What is Workfare and how can I enroll?

The workfare program allows ABAWDS to volunteer at DSHS contracted sites such as food banks and non-profits to meet work requirements. Individuals interested in volunteering at a workfare site to fulfill ABAWD work requirement, should contact the DSHS customer service call center at 1-877-501-2233 to learn more.

When you are referred to a Workfare site, you will be provided a DSHS letter letting you know:

  • Where you agreed to volunteer
  • Contact information for the person supervising your volunteer work
  • The number of hours you are required to volunteer to meet your monthly requirement and
  • The deadline you are expected to volunteer.

To continue receiving benefits, you’ll be required to turn in verification of monthly participation as proof that you have met your hourly requirement. One option is to turn in a signed DSHS 01-205 ABAWD Activity Report.

What is a Workfare site?

A Workfare site is a non-profit, public, or government agency who enters into an agreement with DSHS to partner with ABAWD clients and create work and training opportunities. Workfare sites:

  • Allow a volunteer to work under supervision and direction to gain valuable work experience and meet Basic Food work requirements.
  • Do not replace full-time or part-time employee positions, or fill vacancies with unpaid workfare labor. (A workfare participant may transition into a paid employment placement.)
  • Do not place volunteers on an assignment as a result of a labor dispute.
  • Provide a safe working environment from health and safety hazards, and is free of harassment (including but not limited to sexual, racial, religious and gender harassment). Agencies should provide the same rules and regulations kept for paid employees.

What are the Workfare site’s responsibilities?

  • Provide supervised duties in which participants learn vocational skills and gain work experience.
  • Provide necessary documentation and reporting of participant’s attendance to DSHS.
  • Report any issues or problems timely to the ABAWD Team.
  • Provide training, equipment, and materials required for duties of the workfare position.

What are the benefits of being a Workfare site?

  • Workfare sites empower someone to reach their human potential.
  • Workfare sites connect with volunteers to help serve their community mission.
  • Workfare sites provide an opportunity for a participant to reengage in the workforce.
  • Workfare sites help serve our community and local economy by contributing to the workforce