Collaboration and Partnerships

This section provides information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families on how State and county welfare, social service, and welfare to work agencies can work together to assist low income families.


This section provides resources on how community based organizations - such as employers, non-profits and faith-based organizations - can become involved in welfare reform.

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Joint Letter: DOL, DOE, AND HHS, Encouraging Partnerships To Help Transition Students From High School Graduation To Postsecondary Education and the Workforce, June 2014

The Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services released a joint letter that encourages local school systems across the United States to partner with American Job Centers, human service agencies, and the private sector to encourage students to pursue postsecondary education and join the workforce after high school. Examples of how to develop these partnerships are provided in the letter.

For more information, please see:

ORR Webinar: Building Partnerships and Collaborative Funding Streams: Colorado Works and Colorado Refugee Services, July 2013

The Office of Refugee Resettlement hosted a Webinar entitled "Building Partnerships and Collaborative Funding Streams: Colorado Works and Colorado Refugee Services." This free Webinar provided an opportunity to hear about the collaboration between the Colorado Refugee Services Program and Colorado Works (TANF), both located within the Colorado Department of Human Services. This Webinar focused on how they collaborate to deliver TANF services to refugees, with county employees approving eligibility for TANF and paying Basic Cash Assistance and CRSP providing case management and workforce activities. They discussed their suite of targeted employment, cultural orientation, language assistance, healthcare, and legal services provided for refugee clients. Additionally, presenters discussed how they move refugees towards employment through case management, English as a Second Language training, cultural orientation and pre-employment training, employment training, health professional recertification and entrepreneurial services that are aligned with the skills of the clients.

View Webinar PowerPoint Slides [PDF - 786 KB]

View Webinar Transcript [PDF - 303 KB]

View Webinar Recording [WMV - 19,913 KB]

Webinar: Connecting Refugees to TANF Services in Minnesota and Utah, June 2013

On June 27, 2013, the Office of Refugee Resettlement hosted a Webinar titled Connecting Refugees to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Services in Minnesota and Utah. This Webinar provided an opportunity to hear two States' approaches in connecting refugees to TANF services. Utah representatives discussed the collaboration and co-location between refugee resettlement agencies and the TANF agency that begins when refugees arrive in the State. The presenters discussed intake, translation, benefits, applications, and providing employment services with eleven employment counselors and eleven eligibility counselors working one-on-one with refugees to ensure prompt delivery of services. Presenters from Minnesota discussed their State-funded Minnesota Family Stabilization Services program where refugees receive language assessment, build English skills, take work skills assessments, and secure housing, medical and basic needs services. The presenters also discussed Minnesota's "Community Navigators" who connect refugees to needed services and helping them find the best route to non-subsidized employment.

View Webinar Slides [PDF - 1,857 KB]

View Webinar Transcript [PDF - 264 KB]

Listen to Webinar Recording (Plus Slides) [WMV - 16,780 KB]

View Webinar Q & A [PDF - 110 KB]

Collaborating to Improve TANF Resources for Families Experiencing Homelessness, March 2013

This brief from the National Center on Family Homelessness provides an overview of ways TANF can be used to help homeless families find and maintain stable housing. It explains the difficulty which some homeless families experience when attempting to access TANF while also offering examples of state programs effectively building partnerships between TANF and homeless service providers. While it is intended for housing service providers and gives a basic overview of TANF, the suggestions for collaboration would be useful to TANF stakeholders seeking to address the needs of homeless families with local service providers.

For more information, please see:

Regions I, II, and III East Coast Strategic Collaborations Workshop, September 2012

A strong, stable, and comprehensive social safety-net is critical to the well-being of low-income and working families. Strong partnerships not only improve the quantity of services delivered, but also contribute to the overall quality of available services that families rely on in order to become economically self-sufficient. The Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Regions I, II, and III hosted the 2012 East Coast Strategic Collaborations Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 18-20, 2012 in an effort to bring together TANF, workforce, child support, responsible fatherhood, housing, and community services stakeholders to map out a plan for better communication and collaboration. The workshop included targeted discussions with policy, research, and service delivery experts and culminated with an interactive building of a self-sufficiency puzzle made up of specific next steps, action items, and technical assistance needs. The workshop brought together State TANF directors, local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) directors, and other human service administrators and leaders to strategize on ways to better coordinate services for low-income and working families while improving program performance and service delivery outcomes. Workshop topics included the role of TANF in the safety-net, the current and future research agenda, career pathways, subsidized employment, and partnership development.

Final Report [PDF - 2,050 KB] Agenda [PDF - 333 KB]

Adapted Asset Mapping Tool [PDF - 22 KB]

Asset Mapping Overview [PDF - 2,761 KB]

Family Well-Being Survey [PDF - 19 KB]

How States Have Spent Funds [PDF - 1,981 KB]

Role of TANF in Safety Nets [PDF - 1,818 KB]

Logic Model and Strategic Planning [PDF - 305 KB]

Strategic Workforce Partnerships [PDF - 1,172 KB]

What's Hot at ETA [PDF - 2,631 KB]

TANF - Program Basics [PDF - 330 KB]

Workforce Programs and TANF Partnering: An ETA Perspective [PDF - 1,291 KB]

Employment, Retention and Advancement [PDF - 440 KB]

WIA and DHHR in West Virginia: American Recovery and Reinvestment Success Stories [PDF - 570 KB]

National Fund Principles: Collaborative and Partnership Achievements, 2012

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is an initiative of national and local funders with the goal of advancing the careers of low-wage workers using a model of employer engagement. It was established in 2007 and funds regional collaboratives that develop local partnerships with employers and the skills of low-wage workers to fill the employment needs of the employers. This report is the fourth annual evaluation of the National Fund's guiding principles. It examines the fidelity with which each collaborative follows the principles and outcomes for all the collaboratives and provides insight into the most successful collaboratives and the partnerships they have created. This evaluation would be helpful to TANF stakeholders interested in what has been shown to be successful in employer engagement.

