WorkFirst HandBook

Education & Training

7.1 Overview

The Education & Training Overview section includes:

7.1.1 What are the WorkFirst Training Options?

Based on the results of the comprehensive evaluation , the strategy for stacking activities or the continuous activity planning (CAP) meeting, a parent's employment plan may include education and training.

The WorkFirst program offers several training options for parents and young adults to enhance their skills and employability. There are different rules and procedures to follow for the various options.

Education and training includes:

7.1.2 When can you add it to an IRP?

Education and training can be added to a person's Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) while on WorkFirst.

Under the new federal definitions, both basic education and ESL fall under the federal category of job skills training directly related to employment (and coded JT ) when a parent is participating in core activities. The parent's employment plan or education and training plan should document that the basic education or ESL is giving the parent skills needed for employment. Stand-alone ESL is coded ES and does not count towards participation.

DSHS staff can decide whether to code ESL as ES or JT based on whether the parent is participating in a core activity. Community and technical colleges will decide which eJAS code to use for all other WorkFirst education and training activities and add that information to the parent's education and training plan.

For more information about Life Skills training, please refer to section 7.3.6 - What is Independent Life Skills Training?

The following chapter sections give information about the approval process, monitoring and policy for each training option.

7.1.3 How to calculate the education and training class and homework hours

To calculate participation hours, use the actual hours the parent is in the education and training activities, to include classes, labs, and supervised study halls/tutoring sessions, and up to one hour of unsupervised study time for every scheduled hour of class time. Total homework time counted for participation cannot exceed the hours required or advised by a particular educational program.

Only classes with an expectation of homework may be eligible for unsupervised homework hours. If there is no homework expectation, we cannot claim homework hours.

Normally, we can claim one hour of homework time for each hour of scheduled class time. So, if a person is scheduled to go to class for 5 hours a week, we can claim 5 hours of homework time a week, even if the person misses some classes during the month. 

However, if the person drops out and is referred back to the CSO, we need to do things differently.

If a person is referred back to the CSO, we can only claim one hour of homework time for each hour they actually attended class for that month.  So, if a person is scheduled to go to class for 5 hours a week beginning 5/1, attends class for 10 hours between 5/1 and 5/15 then drops out and is referred back to the CSO, we could only claim 10 hours of homework time for the month of May. 

Every WorkFirst partner captures homework hours differently. For example:

For more information and links on how different partners capture and process homework hours, please see the Capturing Homework Hours chart.

7.1.4 How DSHS calculates non-contracted/non-partner homework hours

DSHS staff will use a shortcut method to pick up most, but not all, countable homework hours from non-contracted, non-partner educational providers. They will:

7.1.5 Step-by-step guide - Non-contracted/non-partner homework hours (DSHS Only)
  1. The WFPS/WFSSS:
    1. Obtains the Non-contracted Education & Training IRP Requirements Worksheet from the educational provider.
    2. Enters the weekly scheduled class hours on the parent's IRP.
    3. Images the form in the DMS system to document the parent's weekly homework expectation.
  2. The non-contracted/non-partner educational provider sends in the WorkFirst Participation Verification form each month to document how many hours the parent attended class.
  3. The WFPS/WFSSS:
    1. Reviews the Non-contracted Education & Training IRP Requirements Worksheet to determine whether the parent's weekly homework expectation meets or exceeds the parents scheduled classroom hours.
    2. Documents the results on the Counting Hours of Educational Participation Worksheet.
      1. If the homework expectation is less than the scheduled classroom hours, enter the actual hours from the WorkFirst Participation form onto the eJAS Actual Hours Screen.
      2. If the homework expectation meets or exceeds the scheduled classroom hours, double the actual hours and enter that amount onto the eJAS Actual Hours Screen.
    3. Images the Counting Hours of Educational Participation Worksheet form in the DMS system to document why you did or did not double the actual hours for that month.
7.1.6 What steps do you take when a parent is absent?

Excused Absences

After two excused absences in a calendar month, the WorkFirst partner/provider will:

Unexcused Absences

After two unexcused absences in a calendar month, the WorkFirst partner/provider will:

ESD will:

This allows the parent to remain in the activity while the service provider, case manager and parent have an opportunity to discuss whether participation in this activity is appropriate.

If it is decided that the activity is not appropriate for the parent, the WorkFirst partner/provider will refer the parent back to DSHS.

For more on how to treat excused and unexcused absences, please refer to section 3.9.1.5.

Resources
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