Public assistance agencies administer the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides financial support and employment assistance to low-income families. When these families are also engaged with the child welfare system, cross-system collaboration can lead to better outcomes across both systems. This section includes resources and information about such collaborations, including State and local examples.
Collaboration Between State Welfare and Child Welfare Agencies
Urban Institute (2002)
Describes organizational restructuring to implement provisions of welfare reform and facilitate coordinated case planning, information sharing, and co-location of services.
Cross-Program Training: Supervisory Workshop on Communication, Collaboration, and Change
Curriculum for training supervisors in child welfare and TANF programs to support collaboration between frontline workers in both systems.
Providing Comprehensive, Integrated Social Services to Vulnerable Children and Families: Are There Legal Barriers at the Federal Level to Moving Forward? (PDF - 146 KB)
Center for Law and Social Policy (2004)
Discusses the components of three models of cross-system integration that focus on comprehensive services for children and families, integration of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and TANF, and benefits simplification. This paper presents the findings of the analysis of the model for providing comprehensive services to children and families.
Teaming Up: Collaboration Between Welfare and Child Welfare Agencies Since Welfare Reform
Ehrle, Andrews, & Scarcella
Children and Youth Services Review, 26(3), 2004
Presents data from a survey of State welfare directors and discusses proposed improvements for collaborative efforts between welfare and child welfare agencies.
Working Together for Children and Families: Where TANF and Child Welfare Meet (PDF - 109 KB)
Berrick, Frame, Langs, & Varchol
Journal of Policy Practice, 5(2/3), 2006
Examines the link between family poverty and child maltreatment, and the policy levers that can be used to inhibit or promote child and family well-being within the context of welfare reform.
A Vision for Eliminating Poverty and Family Violence: Transforming Child Welfare and TANF in El Paso County, Colorado (PDF - 72 KB)
Center for Law and Social Policy (2003)
Reviews the efforts of El Paso County, CO, to integrate its child welfare and TANF agencies to provide seamless, family-centered services regardless of how the families came to the attention of the department. The paper offers recommendations and discusses lessons learned.
Enhancing Collaboration Between Work First and Child Welfare
North Carolina Division of Social Services & North Carolina Family and Children's Resource Program
Children's Services Practice Notes, 9(3), 2004
Describes the benefits of collaboration between the State's TANF program and child welfare services, reviews solutions to common barriers to collaboration, and explains successful county initiatives. (PDF - 127 KB)
Project Area Background Information: Child Welfare-Targeted Employment and Training
Ohio Office of Family Stability TANF Demonstration Project (2004)
Discusses Ohio's strategies to increase agency collaboration to address the overlap of families in need of TANF services and those in need of child welfare services. Five key components of integrated service systems are explained and a list of five State and national resources is provided.
Washington State Site Visit: Sharing Lessons Learned From TANF and Child Welfare Service Integration in El Paso County, CO: Final Report (PDF - 1,976 KB)
Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network (2003)
Summarizes a presentation made by a leader from the El Paso County, CO, Department of Human Services to Washington State as part of the Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network to share information about service integration. Topics include the roles of child welfare and TANF, programs and policies, outcomes, and lessons learned.