Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy

Assessment

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.

Report
While youth involved in Child Welfare or Runaway and Homeless Youth systems are at high risk of being trafficked, there has been no consensus screening tool available for providers to use to identify victims of human trafficking. This Urban Institute report describes the pretesting of a Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST) for 617 youth involved in the child welfare or runaway and homeless youth systems in New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. The HTST took about two minutes to administer, and the...
Toolkit
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the LEAD Center published training materials to help create a Customized Employment program for individuals with disabilities. These trainings use a Guided Group Discovery approach, which helps jobseekers find employment that would matches both their skills and interests and an employer’s needs. The materials available include a facilitator manual, a PowerPoint introduction and course, and a participant workbook.
Toolkit
The Office of Family Assistance developed this guide to help state TANF agencies recognize the important role they have in identifying and serving families experiencing homelessness and families at risk of homelessness. It is intended to help states better assess for homelessness and housing instability during intake and formulate cohesive strategies with state and local homelessness providers and systems, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-funded Continuums of...

Case Management and Coaching

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

Research-To-Practice Brief
This practice brief highlights the efforts of four Office of Family Assistance, Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy (Academy) teams in redesigning their TANF case management systems to support client coaching and motivational interviewing strategies. The Academy was an 18-month initiative that supported TANF programs in designing and creating collaborative systems across agencies to improve family economic security. This brief, one of two, shares a series of practical tips from...
Toolkit
This guide from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is designed to help practitioners implement Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM). In FGDM, child welfare agencies actively engage families in developing a case plan to ensure the safety of their children. There are six elements that are critical to success in FGDM: having an independent facilitator, recognizing that the family is the key decision-making partner in the child welfare process, including private family time, prioritizing the case...
Stakeholder Resource
A new study, launched by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Abt Associates, will document the design and implementation of coaching interventions and examine their effectiveness of helping low-income individuals work toward economic stability.

Executive Functioning

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

Report
This report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation details the final results of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency Project. Between 2012 and 2015, 15 state and local agencies participated in 15 behavioral interventions in child support, child care, and work support. These interventions used behavioral science concepts to design or modify human services programs. Overall,...
Video

Utah Department of Workforce Services commissioned the Public Consulting Group to develop two videos about executive functioning to be used in employment counselor trainings. The short videos can be used with employment counselors or case workers in any human services program that want to develop their capacity to recognize and respond to executive functioning challenges...

Report
Self-regulation skills, which research suggests are important for goal setting, help individuals achieve employment goals. In this report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the self-regulation skills that have an impact on employment are discussed, as well as the ways in which environmental factors like poverty can hurt development of these skills. The report also includes advice for...

Program Redesign

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

Research-To-Practice Brief
This Urban Institute brief examines the experiences of clients applying for work supports, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid, and child care assistance. Applying for these benefits can be a daunting process for low-income families, so six states participated in the Work Support Strategies initiative to streamline and improve the application and service delivery process. The authors describe the experiences of families applying for work supports, then...
Research-To-Practice Brief
This MDRC brief is part of a series that documents the implementation of the Change Capital Fund, an economic mobility initiative in New York City. The Change Capital Fund was a consortium of donors who invested in local community development corporations that were pursuing antipoverty strategies that integrated housing, education, and employment services. In this brief, the authors focus on how the Change Capital fund used program data as a tool for continuous learning and improvement,...
Report
This report analyzes the impact of the cliff effect on social services recipients in the Cincinnati area to determine how to mitigate it. The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation partnered with Design Impact and CityLink to conduct in-depth research on the cliff effect and then used design thinking to propose a solution. Through their research, the team found that people were not financially worse off after losing benefits due to a wage increase, but they felt worse because their...

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).

Peer TA Products (miscellaneous)

The TANF/WIOA Learning Community is an initiative sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. Developed in response to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which offers an opportunity for significant and improved collaboration between workforce agencies and partners such as TANF, the community brings together seven teams from states across the country to explore strategies for successful integration of TANF and...

Report
Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), public workforce programs were encouraged to make stronger partnerships with TANF. In this report, the Center on Law and Social Policy detailed the findings of a survey conducted in 2016 on the degree of coordination between TANF and workforce programs during the early implementation of WIOA. According to the survey results, state officials were very interested in improving coordination between WIOA and TANF, but only modest changes had...
Toolkit
This toolkit from the Heartland Alliance provides resources targeted toward organizations wanting to engage employers for transitional jobs or subsidized employment programs. These resources will help organizations plan and implement effective job development strategies, build relationships with employers, and serve participants with barriers to employment. The toolkit includes research briefs on six different topics, videos of employers describing how partnering with transitional jobs programs...

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.

Infographic
This report from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University highlights three principles that, in light of recent advances in the science of brain development of children, can guide policy change that most supports healthy brain development. The three evidence-based principles include supporting responsive relationships for children and adults, strengthening core life skills, and reducing sources of stress in the lives of children and families. Policymakers can use these...
Podcast

In this three-part video podcast series, Paul Rada from the Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health unit in Kansas City, Missouri presents information and strategies for TANF programs to better serve participants experiencing toxic stress. This resource is intended to aid TANF program administrators and staff in: 

  • Understanding the concepts of toxic stress and trauma‐informed care (TIC)
  • Distinguishing between toxic stress, trauma, PTSD, and specific related interventions...
Report
While low-income parents face challenges, many manage to raise children with socio-emotional competence. This policy report from the National Center for Children in Poverty describes what can be learned from these resilient parents, and analyzes programs and policies that promote parents’ and children’s resiliency. The authors find that policies such as increasing access to health and mental health care, providing training in evidence-based parenting skills, and strengthening key safety net...

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.

Research-To-Practice Brief
This practice brief highlights the efforts of three Office of Family Assistance, Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy (Academy) teams in building whole family approaches that support parents and children together. The Academy was an 18-month initiative that supported TANF programs in designing and creating collaborative systems across agencies to improve family economic security. This brief, one of two, shares a series of practical tips from the teams themselves about how they...
Report
Children who are exposed to violence can experience negative effects throughout their lives, regardless of whether it is violence in the community or domestic violence or abuse at home. This RAND report, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, details the Safe Start project, which evaluated evidence-based programs aimed at mitigating the negative impact of violence on children. Safe Start consisted of two phases: the first phase was a demonstration of promising...
Report
Nearly 12% of American children will spend at least half of their lives from birth to age 17 living in poverty. This report from the Urban Institute analyzes factors that have helped these persistently poor children achieve economic success. Some of those factors include spending more years in an employed family, spending fewer years in a family headed by someone with a disability, and living in less segregated and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The researchers recommend several strategies to...