Education and Training
7.6 What do I do when a parent is already in school when he or she comes to me?
This section includes:
- 7.6.1 Information needed
- 7.6.2 What is the training you are taking and where are you going to school?
Often, when parents come to the WorkFirst Program Specialist (WFPS)/WorkFirst Social Service Specialist (WFSSS) at the time of their WorkFirst application, they are already enrolled in or attending training. Sometimes the parents are enrolled in some type of training and are receiving financial aid or loans. This can make it difficult for the WFPS/WFSSS to decide what to do to ensure the parent is participating in WorkFirst according to the policy.
This section of the handbook contains guidelines for the WFPS/WFSSS to ensure parents are directed correctly.
7.6.1 Information Needed
WorkFirst allows numerous types of training to be counted as participation.
When parents are already engaged in training at the time of application, there are three critical pieces the WFPS/WFSSS will need to find out:
- The type of training and the training institution the parents are attending;
- If the training is full-time or part-time; and
- If the parents are working (part-time job, work study, internship).
You will also need to determine how many hours of education and training the parent is receiving. To calculate participation hours, use the actual hours the parent is in the education and training activities, to include classes, labs, supervised study halls/tutoring sessions, and up to one hour of unsupervised study time for every hour of class time. Total homework time counted for participation cannot exceed the hours required or advised by a particular educational program.
Full-time participation is generally 32 -40 hours. So, if not already working, parents may need to combine work or a work-like activity with their educational program to meet their participation requirement.
To assist the parent to obtain work, the WFPS/WFSSS may refer the individual client to job search or to the college to see if there are any work study positions available. The parent must find a part-time job within 30 days in order to continue in training.
7.6.2 What is the training you are taking and where are you going to school?
If parents are enrolled in vocational education, they may qualify under numerous programs. If the parent is attending a Washington State community or technical college, they may qualify under Vocational Education, Customized Jobs Skills Training, I-BEST, or High Wage, High Demand Training. If parents are enrolled in a vocational education program at an institution other than a Washington State community or technical college, they may still meet the High Wage, High Demand Training requirements.
- Non-core Activities: If parents are enrolled in Skills Enhancement (JT), Basic Education, GED preparation, or High School completion, then their educational activities may also count toward participation. As these activities are generally considered non-core activities , you'll need to determine if the parents are engaged in core activities and, if so, for how many hours per week. The parents will need to meet the participation requirement. For dependent teens/teen parents, please refer to Chapters 1.2 and 5.1 for participation requirements and 7.2 for education and training activities. For all others, please refer to 7.3 to determine the parent's participation requirements.
- Degree Completion: If parents are within 12 months of completing a degree, up to a baccalaureate degree, they may qualify under Degree Completion (See Chapter 7.2)
- Vocational Education Unapproved: If the parents are more than 12 months away from finishing, they may still qualify under Vocational Education Unapproved programs. (See Chapter 7.4 for more information.) For this program there is a requirement that parents meet their work or work-like activity requirement, so you'll need to discuss this with them as well as the reduced support services associated with this activity.
- English-as-a-Second-Language: If the parent is engaged in language instruction such as ESL, you want to refer the LEP section of the handbook.
WorkFirst will make every effort to assist parents in meeting the requirements of participation so they may remain in school. If not already participating on a full-time basis, generally 32 -40 hours per week, the WFPS/WFSSS must take action to engage the parents in full-time WorkFirst activities. A referral to the Comprehensive Evaluation may be appropriate at this time. If the parents do not comply, they will face sanction for non-participation.
Related WorkFirst Handbook Chapters
- 7.1 Overview
- 7.2 Vocational Education
- 7.3 Basic Education, Skills Enhancement, High School/GED
- 7.4 Other Education & Degree
- 7.5 Internships and Practicums
- 2.2 Support Services
- 4.1 Job Search
- 2.4 WCCC
- 3.6.1 Ending Sanction