Providing Supportive Services
Supportive services help people successfully participate in and complete education and training or employment programs. There are two primary categories of supportive services.
What is it? Personal supports include case management; needs assessment; assistance with child care, transportation, housing costs, and utility bills; financial planning and financial assistance; and access to health care.
Who provides it? Personal supports can be delivered directly or through referrals to external resources, and they may involve counseling or case management. Organizations that provide or coordinate personal supports include the following:
- Public social service agencies that provide access to cash assistance (such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF), food assistance (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), and subsidized child care (funded under the Child Care and Development Fund, or CCDF)
- Community- and faith-based organizations that help workers and their families access transportation, food, and shelter or housing programs
- National networks and intermediaries, such as Feeding America, the National Coalition for the Homeless, and Prosperity Now, which provide information on available local supports
Why is it important? People may need help overcoming personal barriers that interfere with participating in or completing education and training programs or keeping their jobs.
What is it? Academic supports include individual or group tutoring, self-paced modules that reinforce or supplement traditional classroom learning, peer support and mentoring programs, and advising, coaching, or college and career navigation. They are offered outside the classroom, including online, to supplement core coursework or curricula.
Who provides it? Academic supports are generally provided by colleges and community-based nonprofits.
Why is it important? People pursuing education and training to improve their skills may need supports beyond traditional classroom learning to successfully complete programs and master skills. Many students enter college or training without the academic skills needed to succeed.