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3.9 WorkFirst Quality Assurance

The WorkFirst Quality Assurance section includes:

3.9.3.1 What is WorkFirst Quality Assurance?

The federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) requires States to accurately report actual hours of WorkFirst participation. States must also establish a system of internal controls to make sure they find and fix any systematic errors in the participation data they report to the federal government.

The federal government will do its own audits as well. States that are found substantially out of compliance with meeting federal participation verification requirements may lose up to five percent of their federal block grant.

WorkFirst Quality Assurance is a partnership effort to examine how well we are doing with implementing WorkFirst Forward and to create joint plans for any needed corrective action. The primary elements of WorkFirst Quality Assurance are:

The WorkFirst partnership will also use contract monitoring, staff training and local planning area coordination meetings to identify and address areas that could lead to federal errors.

3.9.3.2 What are data accuracy initiatives?

Data accuracy initiatives will assess whether the data we report to the federal government is free of data input errors and omissions. The goal is to improve WorkFirst data accuracy and eliminate factors that generate errors. This proactive approach will result in fewer errors, reduce re-work and preserve federal funding.

Data accuracy initiatives will likely change over time as we review cases and identify root causes of errors. The overall strategy includes:

The federal government already reviews the WorkFirst data we send them and lets us know when they find possible errors. Examples of the errors they find are incorrect marital status or parents in sanction with no grant reduction. WorkFirst Quality Assurance has set a process in place to handle these potential errors before we submit data to reduce our risk of federal penalties. This process will:

3.9.3.3 How will we do case reviews?

The DSHS Office of Quality Assurance will draw a statistically valid sample of WorkFirst cases each month and work with the WorkFirst partnership to conduct case reviews. Each WorkFirst partner who provided an activity to the family will be on point to provide supporting documentation on the case.

WorkFirst Quality Assurance case record reviews will identify areas that, if left unaddressed, will lead to federal discrepancies. Key elements of the reviews include:

The case record review will also look at how well we are doing with meeting WorkFirst participation requirements. Not every parent is able to participate full-time all the time, but we do want to make sure staff understand how to stack activities correctly. We also want to determine causes and solutions when parents' actual participation does not match their scheduled hours of participation.

3.9.3.4 What is the WorkFirst Participation Review Committee?

The WorkFirst Participation Review Committee (PRC) meets monthly to review potential problem cases from the case reviews. The idea behind the PRC is that bringing together the combined expertise of partners will help identify ways in which discrepancies may be reduced.

The PRC committee will:

The PRC will distribute case record review findings prior to each meeting. Representatives from each WorkFirst partner agency will attend the meetings, as well as information technology staff.

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