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21st Century Family Assistance Service Delivery Model

Business Process Review

Follow the Journey to Creating a 21st Century Family Assistance Service Delivery Model

 

Thank you for your interest in learning more about the path the Department of Human Services is on toward creating a 21st Century Family Assistance Service Delivery Model.

 

Family Assistance consists of Families First, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Families First program is a workforce development and employment program. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. The Families First program provides temporary cash benefits to families who have children and are experiencing financial difficulties. The goals of the SNAP program are to alleviate hunger and improve nutrition and health. DHS has a dual focus on alleviating hunger and establishing or re-establishing self-sufficiency. Both programs provide assistance to customers and include employment components contributing to overall self-sufficiency.

 

The Department recognizes the strength and capabilities of our family assistance customers. It is with this group and their needs in mind that has led the Department on a journey toward improving how we deliver services. This direction is also congruent with research related to brain science and pathways out of poverty. Fundamental to this is reducing the stress associated with accessing services.

 

Please view the presentation to learn more about this exciting journey!

 

Creating a 21st Century Family Assistance Service Delivery Model
Click on the image above to view the presentation

 

Check out the Exciting New Features for Family Assistance Customers Offering Easier, Faster Service

 

Family Assistance Case Connect allows users to view monthly benefit amounts and arrival dates, upcoming appointments, and check the status of applications. With Live Chat and Direct Email, users have real time interaction with DHS representatives. Live Chat allows for instant question and answer on general questions regarding Family Assistance programs. Through the Direct Email tool, users are able to send questions and concerns to the right place for needed feedback.

 

newCase ConnectLive ChatDirect Email

 


 

The following is a listing of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) procedures and their outcomes. DHS staff has taken the lead in developing ideas into actions resulting in progressive outcomes. So far, not only have business processes resulted in greater efficiency, but the Department has also been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for SNAP high performance measures directly related to program integrity, customer service and efficiency.

 

BPR Improvement #1 - Value Stream Mapping (VSM): a process that causes you to question everything you do and place us in the customer’s shoes.

Overview of Improvement:

  • Through VSM, we were able to identify all steps in each process and the owner of each step

 

Description of the Improvement:

  • By analyzing each step in a process, we were able to identify steps that were of no value to the customer or the Department
  • We identified set processes and looked at each process in order to eliminate all unnecessary steps
  • We tested all valid ideas and suggestions on a small scale using a small number of employees
  • We re-tested all processes to make sure all situations surrounding the process had been included in the original test
BPR Improvement #2 - Timely processing of SNAP expedited applications

Catalyst for Improvement:

  • For several years, performance data showed SNAP expedited timelines were continuously outside of Federal guidelines
  • Federal guidelines require the receipt of SNAP expedited benefits within 7 days

              

Overview of Improvement:

  • Today, we schedule, interview (by phone or in person), and process SNAP expedited applications within the required time frames

 

Description of the Improvement:

  • All customers who file a SNAP application and are eligible for Expedite processing are interviewed and processed the same day they apply.  (Except in situations where the customer is unable to stay for the interview or for mail-in applications that cannot be reached by phone)
  • This has greatly improved our timeliness processing for SNAP expedited applications
BPR Improvement #3 - Improved the application process for customers

Catalyst for Improvement:

  • For several years, performance data showed SNAP application timelines were continuously outside of Federal guidelines
  • This contributed to customer complaints, high volume of phone calls, high occurrence of “no shows” for appointments, and negatively impacted staff workload
  • Although the federal guidelines for days to dispose is 30 days, we want to move to first contact resolution and decrease the number of days to process in order to improve customer service and ensure that families/individuals receive benefits in a timely manner

 

Overview of Improvement:

  • Streamlined application processing by implementing same day interviewing (by phone or in person)

 

Description of the Improvement

  • Applicants that previously been given appointments two to three weeks in the future are now being interviewed the same day or scheduled within two to three business days
  • Improvements are still underway with an increased focus on “On-Demand” Scheduling
BPR Improvement #4 - Reorganization of the Customer Reception Process

Catalyst for Improvement:

  • Customers were in the lobby waiting for long periods of time
  • Customers were considered late for their appointments due to standing in line to be logged in for an appointment

 

Overview of Improvement:

  • Changed lobby layout/seating and signage that is more customer friendly and helps direct them to where they need to go

 

Description of the Improvement:

  • Designated certain windows in the lobby for customers to drop off verifications
  • A designated specific window was added for logging in appointments
  • Added signage to direct customers to the appropriate window for faster service

 

Please forward questions you may have to: Devin.Stone@tn.gov