5.1 Pregnancy to Employment

(Infant Exemption)

Legal References:

The Pregnancy to Employment section includes:

  • 5.1.1 What is Pregnancy to Employment?
  • 5.1.2 Who is required to participate in Pregnancy to Employment?
  • 5.1.3 What is a Pregnancy to Employment full comprehensive assessment?
  • 5.1.4 What is a partial Pregnancy to Employment assessment?
  • 5.1.5 When to conduct a full vs. a partial Pregnancy to Employment assessment?
  • 5.1.6 What additional assessments are required?
  • 5.1.7 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he enters Pregnancy to Employment?
  • 5.1.8 What are the participation requirements during the first and second trimester?
  • 5.1.9 What are the participation requirements during the third trimester?
  • 5.1.10 What are the participation requirements after the child is born?
  • 5.1.11 What is the "infant exemption"?
  • 5.1.12 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he chooses to claim the "Infant Exemption?
  • 5.1.13 What is the "12-week postpartum exemption period"?
  • 5.1.14 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he chooses to claim the "12-week postpartum exemption period"?
  • 5.1.15 What are the Pregnancy to Employment participation options and requirements?
  • 5.1.16 What is WorkFirst Family Literacy?
  • 5.1.17 What is First Steps?
  • 5.1.18 Can a parent in Pregnancy to Employment be sanctioned?
  • 5.1.19 eJAS Codes
  • 5.1.20 Pregnancy to Employment - Step-by-step guide

5.1.1 What is Pregnancy to Employment?

Pregnancy to Employment (P to E) provides a way for parents to:

  • Build a healthy family relationship,
  • Prepare them for engagement in WorkFirst activities while assuring the family's medical and other needs are addressed, and
  • Become self-sufficient.

The goal of P to E is to provide services that allow parents to learn how to work, look for work or prepare for work while still meeting the family's needs. Each participant in P to E must participate in an assessment with the WorkFirst Social Service Specialist (WFSSS) to decide which activities best meet the parent's needs. The activities required will depend on:

  • The results of the assessment,
  • Where the parent is in her pregnancy or the age of the child, and
  • Services available in the community.

5.1.2 Who is required to participate in Pregnancy to Employment?

Every pregnant woman or parent(s) receiving TANF/SFA with a child under the age of one year is a mandatory participant in P to E. In a two-parent household, both parents are participants and must receive an assessment by a WFSSS.

Note:  Schedule an assessment using an ACES General Appointment Letter (50-05), the eJAS appointment letter, or in the IRP.

5.1.3 What is a Pregnancy to Employment full comprehensive assessment?

The full comprehensive assessment helps to identify family needs and determine which WorkFirst services are appropriate, as available within the community. In order to complete a full comprehensive assessment, the WFSSS must discuss and document all issue areas in the eJAS assessment tool

Based on the results of the full assessment and any other available information (i.e. Children's Administration, Equal Access, medical reports, etc.) the WFSSS or WorkFirst Program Specialist (WFPS) works with the parent to develop an Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) to participate in activities that:

  • Offer a combination of services that help to resolve the issues and at the same time prepares the parent for work, and
  • Provide a base from which the parent can start building and adding on activities that will help lead to self-sufficiency.

NOTE: Use the DSHS 14-012 Consent to Exchange Information for Services Coordination when exchanging highly protected (special records) information with another service provider.

5.1.4 What is a partial P to E assessment?

A partial assessment includes a minimum requirement to identify if the family's circumstances have changed and the family's needs require the department to address any potential issues such as mental health, chemical dependency, etc.

To fulfill partial assessment minimum requirements, the WFSSS must cover the following:

  • Who is in the household besides the mother and infant?
  • What type of family support is available?
  • Assess for all of the following:
    • Family Violence.
    • Family Planning.
    • First Steps.
    • Chemical Dependency.
    • Mental Health.
    • Child and adult health needs.
    • Documentation of involvement with WIC, prenatal care provider or pediatrician.
    • Activities the parent can engage in.

5.1.5 When to conduct a full vs. partial P to E assessment?

All P to E assessments must be scheduled within 30 days of the referral to the social service specialist.

A full comprehensive assessment is required when the department first becomes aware that a parent is:

  • Pregnant or
  • Parenting a child under the age of one.

NOTE: The other parent in a 2 parent household is not required to complete a full assessment or any assessment before the baby is born.

A partial P to E assessment is required:

  • For both parents when the birth of the child is reported, or
  • For the parent choosing the IE or 12-week postpartum exemption if neither a full nor partial assessment has been completed since the birth of the child, or
  • For the other parent if added to the grant after the birth of the child.

NOTE: The WFSSS may require a partial assessment at any time if information is received indicating there are mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.

5.1.6 What additional assessments are required?

If mental health or chemical dependency is identified in the P to E assessment, the WFSSS/WFPS will refer the parent to a professional for an in-depth assessment to support the initial identification.

  • Persons with an identified need for mental health will be referred to a professional for medical corroboratory evidence to determine whether the parent needs mental health services.
  • Persons with an identified need for chemical dependency will be referred to a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP) for a chemical dependency assessment to determine whether the parent needs chemical dependency treatment.

Persons with an identified need for mental health and chemical dependency will be referred to the appropriate professional for more in-depth evaluations.

5.1.7 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he enters Pregnancy to Employment?

PI (Pregnancy/Infant) is the indicator component code used to identify P to E parents on the Component Screen in eJAS.

The PI indicator code allows workers to track and monitor all of their P to E parents. The PI component is NOT an activity; it is an identifier. The PI component should always be accompanied by another component, such as PI paired with GE or XP, unless the parent is is not required to participate, or is choosing not to participate, because they are:

  • In their third trimester of pregnancy, or,
  • The non-participating parent in a two-parent household.

The PI component can be opened for a maximum of 21 months and should only be entered with zero hours. You may want to use the length of the component as a tickler for the pathway milestones.

For example, a parent reports a pregnancy with an estimated due date. The WFSSS or WFPS may then set the end date of the PI code to coincide with the date the parent will enter the third trimester, the date the baby is due or every three months until the date the baby is expected to reach one year of age.

If there is a future estimated due date on the eJAS Client Demographic screen and no active PI component on the Component/Contractor/IRP Update screen, the WFPS or WFSSS will receive a pop-up message notifying a PI component is needed.

5.1.8 What are the participation requirements during the first and second trimester?

In the first and second trimester of pregnancy, participation is based upon the results of the comprehensive assessment and may include work, looking for work or a combination of pregnancy to employment services. A pregnant woman is required to participate full-time during the first two trimesters of pregnancy unless they have a good reason to participate fewer hours.

5.1.9 What are the participation requirements during the third trimester?

The third trimester of pregnancy starts 90 days before the estimated due date.  For example, if the estimated due date is 7/14, the third trimester starts on 4/15.  Please use the Defining 3rd Trimester Tip Sheet to determine the start date of the third trimester.

In the third trimester of pregnancy, participation for the pregnant woman is based upon the results of the full comprehensive assessment and the parent may:

  • Be required to participate up to 20 hours per week if the comprehensive evaluation or an assessment indicates a need for mental health and/or alcohol or drug treatment (unless medical evidence indicates that parent is not able to participate in any activity), or
  • In Parental Education Project pilot sites only, be required to participate up to 20 hours per week in parental education if the comprehensive evaluation or specialized pilot site assessment indicates a need for parental education or parent skills training, or
  • Participate in the WorkFirst program on a voluntary basis if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues, or
  • Choose to not participate in WorkFirst activities until delivery date if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.

If a mental health or chemical dependency professional indicates that a parent should do more than 20 hours per week of treatment, we should encourage the parent to participate in the number of hours recommended; however, we can only require 20 hours per week of participation. If she refuses to participate in required available treatment, follow the good cause process.  Indicate the appropriate participation status on the "Component/IRP Information Screen" by selecting if the parent is:

  • Required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment;
  • Required to participate in parental education or parent skills training in Parental Education Project pilot sites only;
  • Volunteering to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment; or
  • Exempt from participating.

Note:  See section 3.6.2.4 before lifting a sanction in the third trimester.

5.1.10 What are the participation requirements after the child is born?

After the child is born, the parent(s) receiving TANF cash assistance:

  • Will be required, at minimum, to complete a partial assessment with a WFSSS to assess the parent(s) needs for continued services when the child is born or prior to choosing the infant exemption or postpartum exemption if no assessment has been completed since the child was born.
  • May choose to take the infant exemption or postpartum exemption and not participate in WorkFirst activities until the child reaches the age of one year (only one parent living in the household can claim this exemption at any given time).
  • May volunteer to fully participate in WorkFirst activities (see WAC 388-310-0300).
  • May choose to take the 12-week postpartum exemption period if the parent has used up their 12-month lifetime infant exemption and chooses not to participate in WorkFirst activities until the child reaches 12 weeks of age.
  • Will be required to participate up to 20 hours per week if the comprehensive evaluation or assessment indicates a need for mental health and/or alcohol or drug treatment (unless medical evidence indicates that parent is not able to participate in any activity).
  • Will be required to participate up to 20 hours per week if the comprehensive evaluation or assessment indicates a need for parental education or parent skills training in Parental Education Project pilot sites only.

If a parent qualifies for the infant exemption or postpartum exemption, has no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues per the comprehensive evaluation or P to E assessment(s) and chooses to participate in WorkFirst activities the department will not pursue sanction if we learn they are no longer participating as required in their IRP.

The following steps will be taken when the parent stops participating:

  • Send the Pregnancy to Employment Infant Exemption letter giving the parent 10-day notice that we plan to put them into Infant Exemption status.
  • If the parent contacts their worker within the 10 days and wants to continue participating, update the IRP as needed and do not enter the IE.
  • If the parent does not contact you:
    • Close the activity(ies) at the end of the 10-day period, and
    • Enter the infant exemption (IE) until the child turns one (not to exceed 365 days).

The Pregnancy to Employment Infant Exemption letter is available in eJAS Letters in English and Spanish. Staff must also document in eJAS "Pregnancy/Parenting" notes the period of time the parent is taking the IE and that the letter was provided.

Note:

If the parent stops participating in required mental health and/or alcohol or drug treatment, we would start the good cause process whether or not the parent is using the IE.  If the parent has chosen to use their IE and enters sanction, they continue using their IE. 

If a mental health or chemical dependency professional indicates that a parent should do more than 20 hours per week of treatment, we should encourage the parent to participate in the number of hours recommended; however, we can only REQUIRE 20 hours per week of participation.

5.1.11 What is the "infant exemption"?

Participants can choose to be excused from participating in WorkFirst activities during months that they are needed in the home to personally provide care for their child(ren) under one year of age. Participants have a personal responsibility to decide whether to choose the infant exemption. The exemption is not automatic; participants must choose to claim the infant exemption.

Only the custodial parent(s) can claim the infant exemption; needy relatives/caregivers are not eligible for this exemption unless they have legally been given parental rights.

Unmarried Parenting minors can choose to take the IE for up to 12 weeks after the birth of the child.  After the 12 weeks, they would be subject to the school attendance requirement for unmarried parenting minors. 

Only one participant living in the household with the infant (even if there are two infants in the household) can claim the infant exemption at any given time, for a maximum of 12 months in a lifetime, not to exceed 365 days. (Note:  Participants can use this exemption for one or more children.) Participants choosing to use the infant exemption may:

  • Be required to participate up to 20 hours per week if the comprehensive evaluation or assessment indicates a need for mental health and/or alcohol or drug treatment, or
  • Be required to participate up to 20 hours per week if the comprehensive evaluation or assessment indicates a need for parental education or parent skills training in Parental Education Project pilot sites only, or
  • Participate in the WorkFirst program on a voluntary basis if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.
  • Choose to not participate in WorkFirst activities for a set period of time or until the child turns one year of age if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.

Remind the participant that they can only claim the infant exemption for 12 months in a lifetime.  Then tell the participant what their required participation will be if they DO claim the infant exemption, and if they do NOT claim the infant exemption.  This will give the participant the information they need to decide whether or not to claim the infant exemption.  

