Michigan Works! Southwest Implements TuaPath in Support of Goal4It Coaching Methodology
Michigan Works! Southwest is the second of sixteen Michigan Works! Agencies to launch TuaPath to further assist in the transformation of how they deliver services to individuals in poverty through their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Michigan Works Southwest provides these as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) program services in Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties.
As practioners of Mathematica’s Goal4It! coaching methodology for the past couple of years, they liked what they heard and read about TuaPath as a technology platform that helped redirect time and energy towards employment outcomes.
The brief referenced was published by the Administration for Children & Families, Office of Family Assistance titled “Web-based Technology for Coaching TANF Participants” and is available as well on the PEERTA website at www.peerta.acf.hhs.gov
The first of January we kicked off the implementation of TuaPath meeting with managers and staff to understand in detail their programs processes, workflow and requirements. Four weeks later the world shut down due to the COVID -19 pandemic. In understanding the gravity of the situation and the effect on Michigan Works! Southwest’s clients, we jumped in immediately to offer our assistance to publish a list of local resources for families to help them navigate the challenges that resulted.
We then set off to implement those aspects of TuaPath first that were critical to coaches being able to work and deliver services remotely to participants. These included:
- Watching short, recorded orientation videos (created by Michigan Works! Southwest staff) using Microsoft PowerPoint
- Completing the required orientation forms online and signing electronically to provide consent or acknowledgement
- Completing the necessary intake information such as education history, employment history, skills profile, familial and barrier assessments
- Uploading of verification of employment and other documentation
- Identify goals and the action steps to achieve self-sufficiency for their families
- Accessing easily information about available resources and services to help overcome barriers or meet a goal
Instead of racing to put in place a variety of technologies such as editable PDFs, electronic signature, document sharing and others to support a now 100% virtual program, Michigan Works! Southwest, conveniently had in TuaPath, one solution that could do it all.
Using a smartphone, computer or tablet, case managers and participants alike have the ability to meet virtually and work collectively through all aspects of the program in a manner that is flexible, accessible and efficient. This includes setting goals using Mathematica’s Goal4It! coaching methodology.
In the second phase of the implementation, we will focus on customizing functionality that allows participants to enter and track their work participation hours entirely in TuaPath to meet Michigan Works! data requirements. While work requirements are waived for now, we’ll be ready when life returns to “normal”, which we hope is soon!
“TuaPath is a system that allows clients to lead their path to success through goal setting. The resource library is accessible and conveniently located at the client’s fingertips, and held local resources specific to each county, which is super helpful.” – Hilary Smigiel, Program Quality Monitor, PATH and FAE&T Services Michigan WORKS! Southwest
About Michigan Works! Southwest
Michigan Works! Southwest services the four counties of Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph which encompass cities such as Kalamazoo, BattleCreek, Albion, Three Rivers and Coldwater. As local community members, they have a deep understanding of existing and growing industries, training and education opportunities, and the current status of our workforce and they work to integrate services across agencies and programs for maximum impact on the service area.
To learn more about Michigan Works! Southwest go to www.michiganworkssouthwest.org