Past Conferences

2013 Conference Agenda

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Session Track Key
green icon Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
light blue icon Education, Training and Success in the Labor Market
yellow icon Child and Youth Well-Being
orange icon Fatherhood, Relationships and Strengthening Families
purple icon Evaluating Social Programs: Building and Using Evidence
blue icon Approaches to Alleviate Poverty and Strengthen the Safety Net

Video — Session video available

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
7:30 a.m. Registration and Information Desk Open
8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks  Video

Naomi Goldstein (Administration for Children and Families)

George H. Sheldon (Administration for Children and Families)

9:15 a.m. Plenary Session
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Innovations in State TANF Programs  Video

LaDonna Pavetti (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) will moderate and serve as a discussant on this panel about States’ strategies to plan and implement innovations to their TANF programs. Panelists include:

  • Deborah Carroll (District of Columbia Department of Human Services)
  • Linda Martin (South Carolina Department of Social Services)
  • Deborah Schlick (Minnesota Department of Human Services)
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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Career Pathways Evaluation Design  Video

This session will focus on innovative approaches to and the challenges of evaluating career pathways programs, which combine skills training, supports and employment connections to help low-income, low-skilled adults improve their educational and employment outcomes. Brendan Kelly (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate the session.

  • Alan Werner (Abt Associates) will describe how administrative data, surveys and other methods are being used in the National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG).
  • Laura Peck (Abt Associates) will discuss the HPOG Impact Study’s innovative experimental design, which uses natural and random variation of program features to assess impacts.  
  • Howard Rolston (Abt Associates) will provide an overview of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency evaluation design, including programs in the evaluation and design challenges.
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Implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Coordinating Health and Human Services Programs

Implementation of the ACA presents an opportunity to streamline and integrate insurance affordability and human services programs. Alana Landey (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) will moderate this session, which will explore opportunities for coordination and outreach.

  • Stan Dorn (The Urban Institute) will discuss how health programs under ACA can help human services programs more efficiently determine eligibility and how human services programs can help uninsured consumers enroll in insurance affordability programs.
  • Anita Light (American Public Human Services Association) will describe APHSA’s Pathways initiative and National Workgroup on Integration, both of which seek to transform health and human services administration and delivery.
  • Rochelle Rollins (Administration for Children and Families)


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Policies to Improve Child Support Outcomes

Improving the reliability of child support payments, particularly for low- and moderate-income families, continues to be a focus at ACF. Jennifer Burnszynski (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this discussion on evaluations of innovative programs and policies to improve child support outcomes. 

  • Asaph Glosser (MEF Associates) will present on new, small-scale rigorous evaluations of child support collections strategies in Washington State.
  • Jane Venohr (Center for Policy Research) will present findings from a review of five debt compromise programs and their payment outcomes.
  • Mary Marczak (University of Minnesota) will present on the Co-Parent Court Evaluation, an evaluation of an innovative program in Minnesota.


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Strategies to Support Disconnected and At-Risk Youth

How best to serve disconnected and at-risk youth continues to be a focus of many Federal, State and local organizations. Stefanie Schmidt (U.S. Department of Labor) will moderate a discussion on ways to serve this vulnerable population using findings from new research.

  • Robin Dion (Mathematica Policy Research) will present on ACF’s Youth Development Demonstration project, which developed a conceptual framework for moving at-risk youth to a self-sufficient adulthood.
  • Brett Theodos (The Urban Institute) will describe findings from a rigorous evaluation of the Latin American Youth Center’s Promotores program, which pairs high-risk adolescents with Promotores who serve as case managers and mentors.
  • Arif Mamun (Mathematica Policy Research) will discuss findings from an experimental study of the Social Security Administration’s Youth Transition Demonstration, a large-scale demonstration of approaches to aid young people with disabilities in becoming more self-sufficient and less reliant on disability benefits.


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OPRE-Sponsored Tribal Projects: An Overview, Evaluation Methodologies and Preliminary Findings

ACF provides oversight and funding to multiple programs that offer opportunities and support to American Indian and Alaskan Native populations. This panel, moderated by Anne Bergan (Administration for Children and Families), will discuss four ongoing studies.

  • Heather Hahn (The Urban Institute) will discuss the Descriptive Study of Tribal TANF Programs, which documents the diverse approaches to tribal TANF programs and examines how Tribes implement TANF and coordinate with other programs.
  • Cynthia Helba (Westat) will describe the Understanding Urban Indians’ Interactions with ACF Programs and Services study, which aims to improve understanding of how low-income American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban areas interact with ACF services and programs.
  • Pirkko Ahonen (James Bell Associates) will discuss the Study of Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare Services to Tribal Families at Risk of Child Abuse or Neglect Grants, which is documenting the models, processes and outcomes of the grantees’ service coordination projects.
  • Michael Meit (NORC at the University of Chicago) will offer an overview of the Evaluation of the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG), which includes a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation of the five tribal HPOG grantees.
12:00 p.m. Lunch On Your Own
1:45 p.m.

Keynote Address  Video

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Jack P. Shonkoff (Harvard Center on the Developing Child)

Advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics and the behavioral and social sciences can help launch a new era of early childhood policy and practice that is driven by knowledge, guided by experience, fueled by innovation and committed to breakthrough impacts. This keynote by Jack P. Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, will show how improved understanding of the long-term consequences of early adversity and the critical role of responsive relationships in shaping healthy development can catalyze new strategies to produce substantially greater outcomes in educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship and both physical and mental health.
2:45 p.m. Emerging Scholars Poster Session

Please join us for this session, which will be an opportunity to mingle with fellow conference attendees, as well as view posters summarizing work by emerging scholars–researchers and scholars early in their careers–who were selected to participate in the conference. Emerging scholars will be on hand to answer questions about their work.

  • Sarah Bruch (University of Iowa)
    How Safe are the Safety Nets?: An Examination of Change, Variation and Impact 1994-2010
  • Brielle Bryan (Harvard University)
    The Relationship between Childhood TANF Cash Assistance Receipt and Young Adult Expectations
  • Elizabeth Crowe (American University)
    Do Low-Income, Single Mothers Access Other Forms of Aid: Community, Kinship and Other Government Aid
  • Louis Donnelly (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
    Head Start Participation and Nonresident Father Involvement
  • Ed Gerrish (Indiana University)
    What Impact Did Child Support Performance Incentives have on State OCSE Performance and Child Welfare?
  • Alix Gould-Werth (University of Michigan)
    Better Together? Changes in the Dynamics of Joint Participation in SNAP and UI Following the Great Recession
  • Jorgen Harris (MDRC)
    Determining the Contribution of Supplemental Activities to Impacts in the Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation
  • Maggie R. Jones (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Changes in EITC Eligibility and Participation, 2005-2009
  • Jiyoon Kim (University of Michigan)
    Are Household Food Expenditures Responsive to Entry onto SNAP?
  • Melissa Kull (Boston College)
    Housing Costs as Investments and Sources of Stress: Associations with Child Functioning in Low-Income Families
  • Joellen Lewsader (Purdue University)
    License-Exempt, Church-Sponsored Child Care: Associations between Regulatory Level and Child Care Quality
  • Yiran Li (Virginia Tech)
    Timing Is Everything: Household Food Insecurity Before, During and After Food Stamp Participation
  • Richard Rodems (University of Michigan)
    Navigating the Safety Net: Public Programs, Non-Profits and Informal Support in the Great Recession
  • Aleta Sprague (New America Foundation)
    State Asset Limit Reforms and the Implications for Federal Policy
  • Rebecca Swartz (University of Illinois)
    Sustaining Family Child Care Providers' Psychosocial Wellness
  • Kimberly Turner (Cornell University)
    The Private Safety Nets of Unmarried Fathers
  • Amanda Ward (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Jail Reentry, Social Networks and Aid: Practitioner Perspectives on Working with Female Offenders
3:45 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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Strengthening the Healthcare Workforce: Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) University Research and Program Partnerships

The University Partnership Research Grantees each partner with an HPOG grantee to conduct research to inform and improve program performance and add to the knowledge base on health care career pathways for low-income individuals. This session, moderated by Hilary Forster (Administration for Children and Families), will focus on the unique nature of these research/program partnerships, noting successes, challenges and lessons learned.

  • Janet Boguslaw (Brandeis University) will discuss her study’s partnership with the New Hampshire Health Profession Opportunity Project to identify and strengthen employer engagement in developing and advancing workforce diversity and a career mobility pipeline.
  • Teresa Eckrich Sommer (Northwestern University) will describe her partnership with the Community Action Project of Tulsa, OK  to assess the impact of CareerAdvance®, a two-generation program that simultaneously links education, job training and career- building for low-income parents with high-quality early childhood education for their young children.
  • Loretta Heuer (North Dakota State University) will share how she is partnering with Cankdeska Cikana Community College to assess the recruitment and retention of American Indian nurses in North Dakota, and the implementation of an apprenticeship program and a pipeline course for high school students.
  • Cheryl A. Hyde (Temple University) will describe her partnership with the Health Information Career Pathways Initiative to study social networks and social capital development.
  • Philip Hong (Loyola University of Chicago) will discuss how he has partnered with two HPOG programs to evaluate the development and progress of psychological self-sufficiency as students move through training programs.
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What Have We Learned About Programs and Policies to Support Low-Income Fathers?  Video

Programs to support responsible fatherhood have grown over the past few decades. Elizabeth Peters (The Urban Institute) will moderate a discussion aimed at gleaning the lessons learned from recent research examining fatherhood programs and policies.

  • Sarah Avellar (Mathematica Policy Research) will draw on knowledge gained from the Strengthening Families Evidence Review to highlight research on effective fatherhood programming.
  • David Pate (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) will discuss his review of child support agencies’ efforts to promote fathers’ self-sufficiency and how they have impacted child support payments and parent-child involvement.
  • Sharon McGroder (Mathematica Policy Research) will discuss the use of psychosocial predictors, such as personality, goals and stressors, in fatherhood research.
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Using Social Media and Technology for Research on Low-Income Populations

Emerging technologies can facilitate increases in benefit access and program effectiveness, improvements in efforts to locate low-income, hard-to-reach populations and research cost savings. Sarah Sattelmeyer (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session focused on identifying and using appropriate technologies to conduct research on low-income populations.

  • Mary Madden (Pew Internet and American Life Project) will give an overview of what is known about technology and Internet use among low-income and hard-to-reach populations, as well as the impact of emerging technologies on families, communities and teens.
  • Ashley Richards (RTI International) will provide an overview of how surveys and data collection processes can incorporate social media and mobile technologies to increase efficiency, timeliness and quality, especially for studies of low-income and hard-to-reach populations.
  • Diane Zambito (Cby25i) will highlight ways that researchers and program providers can use emerging technologies to connect and stay connected with low-income and at-risk youth, including those served by ACF programs. She will highlight effective strategies to locate youth to participate in survey research.
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Emerging Research on Disconnection from TANF and the Safety Net

Pamela Loprest (The Urban Institute) will moderate this session about “disconnected” families who are neither working nor receiving cash assistance. Panelists will describe the characteristics of these families, discuss how State and local policies relate to disconnection and examine how disconnection may differ between men and women.

  • Zakia Redd (Child Trends) will use data from the 2011 and 2012 National Survey of Children's Health to present a statistical portrait of disconnected families with children.
  • Andrea Hetling (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) will use Census data to focus on how macro-level factors, such as State welfare rules and counties’ socio-economic characteristics, relate to disconnection.
  • Laryssa Mykyta (U.S. Census Bureau) will examine disconnectedness among working-age men and women and assess how the prevalence of disconnection varies over the business cycle.
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Examining Dimensions of Child Care Policy

Child care is an integral part of many programs that serve low-income families, as well as an important contributor to a child’s current and future well-being. Sarah Minton (The Urban Institute) will moderate a session presenting findings from new research around child care subsidies for low-income families.

  • Using administrative data from Maryland, Nicole Forry (Child Trends) will present findings from an analysis of the association between early care and education experiences, including subsidized child care and school readiness.
  • Julia Henly (The University of Chicago) will report findings of an innovative research partnership that aims to improve knowledge around subsidy stability and child care continuity.
  • Yoonsook Ha (Boston University) will discuss work examining how the generosity of state-level child care subsidy rules affects subsidy take up and retention.
5:00 p.m. Informal Social Gathering

Omni Shoreham Marquee Bar and Lounge

We welcome conference attendees to gather for informal networking; refreshments will be available for purchase.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks   Video
8:45 a.m. Plenary Session
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Working Across TANF, Adult Education and Workforce Systems to Support Career Pathways for Low-Income Populations  Video

This plenary discussion will focus on strategies and barriers to leveraging multiple funding streams to support career pathways for low-income adults. Practitioners will address how they are working on the ground to coordinate TANF, adult education services and workforce systems. Evelyn Ganzglass (CLASP) will serve as a discussant and Mary Alice McCarthy (U.S. Department of Education) will moderate the session with panelists:

  • Cheryl Feldman (District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund)
  • Marléna Sessions (Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County)   
  • Karon Rosa (Arkansas Department of Higher Education)
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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Recent Findings from Marriage Research

Barbara Devaney (Mathematica Policy Research) will moderate this discussion of new research on men’s perspectives about marriage and programs to strengthen marriage and other relationships. 

  • Armon Perry (University of Louisville) will discuss findings from a qualitative study of African-American men’s perspectives on marriage and fatherhood.
  • Scott Stanley (University of Denver) will present results from a rigorous evaluation of a marriage strengthening program that aimed to decrease divorce among military families.
  • Erika Lundquist (MDRC) will describe 30-month impact findings from OPRE’s Supporting Healthy Marriage project, which tested a relationship education program for low-income married couples.
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Poverty, Inequality and Mobility among Hispanics: The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality's Hispanic Research Initiative

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality recently launched a new ASPE- and OPRE-funded research initiative to understand trends related to poverty, inequality and mobility among Hispanics. This discussion will provide an overview of these trends and highlight two specific research projects funded through the initiative. Sandra Barrueco (Catholic University of America) will moderate.

  • Marybeth Mattingly (Stanford University) will describe this initiative and provide an overview of recent trends related to poverty, inequality and mobility among Hispanics.
  • Van Tran (Columbia University) will discuss a research project that draws on recent data from the Current Population Survey to examine how Latinos and their descendents are incorporating into American society.
  • Fernando Riosmena (University of Colorado) will describe a research project that uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess whether Hispanics living in areas with higher co-ethnic concentrations have better health than those living in less concentrated areas.
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Identifying Elements of Your Intervention that Generate Positive Impacts: Methodological Progress for Experimental Research

Increasingly, impact analyses are used to determine which elements of an intervention contribute to impacts. Elizabeth Stuart (Johns Hopkins University) will moderate and serve as a discussant for this session, which will focus on innovative methodological approaches to connect inputs to impacts.

  • Fatih Unlu (Abt Associates) will describe two non-experimental approaches used to study mediators in randomized controlled trials–structural equation modeling and principal stratification–and present and discuss the application of a new strategy that uses double-propensity scoring to implement principal stratification.
  • Laura Peck (Abt Associates) will discuss recent work that compares the instrumental variables estimation approach to analysis of symmetrically-predicted endogenous subgroups, including the connections between these methods and the appropriate policy evaluation settings in which to use them.
  • Stephen Bell (Abt Associates) will introduce new design and analysis strategies for determining “what works” using randomly-assigned and naturally-occurring variation in program components across sites and between individuals.
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Subsidized Jobs for Youth  Video

The New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) implements a range of subsidized jobs programs for young adults who are disconnected from work and school. The panel will describe the implementation of these programs and how to use public funding to implement them for distinct populations, as well as lessons learned from independent evaluations of the programs. Erica Zielewski (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate the session, while Dan Bloom (MDRC) will serve as a discussant.

  • Carson Hicks (New York City Center for Economic Opportunity) will provide an overview of several CEO subsidized jobs programs, describe key lessons learned from program evaluations and address how these programs have been replicated through New York City‘s Young Men‘s Initiative and the Social Innovation Fund.
  • Courtney Hawkins (FEGS Health and Human Services System) will offer a provider’s perspective on implementing subsidized job programming, focusing on intake practices, case management and what works best for whom.
  • Clyde McQueen (Full Employment Council) will share his experiences implementing the Social Innovation Fund’s Project Rise program in Kansas City, highlighting lessons learned about program adaptation.
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TANF Work Participation and Engagement Strategies

Elizabeth Laird (Mathematica Policy Research) will moderate this panel that will help researchers, practitioners and policymakers to better understand why some TANF clients may not meet Federal work requirements, as well as explore different State and local work participation and engagement strategies.

