Supportive services help individuals successfully participate in and complete education and training or employment programs. There are two primary categories of supportive services:

Personal Supports

What is it? They include case management; needs assessment; assistance with child care, transportation, housing costs, or utility bills; financial planning or financial assistance; and access to health care. 

Who provides it? They can be delivered directly or through referrals to external resources or involve counseling or financial assistance. Partners are critical and can include the following: 

  • Public social service agencies that coordinate access to cash assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF), food assistance (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 vouchers, food, temporary shelter, and transitional housing programs.
  • National networks and intermediaries, such as Feeding America, the National Coalition for the Homeless, and Prosperity Now, which can provide information on available supports and potential local partners. 

Why is it important? Youth and adults in education or training may need help overcoming personal barriers that interfere with participating in or completing education and training, and keeping their jobs.

Academic Supports 

What is it? Supports include individual or group tutoring, self-paced modules that reinforce or supplement 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 the core coursework or curriculum.  

Who provides it? Colleges and community-based nonprofits. 

Why is it important? Adults who are pursuing education and training to improve their skills may need reinforcements outside the classroom to successfully complete their programs and master skills. Many students enter college or training without the academic skills needed.