The national Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project tested the effectiveness of over a dozen innovative programs in eight states that were intended to promote steady work and earnings growth among current and former welfare recipients — that is, recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — and other low-wage workers. The programs offered services primarily to single parents, but nine programs also offered services to adult members of two-parent families.
This report describes the background characteristics, employment and earnings patterns, and patterns of TANF and food stamp receipt for adult members of two-parent families in the ERA sample. Not much is known about the low-income two-parent population’s need for employment retention and advancement services or about their responses to offered services. This population has particular policy relevance in that two-parent TANF cases include more family members and receive higher average monthly grants than do single-parent recipients. These families therefore require higher income (from employment of one or both parents) to achieve self-sufficiency. (author abstract)