Together with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families, Mathematica and its partners Abt Associates and MDRC are examining the effectiveness of using coaches to help low-income individuals work toward self-sufficiency through the Evaluation of Employment Coaching for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Related Populations. The coaching programs participating in the evaluation implement distinct approaches to employment coaching, as described in these four program snapshots:
Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time.
The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools.
New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions.
Colorado is poised this year to consider passing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave measure. Despite several unsuccessful attempts in recent years, changes in the state legislature and in voter sentiment point to building momentum in support of the policy. Passing it would make Colorado the seventh state in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, to pass a statewide initiative. Drawing from data about similar programs in other states, this report examines what a comprehensive paid family and medical leave initiative might look like in Colorado.
The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or, LI2) process is a way for human services leaders to intentionally launch and systematically guide program change and to incorporate evidence and research methods into such efforts. This practice brief provides an overview of the first phase of LI2—the Learn phase—which is intended to lay the foundation for successful and sustainable program changes. The Learn phase involves two primary steps: (1) clarifying the reason for seeking change and the problem to be addressed, and (2) assessing the program environment’s readiness for change. (Author abstract)
Importance Trauma is a leading cause of death and disability for patients of all ages, many of whom are also among the most likely to be uninsured. Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was intended to improve access to care through improvements in insurance. However, despite nationally reported changes in the payer mix of patients, the extent of the law’s impact on insurance coverage among trauma patients is unknown, as is its success in improving trauma outcomes and promoting increased access to rehabilitation.
A few years ago, Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission (CPCC) recognized that there was a population of “frequent users” - individuals who cycle in and out of jail – who they believed were chronically homeless and suffered from mental health and substance abuse problems. The CPCC did a data match pulling homeless system data, healthcare utilization data, and criminal justice data together for 250 frequent users to see how these individuals touched other systems.
The EMPOWERED study, conducted on behalf of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, examines the use of performance measures, work requirements, and child support cooperation requirements across human services programs. This issue brief examines the use of child support cooperation requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program and child care subsidy programs funded under the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). (Author summary)
Under contract to SSA, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a rigorous evaluation of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) projects using a random assignment evaluation design. Across the six project sites, more than 5,000 youth enrolled in the evaluation and were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that could participate in the YTD projects or a control group that could not. Mathematica and its partners in the evaluation conducted site-specific analysis to assess the impacts of the interventions one year and three years after youth enrolled in the evaluation.