Goal4 It!

A science-informed approach to achieving economic independence

Mathematica co-created this approach with a broad set of partners, including academics, applied researchers, clinicians, practitioners, and public agencies. Goal4 It!TM is rooted in a four-step process for setting and achieving goals linked to a broader set of strategies for improving child and family outcomes: (1) strengthening core skills, (2) reducing sources of stress, and (3) supporting responsive relationships.1 Goal4 It!™ centers on teaching individuals this specific approach to pursuing goals and intentionally building the self-regulation skills necessary to achieve goals.

Meet the Expert:
Jonathan McCay
Jonathan McCay
Lead Program Analyst
Senior Researcher

A science-informed 4-step process

Goal4 It!TM places program customers’ aspirations at the center of a process designed to help them articulate meaningful goals (GoalSet), create detailed plans for success (GoalPlan), put their plans into action (GoalDo), and regularly review, learn from, and revise according to their progress (GoalReview). Each step in the process invokes core self-regulation skills and creates opportunities to practice these skills essential to work and life in the context of a variety of personal development and employment-related goals. Goal4 It!TM equips staff with a cohesive set of activities and tools to facilitate this process with customers. This approach has been designed for implementation in public agencies within the context of existing regulations and without any new funding.

How is Goal4 It!TM different?

Goal4 It!TM blends techniques familiar to practitioners of human services and workforce programs—such as coaching, motivational interviewing, and career counseling—with a more intentional focus on building skills through staff–customer interactions. These targeted self-regulation skills are the same skills that are necessary for anyone to succeed in getting and keeping a job. Every touchpoint with a customer then becomes an opportunity to reinforce intentionality in goal setting and building at least one broadly relevant skill in the context of pursuing a personally motivating goal. In this way, over time, staff–customer interactions have the potential to be transformational rather than simply transactional.

Goal Set, Goal Plan, Goal Review, Goal Do: Family Takes Action

A full suite of products to integrate and sustain the Goal4 It!TM approach

The Mathematica team is in the process of developing a full suite of Goal4 It!™ products to help programs fully integrate and sustain the model within their systems. This includes a goal-directed approach to supervision and staff development practices, known as Goal4 It! ProTM, which parallels the goal-pursuit process used with program clients. We are also developing a toolkit to guide organizational practices in support of a goals-driven culture to further reinforce staff practices to sustain the Goal4 It!TM approach.

How do we find out more or get started?

For more information, please contact the lead developers of Goal4 It!TM: Michelle Derr at mderr@mathematica-mpr.com and Jonathan McCay at jmccay@mathematica-mpr.com.

1 Center on the Developing Child. “Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families.” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Center on the Developing Child, 2017.