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Better Outcomes Through Collaboration

A Seminar for Managers of TANF, Child Support, and Workforce Investment

Published: March 14, 2005
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies, Other Public Partners, Workforce/Labor, TANF (IV-A)
Topics:
Case Management, Family Services & Referrals, Economic Stability/Job Services
Types:
Training

Better Outcomes Through Collaboration

Changes to federal and state agencies over the past several years have created a dramatically different environment in which child support, TANF, and workforce investment agencies operate. The passage of laws such as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) produced an environment in which agencies and the clients they serve both benefit from increased inter-agency collaboration focused on improving economic prospects for families and helping them achieve self-sufficiency.

This seminar is designed to help regional and office managers from all three agencies identify these benefits, explore the potential for collaborative efforts, and lay the groundwork for lasting inter-agency partnerships.

A Seminar for Managers of TANF, Child Support, and Workforce Investment

The Lewin Group and Human Resources Research Organization produced this product under Contract #105-00-8303 (Task Order 30) for the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Table of Contents

Seminar Video (May also be downloaded)

Documents:

MODULE 1: Introduction
MODULE 2: Collaboration - Benefits to Program
MODULE 3 Operation of TANF, Child Support, and Workforce Investment
MODULE 4: Envisioning Collaboration
MODULE 5: Developing an Action Plan

Better Outcomes Through Collaboration Seminar

Course Organization: Five modules
Suggested Length: The modules have been designed for use in combination for a total of 10 seminar hours, including lunches and breaks. It should be presented across two days.
Number of Facilitators: 2
Number of Participants: 21

 

Changes to federal and state agencies over the past several years have created a dramatically different environment in which child support, TANF, and workforce investment agencies operate. The passage of laws such as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) produced an environment in which agencies and the clients they serve both benefit from increased inter-agency collaboration focused on improving economic prospects for families and helping them achieve self-sufficiency.

This seminar is designed to help regional and office managers from all three agencies identify these benefits, explore the potential for collaborative efforts, and lay the groundwork for lasting inter-agency partnerships.

The seminar is organized into the following modules:

  • Introduction
  • Collaboration - Benefits to Programs
  • Operation of TANF, Child Support, and Workforce Investment
  • Envisioning Collaboration
  • Developing an Action Plan

The time estimate at the beginning of each module covers all of the activities and discussion within the module.

The seminar is designed for an audience of child support, TANF, and workforce investment office and/or regional managers. Interaction among these individuals is needed to maximize the utility of the seminar.

Because these agencies differ across the states and localities, the seminar material is generic. We encourage states and local agencies to tailor the content of the seminar to reflect some of the more localized issues and policies. The seminar relies on the ability of the facilitator to elicit site-specific content from the participants. To that end, we recommend that facilitators prepare state- and/or local-specific examples whenever possible.

The success of the seminar will greatly depend on your familiarity with the material in the facilitator’s guide and knowledge of the more localized issues facing each agency. Take time to review the Facilitator Notes and What You Need To Know sections throughout each module.

The Guide calls for two facilitators. Prior to the seminar, determine who will be responsible for presenting each section and who will make notes on the flipcharts or whiteboards. The facilitators should be knowledgeable about at least one of the programs.

Sample Schedules

Below are two sample seminar schedules. The first can be used if you plan to include a working lunch on both days. The second does not include working lunches.

Schedule 1

Time

Activity

Day 1

 

12:00 to 1:15 p.m.

Working lunch, Module 1

1:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Module 2

2:45 to 3:00 p.m.

Break

3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Module 3

Day 2

 

9:00 to 10:15 a.m.

Module 4 (Activity1)

10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Module 4 (Activity 2)

10:45 to 11:00 a.m.

Break

11:00 to 12:00 p.m.

Module 5 (Activities 1 and 2)

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Lunch

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Module 5 (Activity 3)

Schedule 2

Time

Activity

Day 1

 

10:00 to 10:40 a.m.

Module 1

10:40 to 12:00 p.m.

Module 2

12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Module 3

2:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Break

2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

Module 3 (continued)

Day 2

 

8:30 to 9:45 a.m.

Module 4 (Activity 1)

9:45 to 10:15 a.m.

Module 4 (Activity 2)

10:15 to 10:30 a.m.

