The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4314.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 8:30 PM

Abstract #34980

Barriers to work and employment outcomes among substance abusing women on welfare: Findings from the CASAWORKS for families program

Marjorie A. Gutman, PhD1, James McKay, PhD2, Robert D. Ketterlinus, PhD1, A.T. McLellan, PhD1, and Mary Randall, PhD1. (1) Treatment Research Institute, Public Ledger Building, Suite 600, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106, (215) 399-0980,, (2) Treatment Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, 234 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19108

States face a special challenge moving women with substance abuse problems from welfare to work under the requirements of the 1996 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF). In prior work, Danziger and colleagues found that a simple, summary index of fifteen potential barriers to employment faced by these women was an excellent predictor of employment status among welfare recipients. This study used the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and Treatment Services Review (TSR) to construct a similar "work barriers index" modeled after the Danziger work and examined its predictive utility among 342 substance abusing women on TANF in 11 locales around the nation. A repeated measures design with no formal control group was employed during the initial developmental phase. Findings indicated that almost all 15 barriers were quite prevalent among the CWF sample at admission, particularly lack of transportation (85%), low work experience (78%), major depressive symptoms (70%), and legal problems (74%). Further, all substance aubsing women on TANF were experiencing multiple potential barriers to work at admission, the average number being 7. Few single barriers predicted employment, but replicating the earlier findings of Danziger, there was a significant relationship between number of barriers experienced at both baseline and 6 months and the likelihood of employment at 12 months. The conceptual framework of potential barriers to work appears to be promising based on these findings but analyses eventually (in a second phase) with a control group will provide a clearer picture of the utility of this approach.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Welfare

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Substance Abusing Welfare Recipients

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA