Screening and Assessment in TANF\Welfare-to-Work: Ten Important Questions TANF Agencies and Their Partners Should Consider. Where should we seek information and what partners should be involved?

03/01/2001

As discussed in greater detail in Question Seven, other state and local government agencies or community-based organizations that specialize in a particular barrier to work provide a valuable source of expertise to TANF agencies. Partnerships between TANF agencies and other organizations or experts can yield information about both a particular barrier to work (e.g., substance abuse) or tools that can be adapted for a TANF agency's use.

Partnerships with other agencies can be a valuable source of information for TANF agencies considering developing a screening tool.

For example, in Tennessee the state TANF agency collaborated with four other agencies in developing their multiple barrier screening tool. The YWCA provided input on domestic violence issues. The Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Service within the State Department of Health offered substance abuse expertise. Community mental health centers were involved as contractproviders, and the University of Tennessee's Center for Literacy Studies provided input on learning disabilities. Collaborating with four additional agencies is a challenging prospect, requiring five different agencies to "speak the same language" and make decisions jointly. While Tennessee has made this five-way partnership work for them, even partnerships with one other agency are likely to be a valuable source of information for states and localities considering developing a screening tool.

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