6.2 Assessment

Created on: 
Sep 28 2018

Revised on June 11, 2020

Legal References:

The Assessment section includes:

  • 6.2.1 What are assessments?
  • 6.2.2 Who needs it?
  • 6.2.3 Are there issues to be resolved?
  • 6.2.4 Are there any other considerations?
  • 6.2.5 eJAS Codes
  • 6.2.6 Pregnant Women's Assistance (PWA) referral and assessment process
  • 6.2.7 Assessment - Step-by-Step

6.2.1 What are assessments?

An assessment is a comprehensive tool used by a WorkFirst Social Service Specialist (WFSSS) to gather detailed information about a participant's life and issues that may impact her or his ability to support their family. Obtaining information from a participant during an assessment can be difficult. Use Helpful WFSSS Assessment Questions to assist in getting the information needed to establish supportive WorkFirst activities. Results of assessments are used to establish WorkFirst activities for intensive services to participants. The tool allows a full assessment or a partial assessment to be completed.

Assessment includes:

  • Basic participant information, such as name, address, assistance unit, education/employment, family planning and other agency involvement.
  • Issues of the Pregnancy to Employment population such as pregnancy, child health and child care. (Only completed as needed.)
  • Other concerns, such as health issues or family violence. (Only completed as needed.)
  • A plan to help resolve the issue or issues.

6.2.2 Who needs it?

An assessment reveals a participant's issues and strengths, so we can connect the participant to appropriate resources, services, and activities to foster self-sufficiency.

Request an assessment:

  • For a recipient of Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA),
  • For participants who are pregnant or have a child less than twelve months old,
  • For pregnant or parenting minors who require a determination of the appropriateness of her or his living arrangements,
  • When a participant has an issue that you can not easily resolve, such as mental health or substance abuse,
  • When a participant is engaged in WorkFirst activities, but may also need to spend some time working on issues that interfere with employment,
  • When an eJAS comprehensive evaluation or the eJAS note type indicates further assessment is needed to determine next steps, and
  • During the application process, if the participant has an immediate or urgent need.

6.2.3 Issues to be resolved

As shown in the chart below, there are many issues that may interfere with a participant's ability to become self-sufficient. Any indication of the issues listed below may require a WFSSS assessment so they can be addressed.

Key Issues to resolve
Education & employment Problems in school or on the job may indicate hidden learning disabilities, critical skills gaps, or other factors that require further evaluation.
General health Lack of dental care or physical disabilities may require a referral to a dentist, doctor, SSI or DVR.
Pregnancy or parent of child less than 12 months old Help is available to provide prenatal care, child support, parent education, and to create a better support system for the mother.
Family planning Family planning services are available to avoid unintended pregnancies that can make it harder to achieve independence.
Child health & nutrition Help obtaining immunizations, regular well-child check-ups and health or nutrition advice.
Parent/child development Parenting classes are available to deal with the issues faced by working parents.
Mental health Help is available to deal with depression, anxiety, anger, grief or the aftermath of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
Domestic violence Social Service Specialists can connect participants with domestic violence agencies for expert advice and assistance.
Substance abuse/Chemical dependency Social Service Specialists can refer participants for substance abuse/chemical dependency assessment and treatment.
Housing Help in finding stable and adequate housing.
Child care Help in finding safe, affordable, and reliable child care.
Transportation Help in developing a reliable transportation plan (looking at mass transit, insurance, driver's license issues).
Legal Issues Help in dealing with various legal issues that can interfere with employment (like evictions, bankruptcy, or criminal history).
Other agencies/Tribal Connect the participant to other resources (like Head Start or tribal services) or coordinate with other agencies (like CPS).

6.2.4 Are there other considerations?

A participant may need additional assessments based on the results of the WFSSS assessment. For example, it may indicate a need for a DASA referral, so the participant can be assessed further for drug and alcohol treatment.

6.2.5 eJAS codes

When referring a participant to the WFSSS for an assessment, use the eJAS referral codes, such as:

  • RO (Other), or
  • SR (referred for drug/alcohol assessment)

6.2.6 Pregnant Women's Assistance (PWA) referral and assessment process

When a pregnant woman applies for Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) and is not eligible for a 60 month TANF Time Limit Extension, the WFSSS follows the process outlined below to accept the referral and assess the PWA recipients' needs. All financial eligibility has been determined before the following steps are taken below by the WFSSS.


  • Receives a referral from the PBS or the WFPS for PWA from the @WFQ or @SWA pool.
  • Reviews the Social Service Referral form (DSHS 14-084) in the Barcode ECR and marks it complete. If a DSHS 14-084 form is not received, contact the PBS/WFPS who made the referral and request the form to be made, then proceed with the case.
  • Opens the incapacity screen listing pregnancy, in Barcode, and reviews the EDD for proper tracking.
  • Reviews the case in all systems; ACES, Barcode, eJAS, and in programs such as Equal Access Plans, and FamLink.
  • Generates and provides to the PWA recipient a PWA Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral form, 10-651, out of Barcode, to notify the recipient they are eligible for 24 consecutive months of HEN services.
  • Contacts the PWA recipient in the office, by phone, or sends an open appointment letter to meet with the recipient to complete a First Steps Assessment.
    • To start the assessment the WFSSS clicks on the "Create New Intake Record," in the ICMS Social Service Intake screen in Barcode to open the intake/assessment screens.
    • Updates the screens with information obtained in the assessment with the PWA recipient to complete the assessment.
    • Saves the assessment in Barcode.  

During the assessment, the WFSSS:

  • Screens the recipient for Equal Access needs.
  • Screens the recipient for Protective Payee service needs.
  • Reviews the TANF Time Limit Extension hardship categories with the recipient to determine if the recipient meets any hardship criteria.
  • Screens for substance abuse treatment needs:
    • If the recipient is in need of a substance abuse assessment, make the appropriate referrals.
      • Once verification returns, if the recommendation is for substance abuse treatment, ongoing case management is required by the WFSSS.
    • If substance abuse has been ruled out and the substance abuse professional is not recommending treatment activities, case management is not required by the WFSSS.

Note: The WFSSS sets a Barcode tickle to track the case monthly. The WFSSS will make contact with the recipient monthly to determine any potential eligibility for a 60 month TANF Time Limit Extension (TLE) hardship and attempt to connect with the recipient to discuss barriers and or referral needs.

6.2.7 Assessment - Step-by-step guide

  1. After the eJAS comprehensive evaluation or the eJAS note type, the WFPS refers a participant to a WFSSS for an assessment when:
    1. The participant is pregnant or parenting a child under 12 months;
    2. An eJAS comprehensive evaluation or the eJAS note type indicates further assessment is needed to determine next (or additional) steps; or
    3. There is a need for an assessment.
  2. The WFSSS, based on the findings of the assessment, provides services, refers and connects the participant to the appropriate resources, activities and services.
  3. The WFSSS and WFPS:
    1. Decide whether the participant should be deferred from all other activities or combine issue resolution with WorkFirst participation.
    2. Build an IRP with the participant that reflects issue resolution services and activities.
    3. Document any new components in eJAS.
    4. Monitor the participant's progress closely and authorize support services when necessary.
    5. Connect the participant with Career Scope services as soon as possible, once issues are sufficiently resolved.
    6. Have the participant complete the comprehensive evaluation at the same time as resolving the issue or as soon as possible. If the comprehensive evaluation process is interrupted by an immediate crisis, determine if the participant is able to continue with the comprehensive evaluation process.


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