SIG Biannual Conferences

The Secretaries’ Innovation Group gather twice a year to exchange ideas for successful innovations which have been executed “on the ground.”

Recent Posts

The purpose of these conferences is to hear of new opportunities to design or replicate initiatives which advance the goals of family health and self-reliance; to formulate options for waivers and other administrative vehicles for state freedom of action; and to consider and approve joint moves which advance the policies of limited government and state autonomy, including recommendations to the Congress and the Administration.

Topics covered:

A Critique of the Evolving Philosophy and Political Practice

The New, Unconditional Child [Tax] Credit

Doug Besharov, University of Maryland

Total Economic and Social Resources – Poor Families with Children Poor Families – 2018

Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

Year Up Program

Year Up Mission and Model

David Fein, Principal Associate, Social and Economic Policy, Abt Associates    

Duane Reid, Site Director, Up DC

Child Welfare New Developments

FFPSA and the IMD Issue

Sean Hughes, Managing Partner of Governmental Relations at Social Change Partners

Tennessee Requests Guidance

TANF Opportunity Act Overview

Clarence Carter, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Human Services

Will surging illegal immigration ultimately overwhelm our culture or just add to US economic strength?


Larry Mead, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, NYU & prominent social welfare author

The Border Surge and the Impact of Immigration on America

Steve Camarota, Research Director, Center for Immigration Studies

Standard treatment alone is insufficient if it makes no demands for action on the drug dependent personality.  A proven alternative.

Work Works America: A Comprehensive Model

Isabel McDevitt, Executive Vice President, The Doe Fund

Topics covered: Misused Poverty Statistics, Reductions in Abortions, Federal Funds for Pay for Success, Utah’s Theory of Constraints Continues to Produce Big Results in SIG States, The Surgeon General’s Advisory on Marijuana, Impact Investing, Food Stamps and New Rules – What Next on Implementation.

Topics covered: The Labor supply in a booming economy, Activating marginal non-workers, Administration for Children and Families, Housing First, Medical Marijuana, The Immigration Crisis at the Border and Worksite Enforcement, Families First and Utah Youth Villages

Topics covered: White House and Washington Post Election Agenda, ACF and TANF​​, Ways and Means, Competitive Federal Program Launch SIPPRA, Update on Marijuana Legalization, When and How to Fight Spurious Studies from the Poverty Industry, Spend Less on “Mental Health” and More on Serious Mental Illness, Job Corps, RESEA, Child Welfare

Topics covered: Child Welfare and New Family First Legislation, Child Welfare and Theory of Constraints, Administration for Children and Families, Reductions in Unplanned Pregnancies, Milwaukee Community Building Workshops, Why the Universal Basic Income is a Bad Idea, Food Stamps, Poverty Measurement –  Stacking Earnings and Tax Benefits Together, Returning Offender and Employment, Performance and Impact, Workforce Roundtable, Reducing the Negative Effects of Disability Benefits on Labor Force Participation Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Unleashing the Power of Administrative Data, Human Thriving

Topics covered: Life Sequencing for Success, Full Work Engagement in TANF, Child Support, Food Stamp Eligibility, Fraud, and SIG Priorities, Unemployment Insurance Proposal, State Job Performance Measurement, Trump Drug Policy, Stay at Home and Return to Work, Operating a Recovery House without Subsidies

Topics covered: Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, Update on Consent Decree Reform Efforts, Developing a SIG Child Welfare Proposal for State Flexibility​, The Five Myths of Welfare Reform, Food Stamp Reform, Implementing Policies to Assure that the Mentally Ill are on their Medication, Reducing Fraudulent Duplicate Payments, Why Do Federal Job Training Programs Fail to Have Larger Impacts on Employment and Wages Than They Do?, Marijuana and Employee Productivity, The Future of Government Programs is to Pay for Outcomes, Not Process: From Concept to Action, From Career Academies to Apprenticeships: Doing the Hard Work of Integrating Work and Learning to Provide Meaningful Advancement Opportunities, Proposal for Legislative Action:  The SIG Reform of Unemployment Compensation

Topics covered: TANF Reauthorization, Child Welfare, Substance Abuse, Marriage and Child Support , Innovation from Wyoming, Universal Engagement in Work, Disability State Demonstrations, Expansion of Medicare under Obamacare

Topics covered: Food Stamps and TANF, Kansas Ho!​, Performance Management, How to Influence the Culture We Live In, Marijuana​, Using Participant Journaling to Re-direct and Improve Personal Outcomes, Biometric Positive Identification​, Update on LARCs, Improving Data Integrity, Monthly Reporting​

Topics covered: Marijuana, Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), Mental Illness, Food Stamps, Substance Abuse, Disability, EITC, Unemployment Insurance, Program Effectiveness, Communications

Topics covered: Food Stamps, Family Income and the Welfare Effect, Lifting Consent Decrees, Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), Marijuana, Theory of Constraints, Project Hope, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Workforce Panel

Topics covered: The Marriage Divide:  Why it Matters, Why It’s Happening, & What We Can Do About It, The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, A Tale of Two Decades: Post-Welfare Reform Progress Reversed, Expand Apprenticeship to Widen Opportunity and Promote Economic Development, Georgia Work Based Learning / Youth Apprenticeship Program, Food Stamp Quick Facts and Reform, Better Off Working, Disability Considerations for Reform, New York City and Helping TANF Recipients Adopt a Life of Work Over Disability, The Utah SUCCESS Initiative and the New Mexico Project, Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage, Pay for Success, Thinking About SIBs and Pay-for-Results Financing, Effective Execution, Outstanding Outcomes

Topics covered: Theory of Constraints, Better, Faster, Cheaper State Government, Rapid Process Improvement at TWC, America’s Entitlement Epidemic: Dimensions and Implications, Who Advances in the Low Wage Labor Market? Surprising Findings of Strong Wage Growth for Consistent Workers, Do Federal Social Programs Work?, WIA and Social Impact Bonds, Pay for Success: A Federal Perspective

Topics covered: Measuring the Cost Effects of SNAP Demonstrations: Possible Methodologies, Reinventing Arizona’s Safety Net System, The Performance Stat Potential: A Leadership Strategy for Producing Results, Sustaining the Success of Welfare Reform in NYC through Performance Management, Using Measures for Transformation, Game Changers, Certificates: An Underappreciated Credential, Trends with Benefits condensed version (This American Life), The Social Security Disability Determination Process, How to Create or Avert Needless Work Disability: Implications of New Models for Practice, Policy & Research, Intervention Strategies for Individuals Receiving Disability Cash Benefits, PRIDE: A Model for Wellness and Employment

Topics covered: Disability: Inherent Problems, Practical Solutions and Action for Reform

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