  • Michelle Derr (Mathematica Policy Research) will discuss findings from an OPRE-funded study that used site visits to eight communities and interviews with TANF administrators and staff in 30 States to document reasons why TANF recipients are/are not meeting work requirements and identify effective engagement strategies implemented by States and localities.
  • John Krantz (Utah Department of Workforce Services) will describe his work to understand which TANF-related services are most strongly associated with meeting work participation requirements in Utah.
  • Levetta Love (Colorado Department of Human Services) will share successes and challenges of shifting Colorado’s TANF program from a focus on work activity participation to employment outcomes.
11:30 a.m. Lunch On Your Own
12:00 p.m. Lunchtime Panel Discussion on Careers in Research Related to Poverty, Family Self-Sufficiency and Social Welfare

This panel discussion is designed for emerging scholars and other conference attendees who are interested in pursuing career paths in poverty, family self-sufficiency and social welfare research outside of the academic setting. The panel—which is open to all conference attendees—will bring together individuals who have experience working in Federal and local government, research firms and nonprofit organizations. Sarah Sattelmeyer (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate as panelists discuss their careers and career pathways, provide insights and advice about career-building in their respective fields and answer attendee questions. Panelists are:

  • Diana McCallum (U.S. Department of Education)
  • Kinsey Dinan (New York City Human Resources Administration)
  • Lauren Eyster (The Urban Institute)
  • Isaac Castillo (DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative)
1:15 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Populations: Interactions with Human Services Systems

Existing data indicate that LGBT populations may be disproportionately at risk of poor economic and social well-being outcomes. To address this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Administration for Children and Families have taken steps to strengthen services for these populations. Sarah Hunter (Administration on Children, Youth and Families) will moderate this session on identifying the needs of LGBT populations and serving these populations in human services programs.

  • Andrew Burwick (Mathematica Policy Research) will discuss a new ACF project to establish the knowledge base on LGBT populations’ characteristics and interactions with human services, develop hypotheses about their human services needs, identify data gaps and create recommendations and priorities for future research in this field.
  • Amy Dworsky (Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago) will examine differences in self-sufficiency related to sexual orientation amongst former foster youth using data from a longitudinal study of youth transitioning out of foster care.  
  • Rhodes Perry (New York City Administration for Children’s Services) will discuss his role in developing and implementing policies and recommendations to address the needs of LGBTQ children, youth and families within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
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Two-Generation Strategies to Support Family Well-Being and Stability

Programs that integrate services for children and their parents may better support families than programs that serve these groups independently. Lisa Gennetian (National Bureau of Economic Research) will moderate this session on two-generation strategies.

  • Shelley Waters Boots (Annie E. Casey Foundation) will describe the Foundation’s efforts to support two-generation approaches to lift families and children out of poverty.
  • Susan Popkin (The Urban Institute) will discuss lessons learned from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Opportunities and Services Together Demonstration, which tested innovative approaches to coordinating public housing and human services in four sites.
  • JoAnn Hsueh (MDRC) will present findings from OPRE's Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project in one site that enhanced Early Head Start services by incorporating employment, education and related services for parents.
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Federally-Funded Behavioral Economics Research  Video

Behavioral economics is a growing academic field that shows promise to improve and reshape public policy and programs, including those that serve low-income families. Maya Shankar (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) will moderate this session on Federal efforts to apply behavioral principles to existing programs and interventions.

  • Emily Schmitt (Administration for Children and Families) will describe OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, which aims to develop and test the application of behavioral economics principles to ACF’s programs and target populations.
  • Joanne Guthrie (U.S. Department of Agriculture) will present findings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Using Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs initiative.
  • Irene Skricki (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) will describe a new effort to develop and test behaviorally informed strategies to improve consumer financial behavior.
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Program Perspectives on Participating in Random Assignment Evaluations

While participating in a rigorous evaluation can provide useful information for a program, doing so can be a demanding and, at times, challenging experience for program practitioners. Mike Fishman (MEF Associates) will moderate and serve as a discussant for this discussion of practitioners’ experiences as program operators participating in rigorous random assignment evaluations.

