Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy


These resources relate to the use of assessments to understand client needs, strengths, and barriers in order to deliver appropriate services and effective case management.

Stakeholder Resource
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a capacity-building approach to program interventions that aims to promote soft skills, positive relationships, community involvement, family-school-work linkages, and academic engagement among youth to create a fully supportive and safe environment. The PILOT tool, developed by Child Trends, works on implementing those strategies concretely in the workforce for youth in primarily middle skill jobs. After working with five organizations to integrate the PILOT...
This report by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions documents emerging practices from the National Fund’s Young Adult (YA) work and identifies an ongoing need for technical assistance in designing and implementing YA models. Specifically, this report looks at the history of YA sectoral work and highlights replicable lessons learned and recommended practices that can be used by organizations to address unemployment and underemployment. The report outlines both challenges and opportunities...
Webinar / Webcast

For long-term employment and career advancement, it is important that clients are placed in jobs that align with their education, experience, interests, and skills, as well as local labor market information (LMI). Workers can utilize assessment data and labor market information (LMI) to help clients make informed decisions about their career aspirations, including potential earnings, projected number of job openings, and entry level education needed.

The Online Work Readiness...

Case Management and Coaching

These resources provide information on effective case management and coaching practices.

A paper from Economic Mobility Pathways discusses the importance of setting high goals and standards when helping families navigate their way out of poverty. Coach-navigator programs that seek to build resiliency and decision making view high expectations as a self-fulfilling prophecy and a crucial step to success for struggling participants. Thus, coaching relationships are most effective when they hold people to ambitious yet achievable standards that participants then willingly work to...
A seven-year government project that researched ways to strengthen social services using principles from behavioral science, called Behavioral Insights to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS), recently ended and published a case study based on their field research. This workbook is designed to teach students and field practitioners about behavioral design and methodology. It provides information, exercises, and worksheets and asks readers to read first about different behavioral principles and then...
This brief from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation is aimed at practitioners interested in helping clients reach self-sufficiency by focusing on goal-making abilities. The brief describes the importance of the ability to set and achieve goals and what, when, and how to measure to determine a program's ability to help its participants with this need. Specific real-world program examples are highlighted throughout the brief.

Executive Functioning

These resources define principles of executive functioning and provide information on how to use these principles to enhance client services.

This Mathematica research brief examines several interventions utilizing self-regulation for workforce assistance. Traditional workforce programs focus on helping low-income individuals build skills, reduce employment barriers, and develop work experience. Recently, a new approach centers around building participants’ self-regulation. Self-regulation helps individuals to better manage their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions both in and outside of work. Implemented strategies include providing...
Stakeholder Resource
This web article from Psychology Today looks at how we are falling short in treating trauma victims and what we can do to fix it. The article addresses how coping mechanisms for post-trauma are poorly understood even by those in the best situation to provide assistance, and that it is important to understand that victims of trauma might not always react or behave as one might expect. It further suggests that many factors including public education, early identification, and effective trauma...
Research-To-Practice Brief
Many TANF program recipients have been exposed to trauma in the form of violence and adversity in the family and community setting. TANF participants often have work-limiting health issues linked to expose to trauma, and those issues can provide physical barriers to employment by limiting work prospects and income. This research brief by Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities outlines the Building Wealth and Health Network program that combines financial empowerment, trauma-...

Program Redesign

These resources provide research, tools, and examples to help programs as they engage in redesign efforts.

