This impact analysis report describes the design of the Evaluation of Employment Coaching for TANF and Related Populations study. The study is being conducted to identify employment coaching interventions’ types and to learn how coaching might affect Temporary Assistance for Needy Families participants’ economic security. 

The study will accomplish three key purposes:

  1. Describe the program design and operations of each employment coaching intervention and the conditions necessary for replication;
  2. Help interpret the impact analysis results; and
  3. Identify lessons learned for the purposes of program refinement and replication.

The evaluation uses an experimental research design to examine the effectiveness and implementation of coaching interventions that aim to help low-income individuals succeed in the labor market. It provides the information necessary to allow other organizations to replicate and enhance employment coaching interventions.

The main research questions the evaluation seeks to address are:

  • Do employment coaching interventions improve the outcomes of low-income people?
  • Do the employment coaching interventions affect participants’ intermediate outcomes related to goal pursuit and other skills associated with labor market success?
  • Do employment coaching interventions affect participants’ employment and economic security outcomes?
  • How do the impacts of the coaching-focused interventions change over time?
  • Are employment coaching interventions more effective for some groups of participants than others?
  • How were the employment coaching interventions implemented?
  • What is the intervention design?
  • What factors appear to have impeded or facilitated the implementation of the program that was designed?
  • What were the clients’ experiences with coaching, what services did they receive, and what types of coaching and other services did control group members receive?

Major Findings & Recommendations

The evaluation began in September 2016 and will be conducted over approximately five years. The first year will be devoted to selecting and recruiting programs for the evaluation and to preparing for the launch of random assignments in 2018. Site visits, staff surveys, and coaching observations will begin in early 2019. Intermediate and longer-term follow-up surveys will be conducted on a rolling basis determined by client enrollment. Findings from the study will be provided in a series of the reports through late 2021.

  • Early 2019—Program profiles describing the programs participating in the evaluation.
  • Late 2019—Cross-site implementation report summarizing findings from data collected from the implementation study.
  • Late 2020—Follow-up report focusing on impacts on intermediate outcomes and the implementation context.
  • Late 2021—Comprehensive final report focusing on the impacts on longer-term outcomes, like employment and educational attainment.
  • Ongoing basis—Special topics reports throughout the evaluation period.