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Economic Stability

Helping fathers improve their economic status by providing activities, such as Work First services, job search, job training, subsidized employment, job retention and job enhancement; and encouraging education, including career-advancing education.

Picture of family in boat on water.

A Work First How To Guide

There is no single model of a work first program. What defines such programs is their overall philosophy: that any job is a good job and that the best way to succeed in the labor market is to join it, developing work habits and skills on the job rather than in a classroom. Work first programs also share a strong message that, for participants, employment is both the goal and the expectation. Beyond this common philosophy, however, work first programs vary significantly in the services they offer, the sequencing of their activities, the extent to which participation is required and enforced, and even their goals and approach. This guide provides some insight in how to Implement an Employment-Focused Approach to Welfare Reform.

The Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network

The Welfare Peer Technical Assistance Network provides peer-to-peer technical assistance to public agencies and private organizations operating the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. Technical assistance is provided through a variety of mechanisms: peer-to-peer site visits, workshops, moderated teleconferences and interactive Q&A sessions. The Web site also highlights policy relevant research, innovative programs, related links and upcoming events. The objective of the Peer TA Network is to facilitate the sharing of information between and among states and to establish linkages between organizations serving the needs of welfare recipients.

Low-Income Fathers Reports and Projects

Reports and other Information about programs and demonstrations designed to help low-income fathers obtain the skills they need to provide financial and emotional support for their children.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF (managed by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA)) provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting states the federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs. Citizens may apply for assistance at their local TANF agency.  TANF Factsheet.

Work-Force Investment Act (WIA)

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 provides the framework for a unique national workforce preparation and employment system designed to meet both the needs of the nation’s businesses and the needs of job seekers and those who want to further their careers. Title I of the legislation is based on the following elements:

  • Training and employment programs must be designed and managed at the local level where the needs of businesses and individuals are best understood.
  • Customers must be able to conveniently access the employment, education, training, and information services they need at a single location in their neighborhoods.
  • Customers should have choices in deciding the training program that best fits their needs and the organizations that will provide that service. They should have control over their own career development.
  • Customers have a right to information about how well training providers succeed in preparing people for jobs. Training providers will provide information on their success rates.
  • Businesses will provide information, leadership, and play an active role in ensuring that the system prepares people for current and future jobs.

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Last Revised:  July 22, 2011

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