Missing the Mark: A Report on NYC’s Back to Work Program & Its Effectiveness In Meeting Employment Goals for Welfare Recipients

This report, released in November 2008 as a follow-up study to The Revolving Door (2005), explores HRA’s Back to Work (BTW) Program, focusing on how it compares to the Employment Services and Placement (ESP) Program and what impact the program changes have and on clients and vendors. The BTW Program was designed to serve both applicants and recipients of public assistance – providing assessment, case management, and job development services. Contracts for the BTW Program were signed in July 2005 and NYC allocated $159.6 million over three years to implement the BTW Program and serve approximately 12,800 individuals per month. The research draws from short conversations with 954 BTW participants at sites across the city, 50 focus group participants, 152 phone survey respondents, in-depth interviews with 10 organizations that serves as BTW contractors or subcontractors, and HRA contracts, policy manuals, training materials, site visit summaries, and Vendor Stat Reports.