Leading-edge research unveiled

By Staff Blogger LaDonna Seely
Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services hosted a day of discovery and unveiled leading-edge solutions for families living in poverty. The “Connecting Brain Science to Practice: Solutions that WORK for Families” event held Nov. 20 at Hamline University presented solutions to position Minnesota become a leader in using brain science to build stronger families and a better workforce.

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Distinguished speakers from the worlds of research, human services and public policy presented to more than 170 professionals from workforce development, research, foundation and government arenas. Presentations included the development of executive functioning in our brains and why job training and interviewing skills may not be enough when it comes to helping people live productive, self-sufficient lives.

For example, our findings proved that participants in the collaborative F.A.S.T.* (Families Achieving Success Today) pilot program who were exposed to a whole host of programs, including mental health rehabilitative services, experienced increased employment and increased earnings than those in the control group.

It was recently announced that the F.A.S.T. project will be awarded the Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award. The award recognizes excellence among human services providers, counties, advocacy groups and other organizations that work in partnership with DHS to help people meet their basic needs, dignity and achieve their highest potential.

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*[F.A.S.T. is a multi-disciplinary, co-located collaborative effort serving Ramsey County MFIP Families in Family Stabilization Services. F.A.S.T. was part of a Federal project called the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and the Social Security Administration. The TSDTP examined how TANF agencies and SSA can better serve TANF applicants and recipients with disabilities.]