The Impact of Integrating Behavioral Health with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to Build a Culture of Health across Two-Generations
The prolonged activation of stress response systems among children responding to adversity such as homelessness, hunger, or neglect, is a predictor of poor health and continued poverty among low-income families. To study the health and economic impacts and systems implications of integrated services provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, the principal investigators are evaluating the Building Wealth and Health Network (The Network) intervention, designed to reduce health inequities by aligning Medicaid coverage for behavioral health services and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) education and training services. This evaluation will:
- assess the effects of trauma-informed peer support built into education and training on health and economic security for participants in the Network;
- identify cost savings to both TANF and Medicaid to build a case for linking these service systems; and
- engage low-income caregivers, state human services officials, and key decision-makers in identifying ways to improve support systems to promote a Culture of Health within anti-poverty programming.
- Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, Professor, Health Management and Policy, Center for Hunger -Free Communities, Drexel University
- Sandra Bloom, MD, Associate Professor, Health Management and Policy, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Drexel University
Using a propensity score-matched difference-in-difference research design with longitudinally-linked service records and client-reported survey data, the research team is assessing the Network’s impacts and identifying ways to improve support systems within anti-poverty programming.