Putting Paper to Work: How Rethinking Forms Can Put People First and Improve Engagement in Human Services Programs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
This practice brief shares strategies human services programs can use to improve customers’ experience and make their engagement in programming more meaningful. Drawing on Mathematica’s experience working with Philadelphia Works, Inc., the administering workforce development board for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)-funded services in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this brief provides a step-by-step guide to reduce the burden of paperwork and procedures for customers and staff while continuing to meet program environments. Mathematica staff used the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) framework—a series of evidence-informed program improvement activities enabled by collaboration between practitioners and researchers—to learn about how information is collected and used; innovate to eliminate, redesign, and streamline paperwork; and improve processes through iterative, small-scale pilot testing.