Example One: The assessment indicates a need for three hours a week of chemical dependency treatment.  You explain that the treatment is required and if she doesn’t want to claim the exemption she will be required to do an additional 17 hours of another approved activity.  She decides to use the infant exemption.  Code the required treatment hours and infant exemption, and track her treatment participation.  
Example Two: The assessment indicates a need for two hours a week of mental health treatment. Based on her medical evidence, CE and assessment, she is unable to do anything but the mental health treatment for at least the next six months.  You explain that her participation requirement will be the same, whether or not she uses her infant exemption.  She decides she doesn’t want to use her infant exemption.  You code the treatment and track her participation, but don’t code an IE.   
Example Three: Based on the CE and assessment, there are no mental health,  chemical dependency  or other barriers and the parent is working five hours per week. You explain that if she doesn’t use her infant exemption, she will be required to participate in other activities to bring her up to 20 hours per week.  She decides to use her infant exemption and will voluntarily keep working.  You code her infant exemption and her work hours. We can provide support services and child care because her employment increases her self-sufficiency.
Example Four: This is a two-parent household.  Based on the CE, assessment and medical evidence, the father is exempt due to a disability and the mother has no barriers.  You explain that only one parent can claim the exemption, the father won’t be required to participate (whether or not he claims an infant exemption) and the mother will need to participate at least 35 hours per week if she doesn’t claim the infant exemption.  The mother decides to use her infant exemption so she can care for her husband and newborn.  You code the father with an XB and the mother with an IE.

It is essential to document in the eJAS “Pregnancy/Parenting” note type whether a participant chooses the infant exemption. If the participant chooses the infant exemption, document the period of time the participant is choosing to take it.

The department will contact a participant choosing the infant exemption who is not engaged in any other WorkFirst activities once every three months to:

  • Offer available services and/or referrals.
  • Remind them that they can choose to end the infant exemption and engage in WorkFirst activities at any time.

The three month contact may be either by a letter or telephone. (The contact must be documented in eJAS and the IRP updated, if necessary.)

The Three-Month Infant Exemption Contact Letter is available in English and Spanish via eJAS Letters.

5.1.12 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he chooses to claim the infant exemption?

Component code IE will be used to identify parents who are choosing the infant exemption. This component code is:

  • For DSHS staff use only and support services can't be generated from this component.
  • ONLY to be used for parents who choose to use their exemption.
  • Time limited (not to exceed 12 months).

Do not to use this code for any other reason. Using this code for any other reason will make a parent's exemption count inaccurate.

eJAS will track and display the number of days a parent has used their exemption in the "Number of days in IE" field on the Component/Contractor/IRP Update screen.

When opening the IE component, the WFPS or WFSSS will be required to indicate the appropriate participation status for parent's choosing to take the IE on the "Pregnancy to Employment Participation Status" field by indicating if the parent is:

  • Required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment;
  • Volunteering to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment; or
  • Exempt from participating (choosing not to participate in any activities).

Staff will:

  • Use the eJAS component IE to identify the infant exemption period.
  • After entering the IE code, select the parent's participation status.
  • Document the period of time a parent wants to take the infant exemption in eJAS notes under the "Pregnancy to Employment" note type.
  • Enter the IE start date as the date the parent notifies the department that s/he wants to claim the infant exemption and an end date of the elected infant exemption period, not to exceed 12 months.
  • Use the Caseload Management Report (CLMR) and/or ad hoc report to monitor these cases.
  • Encourage parent participation in WorkFirst activities as the infant exemption is limited to 12-months in the parent's lifetime.

Note:

WorkFirst parents may choose to use their Infant Exemption when needed in the home to personally provide care for their child under one year of age whether they are receiving TANF for that child or not.

If the child under a year old is not on the TANF assistance unit, add the child as a non-member.  ACES will then let eJAS know that the parent has a child under one year old in the home, and eJAS will allow you to code the IE.

5.1.13 What is the 12-week postpartum exemption period?

Parents who have already claimed the infant exemption for a maximum of 365 days can request an additional 12-week postpartum exemption period (84 days) if they have another child. This period allows parents to spend time with the newborn before they are required to participate in WorkFirst activities.

A parent can participate in the WorkFirst program on a voluntary basis during this period if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues. If a parent qualifies for a postpartum exemption period, has no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues per the P to E assessment(s) and chooses to participate in WorkFirst activities the department will not pursue sanction if we learn that a parent is no longer participating as required in the IRP.

The following steps will be taken when the parent stops participating:

  • Send the Pregnancy to Employment Infant Exemption letter giving the parent 10-day notice that we plan to put them into the 12-week postpartum exemption period status.
  • If the parent contacts their worker within the 10 days and wants continue participating, update the IRP as needed and do not enter the IE.
  • If the parent does not contact you:
    • Close the activity(ies) at the end of the 10-day period, and
    • Enter the postpartum exemption period (PD) until the child turns 12 weeks of age (not to exceed 84 days.

