1.4 WorkFirst Orientation

Created on: 
Jun 02 2015

Revised on: November 13, 2020

Legal References:

The WorkFirst Orientation section includes:

  • 1.4.1 What is WorkFirst Orientation and who needs one?
  • 1.4.2 How is the WorkFirst Orientation delivered?
  • 1.4.3 What happens during the WorkFirst Orientation?
  • 1.4.4 What is covered during the WorkFirst Orientation?
  • 1.4.5 eJAS/ACES codes
  • 1.4.6 WorkFirst Orientation - Step-by-Step Guide
  • Resources

1.4.1 What is the WorkFirst Orientation and who needs one?

The WorkFirst Orientation is an upfront introduction provided to potential WorkFirst Participants about what the WorkFirst program has to offer. WorkFirst orientation provides an overview of the programs, services, and opportunities available for the participants and their families while receiving a TANF grant. All individuals, including adults being added to an active TANF case or transferring from other cash programs, who will be mandatory WorkFirst participants as described in WAC 388-310-0200, must complete a WorkFirst Orientation prior to TANF or SFA cash assistance approval. An orientation is not required for clients who received TANF or SFA within the past 30 days.

1.4.2 How is the WorkFirst Orientation delivered?

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Washington State, WorkFirst Orientations are to be done over the telephone until further notice.

The WorkFirst Orientation is delivered one-on-one, desk-side. The participant is provided the WorkFirst Folder, DSHS 22-395, followed by immediate viewing of the WorkFirst Orientation Video. For participants who are limited English proficient (LEP), a Desk-Side WorkFirst Orientation Script is available to support interpretation of the video content.

The WorkFirst Orientation may be done over the telephone if the participant is:

  • Employed;
  • Has a serious health condition; or
  • Can't come into the office due to domestic abuse or family violence issues.

If the participant meets the criteria for a telephone WorkFirst Orientation, document why behind the adult's WORK screen in ACES 3G online.  

At this time, WorkFirst Orientations are to be conducted by a WorkFirst staff member.

1.4.3 What happens during the WorkFirst Orientation?

The WorkFirst Program Specialist or Social Service Specialist conducts the orientation before TANF or SFA cash assistance approval to provide a broad overview of the WorkFirst Program.

When presenting WorkFirst opportunities:

  • Establish a positive rapport with the individual to make a human connection.
  • Use the WorkFirst Orientation Video to deliver the required information.
  • Utilize the available staff training for the Desk-Side WorkFirst Orientation to support the process and ongoing conversations with the customer regarding the WorkFirst Program.
  • Give local resource information, in writing, for future reference.
  • Discuss WorkFirst expectations in a positive manner.
  • Get participants into activities as soon as possible for as many hours as possible.
  • Let participants know they can call a case manager if they have questions or concerns about participating.

1.4.4 What is covered during the WorkFirst Orientation?

The WorkFirst Orientation Video provides a basic overview of the TANF and WorkFirst Program, including:

  • TANF 60-month time limit information
  • Program participation activity options
  • Sanctions and related grant reductions
  • Availability of support services including child care

It also emphasizes the importance of communication with DSHS so the Community Services Division team may continue to provide supports and services where necessary.

Considering the streamlined focus of the WorkFirst Orientation Video, there are a number of topics that WorkFirst staff need to ensure are covered more in-depth with the participant either during the eligibility determination process, the Comprehensive Evaluation, or during Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) development.

These topics include:

  • Family Violence
  • Division of Child Support (DCS) Good Cause Options
  • Parenting Support Programs
  • IRP Participation Requirements
  • Sanction Process and Expectations for Communication
  • Support Services, particularly what is available in the customer's area

The Desk-Side WorkFirst Orientation staff training is available to assist in weaving these pieces of information into already occurring conversations with the participant.

1.4.5 e-JAS/ACES codes

There are no WorkFirst engagement e-JAS or ACES codes.

1.4.6 WorkFirst Orientation - Step-by-Step Guide

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Washington State, WorkFirst Orientations are to be done over the telephone until further notice.

The WorkFirst Program Specialist or Social Service Specialist:

1.    Makes a positive connection with the participant.

2.    Plays the WorkFirst Orientation Video for the participant.

  • For LEP participants: Accommodate by using the Desk-Side WorkFirst Orientation Script and interpretation services.
  • For telephone WorkFirst Orientations: Use the Desk-Side WorkFirst Orientation Script to deliver the content verbally over the telephone in place of playing the WorkFirst Orientation Video. Document why a telephone orientation was completed behind the adult's WORK screen in ACES 3G online. 

3.    Asks if the participant has any questions about the WorkFirst Orientation.

4.    Provides a WorkFirst Folder, DSHS 22-395, to each participant which includes, at a minimum, the following documents:

       Other resources can be included in the folder, including but not limited to, the following documents:

       NOTE: For WorkFirst Orientations conducted over the telephone, mail the participant the WorkFirst Folder, DSHS 22-395.

5.    Documents completion of the WorkFirst Orientation and completes the TANF cash assistance approval process.

Resources

Related WorkFirst Handbook Sections

Forms & Other Resources