Work Support Strategies: Streamlining Access, Strengthening Families is a five-year, multi-state initiative to help low-income families get and keep the package of work supports for which they are eligible. Since 2011, WSS has partnered with six selected states: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Through grants and expert technical assistance, the initiative supports states in their efforts to reform and align the systems delivering work support programs intended to increase families’ well-being and stability—particularly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Fund. Through WSS, states seek to streamline and integrate service delivery, use twenty-first century technology, and apply innovative business processes to improve administrative efficiency and reduce burden on states and working families.
Funded by the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., WSS is directed by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in partnership with the Urban Institute (evaluation and fiscal management lead) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) (technical assistance lead).
For more information about the initiative’s purpose, funders, phases, grantees, and offerings to states, please see the primary WSS website hosted by CLASP.
One goal of WSS is to inform state and federal policy through an evaluation of states’ experiences and outcomes. The WSS evaluation team at the Urban Institute is working toward this goal in tandem with state leaders, CLASP and CBPP. The evaluation of the WSS project has three major goals:
- To document, understand, and draw lessons from the implementation of WSS activities in the states;
- To identify and track over time key outcomes expected to be affected by the state’s activities and interventions;
- To measure the effect WSS or specific activities under WSS had on key outcomes
The Phase I evaluation was designed to document each participating state’s efforts during the planning year, including their goals, activities undertaken, and challenges encountered and approaches chosen to overcome them. This work culminated in reports for each state and a cross-cutting report that discussed key lessons from the states’ experiences.
Phase II of the WSS evaluation includes implementation analyses and data-tracking activities for all six states as well as analyses to provide quantitative causal results, where feasible. The evaluation takes into account each state’s particular activities, goals, priorities, and data availability with the overall evaluation presenting results from across the states.
Results from the WSS evaluation will be presented through a series of reports and documents including a final cross-cutting report and separate short reports addressing key aspects of the WSS initiative. Individual topics of reports include:
Reports will be released throughout 2015 and 2016, with the final cross-cutting report planned for release in summer 2016. For already released reports see the Evaluation Publications and Resources section of this site.