnings and were significantly less likely to receive food stamps compared to participants in the control group.
- This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the Parent Success Initiative, and not to other factors.
Parent Success Initiative
Features of the Intervention
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. Each Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program was structured differently but they all included enhancements aimed at improving outcomes compared to traditional transitional job programs. The enhancements included structural changes to how job placements occurred, enhanced support or assistance, and child support incentives.
The Parents Success Initiative program in Syracuse, NY was operated by the Center for Community Alternatives. The program served noncustodial parents who owed child support but were unemployed and not able to pay. Participants completed a two-week job-readiness course and were then placed in employment at the local public housing authority, business improvement district or a nonprofit organization. Participants also received wraparound services including job-retention services, case management, and legal aid through the program.
Features of the Study
The study used a randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of Parents Success Initiative. Of the 1,004 participants who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013, 506 were randomly assigned to Parents Success Initiative (treatment group) and 498 were assigned to the control group. Participants in the control group were given information about other services available in their communities. The majority of the study sample was male (94 percent), Black (78 percent), and had an average age of 35 years. The study team examined the effects of the program on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt outcomes 30 months after the participants entered the study. Data sources included a self-reported participant survey, the National Directory of New Hires, and administrative records. The authors used statistical models to compare the outcomes of treatment and control group participants.
Earnings and wages
- The study found that treatment participants earned significantly more during the 30-month follow-up period than participants in the control group ($11,691 vs. $9,694, respectively).
- However, the study did not find a significant difference between the groups in total earnings in the last year of the follow-up period.
- The study did not find any significant differences in employment between the treatment and control participants during the 30-month follow-up period.
Public benefits receipt
- The study found that treatment participants were significantly less likely to report receiving food stamps in the past month compared to control participants (47 percent vs. 56 percent).
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The study authors noted that the programs’ impacts may be understated since participants in the control group received other transitional employment services during the study. Also, the study reports a less stringent statistical significance level, considering p-values of less than 0.10 to be significant, though it is standard practice to consider statistical significance if the p-value is less than 0.05. Only results that demonstrate a p-value of less than 0.05 are considered statistically significant in this profile.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Parent Success Initiative, and not to other factors.