State Agencies – Promise Partners

Wisconsin is one of six sites participating in a 5-year demonstration federal grant PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) from the U.S. Department of Education.  Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) will study the effects of Wisconsin Promise and the other five sites through a federal grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The Purpose

Wisconsin Promise will provide services and supports to youth age 14 to 16 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families to increase youth and family:

  • Education levels
  • Employment
  • Income outcomes

And decrease:

  • Use of public benefits, including SSI payments of both youth and their families

The Participants

This project will recruit and enroll 2,000 youth who receive SSI and their families statewide. Half, or 1,000 youth, will be assigned to a control group (services as usual) and the other 1,000 will be assigned to a treatment group.

The Process

Treatment group participants (both youth and families) will receive case management from 17 Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) case managers. Each youth and family will be offered a variety of individualized and family-specific services that best meet their needs to obtain their individualized employment goal.  Services may include:

  • Career exploration
  • Paid integrated community work experiences
  • Financial capacity building (Work Incentive Benefits Counseling)
  • Financial literacy training
  • Asset development
  • Family training
  • Wrap around community services
  • Learning Communities for youth, families, case managers, and services providers

The state formative evaluation team will track the outputs of the treatment services, which include:

  • Positive working alliance with case manager (use of Motivational Interviewing)
  • Increased work motivation (readiness for work/school; elevate expectations of what is possible)
  • Attendance, academics, and behavior
  • Paid integrated work
  • Social skills (Use of Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum)
  • Self-advocacy knowledge and skills
  • Increased expectations, knowledge and participation in transition process
  • Financial self-efficacy; knowledge; stability
  • Use of work incentives
  • Asset accumulation


Outcome based payments will be paid to parent groups for every youth and family they enroll; job development and placement providers who secure employment for youth or family members; and family asset development accounts for meeting savings goals.

Project Partners

Wisconsin Promise includes interagency collaboration between the lead agency Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the partnering agencies, Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and Department of Children and Families (DCF) in order to (1) meet the enrollment requirement of 2,000 families, and (2) ensure the grant connects youth and families to existing employment, educational, medical, behavioral, and living resources, as well as additional services provided through the grant.

The total funding is $32.5 million over 5 years from October 2013 through September 2018.

More Things to Know Now About Wisconsin Promise

  1. Enrollment is now open! Get enrollment forms and more information.
  2. We have a mailing list. Are you on it? Join our contact list to receive updates, latest developments, and Promise news.
  3. Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
  4. Get an Overview of Wisconsin Promise.
  5. Do you have questions about Promise? You can send us a message.

As the Promise project gets underway, this section of the website will provide information, resources, and opportunities to our partners.

State Agency Collaborators


Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

The University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute will help recruit participants and help them enroll in DVR services. Services will include career exploration, community work experience, financial literacy training, social and soft skills training, and family training on employment expectations.

Getting the Word Out About Promise

Promise is just getting started in Wisconsin. Help us get the word out about this opportunity for Wisconsin youth and families. Below are some materials to share with anyone interested in finding our more about this project.

Materials to Share

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