  • Sarah Hurley (Youth Villages) will discuss the experience of Youth Villages in participating in a random assignment evaluation, including sucesses and challenges faced by the organization.
  • Guadalupe Martinez (Instituto Del Progreso Latino) will describe opportunities, barriers and challenges to implementing the Carreras en Salud program as part of OPRE’s Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency project.
  • James Whelly (San Francisco Human Services Agency) will share San Francisco’s perspective on participating in OPRE’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration, including the challenges San Francisco has faced and how they have addressed those challenges.
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Implications of TANF and Workforce Investment Act Coordination and Integration

The complementary missions and client populations of WIA and TANF programs produce opportunities for coordination and integration. Neil Ridley (CLASP) will moderate this session focused on strategies to improve outcomes for participants in both programs, while efficiently using limited resources.

  • Gretchen Kirby (Mathematica Policy Research) will present findings from an OPRE-funded descriptive study of promising practices in TANF and WIA coordination in select sites.
  • Tamila Lay (Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare) will share Pennsylvania’s experience coordinating TANF and WIA programs, including lessons learned.  
  • Carolyn Farley and Debbie Dowell (Iowa Workforce Development) will discuss Burlington, Iowa’s TANF-WIA coordination and integration activities.
2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. Facilitated Roundtables Session

These facilitated discussions will provide an opportunity for attendees to gather and discuss family self-sufficiency and related topics.

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Assessing State TANF Agencies’ Program and Research Needs
Michelle Derr, Mathematica Policy Research

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Developing TANF-Supported Subsidized Employment Programs
Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP

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Efforts to Support Work/Family Balance for Low-Wage Workers
Pamela Winston, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Exploring Social Enterprise
Christina Garcia, REDF

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Exploring Intersections between Home Visiting Programs and TANF
Tiffany Perrin, Pew Home Visiting Campaign

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Serving Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Kathleen McCoy, Administration for Children and Families

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Buffering against Toxic Stress for Vulnerable Children and Youth
Aleta Meyer, Administration for Children and Families
Christine Fortunato, Administration for Children and Families

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Replication and Scale Up of Evidence-Based Programs
Sarah Oberlander, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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How to Conduct and Use Systematic Evidence Reviews
Lisa Trivits, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Diana McCallum, U.S. Department of Education

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Using Orthogonal Design in Social Science Research
Laura Peck, Abt Associates

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Using Performance Management Data for Program Improvement
Zakia Redd, Child Trends

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Next Steps in Marriage and Relationships Research
Nancye Campbell, Administration for Children and Families
Dana K. Harmon, The University of West Alabama

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What Do Men Need and What Do Programs Provide to Promote Responsible Fatherhood?
Armon Perry, University of Louisville

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Addressing Issues of Food Insecurity
Mark Nord, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Incorporating Asset-Building into Programs that Serve Low-Income Families
Gretchen Lehman, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Anne Yeoman, Assets for Independence Resource Center
Leigh Tivol, CFED

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Use of Social Impact Bonds
Timothy Rudd, MDRC

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Human Services Research Initiative Prize: Supporting Government Efforts to Build the Evidence Base
Michael Wiseman, The George Washington Institute of Public Policy
Thomas Gais, University at Albany, State University of New York

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Research Related to Low-Income Hispanic Populations
Ann Rivera, Administration for Children and Families
Clare DiSalvo, Administration for Children and Families
Akilah Swinton, Administration for Children and Families

3:45 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. Plenary Session
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Family Homelessness: Examining the Emerging Evidence, Federal Policy and Promising Practice Strategies  Video

Nan Roman (National Alliance to End Homelessness) will moderate this plenary discussion on research, evidence, policy and strategies related to family homelessness with panelists:

  • Mark Greenberg (Administration for Children and Families)
  • Mark Johnston (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
  • Marybeth Shinn (Vanderbilt University)
  • Katharine Gale (U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness)
Friday, May 31, 2013
7:45 a.m. Registration and Information Desk Open
8:45 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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Promising Approaches to Improving Community College Outcomes
This session will explore promising approaches in post-secondary education and training for low-income groups. Alexander Mayer (MDRC) will moderate the session, drawing on research from the Achieving the Dream initiative and Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration.

  • Drew Allen (The City University of New York) will describe findings from a recent quasi-experimental study of CUNY Start, a bridge program for community college students that require remediation.
  • Donna Linderman (The City University of New York) will review a recent evaluation of CUNY ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs), which has demonstrated high impacts in improving associates degree attainment in community college students.
  • Daniel Kreisman (University of Michigan) will discuss research that uses newly-collected institutional data to evaluate various outcomes from Michigan Community Colleges.
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Best Practices in Dissemination and Communication

A critical step in the research process is ensuring that the intended audience sees and uses the research. Matthew Borus (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session on ways to understand and identify appropriate audiences for dissemination and communication efforts and how to design materials and reports to reach those audiences using new and established channels.

  • Adam Coyne (Mathematica Policy Research) will focus on two critical aspects of research dissemination: the format of dissemination and how different formats translate to multiple dissemination channels, including social media.
  • John Hutchins (MDRC) will discuss strategies to disseminate information through emerging technologies, as well as highlight the importance of maintaining relationships with Federal, State and local policymakers; national associations; public interest and advocacy groups; foundations and other research organizations.
  • Mary Myrick (Public Strategies) will examine how different stakeholders consume and use research, and discuss the importance of linking research and evaluation with public policy and implementation efforts.
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Understanding TANF Child-Only Cases  Video

In addition to providing temporary cash assistance and work supports, TANF also supports children living with non-parental caregivers or disabled parents receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments and provides cash aid to citizen children whose parents are ineligible for aid due to immigration status. David Kassabian (The Urban Institute) will provide an overview of TANF child-only cases and discuss the OPRE-funded Welfare Rules Database which tracks States’ TANF rules, including rules related to these cases.

  • Richard Speiglman (Child and Family Policy Institute of California) will explore SSI child-only TANF cases and relevant considerations for TANF and child welfare policy.
  • Non-parental caregiver cases are the largest category of child-only cases in more than half of all States and often include children who have had some contact with child protective services. Jane Mauldon (University of California, Berkeley) will describe what is known about non-parental caregiver cases and discuss related policy considerations.
  • Todd Bland (California Department of Social Services) will discuss California’s TANF child-only caseload, including successes and challenges in program administration and service provision.
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Emerging Research on Programs for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Youth aging out of the foster care system represent a particularly disadvantaged population. Brett Brown (Administration on Children, Youth and Families) will moderate this discussion on ways to serve this group of young people and how their programming needs can be better understood and improved.

  • Mark Courtney (University of Chicago) will discuss the current state of knowledge on programs to support youth transitioning out of the foster care system, including the need for more rigorous evaluation.
  • Jacqueline Kauff (Mathematica Policy Research) will describe findings from a study examining how public housing agencies support youth aging out of foster care with a focus on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Unification Program.
  • John Martinez (MDRC) will present new research from a random assignment study of the Youth Villages Transitional Living model, which provides nine months of intensive counseling and support to youth who age out of State custody in Tennessee.
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Integrating Financial Empowerment Tools: Do They Supercharge Other Programs?

Federal, State and local governments and non-profit partners have developed a number of asset-building and financial empowerment strategies that target low-income populations. Amelia Erwitt (New York City Department of Consumer Affairs) will moderate this session that presents evidence from three approaches to integrating financial empowerment strategies.

  • Gayle Hamilton (MDRC) will describe the design of and early implementation findings from the SaveUSA tax-time savings incentive program operating in New York City, Newark, San Antonio and Tulsa.
  • Chris Walker (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) will discuss research to evaluate the Social Innovation Fund grant to expand the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's Financial Opportunity Centers model in Chicago.
  • Jessica Nathan (BronxWorks) will discuss the implementation of the Jobs-Plus program model in the Bronx and, specifically, the addition of financial counseling services to the model.
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Closing Remarks
10:30 a.m. Plenary Session
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Incarceration and Poverty: Supporting Improved Well-Being for Ex-Offenders and their Families  Video

Incarceration and criminal justice involvement can have lasting consequences for children and families. This panel will address different aspects of this important topic, including implications for children and families, Federal efforts to address these challenges and opportunities for ACF programs to support affected populations. Earl Johnson (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session which includes the following panelists:

  • Christopher Wildeman (Yale University)
  • Nancy La Vigne (The Urban Institute)
  • Amy Solomon (U.S. Department of Justice) (Invited)
  • Nancy Ware (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia)
11:45 a.m. Break
12:00 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
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ACF Research Initiatives Related to Low-Income Hispanic Populations

Akilah Swinton (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session on select ACF research initiatives related to low-income Hispanic populations. Luis Torres (University of Houston) will serve as a discussant on this panel.