Break

10:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Module 5 (Activity 1)

11:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Module 5 (Activities 2 and 3)

FACILITATOR OUTLINE

You can use this outline as a reference while you are conducting the seminar. It suggests how much time should be spent on each segment and it also describes activities within the modules.

MODULE 1

Introduction: Approximately 1 Hour and 15 Minutes (as part of working lunch) or 40 Minutes (if lunch is separate)

Time *

Activity

Description

15 minutes

Introductions

Facilitator introduction to seminar participants. High-level official introduction (optional). Icebreaker.

60 (with working lunch) or 25 minutes (with no working lunch)

Three Systems Undergoing Change

Slideshow presentation of the three systems that are undergoing change while focusing on similar goals. Seminar purpose and seminar format.

*Because time is extremely limited for this seminar you will need to be attentive to each section’s time limits.

Suggested breaks:

Schedule 1: 15-minute break following the module/working lunch

Schedule 2: No suggested breaks during or following this module

**Suggested breaks are indicated for each of the two formats. They should be taken at your discretion based on your perception of the participants’ energy level.

MODULE 2

Collaboration - Benefits to Programs: Approximately 1 Hour and 20 Minutes

Time

Activity

Description

5 minutes

Introduction

The facilitator presents the module objectives and the introduction to Agency Operations: Working Toward a Common Goal. The facilitator explains how the three agencies work toward common goals and introduces three key elements of each agency’s operations.

15 minutes

Activity 1

Participants break into agency-specific groups and prepare a presentation that describes three key elements: activities, performance measures, and funding sources.

30 minutes

Activity 2

Each group reports to the large group its activities, performance measures, and funding sources.

25 minutes

Activity 3

Participants engage in a large group discussion about how the three key elements affect other agencies.

5 minutes

Summary

The facilitator summarizes Module 2.

Suggested breaks:

Schedule 1: 15-minute break following module

Schedule 2: Lunch break following module

MODULE 3

Operation of TANF, Child Support, and Workforce Investment: Approximately 2 Hours

Time

Activity

Description

2 minutes

Introduction

The facilitator presents the module objectives.

5 minutes

Participant Introductions

In their small (regional) groups, participants will briefly introduce themselves and describe their roles within their agencies.

50 minutes

Activity 1: Specific Agency Operations

In their small groups, participants take turns describing their agencies’ operations, including the main points of intersection with other agencies.

30 minutes

Activity 2: Analysis and Synthesis

In their small groups, participants discuss the current state of collaboration among the three agencies.

30 minutes

Activity 3: Large Group Discussion

The full seminar group summarizes the highlights from the Analysis and Synthesis discussions.

5 minutes

Summary

The facilitator summarizes Module 3.

Suggested breaks:

Schedule 1: No suggested breaks during or following this module

Schedule 2: 15-minute break following the first hour of the module

MODULE 4

Envisioning Collaboration: Approximately 2 Hours

Time

Activity

Description

2 minutes

Introduction

The facilitator presents the module objectives.

60 minutes

Activity 1: Ideal Collaboration Relationship

In their small groups, participants brainstorm about how the ideal collaboration relationship would work among their agencies.

30 minutes

Activity 2: Group Reports

In the full group, a representative from each of the small groups reports on the intersections they identified.

5 minutes

Summary

The facilitator summarizes Module 4.

Suggested breaks:

Schedule 1: 15-minute break following this module

Schedule 2: 15-minute break following this module

MODULE 5

Developing an Action Plan: Approximately 3 Hours (with working lunch) or 2 Hours and 30 minutes (if lunch is separate)

Time

Activity

Description

2 minutes

Introduction

The facilitator presents the module objectives.

30 minutes

Activity 1: Agency-Specific Discussion

The large group selects three issues from Module 4 on which to focus. In agency-specific groups, participants discuss what needs to be done within their agencies to bring about collaboration.

30 minutes

Activity 2: Agency Reports

In the full group, each agency-specific group summarizes its discussion about issues that need to be addressed and who should take them on.

60 minutes

Activity 3: Large Group Action Planning

The large group will discuss the priority of each issue area and the concrete actions that the group will take with regard to each issue. The group will develop an action plan.

5 minutes

Summary

The facilitator summarizes Module 5 and dismisses the seminar.

Suggested breaks:

Schedule 1: Lunch break following Activity 2

Schedule 2: No suggested breaks during or following this module