General Resources through Project SPARK and Project IMPROVE
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has published several resources under Project SPARK and Project IMPROVE. Both projects — conducted in close coordination by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) and the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), respectively — supported 17 research-practice partnerships to help TANF agencies design and implement evidence-informed program changes.
These available publications include the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) practice guide, which outlines LI2, a program improvement approach used by many TANF and human services agencies under Projects SPARK and IMPROVE. Briefs that document the implementation of LI2 feature the Iowa Department of Human Rights (assessing a virtual home visiting program, the New York City Human Resources Administration (redesigning an intake assessment for families receiving cash assistance), and the Baltimore City Health Department (designing and implementing a transitional jobs program.
Also available are briefs on innovative approaches to technology and participant engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to support mental wellness for staff and participants, as well as a podcast about how the pandemic prompted human services agencies to rethink their internal and external operations.