The cornerstone of service delivery is the referral/community connection. The referral process links an applicant to a service provider(s), inside or outside of DHS, which may be of value to them and their families. For a TANF client, making good referrals and connections with the source of services may be essential to their achieving maximum independence.
A person may need a referral at any time. This includes:
- when they first have contact with DHS,
- while their application is pending, or
- while they are receiving benefits.
Make referrals, as necessary, to support the applicant or client. If there is any doubt about whether to make a referral, make the referral.
To make good referrals, become familiar with the sources of service in your area. A good resource is:
- accessible to the person,
- appropriate for the person's needs,
- able to provide follow-up to the person, and
- able to provide follow-up information concerning the person's progress.
Refer job-ready clients at anytime (i.e., at intake, service coordination, or any other time) to WIA, IETC, prospective employers in the community, etc.
Refer teen parents and pregnant teens to Teen Parent Services (TPS) whether they receive cash or only medical assistance.
Refer TANF clients, when appropriate, to employment and training providers.
Refer a person for the following DHS or HFS services, when they need them:
- vocational rehabilitation,
- child care,
- child support services, and
- other supportive services (e.g., transportation).
Refer a person, when appropriate, to community-based agencies for services. Referrals may be made for:
- alcohol/substance abuse,
- mental health,
- developmental disabilities,
- child care,
- maternal and child health,
- domestic or sexual violence, and
- homeless services.
Contact the resource, prior to formally making a referral, to assure that:
- the resource offers the service,
- the resource is the best source available to provide the service the client needs,
- the service is available (no waiting list, etc),
- the person is eligible for the service,
- the person is appropriate for the service (age qualifications, etc.),
- the resource location is correct,
- the person is provided with a convenient appointment time, and
- a contact person is identified and notified.
Prepare the person for the referral to assure that they:
- understand why the referral is being made,
- know their responsibilities in following through with the referral,
- have the correct referral information, and
- know what information they need to take with them.
Once a referral is made, work with the source in any way possible to ensure that the person receives the service(s) they need. After making a referral:
- control for a response from the source and
- monitor the results of the referral
NOTE: An automatic referral is made through AIS to the HFS Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE).