Building Better Programs

Using Executive Skills Concepts and Principles To Help TANF Recipients Achieve Their Goals (February 2015)

On February 19 and 20, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Mathematica Policy Research and Abt Associates co-sponsored a convening for state TANF administrators and their employment service partners.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide participants with information on Executive Function Skills (or executive skills) principles and concepts and generate practical ideas about how we – as individual programs and as a collective – may work with these insights to craft more effective programs and learn from these experiences.

Meeting Agenda

Pre-meeting Reading Materials

“Executive Functions,” Adele Diamond (2013)

“Executive Function Skills: What They Are and Why They Are Relevant for Workforce Programs?,” DRAFT, LaDonna Pavetti (2015)

“Using Brain Science to Design New Pathways Out of Poverty,” Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD (2014)

Executive Skills Questionnaire

Executive Skills Profile for Adults

Executive Skills Profile Instructions

SPARR Diagram


Goal Achievement and Executive Skills: What Is the Relevance and Implications for the Design of TANF Employment Programs? LaDonna Pavetti

Goal-Setting and Planning: How Can We Get It Right? Gabriele Oettingen

How Can We Use Executive Skills Concepts and Principles in Practice? Dick Guare

How Can We Use Executive Skills Principles and Concepts to Create a New Approach for Providing Employment Services for TANF Recipients? Learning from Ramsey County (St. Paul) MN , Kate Probert and Larry Timmerman

What Are Other Options for Using Executive Skills Principles in TANF Work Programs? Learning from Washington State, Lindsay Blanding

Prototype for an Executive Skills Informed, Goal-Oriented Job Search/Job Readiness Program, Michelle Derr

How Can We Build an Evidence Base?  The Job Search Assistance (JSA) Evaluation and Other Evaluation and/or Knowledge-Building Opportunities:

“Developing Evidence on “What Works” in Moving TANF Recipients to Work through Job Search Assistance,” Karin Martinson

“Opportunistic Experiments and Rapid-Cycle Evaluation,” Alexandra Resch

“Applying a Rapid-Cycle Learning Approach: The Family Mobility Project,” Chuck Carter