  • Ann Rivera (Administration for Children and Families) will discuss recommended survey data elements to help researchers unpack the diversity of Hispanic populations.
  • Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar (University of Illinois at Chicago) will discuss the importance of cultural competence and how to conceptualize and measure it in programs for Hispanic children and families.
  • Héctor Cordero-Guzmán (The City University of New York) will discuss findings from exploratory research to assess and understand the human services needs of Puerto Rico’s low-income children and families.
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Converging Innovation and Evidence: Examples from the U.S. Department of Labor

This session will examine three programs in the U.S. Department of Labor’s evaluation portfolio that are using innovative strategies to develop evidence on social programs. Katie Glenn (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate the session.

  • Erika Liliedahl (U.S. Department of Labor) will describe the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program and how grantees’ third-party evaluations and the national evaluation of the program will contribute to the field.
  • Savi Swick (U.S. Department of Labor) will highlight the Workforce Innovation Fund as an example of a Federal agency building and using evidence in social programs.
  • Celeste Richie (U.S. Department of Labor) will describe Pay for Success, an innovative way of evaluating social programs and financing social services.
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Preventing Teen Pregnancy: How Does Public Policy Matter?

What is the effect of Federal and State policy on the teen birth rate? Which policies are likely to reduce teen births? This panel will discuss recent research which offers three different perspectives on these important questions. Clare DiSalvo (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate the panel and Seth Chamberlain (Administration for Children and Families) will serve as a discussant.

  • Melissa Kearney (University of Maryland) will discuss findings from an analysis of possible explanations for the large decline in U.S. teen childbearing that occurred in the 20 years following the 1991 peak.
  • Vanessa Harbin (Child Trends) will present the results of a study to understand the substantial variation in the rate of decline in teen births across States.
  • Adam Thomas (Georgetown University) will describe results from fiscal impact simulations of three national-level policies designed to prevent unintended pregnancy.
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Creating Sustainable Pathways to Opportunity: Evidence from Public Housing Demonstrations

The link between poverty and place has long been recognized, but designing effective place-based programs to reduce poverty in the communities where it is most concentrated is a formidable policy challenge. This panel, moderated by Kate Dempsey (New York City Center for Economic Opportunity), will discuss the Center's municipal implementation of Jobs-Plus, a program that brings employment services to public housing residents.

  • Donna Wharton-Fields (MDRC) will discuss results from earlier studies of HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency program, drawing comparisons to the Jobs-Plus model.
  • Marlon Williams (New York City Human Resources Administration) will describe efforts to expand Jobs-Plus to support TANF, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other human services programs, while targeting public housing residents.  
  • Ronald Ashford (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) will offer a Federal perspective on how to integrate lessons from Jobs-Plus and prior research into future funding and programming.
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The TANF/Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Transition Project (TSDTP): Pilot Results  Video

In this session, John Martinez (MDRC) and Mary Farrell (MEF Associates) will summarize emerging results from the TSDTP project and address implications for future work. Local representatives from the project’s three pilot sites will provide reflections and discuss opportunities for sustainability and scaling of the interventions.

  • Boyd Brown (Goodwill Easter Seals Minnesota) will discuss the Ramsey County pilot, Families Achieving Success Today, an integrated, co-located service design that utilizes evidence-based practices for families with disabilities.
  • Sherri Cheatham (Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services) will discuss the Los Angeles SSI advocacy improvement pilot, an initiative to increase the quality of adult SSI applications submitted by the Los Angles County Department of Public Social Services on behalf of disabled participants in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program.
  • Tausha Drain (Michigan Department of Human Services) will discuss the Muskegon County pilot, which is seeking to improve the identification of disabilities among the TANF caseload and provide motivational interviewing and employment services to those identified as having a work limitation.
1:15 p.m. Conference Adjourns