An Integrated Service Delivery Pilot for Nonprofits Serving Low-Income Families
MOVING WORKING FAMILIES TOWARD FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE is one of the goals of CFT’s community impact funding. In 2014, CFT will pilot a model called the Working Families Success Model or Integrated Service Delivery, based on work developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This model has since been implemented in more than 70 locations and 30 cities across the nation.
The Working Families Success Network model provides a framework for delivering key services and financial supports to low-income families using an integrated approach specifically designed to make it easier for low-income families to obtain critically needed work-support services. Working Families Success is built on the concept that offering integrated services in an intentional and thoughtful way helps clients overcome barriers and advance economically.
The model (shown in the figure at right), includes a “bundled” set of three core elements: employment services, income support and financial coaching. The Working Families Success model is not a stand-alone program. Rather, it is an approach that is overlaid into a nonprofit’s existing programs, staffing structure and client base. Services are bundled and sequenced together, rather than offering one component in isolation, requires providers to intentionally integrate the three key areas in a seamless way for the client, and depends the development of strong, long-term relationships with clients. One-on-one coaching is provided as an integral component of service delivery and is used to help clients set goals, develop plans and change behavior. Data on the clients and their outcomes is routinely collected and analyzed and used regularly to make decisions to improve program effectiveness and adjust operations to further support client’s long-term success.
CFT’s goal for this pilot is to support selected nonprofits with knowledge and information to become a working family success center—a family-friendly venue that provides bundled services leading to increased economic well-being. Since 2014, the selected agencies have been receiving significant program guidance and training from CFT and have formed a learning cohort - not only to support each other, but also to share best practices and key learnings that can be used to further expand the implementation of this model in the North Texas community. The selected agencies were asked to make a multi-year commitment to participate in the learning cohort, as well as to collect and report on a base set of common outcomes and metrics.
Two initial cohorts were selected as part of the initial pilot effort. The Green Cohort was established for those agencies already operating all three main focus areas (employment, income support and financial coaching) to some degree, and could become more quickly positioned to become a Working Families Success Center by 2016. The Blue Cohort was designed for those agencies with strength in at least one of the three focus areas, with interest in expanding and integrating services to strengthen the financial capability of their clients. Ten agencies were selected for the initial green cohort, while eight agencies were selected for the blue cohort. Training and consulting was provided to staff at all levels of both cohorts to support the agencies in developing implementation plans and/ or to improve their current services.