Staff must also document in eJAS "Pregnancy/Parenting" notes the period of time the parent is taking the PD and that the letter was provided.

If the comprehensive evaluation or other assessment(s) indicates a need for mental health and/or alcohol or drug treatment the parent will be required to participate up to 20 hours per week.

A parent may choose to not participate in WorkFirst activities for a set period of time or until the child turns 12-weeks of age if there are no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues. Only one parent living in the household can claim this 12-week postpartum exemption, not to exceed 84 days, at any given time.

5.1.14 How is the parent identified in eJAS once s/he chooses to claim the 12-week postpartum exemption period?

Component code PD will be used to identify parents who choose to take the 12-week postpartum exemption period. This indicator component code is:

  • For DSHS staff use only and support services can't be generated from this component.
  • ONLY to be used for parents who have exhausted their infant exemption and choose to use their 12-week postpartum exemption period.
  • Time limited (not to exceed 84 days).

When opening the PD component, the WFPS or WFSSS will be required to indicate the appropriate participation status for parent's choosing to take the PD on the "Pregnancy to Employment Participation Status" field by indicating if the parent is:

  • Required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment;
  • Volunteering to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment; or
  • Exempt from participating (choosing not to participate in any activities).

Staff will:

  • Use the eJAS component PD to identify the 12-week postpartum exemption period.
  • After entering the PD indicator code, select the parent's participation status.
  • Document the period of time a parent wants to take the 12-week postpartum exemption period in eJAS notes under the "Pregnancy to Employment" note type.
  • Enter the PD start date as the date the parent notifies the department that s/he wants to claim the 12-week postpartum exemption period and an end date of the elected 12-week postpartum exemption period, not to exceed 84 days.
  • Use the Caseload Management Report (CLMR) and/or ad hoc report to monitor these cases.

Encourage parent participation in WorkFirst activities as the 12-week postpartum exemption period is limited to 84 days for each child after they have exhausted their IE.

5.1.15 What are the Pregnancy to Employment participation options and requirements?

A parent's IRP and activities should reflect a steady progression towards work, looking for work, or preparing for work, as well as having a healthy and thriving child. P to E activities may include linking parents to:

  • Parenting education or parenting skills training
  • Safe and appropriate child care,
  • How to obtain good health care,
  • Life Skills classes with parenting components,
  • Mental health treatment,
  • Chemical dependency treatment,
  • Family violence services,
  • Education and training, or
  • Employment services.

Staff must continue to engage parents in WorkFirst activities that will move them most effectively toward self-sufficiency.

The Pregnancy to Employment Participation and Coding Quick Guide, also located in the Forms & Other Resources section, details participation requirements while the woman is pregnant and after the child is born.

5.1.16 What is WorkFirst Family Literacy?

Known in some locations as Families That Work, WorkFirst Literacy Skills Center, etc. (check your local college or CBO WorkFirst Delivery Agreement (WFDA) for Education and Training). Parents will receive instruction in the basic skills they need to join the workforce, improve their child raising skills, and break family cycles of illiteracy. Parents served by WorkFirst Family Literacy are current WorkFirst recipients.

The goal for WorkFirst Family Literacy parents is an economically stable and literate family, with outcomes that include:

  • Basic literacy and job preparation skills;
  • Work activity for some parents or paid employment for others;
  • Wage and skill progression for working parents;
  • Family management and parenting skills; and
  • Learning success for all children in the family.

Parents participating in WorkFirst Family Literacy programs follow the same model for quantifying participation, as do our participants in other training programs. 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. The college or community based organization will notify the WorkFirst case manager of the appropriate eJAS component code to use.

NOTE: Life Skills training is a countable activity for participation and Parent Education is not, though it may be an appropriate activity for the parent depending on his/her situation.

Parents in the WorkFirst Family Literacy program will be doing a combination of the following types of allowable activities:

  • ABE/ESL taught in the context of work skills that will lead to a job;
  • Family management/parenting skills (time management, fiscal management, communication among family members, the impact of work on family life/child behavior);
  • Age appropriate education for children while the parent is involved in work and education; and,
  • Parent and child activities that help children gain the literacy skills they need to succeed in school.
  • Involvement of the parent in their child's education.

Parents are involved in work activities at the level appropriate to their skills and their IRPs. These can include volunteer experiences, WorkFirst Work-Study, Community Jobs, etc.

  • In addition to Family Literacy funded by WorkFirst, the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) through the Adult Basic Education Office funds Family Literacy at community colleges in 3 locations across the state. Each provider works with community partners like DSHS WFPS's and WFSSS's, Head Start and ECEAP directors, WorkSource Center staff, and First Steps case managers.

5.1.17 What is First Steps?

The First Steps Program is designed to provide additional health care, enhanced services and case management to Washington Apple Health eligible women and infants. This program seeks to reduce maternal and infant illness and death, as well as increase access to maternity and infant care for low-income families.

First Steps services include, but are not limited to:

  • Prenatal Health Care
  • WIC
  • Pediatric Care
  • Family Planning
  • Childbirth Education
  • Lactation Consultation
  • WithinReach website (formally Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies)
  • Local community resources specific to individual needs, e.g. Domestic Violence hotline, educational resources, Crisis Clinic, mental health resources, car seats, food bank, CPR training resources, childcare, transportation, interpreter services, disability services, and the Tobacco quit line
  • Referral for Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) services

The WFSSS should provide all pregnant women with information regarding the services available through the First Steps program as follows:

  • If a pregnant woman reports she is not active on Washington Apple Health (WAH) Medicaid, refer to www.wahealthplanfinder.org to apply for pregnancy medical. The Health Care Authority (HCA) will generate a monthly list for Fist Steps providers capturing all newly identified pregnant women on Medicaid.
  • If a woman already has health insurance and reports she is pregnant, let her know she can access First Steps by contacting the Within Reach Family Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

For additional information about the First Steps program visit the Social Services Manual by clicking here.

5.1.18 Can a parent in Pregnancy to Employment be sanctioned?

Parents in P to E can be sanctioned for refusing to participate in an assessment with the WFSSS to identify family needs and determine what WorkFirst services are appropriate. Parents can also be sanctioned for failing to participate in other WorkFirst activities. (See 3.6.1 Sanction)

When a parent is sanctioned for refusing to complete an assessment and they have not chosen the IE, do not code the IE with the sanction. 

When a parent is sanctioned for refusing to complete an assessment, and then completes an assessment:

  • Lift the sanction the first of the following month, if not required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment, and if choosing the infant exemption;
  • The parent remains in sanction until they participate for 4 consecutive weeks, if the assessment requires participation in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment; or
  • The sanction would remain until they participate for 4 consecutive weeks, if not choosing the infant exemption.

Note:  When the parent is at the end of their exemption period and you are scheduling a next steps appointment, you cannot sanction the parent for not attending if the appointment was scheduled to take place during the parent’s exemption period. 

5.1.19 eJAS codes

The following eJAS codes are commonly used for WorkFirst individuals engaged in P to E:

  • RO is used to refer cases to the WFSSS and to require mental health assessments
  • PI (pregnancy/infant) is an indicator for all parents participating in P to E
  • PD (postpartum exemption period) is an indicator to identify parents using the 12-week postpartum exemption period
  • IE (infant exemption) is an indicator to identify parents using their 12-month infant exemption
  • XP is used for actual hours each week spent learning parenting skills, taking nutrition classes, choosing child care
  • XC is used for actual hours each week that no appropriate child care is available – or no appropriate care for an incapacitated adult

In addition to the PI identifier code, indicate the WorkFirst participation by using the appropriate eJAS codes on the component code screen as needed, to the actual hours of time spent in activities (such as XF for family violence resolution or JS for job search). It is important for tracking program progress to show the different components the parent is in.

5.1.20 Pregnancy to Employment - Step-by-step guide

  1. The WFPS:
    1. Completes the Comprehensive Evaluation and chooses the appropriate pathway(s):
      • Issue Resolution pathway if a P to E assessment is required,
      • 3rd trimester of pregnancy Deferral pathway if she is in her 3rd trimester,
      • Infant Exemption pathway if the parent has an infant age 12 months or less.
    2. Refers all pregnant women and parents of infants 12 months and younger to a WFSSS for an assessment using the appropriate eJAS codes:
      1. RO for a P to E assessment when:
        1. The department becomes aware a woman is pregnant or parenting an infant under the age of one year.
        2. The parent reports the child's birth or has not completed an assessment since the child's birth and is now choosing to take the IE.
      2. PI indicator to identify the parent in P to E. (eJAS notes must be entered in the Pregnancy/Parenting category prior to entering the PI code indicating the parent is a Pregnancy to Employment participant.

