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FYI: An Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) study says faith-based social service programs perform poorly compared to secular programs. As part of a three-year evaluation of “charitable choice” programs growing out of the 1996 welfare overhaul, IUPUI researchers compared 27 job training programs in two Indiana urban areas—Gary, Indiana and the greater Indianapolis metro area–looking at a total 2,830 participants. They found no difference in job placement rates or starting wages between faith-based and secular programs, but discovered that graduates of the faith-based programs work fewer hours on average and were less likely to get health insurance. The researchers cautioned about drawing too broad conclusions from the relatively small study. [5/30/03]

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