Many programs and agencies collect data about their clients and service use but they may not have the time and resources to use those data to inform their decision making. This post shares some simple approaches for how to use data to improve programs.
Response to COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, programs that combined substance use disorder treatment and recovery with employment services faced new service-delivery challenges, including an unprecedented shift to virtual services. This brief discusses the operational experiences of seven such programs in the initial months of COVID-19.
The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief describes PJAC’s approach to forgiving parents’ child support debt as an incentive for positive behavior—for example, making consistent payments.
A Review of the Literature
More than 5 million American children under the age of 18, a disproportionate number of whom are Black or Latino, have had a parent incarcerated. This report reviews studies about promising programs that seek to maintain and build healthy relationships between parents who are incarcerated and their children.
A Partnership Between Child Support Agencies and Local Service Providers
The Families Forward Demonstration examined strategies to help parents with low and middle incomes make reliable child support payments by increasing employment and earnings. The model, which emphasized free occupational training activities, shows promise for helping parents qualify for jobs in their chosen fields and for improving child support compliance.
A Look at Shifts in Employment Services at Jewish Family Services
The pandemic required service providers to make abrupt, often improvised adjustments to keep working with clients, and some of those changes may become permanent. One Ohio-based social service agency is figuring out which changes it will retain as more normal operations resume.
New approaches to child support enforcement aim to be less punitive and to serve the whole family, not just child support recipients. Lessons from Washington State’s Alternative Solutions Program show how this shift in perspective has made a difference during the pandemic.
The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief explains which parents these agencies refer to civil contempt for not paying child support, and describes the business-as-usual contempt proceedings.
This post describes the creative adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic of two employment providers that use the Individual Placement and Support model to help people find and keep jobs despite multiple, serious barriers to employment.
In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, experts from MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and BIT North America describe how government agencies can use behavioral science to adapt policies, programs, and services during the continuing pandemic crisis.