Massachusetts Department of Transitional Services
Amy Kershaw, Associate Commissioner for Programs
Stephen Chan, The Boston Foundation and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
Description of Fellowship
During her fellowship at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Alison helped the agency assess challenges and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) services state-wide. Specifically, Alison conducted research and compiled in-depth analyses of other states’ TANF diversion programs and sanction policies to identify best practices for application in Massachusetts. Her research will assist DTA in designing and piloting new workforce development initiatives, providing critical support to DTA’s strategic planning efforts. To further support these efforts, Alison proposed strategies to improve engagement with DTA clients, support DTA staff, and increase DTA’s overall effectiveness at promoting work. Alison presented her findings and recommendations to multiple audiences within the agency, and expects that DTA will be able to take action on many of them in the near future.