Improving Employment Outcomes: Using Innovative Goal-Oriented Strategies in TANF Programs

OPRE Report #2019-40
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Feb 28, 2019
Authors
Michelle Derr, Jonathan McCay, and Jacqueline F. Kauff

Key Findings:

  • Science-informed, goal-oriented strategies can require time and effort to integrate into the service environment.
  • Strong “champions” at all levels of the organization can be critical to the success of interventions focused on self-regulation and goal-achievement.
  • The purpose of and rationale behind the new tools and processes should be made clear for staff.
  • More specific and tailored guidance is needed on how to use interventions focused on self-regulation and goal achievement with participants who are in crisis.
  • Using a systematic, analytic process like a LI2 can pay off by helping programs uncover “sticking points” in implementation, reinforce desired behaviors among staff, and foster staff buy-in.
This brief describes the efforts of four TANF programs to implement three new interventions that are informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals. It also offers overarching lessons for the field based on the programs’ experiences on how to adapt, implement, and scale up these types of interventions.