The Systems to Family Stability (SFS) National Academy was an OFA initiative that consisted of eight teams (comprised of state TANF agencies, OFA representatives, and subject matter experts) that were organized to design and build collaborative systems within and across agencies to improve family economic security. In this second of three videos that were produced as a result of this initiative, leaders from the SFS National Policy Academy offer advice and ideas on supporting change.
The Systems to Family Stability (SFS) National Academy was an OFA initiative that consisted of eight teams (comprised of state TANF agencies, OFA representatives, and subject matter experts) that were organized to design and build collaborative systems within and across agencies to improve family economic security. In this first of three videos that were produced as a result of this initiative, SFS National Policy Academy participants share practical tips and ideas based on how they implemented...
This report from the Urban Institute shares the experiences of women who have received TANF cash assistance for more than five years in the District of Columbia. Recently, the District changed their policy to do away with the five-year time limit for full benefits and as of April 1, 2018, those past the five- year limit will still receive full benefits. The report does not evaluate the DC TANF program but provides a picture in time of the participating women's experiences as DC embarks on...

TANF and WIOA Coordination

These resources identify strategies and benefits for building collaborations between TANF agencies and workforce agencies through the opportunities created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA).

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is the first federal legislative reform of the public workforce system in over 16 years. It presents unique opportunities to increase the economic opportunities and stability of disadvantaged jobseekers. The state of Maryland became one of only 29 states and 2 territories that opted to develop a Combined State Plan which aligns its workforce and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs across the state, requiring its 12 Local...
Policy Announcement / Memoranda

ETA is excited to announce the launch of a national cohort of states focusing on partnership of WIOA Titles 1 & 3, TANF Employment & Training and SNAP Employment & Training agencies and programs. This is a prestigious opportunity to work with your peers from across the country in an organized setting to tackle the challenges faced by states in leveraging funding and resources and integrating services—and explore models to develop an action plan to help advance your goals. Both...

Webinar / Webcast
This virtual roundtable, to be convened on December 6 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST, is a continuation of technical assistance around the requirements of the one-stop delivery system's memorandum of understanding (MOU) negotiations as called for under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The goal of this roundtable is to break down silos, bring partner programs to the table, and have a larger discussion on their experiences with local negotiations.

Toxic Stress

These resources define toxic stress, provide information on how to adapt programs to meet these needs of those affected by toxic stress, and offer strategies for preventing toxic stress in children.

Journal Article
This paper tests the relationship between maternal depression, parental quality, and child outcomes. It finds that experiencing adversity as a child is a factor in current maternal depression, which in turn affects parental engagement and sensitivity to children’s distress, but not non-distress. Thus, different interventions should be used for mothers who have experienced trauma depending on whether the goal is identifying and responding to distress signals or increasing parental sensitivity to...
Webinar / Webcast
Thursday, May 10 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2018. This year’s theme, Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma, will focus on the importance of an integrated approach to caring for the mental health needs of children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma, as well as their families. Though often not behavioral health professionals, workforce system staff play an integral role in a youth’s well-being and growth. It is critical to recognize the signs...
Stakeholder Resource
This document by the American Institute for Research offers a process and curriculum for adopting organizational trauma-informed care to support organizations serving vulnerable children, adults, and families to become trauma-informed. The framework outlined includes a four-phased approach that can be applied to organizations and systems of various size and structure. Phases cover: the exploration of organizational needs; installation of the infrastructure needed to communicate, monitor, and...

Two-Generation Approaches

These resources provide strategies for developing programs that address the needs of multiple generations and offer promising strategies being used throughout the United States.

Skill development and job or educational training are essential tools for low-income or low-skilled workers to increase their labor market prospects and decrease their unemployment rates, so Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) provide these services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. However, child care barriers can prevent families from fully utilizing LWDB resources. The Urban Institute surveyed LWDBs that actively support child care needs to create a recommended list...
This brief from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families examines the take-up rates for child care and early education for Hispanic families. Historically, Hispanic families have lower rates of usage of programs targeted to assist low-income families such as child care assistance, and this brief uses research to determine why this is the case for child care assistance and what the implications are for these findings.

This blog post from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the fifth installment in a series profiling human services programs across the country that are working to help move families out of poverty. This post focuses on improvements made to the child care subsidy system after the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant Act and highlights a program in New York City that works with young parents to improve family outcomes.