For more information, please see:

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Employer Outreach/Business Partners

Resources for this subtopic have not yet been posted.

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Faith-Based Organizations

Job Clubs, March 2013

The Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships' Job Clubs initiative has designed a Job Clubs page on their Web site for individuals who are coordinating, facilitating, or participating in local job clubs at religious institutions, community centers, and/or online. Job clubs play an important function in helping unemployed community members find new jobs and manage challenges associated with unemployment. The Job Clubs page allows for users to connect with their local public workforce system, network with other job club coordinators, and share their own experiences and best practices.

For more information, please see:

A New Look at Volunteering: Promising Approaches for TANF and Community Leaders, November 29, 2011

On November 29, 2011 the TANF Faith-Based and Community Organizations Initiative, sponsored by the Office of Family Assistance, hosted a Webinar that featured an innovative community-based homeless shelter, a TANF agency that successfully uses volunteering and a presentation from the Corporation for National and Community Service on ways to strategically integrate volunteers in your own community.

Download PowerPoint Presentations [PDF - 1,601 KB]

Download Audiorecording [MP3 - 10,116 KB]

Download Transcript [PDF - 176 KB]

TANF and FBCOs Working Together: An “Incubated” Coalition and an “Inter-Agency” Intermediary, April 26, 2011

On April 26th, 2011, Welfare Peer TA hosted a Webinar on a pair of innovative partnerships between TANF programs (or other public systems) and local faith-based or community organizations serving the same low-income families and individuals in their communities. Though these two sectors often work independently at the local level, many TANF officials and program leaders have experienced considerable gains by partnering.

Henry Street and Seedco Powerpoint Presentation [PDF - 474 KB]

Faith Connections Powerpoint Presentation [PDF - 1,730 KB]

Download Transcript [PDF - 559 KB]

Download Audiorecording. [MP3 - 8,698 KB]

Compassion Capitol Fund, February 2009

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Children and Family Services has just released a Web site on Compassion Capital Fund. This new resource is designed to provide valuable information on increasing the capacity of faith-based and community organizations with a proven track record of serving the needs of at risk and/or low-income families.

For more information, please see:

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Non-profit Organizations and Foundations

Resources for this subtopic have not yet been posted.

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Universities and Community Colleges

Save the Date: May 14, 2013 Webinar on Community Colleges and Career Pathways Systems, May 2013

The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) of the U.S. Department of Education, in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), is hosting a series of community college Webinars in 2013 to highlight the important work of these institutions and the many contributions they make to the communities they serve. The third event in this series will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET. This Webinar will bring together foundation, State, and local community college representatives to discuss the central role of community colleges in career pathways systems.

Materials from prior Webinars including, "Contributions of Community Colleges to Successful Reentry" and "Transforming Adult Education to Ease Postsecondary Transitions" are available here:

Building the Foundation for Success: Case Studies of Breaking Through Tribal Colleges and Universities, April 2013

This Jobs for the Future report highlights the findings from a Breaking Through partnership facilitated by Jobs for the Future, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. This eighteen-month initiative focused on piloting workforce and education strategies to better serve low-skilled students at Tribal colleges and universities.

For more information, please see:

College, Career & Technology Academy Toolkit, April 2013

The College, Career & Technology Academy Toolkit developed by Jobs for the Future, provides detailed instructions, tools, and other resources for practitioners seeking to prepare off-track, out-of-school youth for postsecondary success.

To view this toolkit, please visit:

Funding Announcement: The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor Announce Availability of $474.5 Million to Strengthen Training Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Employers, April 2013

The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, today announced the availability of $474.5 million to create and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train workers with the skills employers need. This is the third round of funding since 2009 under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, for a total of nearly $1.5 billion. The TAACCCT grants program funds eligible institutions of higher education to offer, develop or improve training and education programs to serve workers who are eligible for training under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers program.

To apply for this grant, please see:

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students, March 2013

The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research conducted a study using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate interventions that provide students with semi-customized information on application processes and colleges' net costs. The interventions also provided students with no-paperwork application fee waivers. Results from the study reported that the intervention increased the percentage of students who: (a) applied to a selective institution, (b) were admitted to a selective institution, and (c) enrolled in a selective institution. Students in the intervention group also completed more admissions applications, and were admitted to more colleges, than students in the comparison group.

For more information, please see:

Community College Contributions, January 2013

The American Association of Community Colleges released a report that outlines a framework and data to detail some of the public and private benefits to community colleges. According to the authors, in order to continue to provide these benefits, public investments in the education and training that community colleges provide need to equalize and stabilize, if not increase.

For more information, please see:

Make Me a Match: Helping Low-Income and First-Generation Students Make Good College Choices, April 2012

MDRC released a policy brief that discusses the issue of low-income, college-ready students "undermatching" – enrolling in colleges for which they are academically overqualified or not going to college at all. Early results from the College Match Program in three Chicago high schools suggest that it's possible to help students navigate the college application process and make more informed decisions.

For more information, please see:

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