University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Evaluation of the Michigan Family Independence Agency's (FIA) Summer Project

Kristin S. Seefeldt and Sheldon Danziger, Co-Principal Investigators
Dana Hopings, David Levy, and Shelly Ten Napel, Research Assistants

View the full report (as a PDF file)

Researchers at the University of Michigan Poverty and Research Training Center received funding from the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy to conduct a part of the evaluation of the Michigan Family Independence Agency's (FIA) Summer Project.

FIA is the state's welfare agency, and the Summer Project was designed to provide an intensive set of services to families on welfare who were not meeting the work requirement in order to move them into employment. This project was conducted in counties throughout the state of Michigan during the summer of 2000. Two counties, Berrien and Kent, were selected to target their Summer Project programs to families exempt from the work requirement, primarily families in which one or more members receive disability benefits through the Social Security Insurance (SSI) programs. While Abt Associates studied the overall Summer Project, University of Michigan researchers provided analysis of the Summer Project in Berrien and Kent Counties.

Data was collected primarily through interviews with program administrators and a 30-minute telephone survey with a sample of Summer Project participants. Program participants were asked about their level of participation in the Summer Project and their perceptions of the program. They also answered a series of questions about their health, their children's health, housing, transportation options, income and work status. The final report, which will be available here shortly, provides descriptive information on these topics and discusses the anticipated outcomes from the Summer Project and the policy implications of the results.  | 
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