Role of Intermediaries in Linking TANF Recipients with Jobs: Final Report. Lessons Learned and Next Steps

For the last several years, states and localities have been making policy, programmatic and service delivery changes to shift to a more work-oriented assistance system.В  Based on the experiences of the 20 sites included in this study, intermediaries clearly are important players in this transition.В  Most local welfare offices, at a minimum, have transferred responsibility for teaching TANF clients how to find employment and linking them with employers who have job openings to intermediaries.В  In a surprising number of local sites, intermediaries also have broader case management responsibilities including assessing TANF clients' needs and helping them to develop and implement a plan for achieving self-sufficiency.

This research was designed to be exploratory in nature.В  Thus, it represents a first step in trying to understand what organizations are acting as intermediaries and the role they play in linking welfare recipients with jobs.В  The variation in how the local sites have defined the roles and responsibilities of intermediaries is quite striking.В  This suggests that if we had selected more sites or 20 different sites we might have uncovered even more models of using intermediaries.В  With this in mind, in this chapter we discuss the challenges the intermediaries in the study sites encountered and present broad lessons that can be gleaned from the study sites' experiences.В  We conclude with suggestions for ways in which our understanding of the role intermediaries are playing in linking welfare recipients with jobs might be enhanced.

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