Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program on education, employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt outcomes. This profile focuses on the Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment (ASPIRE) program. The authors investigated similar research questions for other sites, the profiles of which can be found below:
- The study was a randomized controlled trial at the six-state consortium. Using participant surveys and administrative data, the authors conducted statistical models to compare the outcomes of the treatment and control group members.
- The study found that ASPIRE participants were significantly more likely to receive job-related training, obtain job-related training credentials, and have paid employment compared to control group participants.
- This study receives a high causal evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to ASPIRE, and not to other factors.
Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment (ASPIRE)
Features of the Intervention
The Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) was a program jointly created by the U.S. Department of Education, Social Security Administration (SSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor to provide supports and services to youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in their transition to adulthood.
The Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment (ASPIRE) is one of six programs that make up PROMISE. ASPIRE is a consortium of six states that delivered services in urban, rural, frontier, and Native American communities beginning in October 2014. Each state included in the ASPIRE consortium had a lead agency to implement ASPIRE services and each ASPIRE site had its own site coordinator to manage program service delivery. The cornerstone of ASPIRE was to provide intensive case management to youth and families. Case managers met with youth and families to connect them to career exploration services, work-based learning, educational services, benefits counseling, financial education, training and information on advocacy and community resources to help parents support their childes educational and employment outcomes, and self determination to help youth understand their strengths. ASPIRE served youth between the ages of 14 and 16 who had a disability and received SSI benefits.
Features of the Study
The study was a randomized controlled trial that assigned 1,953 youth into a treatment or control group. The treatment group received ASPIRE services while the control group received services that were available through their community. ASPIRE was allowed to nonrandomly assign five youth to the treatment group; however, their data were not included in the analysis. Additionally, siblings of youth who were already enrolled in ASPIRE were assigned to the same group as their siblings and were withheld from the study analysis. The analytic sample consisted of 784 youth in the treatment group and 776 youth in the control group. The sample was primarily male (67.4%) with an average age of 15.4 years. Most of the sample were Hispanic (35.1%) and had an intellectual developmental disability (44.7%). Primary data sources included an 18-month follow-up survey that was provided to youth and their caregivers, SSA administrative records, state Medicaid agency records, and state vocational rehabilitation records. Study authors used statistical models to compare the outcomes of the treatment group and control group members.
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Education and skills gains
- The study found that significantly more ASPIRE participants than control participants received job-related training (20.9% vs. 14%).
- The study also found that significantly more ASPIRE participants than control participants received job-related credentials (3.3% vs. 1.4%).
- The study did not find significant differences between the groups in school enrollment or obtaining a GED, high school diploma, or certificate of completion during the study period.
- The study found that significantly more ASPIRE participants than control participants had paid employment during the study period (23.1% vs. 18.3%).
- The study did not find a significant difference between the groups in weekly hours worked in paid jobs.
Earnings and wages
- The study did not find a significant difference between the groups in earnings during the study period.
Public benefits receipt
- The study did not find significant differences between the groups in total income (earnings and SSA payments) or total SSA payments.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The study authors report 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 ASPIRE, and not to other factors.