Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Wickizer, T. M., Campbell, K., Krupski, A., & Stark, K. (2000). Employment outcomes among AFDC recipients treated for substance abuse in Washington State. Milbank Quarterly, 78 (4), 585-608.
Title:  Employment outcomes among AFDC recipients treated for substance abuse in Washington State
Authors:  Wickizer, T. M., Campbell, K., Krupski, A., & Stark, K.
Year:  2000
Journal/Publication:  Milbank Quarterly
Publisher:  The Milbank Memorial Fund
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Quasi-experimental

Structured abstract:

Background:  The scope of substance abuse problems within the welfare population is unclear. The prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse appears to vary among welfare populations. Studies are inconsistent in regards to the impact substance abuse treatment has on employment outcomes.
Purpose:  The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of substance abuse treatment on employment outcomes among AFDC recipients admitted to treatment in Washington State during a two-year period beginning July 1994.
Setting:  The setting included state supported substance treatment facilities.
Study sample:  The study sample was made up of 5,038 AFDC clients.
Intervention:  The intervention was treatment for substance abuse.
Control or comparison condition:  The comparison was no treatment for substance abuse.
Data collection and analysis:  Three state computer databases provided data for analysis. The client treatment database provided information on client characteristics and treatment activities. Computer records from the Employment Security Department provided employment data and earning information. The Economic Services Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services provided welfare payment data.
Findings:  The study showed that substance abuse treatment was associated with increased employment and earnings. Relative to the comparison groups, AFDC clients in the treatment groups were more likely to become employed following treatment.
Conclusions:  Treatment appeared to enhance employment and earnings among AFDC clients, the level of earnings achieved remained modest with 42% of clients having no earned income in the two-year follow up period and an additional 14% having less than $1000 of earned income. This may indicate that the goals of employment and self-sufficiency underpinning TANF may be achievable for only a small minority of welfare recipients with addiction and substance abuse problems, unless ancillary vocational services are provided along with treatment.

Disabilities served:  Alcohol and drug abuse
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Interventions:  Other
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition