Millions of low-income households depend on Medicaid, children’s health insurance, food stamps, and child care subsidies to stay in the workforce while managing family, health, and other needs. At the same time, states and counties are eager for more efficient and effective ways to serve their communities amid battered revenues and reduced staffs.
Revamping outdated technology, streamlining cumbersome policies, and fixing unproductive business processes might seem natural ways to meet these multiple challenges -- yet the obstacles are many. Political support for safety net programs may be in short supply, budget and policy crises swallow time to plan and implement reform, and trust among local, county, and state staff and leaders can be fragile.
How to get out of these binds? The Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative, through three-year implementation grants, is helping a select group of states as they reform technology, policies, and business practices to boost the share of families that receive and keep the package of public benefits for which they qualify. With lead funding from the Ford Foundatio, WSS also seeks to foster innovation that transforms state and county delivery of large public programs and minimizes their administrative burdens. A rigorous evaluation led by the Urban Institute will draw lessons from their experiences to inform future policy choices.
Join us as senior officials from WSS grantee states discuss what implementing a reform vision is really like; how they see the policy, legislative, and funding environments; how they’re coping with outdated technology, complex rules, inadequate staff training, and overwhelming local need; what they learned during WSS’s planning year; and their ideas about the future.
At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.
Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. The forum begins promptly at noon.
To watch the live video webcast or a recording, go to
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/urban-institute-events. (No registration necessary.)
The Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and delivered evidence-based solutions that improve lives, strengthen communities and increase the effectiveness of public policy. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health of government across a rapidly urbanizing world.
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