Countywide Evaluation of the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency Plan

Assessing the Utility of the LTFSS Plan Service Delivery and Planning Framework

by Lois M. Davis, Jacob Alex Klerman, Elaine Reardon, Sarah Remes, Paul S. Steinberg

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency (LTFSS) Plan in November, 1999. The LTFSS Plan consists of 46 projects whose goal is to promote self-sufficiency among families that are participating in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act of 1997 (CalWORKs) program, former CalWORKs families, and other low-income families. The LTFSS Plan was explicitly guided by a results-based decisionmaking framework developed by Mark Friedman. RAND researchers interviewed 65 key informants in the county and analyzed a wide range of written materials to assess the use and utility of the framework. They found that the collaborative emphasis of the framework implies that it requires considerable time for planning purposes, and that it was a useful planning tool that opened up the process to more parties than has been true of previous county efforts. They also found that it lacks strong links from planning into the implementation phase, which can be important in large counties where the planners are not the same people running the programs. Finally, they found that that the framework's evaluation component was difficult to use and methodologically problematic.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1

    Introduction

  • Chapter 2

    Overview of the RBDM Framework and the LTFSS Plan Process

  • Chapter 3

    Findings About the Utility of the RBDM Framework in the Planning Process

  • Chapter 4

    Findings About the Effects of the LTFSS Plan on the Implementation Process

  • Chapter 5

    Findings About the Utility of the RBDM Framework in the Evaluation Process

  • Chapter 6

    Lessons Learned and Future Directions

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Labor & Population Program.

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