Building Better Programs

Building Nebraska’s Families: Teaching Life Skills Through Home Visiting Program

Building Nebraska’s Families (BNF) was an intensive home visitation and life skills education program to prepare high-risk TANF clients in rural Nebraska to succeed in the world of work and improve their families’ well-being. BNF operated in more than 10 multi-county rural service areas from 2002 to 2005. Masters’ level educators, with very small caseloads of between 12 and 18 clients, carried out the home visits. On average, clients participated in one-hour home-based sessions weekly or bi-weekly during an eight-month period. Research from Mathematica Policy Research’s randomized control trial of the program found large and highly significant impacts on stable employment for hard-to-employ TANF clients who faced substantial employment barriers and skill deficiencies.  The strengths-based curriculum used to teach the life skills is available for purchase at extremely low cost (see below).  While the curriculum was designed to be implemented in individuals’ homes, it could also potentially be adapted for office-based work.

BNF Curriculum – Survive, Strive, Thrive: Keys to Healthy Family Living
The CD (which has all the curriculum materials on it) is $20.  The notebook which has hard copies of all of the curriculum materials is $35.

Mathematica Presentation on the Program and the Findings: The Impacts of a Home Visitation and Life Skills Education Program for Hard-to-Employ TANF Recipients

Mathematica Policy Brief – Teaching Self-Sufficiency through Home Visitation and Life Skills Education