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3.9.2 Documenting and Reporting Participation

The Documenting and Reporting Participation section includes:

3.9.2.1 What is monitoring participation?

When we refer to "monitoring participation", we are talking about a monitoring and reporting system that makes sure WorkFirst parents are actively doing required activities. Monitoring individuals in their WorkFirst activities is a key element in ensuring strengthened accountability.

WorkFirst parents benefit from this strengthened accountability because it will help them model the type of behavior that is required by employers. Close monitoring, and learning to come in or call in to scheduled activities, will help parents build transferable skills for the workplace.

As we monitor participation, partner agencies, contractors and non-contracted service providers will be following the same basic guidelines to report attendance, participation and progress for WorkFirst parents:

3.9.2.2 What is participation and progress?

All partners and contractors must report whether a parent is participating and progressing satisfactorily each month, as follows:

Satisfactory participation means the individual is actively involved in doing the required activities. Satisfactory progress means that the individual is making gains, learning new skills, and becoming more employable.

The WFPS and WFSSS also access eJAS ad-hoc, the Client Accountability Report (CAR) and the Caseload Management Report (CLMR) each day to track whether a parent has had an unexcused absence or has been referred back via eJAS.

3.9.2.3 Who monitors participation?

WFPSs or WFSSSs will monitor participation on a regular and consistent basis. If the parent is working with a contractor or partner agency, participation and progress reporting will occur electronically through eJAS. If the parent is working with a non-contracted service provider, the participation and progress information from the eJAS WorkFirst participation verification form will be input into eJAS by the WFPS or WFSSS by the 15 th of each month for the previous month's activity.

You can find information about how partners document and report participation in the Employment Services, WorkFirst Training, LEP Pathways, Supported Work and Community Jobs sections. The remainder of this section describes how to document and report participation in contracted and non-contracted services.

3.9.2.4 What is Documenting Participation?

We must document excused absences and actual hours of participation for unpaid core and non-core activities. Under federal rules, we must obtain written documentation in a State-approved format, such as time sheets or attendance records, to verify the specific hours of attendance by each parent in scheduled activities. Non-contracted providers will document participation by filling out an eJAS WorkFirst participation verification each form each month.

Partners and contractors must also document their approval of excused absences in eJAS notes. The eJAS note should describe why the parent was unable to attend his or her scheduled activity, the date of absence and the hours absent.

The eJAS notes, time sheets, attendance records and eJAS forms become the source documents for participation reporting in eJAS. In addition, documentation must be held by the provider, contractor or partner agency for at least 30 months so it is available for state or federal audits.

3.9.2.5 What are Contracted service requirements?

The service provider will document the individuals' attendance in the program and report any unexcused absences within one business day to the WFPS or WFSSS via eJAS. The WFPS or WFSSS will start the good cause determination and start the sanction process, if appropriate, when a parent exceeds the allowable limit for unexcused absences.

By the 10th of each month, contractors will report to the WFPS or WFSSS, via eJAS, to confirm the parent's progress (when required) and participation for the previous month's unpaid core or non-core activity. Participation for community jobs, career jump, on-the-job training and work study participation will be collected from ACES earnings data.

Specifically, the contractor will report:

For excused absences, contractors and partners report regularly scheduled hours missed due to excused absences, listing the date of the absence and the number of hours missed on that date. If the parent only misses part of a day, enter actual hours and excused absence hours separately in eJAS. For example, a parent is scheduled to participate for 7 hours on the 12th, but gets an excused absence for 3 hours in the afternoon for a doctor's appointment. Enter 4 actual hours of participation and 3 excused absence hours for the 12th into eJAS.

For holidays, contractors report regularly scheduled hours missed due to state holidays. For example, a parent is scheduled to participate 5 hours per day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Everyone is given 2 days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. When reporting participation for this parent:

Contractors will ask parents to make up absences if possible. Any makeup time should be reflected in the contractor's documentation and entered into eJAS under actual hours of participation.

The WFPS or WFSSS will receive an e-message from the contractor when an individual has an unexcused absence or is referred back electronically. When this happens:

Contracted providers are required to report unexcused absences immediately and participation/progress monthly. WorkFirst partner agencies will make sure that their contractors are reporting each month, and can withhold payment if this requirement is not met.

3.9.2.6 What are Non-contracted service requirements?

We may refer individuals to non-contracted services, such as free basic education, doctors, or various types of services from non-profit agencies. Since these providers do not have eJAS access, the WFPS or WFSSS must manually monitor participation for these cases. For unpaid core or non-core activities, the WFPS or WFSSS must also enter documented actual hours of participation into eJAS.

