Early Lessons from the Work Support Strategies Initiative
Nine-state specific reports and a cross-cutting report draw out the lessons from the planning phase of Work Support Strategies, providing an in-depth analysis of activities, accomplishments and insights. Each report includes lessons learned as states navigated through the planning and pilot implementation of integrating Medicaid, SNAP, child care subsidies, and other safety-net programs.
This report summarizes the lessons learned from the nine planning grant states (Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina), just one year into a four-year project. It includes what the states did, how they overcame challenges, and how the planning year changed their strategies and capacities for the future.
Early Lessons: Colorado
Pam Loprest and Lindsay Giesen
This report describes Colorado’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. In this planning year, Colorado improved collaboration between the state human services and health agencies, and between the state and counties. Improved collaboration led to a shortened joint benefit application, quicker processing of SNAP applications and recertifications, cohesive plans for implementing health reform, and supplemental budget funds to improve the statewide automated benefits system.
Early Lessons: Idaho
This report describes Idaho’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. In this planning year, Idaho implemented policy and process improvements, including improving the redetermination process by aligning redetermination dates and further implementing the universal workforce case management approach. The state also implemented child care assistance program reforms including aligning policy with other work support programs and simplifying eligibility requirements.
Early Lessons: Illinois
Heather Hahn, Olivia Golden, and Jessica Compton
This report describes Illinois’ accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. In this planning year, the state identified how and where to best align programs to simplify eligibility processes, including an assessment of child care assistance policies and development of a key performance measures report for local office managers. The state designed and piloted a new task-based model to improve benefit field office efficiency
Early Lessons: Kentucky
Monica Rohacek and Lindsay Giesen
This report describes Kentucky’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. In this planning year, the state began building an infrastructure for data management and analysis, explored opportunities for policy alignment across key work supports, designed and tested business process changes in selected local offices, and began creating stronger relationships with external stakeholders.
Early Lessons: North Carolina
Pam Loprest and Lindsay Giesen
This report describes North Carolina’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. In this planning year, North Carolina broke down state program silos and instituted a review board to assure cross-program input to policy changes. The state engaged with counties around the implementation of a new benefits eligibility system and encouraging innovation in business processes and piloted alignment of program certification dates
Early Lessons: New Mexico
David Kassabian and Gregory Mills
This report describes New Mexico’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. During this year, the state was heavily focused on development of its new automated eligibility system. In addition, New Mexico’s redesign of its eligibility process, undertaken prior to WSS, served as an example for other WSS states.
Early Lessons: Oregon
Jessica F. Compton, Ian Hill, Pamela J. Loprest
This report describes Oregon’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. During the planning year, the state continued its numerous activities to streamline benefit eligibility for health programs, align policies across health and other work support programs, and prepare for an automated integrated eligibility system. The major focus of the WSS team was on change management in local field offices.
Early Lessons: Rhode Island
Heather Hahn, David Kassabian
This report describes Rhode Island’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. During this year, the state engaged frontline workers, state leaders and community stakeholders, built close connections with the state’s health reform activities around design of a new eligibility system, identified opportunities for data system improvements and to align eligibility and enrollment requirements and implemented relevant policy changes.
Early Lessons: South Carolina
This report describes South Carolina’s accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative’s first year. During this year, the two primary agencies involved in delivering work support program benefits in the state began breaking down the barriers between them to create a more efficient, coordinated approach. The state undertook activities to improve the business and technological processes used within each agency while also identifying areas for cross-program alignment.