An Implementation Analysis of LIFT Dane

Legal Interventions for Transforming (LIFT) Dane is an initiative to assist households in Dane County, Wisconsin, with civil legal barriers through a legal aid mobile application. LIFT Dane was developed through DreamUp Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s implementation of The Alliance for the American Dream, a competition to pitch innovations to raise the net income of 10,000 emerging middle-class households by 10 percent. As one of the winning teams, LIFT Dane was awarded $1.1 million from Schmidt Futures. This report serves as a preliminary implementation analysis while LIFT Dane continues development of the mobile application. It examines administrative burden, a collective impact framework, implementation science best practices, and migration from paper to electronic government services. Using performance management metrics, the authors recommend tools for LIFT Dane to assess and improve performance of the application to ensure effective implementation.

Design and Implementation Considerations for a Children’s Savings Account Program in Richland County, Wisconsin

A team of partners informed by Extension Richland County plans to establish a children’s savings account (CSA) program for children born at The Richland Hospital in Richland County, Wisconsin. These programs facilitate the creation of an account that holds funds designated for a child’s post-secondary education expenses. Extension Richland County and partners have completed several planning activities for establishing their CSA program. However, some decisions have not yet been made. Therefore, Extension Richland County asked for a report that presents design and implementation considerations for a CSA program in Richland County and similar Wisconsin communities. This report documents current planning progress for the CSA program, identifies potential next steps, and offers considerations for those next steps.

Income Maintenance Program Administration Funding in Wisconsin: A Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment

Income maintenance (IM) programs such as Medicaid and FoodShare require extensive case processing and ongoing management to ensure that low-income individuals and families receive the benefits they need. The costs of supporting a large staff, providing equipment, and paying for office space can quickly add up. This report analyzes costs and funding sources of IM program administration in Wisconsin, incorporating fiscal data collection and interviews with financial managers. Main findings from this analysis include differences in financial reporting practices across the state, trends in costs and funding sources, and several challenges of IM program administration. Based on these findings, the authors recommend improved data collection, uniform financial reporting across the state, and consolidation of funding sources.

Analyzing Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance in Wisconsin: Possible Costs and Effects

The Wisconsin Chapter of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, requested an analysis of legislation regarding a state-based Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) program in Wisconsin. This planned legislation capitalizes on growing national momentum toward instituting paid family leave in the United States. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the researchers estimated the number of eligible workers and take-up rates under the planned Wisconsin PFMLI program. They also estimate average weekly benefit payouts and recommend an employee-side payroll deduction to fund the program. In crafting its recommendations, the group examined evidence from other states with established PFMLI programs as well as potential impacts of PFMLI on individuals, businesses, and the statewide economy.

Using a Resilience Strategy to Address the Social Effects of Climate Change in Madison, Wisconsin

The greater Madison area recently experienced extreme climate events, namely the August 2018 floods and the January 2019 polar vortex. In response, the City of Madison requested an analysis of how Madison can become more resilient to these sorts of events. This report begins by identifying populations in Madison who will face disproportionate social effects associated with extreme climate events. It also looks to peer cities in various stages of resilience planning to help determine best practices for creating a Madison-specific resilience strategy. Key recommendations include targeting the year 2023 for the completion of a resilience strategy and hiring a Chief Resilience Officer, who will spearhead the resilience planning process.

Child Material Deprivation in the United States

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is developing a child well-being strategy as part of its Inclusive Growth initiative that aims to share experiences and seek solutions to common issues around child welfare. This report uses American Community Survey (ACS) data to assess the level of children’s material deprivation in the United States, identify common forms of deprivation, and examine the extent to which household income and other familial characteristics affect the risk of multiple deprivations. The report finds that the most common forms of deprivation for children in the United States are living in over-crowded and severely cost-burdened housing, while children from low-income households have substantially higher risk of experiencing multiple material deprivations in a given year.