A standard WorkFirst Participation Verification Form is available in eJAS for these cases. This form is the tool to be used by the WFPS or WFSSS to document the parent's progress and participation in their WorkFirst activities. The form will collect information about actual hours of participation but not ask for information about absences. For unpaid core or non-core activities, use DMS to store the form so this documentation can be made available to state and federal auditors.

The WFPSs or WFSSSs print the form from eJAS and give or mail the form to the parent. Add to the parent 's IRP that it is the parent ' s responsibility to have the service provider complete the form and return the form to the WFPS or WFSSS by the 5th of the month. The WFPS/WFSSS enters the WorkFirst participation information into eJAS by the 15th of each month for the previous month's activity.

The WFPS or WFSSS must ensure these forms are turned in each month. When these cases are set up, open the component code for 30 days if it is not a core or non-core activity. The IRP end date should be the anticipated end date of the entire activity. The IRP is not required to have the end date of the activity coincide with the date of the 30-day review. For not countable activities, eJAS reports will alert you that a monthly participation report is due based upon the end date of the component code. Core and non-core activities will appear on the WFPS or WFSSS Multiple Client Monthly Participation eJAS screen.

For not countable activities, if the report confirms the individual is making progress, update the component code for another 30 days. The IRP must have the actual start and end date for the non-contracted activity so we can track how long the activity is supposed to last.

If the individual has a medical deferment, with written documentation from a medical provider that indicates the individual is unable to perform any activities or attend any appointments for a length of time greater than 30 days, the individual is not required to provide the monthly reviews to the WFPS or WFSSS.

Examples:

If the WorkFirst Participation Verification Form is unclear or is missing necessary information to confirm the participation is occurring, the WFPS or WFSSS contacts the non-contracted service provider to verify the information (documenting the contact's name, title, phone number and date of contact). For countable core or non-core activities, enter zero hours into eJAS if you cannot obtain actual participation hour documentation from the provider.

3.9.2.7 Are there requirements for individuals in "X" components?

WorkFirst parents who are engaged in issue resolution as their WorkFirst participation must have the parent's participation reviewed every 30 days.

When an parent is receiving services from a contracted provider, the WFPS or WFSSS will receive the monthly report electronically via eJAS. If the parent is in a countable X code, they will appear on the WFPS or WFSSS multiple client monthly participation eJAS screen. These individuals may have the "X" component code with an end date of greater than 30 days, because the reporting will occur through eJAS.

Individuals who are in "X" component codes and receiving not countable services from a non-contracted service provider must have the component code for a maximum of 30 days, the end date of the activity will be used as the tickler to ensure the WorkFirst Participation Verification form has been received.

3.9.2.8 Monitoring Participation - Step-by-step guide
  1. The WFPS or WFSSS refers the parent to the contractor by:
    1. Entering both the component code and contractor code on the component code screen;
    2. Building an IRP that states the agreed activity, contractor or contact information, and the scheduled number of hours;
    3. Completing the eJAS referral form and transmitting the form to the contractor; and,
    4. Entering the presumed start and end date on both the component code screen and the contractor screen.
  2. The WorkFirst contractor will:
    1. Accept or reject the referral in eJAS;
    2. Make an entry in Client Notes in eJAS to document first contact with the individual, this will auto fill the date of the entry in the first contact column on the contractor caseload screen,
    3. Enter the actual start date of the activity in eJAS;
    4. Report unexcused absences in eJAS within one business day and document this in the parent's Client Notes in eJAS;
    5. Report excused absences in eJAS and document the reason the parent was unable to attend in the parent's Client Notes in eJAS.
    6. Report regularly scheduled hours missed due to an official state holiday.
    7. Report the parent's actual hours of participation, absences, and progress in BE, HS or GE by the 10th of each month for the previous month's activities.
    8. Round participation hours up to the next ¼ (.25) hour increment. Example: parent reports for class one day for 6 hours and 10 minutes. The participation hours for that day would be 6.25 hours.
  3. The WFPS or WFSSS will:
    1. Start the good cause determination or the sanction process, whichever is appropriate, for unexcused absences or unsatisfactory participation;
    2. Determine next steps, using the case staffing process if desired, for unsatisfactory progress;
    3. Check the contractor screen in eJAS on a regular basis to make sure that all reports of unexcused absences or unsatisfactory participation/progress are responded to in a timely manner.
How to Treat Excused and Unexcused Absences - Step-by-Step

The WorkFirst partner or contractor will:

Upon 2 excused or unexcused absences, send an immediate notify via eJAS to the WFPS.

