Adapting Client-Centered Approaches to a Virtual Environment Virtual Meetings, February and March 2021

In February and March of 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA), held a series of three virtual meetings with state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies and stakeholders. The series, Navigating New Pathways towards Building Thriving Communities, invited state TANF administrators and other staff to participate in cohorts by ACF Region (Regions I-IV, V-VIII, and IX and X). Each meeting focused on a specific topic related to supporting families through COVID-19 and beyond, and each took place three times (once for each cohort).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many TANF programs rapidly adapted their program delivery to ensure the continuity of client supportive services. In many instances, the necessity to pivot from “normal” day-to-day operations led to programmatic changes with great potential for improving client outcomes. The Adapting Client-Centered Approaches to a Virtual Environment meetings explored a broad range of topics, including creating a safe environment for coaching customers, rolling out new technical systems and platforms, addressing the need for broadband access, and using trauma-informed scripts with customers in the midst of the pandemic. The meetings emphasized how programs managed, executed, and intend to sustain these changes after the pandemic’s end.

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