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Improving State Capacity to Address the Needs of Low Income Working Families, 2001-2004

Project Overview

The Improving State Capacity to Address the Needs of Low-Income Working Families project was jointly funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the Office of Family Assistance within ACF, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in HHS and the Economic Research Service within the USDA. Under this project the National Governors Association (NGA) utilized multiple approaches to gain a better understanding of approaches and methods to service delivery designed to help low-income workers stay employed, advance in the labor market, and achieve and maintain family well-being. Project activities included: conducting a roundtable and multiple, smaller meetings with national and State/local experts in relevant fields to explore the concept of work supports; the identification of “promising” program models; the conduct of site visits to selected programs; the development of customized technical assistance for two States; and the production of a final report.

The major research questions addressed include: (1) How might low-income working parents be helped to sustain and advance in employment while achieving and maintaining family and child well-being? (2) How can government better help low-income working families meet these objectives? (3) What are the strengths and weaknesses of current systems and how might they be improved to meet these objectives? (4) What should be the Federal, State, and local roles in helping to build capacity within systems to meet these objectives?

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