A Study of Work Participation and Full Engagement Strategies. Administrative Procedures that Support Full Engagement


Achieving full engagement depends on whether and the extent to which this philosophy is supported (1) at the highest levels of management and (2) by TANF agency administrative procedures. For instance, senior policymakers and program administrators must champion the philosophy in the messages they send to their staff and their agency partners; their goal is to ensure that program and contractor staff buy in to the philosophy and use it to guide their daily service delivery efforts. Putting the philosophy into practice, however, means that administrative procedures must facilitate a recipient's movement through the system, track this movement, help staff manage caseloads, give managers the authority to hold staff accountable for outcomes, and document program successes and failures.

We identified four administrative procedures used by the study sites to promote full engagement: (1) communicating a clear and consistent program message; (2) tracking client participation closely; (3) using sanctions to encourage participation; and (4) using performance standards to hold staff accountable for outcomes. Like the strategies, it is not likely that one of these procedures alone will support full engagement. To do so, programs will have to use several procedures.

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