Improving people’s lives is often bigger than any one provider’s capacity or a single government agency’s charter. It requires the ability to reach across boundaries to leverage all available resources. ICF has a long history of building bridges to align programs across organizations.
In the United States, for example, we have helped achieve meaningful impact in social programs ranging from human trafficking to job training programs to child welfare.
- In Iowa, we work for victims of human trafficking, partnering with state and federal agencies to give law enforcers, prosecutors, and victim service providers the appropriate knowledge and skills to deliver trauma-informed, survivor-centered services.
- In California, we prepare workers for employment success in the 21st century through a training program that has updated the skills of more than 5,000 electricians. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Energy Innovation Fund, we developed the user-friendly EZ Retrofit tool to help rental housing owners quickly identify cost-effective building improvements that save energy and reduce operating costs.
- For child welfare agencies across the country, our support for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Child Welfare Center for States helps professionals increase their impact, enhance productivity, and deal with sensitive issues.
With backgrounds ranging from public policy, human services, social sciences, technology, and finance to urban planning, public health, and environmental science, ICF employees have unique skills that enable us to drive breakthrough work on many of the world’s most critical social issues.
Across Europe, we help policymakers and practitioners to develop approaches which are based on good practice elsewhere, for example:
- The European Union's Platform Tackling Undeclared Work brings stakeholders from all EU countries together to learn from each other and to increase their ability to successfully prevent and detect all forms of undeclared work, through risk assessments, data mining, etc.
- We also work on preventing violent extremism and radicalisation in people at risk through our work on Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), by bringing practitioners from different sectors (education, law enforcement, community development) together to exchange ideas and transfer successful practices.
Children, Youth, & Families
ICF works with United States federal agencies and organizations focused on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations. Many of ICF’s professionals have cross-system experience and have worked extensively with children, youth, and family services and offer range and depth in diverse areas, including:
- Family stability
- Income support
- Human trafficking
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
- U.S. justice system
ICF’s experienced researchers help identify proven, evidence-based interventions and explore cutting-edge alternatives to support children, youth, and families. We then help organizations evaluate approaches to determine if these can be applied or adapted to serve an individual community.
Our services to those working to strengthen families include:
- Training and technical assistance—Tailored systems for children, youth, and family program implementation and systems change, with options such as in-person working groups, downloadable curricula, phone consultation, and on-site support
- Information and resource centers—One-stop centers with fast access, straightforward tools, reliable information, dynamic outreach, creative use of emerging technologies, and assistance in developing communities of practice
Clearinghouses & Resource Centers
ICF helps organizations to run clearinghouses and resource centers that educate audiences, promote knowledge transfer, increase awareness of needs in vulnerable populations, and motivate change toward strengthening families.
Government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and international organizations can increase capacity and address challenges in their work in areas such as justice, migration, children, youth, and families using resources provided through ICF custom-developed information centers.
To ensure the right information reaches the right people, we deploy multiple modes of outreach and interaction, including:
- Interactive websites
- Call centers
- Online training and help centers
- Printed materials and online resource centres
- Strategic communications
- Social media
ICF's clearinghouses and resource centers are informed by a unique combination of content knowledge, technological skill, and constituent engagement techniques. Our content experts know the best practices and cutting edge research in areas across the spectrum of family safety and stability, including youth and criminal justice, neighborhood stabilization, migration and integration, supportive housing, employment, and fatherhood. Our technology experts create innovative clearinghouse experiences by staying on top of government digital strategy, interactive technologies, and customer experience management techniques.
Economic Development & Infrastructure
Your goals are simple: how can we build thriving communities while managing fiduciary constraints and competing locally and federally priorities. Every major city in America today struggles with developing viable and attractive communities where people want to live and work. Commercial enterprises need reliable, job-ready, professional and skilled-trade workers to build and maintain the infrastructure. Government and community entities need to prepare, educate, train, and upskill residents to successfully meet that demand. Each stakeholder group comes to the table with long lists of concerns, and a closer look at the issues highlights some of the interdependencies for overall project success and jobs creation.
ICF knows a thriving community requires programs that provide training and support to build skills and assist people in finding jobs which is critical to achieve economic stability. Communities need jobs in order to thrive and grow. We help organizations administer programs that bring economic transformation to families and neighborhoods with a focus on:
- Employer driven solutions
- Housing and community planning
- Accessing human services to support projects
- Asset building and financial literacy
Building economic transformation is key to creating inclusive economies. For businesses to be successful, they must work within an infrastructure that supports their growth. ICF designs grant programs and other initiatives to deliver services such as broadband and affordable housing and assist clients with program financing, implementation, and monitoring. We provide support in policy development and program design and deliver technical assistance and training on how to use federal programs. Sagamore Development Company has entrusted ICF to design the workforce strategy for the massive, commercial redevelopment of Port Covington in Baltimore City. From labor market projections and asset mapping, to connecting employers with workers and aligning training to employer needs, ICF delivers strategies to build and sustain support for economic development projects.
With specialists in areas such as real estate finance, workforce planning and policy, and environmental compliance, ICF is a one-stop resource. ICF adds years of supporting diverse clients and their partners—state agencies, municipalities, labor unions, independent contractors, community colleges, workforce development boards, and grassroots initiatives in economic development.
ICF recognizes the essential role that quality, affordable housing plays in building stable communities. Our multidisciplinary community development teams are knowledgeable in affordable housing, data analysis and planning, program design, training, technical assistance, and evaluation and work with clients to help them achieve their affordable housing goals.
ICF understands that access to affordable housing for all households, particularly those with low-income or special-needs occupants, requires an ample supply of properties with affordable rents and purchase prices that are available to everyone without discrimination. In cities, suburbs, rural areas, and tribal communities, ICF assists with a broad range of housing initiatives, including:
- Single-family and multifamily loan and grant programs
- Public housing programs
- Permanent and transitional housing for the homeless
- Community stabilization after foreclosures and abandonment
ICF provides housing program expertise for all stages of the development process, including:
- Program design: Helping clients identify housing goals and objectives and create the business processes and procedures needed to implement high-production housing programs
- Development: Helping clients analyze portfolios and leverage multiple funding sources, including public and private funds as well as tax incentives
- Management: Helping clients meet requirements related to income eligibility, subsidy payments, and asset management, and conduct housing program monitoring, assessment, and performance management
Responsible Fatherhood for Social Programs and Communities
ICF helps United States federal and state agencies, grantees, nonprofit agencies, and service providers in reaching communities, fathers, and families with the message of how responsible fatherhood is critically linked to nearly every aspect of a thriving community.
Our experts bring skills from the fields of youth at risk, education, children and youth, poverty, and family strengthening and can see the links among these areas. Although the issue has been recently spotlighted in the media and in policy, ICF’s work in this area spans years.
ICF contributes toward finding ways to help providers implement programs that improve outcomes for children and families. We have helped service providers implement systemic changes to bring men into mentoring, civic life, and neighborhood stabilization efforts in ways that have wide-ranging impact.
We help organizations get the information that they need to develop programs that support fathers and families through a range of services including:
- Program management
- Peer-to-peer technical assistance
- Local program capacity building
- Performance management
- Evaluation assistance
- Quality assurance of curriculum
- Social marketing
- Strategic communications
- Information and resource centers
- Building communities of practice
ICF works with U.S. federal agencies, state and local governments, and nonprofits to facilitate cross-disciplinary and cross-agency collaborations and address barriers to stable housing.
Service providers working with both homeless and at-risk families know that vulnerable populations can face many barriers to stable housing. These providers need to achieve coordination among multiple housing and social services programs.
ICF’s subject matter experts apply knowledge from diverse fields to develop innovative solutions. ICF’s areas of expertise include:
- Affordable housing
- Workforce planning
- Income support programs
- Self-sufficiency programs
- Victim services
- Substance abuse
- Community planning
The end goal of ICF’s engagements is to help those who are homeless find stable housing and to prevent those at risk from becoming homeless.
Sustainable Workforce Development
Communities nationwide face a challenge in equipping individuals to address 21st century employer needs. ICF has experience working effectively with employers and communities to train and employ disadvantaged populations, returning veterans, displaced workers, the unemployed and underemployed, or those seeking to upgrade skills to ensure greater job security. At the same time, these workforce development initiatives have served to increase the health and long-term sustainability of communities.
ICF provides evaluation, survey administration, training, technical assistance, program design, and related support for clients working to develop a strong workforce. Our blend of services includes:
- Program management
- Third-party evaluation and program assessment
- Coalition building and network management
- Curriculum development
- Capacity building
- Surveying and analysis
- Labor market information studies
Our technical experts bring knowledge in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, cybersecurity, and environmental issues to the issue of building self-sufficiency in communities. To these strengths, ICF adds years of supporting diverse clients and their partners—state agencies, municipalities, labor unions, independent contractors, community colleges, workforce development boards, and grassroots initiatives in economic development. Our tools empower clients to find better ways to work with employers, through approaches such as apprenticeship programs and job matching.
ICF has developed a range of services to help providers help victims. These can be quickly implemented, easily adapted to fit different disaster scenarios, and work together seamlessly:
- Curriculum building—Program development and training academies, including face-to-face, instructor-led training; online training; train-the-trainer training. Many of our curricula and e-learning programs are Continuing Education Unit qualified.
- Capacity building—Program design and strategic planning; grant writing and fund raising; leadership development
- Coalition building—Process development; facilitation; strategies for collaboration; best-practice sharing; conference and workshop creation
- Research—Program Evaluation; legal studies; data collection and analysis
- Information dissemination—Publication development; communications outreach
Through customized programs, ICF helps build the capacity of both seasoned and emerging crime victim assistance and disaster response organizations. Many of our victim services experts come from the field and have first-hand experience in the need to respect victims and to avoid re-victimization.
To meet critical needs in victim services provider training, ICF develops course offerings from best practices and evidence-based research. Recent training covers the areas of mass violence and terrorism, children living with trauma, and compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.
Youth & Justice
ICF brings a big-picture understanding of all that is involved when young people become engaged in the U.S. justice system—funding, policy, programs, needs, research, and evaluation. We support the social service providers who help at-risk youth and families every day to develop systematic and comprehensive responses that are evidence-informed and focus on concrete solutions that providers can implement to immediate effect.
We offer critical-issues expertise in youth service areas, including:
- Delinquency prevention programming
- Mental health
- Gang violence
- Child sexual exploitation and trafficking
- Youth and drug court programs
- Youth mentoring
- Bullying, cyberbullying, and sexting prevention
- Job training
- Gender-specific programming
Our broad-ranging activities in youth and justice help clients:
- Develop collaboration between state and local initiatives
- Enhance capacity through training and technical assistance
- Engage in community capacity-building activities, such as conducting local needs assessments
- Monitor and evaluate delinquency prevention activities
Our respected national juvenile justice experts offer real-world experience in the latest prevention practices, ranging from gang violence and court diversion programs to youth mentoring and youth jobs programs. Our cross-disciplinary team helps agencies strategize effectively address the multiple factors that lead to youth crime.