NOTE: On the Customer Accountability Report (CAR), parents in stand-alone PI will display in Participation Not Required (State Only) section. However, parents coded PI with other components will display in the section of the report determined appropriate based on their level of participation. For example, a parent is coded PI and 20 hours per week in PT. The parent will show in section 6 - Participation Below Full Time at WorkFirst Standard.

  1. The WFSSS:
    1. Completes a full or partial assessment, using the eJAS assessment or the DSHS 14-433(X), Intensive Services Assessment. WFSSSs may also draw upon assessments from other agencies. However, if the eJAS assessment is not used and the DSHS 14-433(X), or another assessment form is used, all the same eJAS assessment topics should be covered and documented in eJAS. The WFSSS should assess all areas relevant to the parent and review any other available information.
    2. Uses the assessment to identify the parent's strengths, barriers, issues and needs. Also the assessment needs to identify what participation a parent is able to do and the maximum number of participation hours including stacking activities so the parent participates to the fullest of their abilities. The WFSSS makes decisions about which cases have barriers or issues that could benefit from continuing case management by the WFSSS until those issues are resolved. Other cases may be referred back to the WFPS for case management.
    3. Makes appropriate referrals, based on the assessment and the completed CE.
    4. Works with the WFPS, parent and other service providers (as appropriate) to build an IRP as required that addresses the parent and infant's needs as identified in the full or partial assessment or comprehensive evaluation.
    5. Enters (if not already entered) the PI code on the eJAS Component Screen with the accompanying component when required.
  2. Either the WFSSS or WFPS - whomever is case managing the case:
    1. If participating in WorkFirst activities, updates the IRP
    2. If participating in WorkFirst activities, monitors /reviews on a monthly basis for attendance and progress.
    3. If a parent qualifies for an IE or PD, has no identified mental health and/or chemical dependency issues per the P to E assessment(s) and chooses to participate in WorkFirst activities, the department will not pursue sanction if we learn that a parent is no longer participating as required in the IRP. The following steps will be taken when the parent stops participating:
      • Send the Pregnancy to Employment Infant Exemption letter giving the parent 10-day notice that we plan to put them into Infant Exemption status.
      • If the parent contacts their worker within the 10 days and wants continue participating, update the IRP as needed and do not enter the IE.
        • If the parent does not contact you: Close the activity(ies) at the end of the 10-day period, and
        • Enter the infant exemption (IE) until the child turns one or postpartum exemption period (PD) until the child turns 12 weeks of age (not to exceed 12 weeks).
    4. If taking the infant exemption, update the component screen with the IE code and enter the start and end date of the time the parent is choosing to claim this exemption. This documentation is very important because a parent is only eligible for this exemption 12-months in a lifetime (not to exceed 365 days).
    5. After entering the IE code, enter the appropriate participation status in the "Pregnancy to Employment Participation Status" field.
    6. If taking the infant exemption and not required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment, makes follow-up contact (via office interview, phone, letter or home visit) with the parent at least every three months to re-evaluate the parent's/infant's needs to ensure that the parent and the infant are receiving the services they need.
    7. At each 3-month contact, the assigned worker will offer services, referrals and/or remind the parent that s/he can choose to end the infant exemption and fully participate in the WorkFirst program. (If contacting via letter, the Three-Month Infant Exemption Contact Letter is available in English and Spanish via eJAS Letters.)
      • If the parent chooses to end their infant exemption, update the IRP to reflect any changes in the parent's activity ensuring the IRP and activity reflect a steady progression towards work, looking for work, or preparing for work.
    8. If taking the postpartum exemption period, update the component screen with the PD code and enter the start and end date of the time the parent is choosing to claim this exemption up to 12 weeks.
    9. After entering the PD code, enter the appropriate participation status in the "Pregnancy to Employment Participation Status Required" field.

Resources

Related WorkFirst Handbook Sections

Forms & Other Resources