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The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), in partnership with the National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) is hosting the Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference. The conference brings together people committed to finding solutions to advance health and human services.

Tuesday, August 24, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Coaching in Practice: Implementation Findings from an Evaluation of Employment Coaching
Karen Gardiner, Abt Global; Kristen Joyce, Mathematica; Helah Robinson, LIFT

Some employment programs use coaches to help low-income adults attain and maintain economic self-sufficiency. Coaching differs from case management and other one-on-one staff-participant exchanges in the way staff interact with program participants. In coaching, trained staff members work collaboratively with participants to set individualized goals and then provide support and feedback, without being directive, as participants work towards achieving their goals. To explore the potential of employment coaching, HHS' Administration for Children and Families is sponsoring the Evaluation of Employment Coaching for TANF and Related Populations. The study describes the implementation of four coaching interventions and assesses their impacts on the employment, earnings, and self-sufficiency of study participants using an experimental design.

This session will present findings on how the interventions in the evaluation are implemented. Kristen Joyce will provide an overview of coaching and the evaluation. Karen Gardiner, a researcher on the evaluation team, will then discuss how the coaching interventions are implemented. This will include an overview of the interventions and findings related to the coaching process, how coaching sessions occur in practice, and successes and challenges in implementing coaching. Next, Kristen Joyce will discuss how coaching is implemented from the participant perspective, based on data collected through in-depth participant interviews. The final presentation will provide a firsthand account of how coaching is implemented in practice in LIFT, one of the four interventions in the evaluation. In this presentation, Helah Robinson, Senior Vice President of Program & Strategy at LIFT, will describe LIFT's coaching approach in greater detail and share the intervention's implementation challenges and successes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Assisting Families Experiencing Homelessness: Strategies and Approaches for TANF Agencies
Lauren Dunton, Abt Global; Rachel Gwilliam, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a key component in supporting families, including those currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This presentation will describe the prevalence and variety of ways that TANF agencies assist families experiencing homelessness, and detail the differences in these approaches. In the presentation, we will first share state TANF agencies' overall philosophies and policies toward addressing family homelessness and the extent to which local TANF programs are implementing these policies based on results from a systematic document review of 25 state TANF plans, an online survey of all state TANF administrators, and a sample of three local TANF administrators in each state. Next, we will highlight innovative approaches from site visits we conducted with five communities using TANF and maintenance-of-effort (MOE) funds to assist families, including the factors that encourage these communities to use TANF funds to provide housing assistance, the two common models for using TANF funding to serve families experiencing homelessness, and lessons learned and suggestions for other TANF agencies considering using TANF for housing assistance. Finally, we will detail how four communities adapted to serve families experiencing and at risk of homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.