Promoting Readiness of Minors in SSI (PROMISE) Evaluation Design Report
Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE)—is a multi-agency federal initiative to fund and evaluate programs to promote positive changes in the outcomes of youth with disabilities ages 14 through 16 who receive Supplemental Security Income, and their families. In September 2013, Mathematica Policy Research was awarded a contract to conduct a nine-year national evaluation of PROMISE. This evaluation design report describes the evaluation approach, which is grounded in an understanding of the existing literature about the circumstances of SSI youth and their families and the conceptual framework of the PROMISE initiative. It is hypothesized that PROMISE will lead to improvements in short- and long-term outcomes encompassing both service-delivery outcomes (assessment of youth and family needs and greater coordination and use of services), and youth and parent outcomes (expectations, self-determination, education, employment, public assistance, and income). To test these hypotheses, approximately 2,000 youth in each of the six PROMISE programs will be randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Youth in the treatment group will be eligible for enhanced services from PROMISE. Youth in the control group will be eligible only for those services already available in their communities. The evaluation will answer the key questions of policymakers regarding the ability of PROMISE to transform the lives of SSI youth and their families.