The Tools-Overview section includes:
- 3.1.1 What are the tools we use?
- 3.1.2 Tools and techniques
- 3.1.3 Are any additional techniques to use when making contact with a parent?
- 3.1.4 What are the tools & Techniques principles?
3.1.1 What are the tools we use?
This chapter describes the major tools and techniques we use to help WorkFirst parents succeed. To be fully effective -- most of these tools will rely heavily on the partnerships and communication between the WorkFirst agencies.
The main tools and techniques covered in this chapter are described more fully below and include:
- e-JAS Tools
- Customer Attendance Tracking System (CATS)
- Individual Responsibility Plans (IRPs)
- Stacking Activities
- Intensive services
- Case staffing
- Time Limits, and
- Monitoring Participation.
3.1.2 Tools and techniques
As shown in the chart below, there are several main tools and techniques used to manage a WorkFirst case. Each tool is listed, followed by a brief description.
|Tools the WorkFirst Program Specialist can use:|
|eJAS||eJAS is an automation tool for WorkFirst Program Specialists (WFPS), Social Service Specialists, Community and Technical Colleges, job service specialists, and contracted service providers to identify and document issues that can interfere with employment. Service providers use e-JAS to report participation to the WFPS, in most cases.|
|CATS||The Customer Automated Tracking System is an electronic system that allows parents to sign in as required and that tracks attendance while engaged in Career Scope services provided by the Employment Security Department.|
|IRP||An Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) outlines a parent's action steps towards self-sufficiency.|
|Bundled Services||Bundling services is requiring the parent to engage in more than one activity at a time - perhaps working with different providers to access services.|
|Intensive Services||Intensive services are extra or exceptional support to help those having the greatest difficulty finding and keeping jobs, achieve success.|
|Case staffing||Case staffing is a group process, which creates an opportunity for the WFPS and Social Service Specialist to exchange information about a parent and gain consultation from other professionals and partners.|
|Continuous Activity Planning (CAP)||An informal consultation or joint evaluation with available WorkFirst partners, DSHS co-workers, or other service providers.|
|Sanction||A sanction is a status that a person enters when she or he is able, but refuses to participate as required.|
|Protective payee||Protective payees are contracted vendors that provide money management to assigned parents to make sure assistance funds are used for basic needs.|
3.1.3 Are there any additional techniques to use when making contact with a parent?
The following lists some additional techniques you may want to use in your communication and contacts with parents:
- Give parents information verbally and in writing. Take the time required to make sure they understand what is required.
- Let people know why you are asking for information (generally to determine eligibility or find issues that may require expert help to resolve).
- Use interviewing skills, such as open-ended questions, to get better information. There are some good classes available to help you improve your interviewing techniques and handle difficult situations.
- If you have trouble deciding what to do, talk with co-workers, supervisors or community partners. Someone else may know of another resource or approach you have not yet considered.
- Foster relationships with partner agencies and community based organizations. It doesn't matter whose "client" it is. We all share a common goal and effective coordination can make all the difference in creating effective plans.
3.1.4 What are the tools & techniques principles?
It is important to:
Identify and resolve issues that interfere with employment as soon as possible without impeding the parent's progress towards self-sufficiency.
Document issues, strengths and participation plans on a consistent basis. As we get to know each parent better, we can use new insights to create ever more effective IRPs.
Offer bundled services with job search. Believe in the parent's ability. Let the job market determine employability--don't make an assumption that the parent cannot succeed.
Spell out, in writing, specific action steps each parent can take to become independent from WorkFirst cash assistance. Even better, we can make joint plans with the parent and community partners so everyone is working towards a common goal.
Pool resources and expertise with partners in the community.
Require parents to participate as close to full-time as possible to make full use of their time on WorkFirst cash assistance. Parents can often do more than one thing at a time and work with more than one provider.
Remember, those who can work, should work. Those parents who are able to participate in WorkFirst activities but are refusing to participate will be sanctioned.