Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study's objective was to examine the impact of the Wisconsin PROMISE program on readiness for employment among youth with disabilities.
- The study used an interrupted time series design to evaluate readiness to work among youth with disabilities before and after their participation in the Wisconsin PROMISE program. The authors used statistical tests to compare the outcomes of participants before and after they participated in the program.
- The study found positive significant relationships between the Wisconsin PROMISE program and the readiness to work among disabled youth and their family members.
- This study receives low evidence rating. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the Wisconsin PROMISE program; other factors are likely to have contributed.
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.
Wisconsin PROMISE was one of six federal research grants aimed to increase the education, employment, and financial self-sufficiency outcomes of transition age youth receiving Social Security Insurance (SSI). In Wisconsin PROMISE, counselors delivered case management to help youth and families navigate their attitudes towards work. Case managers supported and identified motivations to empower youth and families towards embracing employment prospects using their training in motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care. Services included educational, employment, and financial self-sufficiency services such as self-advocacy training, social skills training, paid work experiences, work incentive benefits counseling, and financial coaching.
Features of the Study
The study used an interrupted time series design to evaluate readiness to work among youth with disabilities before and after their participation in the Wisconsin PROMISE program. Study participants included individuals who participated in a larger randomized controlled trial conducted on the Wisconsin PROMISE program. The study authors administered surveys only to participants in the treatment group as well as their family members and counselors. Of those Wisconsin PROMISE group participants, authors of this study only included treatment participants who completed both the baseline and follow-up survey. Participants in the analytic sample consisted of 126 youth participants, 188 family members, and 411 counselors. The majority of the youth were male (60%), the largest proportions were White (53%) and Black (34%), over half were 18 or 19 years old (51%), and had a cognitive (49%) or psychosocial impairment (30%). The authors used statistical tests to compare the outcomes of participants before and after their participation in the Wisconsin PROMISE program.
- The study found a significant relationship between the Wisconsin PROMISE program and improved readiness to work for youth participants.
- The study also found a significant relationship between the Wisconsin PROMISE program improved perceptions of family members and program counselors about youth participants' readiness to work.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The authors compared the outcomes of participants measured before and after they participated in the Wisconsin PROMISE. For these types of designs, the authors must observe outcomes for multiple periods before the intervention to rule out the possibility that participants had increasing or decreasing trends in the outcomes examined before enrollment in the program. That is, if participants who had increasing readiness for employment tended to enroll in the program, we would anticipate further increases over time, even if they did not participate in the program. Without knowing the trends before program enrollment, we cannot rule this out. Therefore, the study is not eligible for a moderate or high causal evidence rating.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not account for trends in outcomes before the intervention. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Wisconsin PROMISE; other factors are likely to have contributed.