ESD will:

Upon 2 excused or unexcused absences, contact the parent , if possible, and the case manager as part of the Continuous Activity Planning (CAP) process to determine whether the activity is appropriate for the parent and discuss next steps.

Excused Absence

Upon receipt of the immediate notification or contact from ESD, the WFPS will:

  1. Keep the current activity open.
  2. Have a conversation with the parent, if possible, and the service provider to determine if the parent is in a correct activity and review next steps.
  3. Update IRP if needed.

Unexcused Absence

Upon receipt of the immediate notification or contact from ESD, the WFPS will:

  1. Keep the current activity open.
  2. Have a conversation with the parent, if possible, and the service provider or partner as part of the Continuous Activity Planning (CAP) process to discuss next steps, including if it is appropriate to refer the client back to DSHS. to determine if the parent is a correct activity and review next steps .

If it is identified that the appropriate next step would be to refer the client back, then the component can be closed (ESD will close the component and refer the parent back). The WFPS will then:

  1. Open a PR component and ensure the activity code is closed.
  2. Initiate the good cause/sanction process, following the steps laid out in WFHB Section 3.6.1.5 , "Steps for the Sanction Case Staffing."
eJAS Entering Excused Absences - Step-by-Step
  1. On the Client Monthly Participation Screen or Multiple Client Monthly Participation Screen, enter the date range of monthly participation.
  2. Click the link in the Excused Hours/Dates column.
    • This brings up a new pop-up screen "DSHS Excused Absences Reporting".
  3. Click in the required date box.
  4. Click on the specific calendar date to enter the date of the absence.
  5. Enter the number of excused hours missed on that date in the "Excused Hours" box.
    • Users can enter excused absence hours in ¼ hour increments.
  6. Click the "Close" button after entering the excused absence hours - this will take you back to the participation page.
    • Users will get an alert when they click the "Close" button on the excused absences page reminding them to click the update button on the participation page to save the information.
  7. Click "Update" button on the participation page to save excused dates and absences.
    • The history of excused absences is on the same "Actual Hours Transaction History" screen. To view details of the excused absences, click on the Excused Hour link from the Transaction History screen. This will open the DSHS Excused Absences Reporting page which lists date range start and end dates, the date of the excused absence(s) and the excused hours.
Non-contracted services- Step-by-step guide
  1. The WFPS or WFSSS refers the parent to the non-contracted provider by:
    1. Entering the component code on the component code screen. Open the component for 30 days for not countable activities. The end date of the component will indicate that when a WorkFirst Participation Verification form is due (the CLMR is used to monitor these cases); or
    2. Entering an "RO" component code to refer the parent if the start date is unknown or if it is unknown whether the parent will be accepted for services;
    3. Creating an IRP with the actual start and end date of the service and requiring the parent to turn in the WorkFirst Participation Verification form each month (unless the parent has a medical deferment, with written documentation from a medical provider indicating the parent is unable to perform any activities or attend any appointments for a length of time greater than 30 days); and
    4. Completing the WorkFirst Participation Verification form in eJAS, printing the form and either handing it or mailing it to the parent.
  2. The Service Provider will be asked to:
    1. Accept or reject the referral manually; and
    2. Report the parent's participation and progress by the 5th of each month for the previous month's activities on the WorkFirst Participation Verification form.
  3. By the 15th of each month, the WFPS or WFSSS enters the WorkFirst Participation Verification information into eJAS for the previous month's activity and will:
    1. For core or non-core activities:
      1. Enter the actual hours of participation into eJAS. If this data is not made available, enter zero hours of participation into eJAS.
      2. DMS the WorkFirst Participation Verification form.
      3. Update the component code to match the IRP end date.
    2. Start the good cause determination or the sanction process, whichever is appropriate, for unsatisfactory participation;
    3. Determine next steps, using the case staffing process if desired, for unsatisfactory progress;
    4. Update the component code for another 30 days if the parent is in a not countable activity, is making satisfactory progress and it is appropriate for the parent to continue in the activity; or
    5. If the parent is in an X component code for a total of 90 days, the case needs supervisory review/approval prior to granting additional time to remain in the same component.

Resources

Related WorkFirst Handbook Sections
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