PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Human Services was chosen by the Urban Institute to receive an implementation grant as part of the Ford Foundation-funded Work Support Strategies initiative.
Rhode Island was one of six states awarded the Phase II, three-year grant, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Wednesday. Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina were also honored.
“Rhode Island is pleased to be one of a select group of states that will lead the way in re-engineering the delivery of these vital human service programs,” Chafee said in a statement. “Our state’s well-being depends upon low-income families being able to remain stable while entering or trying to stay in the workforce.”
The $1.2 million grant will be used streamline access to four programs that support low-income families – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, RIWorks and the Child Care Assistance Program.
In addition to the funds, the award includes regular consultation with national experts, technical guidance from the Urban Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
“This award comes at exactly the right time for our department and our state,” said Sandra M. Powell, director of the Department of Human Services. “While resources are constrained, needs have grown,particularly in the difficult times Rhode Island has experienced over the last few years.”
“With contributions from many community partners, department staff at every level has been working very hard not only to meet these growing needs, but, during the past year, has been diligent in analyzing our business processes and outcomes in order to plan improvements that will benefit the public and our state,” she added.