|About the Book|
In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act changed public policy. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), affecting both educational policy and social welfare policy.MoreIn 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act changed public policy. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), affecting both educational policy and social welfare policy. Simultaneously, policy implementation responsibilities devolved to states.-State-specific systems changes associated with this policy shift have not received sufficient scholarly attention. This case study focused on TANFs implementation in one state-administered, inter-agency program with special reference to the relationship between intended and implemented policies. A theoretical framework developed from the relevant literature pertaining to systems change, policy implementation, inter-agency and inter-professional partnerships, organizational learning, and human capital guided the empirical investigation. Twenty-five face-to-face, semi-structured, in depth interviews were conducted with thirty professionals in eight offices, across three counties. Member checks confirmed the appropriateness of data interpretation and articulation. Additionally, relevant documents were collected and reviewed to identify relevant changes and to triangulate the research findings.-Findings revealed that TANF policy implementation triggered multiple systems changes. For example, study participants identified changes in organizational structure, organizational culture and climate, and organizational short-term goals. Along with the organizational changes, some (but not all) professionals became involved in interprofessional activities, which spanned agency boundaries.-TANF-induced systems change presented opportunities for organizational learning. This study identified a particular kind of organizational learning accompanying TANFs implementation. TANFs firm mandates ushered in a top-down organizational learning process associated with single-loop learning.-With TANFs implementation, education-as-human capital development, a service strategy preferred by some study participants, was replaced by employment-first mandates. Study participants identified other changes in service delivery alternatives and strategies with TANFs implementation.-The complexity of TANFs implementation in an inter-agency program necessitated multiple theories, which needed to be integrated. This theoretical integration stands as one contribution to future research. Lessons learned for future research and implications for policy implementation comprise other contributions deriving from this study.