The Work and Training Provider will administer the specified program(s) in accordance with the provisions of the contract. Exceptions to these provisions must have the written approval of the Department.
A. The Referral Process
The Work and Training Provider must work with the DHS Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) staff to develop a referral schedule and process which assures that the Provider receives the number of clients specified in Exhibit B.
The Provider is responsible for working with staff and clients in a manner that assures that they maintain the required number of clients on a consistent basis.
The Provider is expected to respond to the referral within 48 hours of the referral appointment indicated on the form through the Work Verification System (WVS). The Provider should complete the Agency Action section of the referral at the top of page 2 of the referral by selecting one of the following options: 1) Client Initiated with Date, 2) No Contact from Client or 3) Referral Rejected thru Work Verification System (WVS). The Provider must provide follow up within 48 hours of the referral appointment.
The Provider is responsible for completing and submitting a weekly Attendance and Activity Report to the WVS. Reports are due by the close of business every Tuesday.
The Referral Process must also include procedures for reverse referrals. If the Provider recruits a client and enrolls the client in a work and training activity, the FCRC staff is to be notified via a weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report.
- 1. Referral Packet
- At a minimum, the Provider will receive the Referral Form (Form 2151) and the applicable section of the Responsibility and Services Plan (Form 4003) for all referred clients through the WVS.
- If the client is being referred for Work First, Community Service or Work Experience, the packet will contain Forms 2151, 4003, and a Form 4044 (Work Experience/Work First/Community Service Worksheet) which is included in the RSP on the WVS. For Work First referrals, the hourly payment reduction rate for clients who fail or refuse to comply with requirements will appear on Form 4044 and a system printout showing the effective month the case was placed in "0" grant status will be included.
- The Work Experience/Work First/Community Service Worksheet (Form 4044) identifies the maximum number of hours the client may be assigned to work experience or community service activities. If the client is required to complete additional hours in order to meet the Federal participation requirements, the Provider is responsible for assigning the client to a non-core activity to assure the opportunity for the client to meet requirements.
- 2. Engaging Clients
- The Provider is required to assure that each enrolled client is assigned to work and training activities and hours that are consistent with Federal requirements. Participation in appropriate activities and required hours starts with the first day of the client's engagement with the Provider.
- 3. Right to Repeat Referral
- The Department reserves the right to refer a client back to the Provider if a change in circumstances reinstates cash assistance, the individual becomes non-exempt, or is able to participate after receiving barrier reduction services.
- 4. Former TANF Clients
- The Provider is required to give priority attention to enrolling current TANF clients in work and training activities. On a very limited basis and with approval from the Department, the Provider may accept a referral and provide services to individuals who receive TANF-MANG. When approval is granted, the Provider will receive a Form 2151 in the WVS from the FCRC for the client.
B. The Intake and Assessment Process
The Provider will conduct the Intake and Assessment in a fashion that results in covering and thoroughly exploring all pertinent areas that are relevant to accurately assessing the client's employability and education/skill levels, and other areas that may have an impact on the client's ability to get and keep a job.
- The orientation and assessment process must be completed within 5 calendar days of the initial appointment date shown on Form 2151 or 2151C, and must include a visit and guided introduction to the local Illinois WorkNet Center/Illinois Department of Employment Security Office that must include presentations on independent job searches, registering all clients in Illinois Job Link (IJL) and instructions on utilizing the resource lab. See link below. http://www.ides.illinois.gov/page.aspx?item=50
- If the client fails the initial appointment, the Provider is responsible for notifying the FCRC by electronically submitting the Change Report Form through the WVS no later than the next due date for the RSP Attendance and Activity Report weekly; i.e., the following Tuesday.
- The Intake and Assessment process must be structured in a fashion that assures that the client is assigned to required activities for the required number of hours on the day of initial contact with the customer.
- 1. The Intake Process
- The Intake Process must include a detailed discussion about required hours and activities, weekly attendance reporting requirements, the consequences of non-compliance with activities, assigned hours, and any other factor affecting the client's participation.
- The customer is to be advised and reminded of the potential for receiving a reduced grant or no grant for failing to comply with all requirements.
- 2. The Assessment Process
- The assessment determines the client's abilities, skills, and readiness to begin movement toward employment. At a minimum, the assessment must include the following actions and discussions with the client:
- A discussion of the client's education and training background;
- Appropriate reading and math tests and scores;
- Work history and skills;
- Career Pathways and Illinois Skills Match;
- Need for supportive services;
- Employment goals.
- 3. Reassessment of Client
- The Provider must reassess the client:
- when the client enters or reenters the program after a break of one (1) or more months; and/or
- when the client shows inability to complete program requirements; and/or
- when repeated attempts to get the client employed have failed. In this instance, the Provider is responsible for arranging a full staffing with the local FCRC, so they can jointly determine where the problem might be, and assist the client in working out a plan that will lead to employment.
C. Weekly Reporting of Client Participation and Attendance
The Provider must ensure that accurate records of attendance, actual participation hours for each activity, and progress notes are maintained for each individual client.
- Information about attendance and the total number of hours completed for each activity is to be accurately documented and reported weekly by the Provider. (Exception: Employment information is reported only one time. After reporting employment, the "New Employment" portion of the Attendance and Activity report is to be left blank by the Provider.)
- The Provider is responsible for electronically submitting the RSP Attendance and Activity Report (Form 4006) to the DHS database for each client on a weekly basis.
- The last day of the Report Period is always Friday. Therefore, activities and actual hours are always reported for the period of Saturday through Friday.
- Reports must be submitted to the WVS by the close of business every Tuesday. The report documents activities, actual hours completed and attendance for the preceding calendar week.
D. Case Management Meetings
The Provider will conduct regularly scheduled case management meetings with clients. Discussions will include a review of the client's daily activities, the number of hours completed for each activity, attendance, progress, and case notes on plans for getting a job.
The Provider must maintain case notes, progress reports, attendance sheets, records of hours of service for each assigned activity and other relevant documentation in an individual file for each client.
E. Enhanced Work Skills Sessions
Providers will employ a strategic approach to increase employability, by making interactive workshops an integral part of the training curriculum as a way of assuring that clients know what to expect once they enter the work place, know how to adjust to a work environment, and are able to keep the job. Workshops are to include, but are not limited to the following:
- Professional Demeanor
- Appropriate Conduct and Dress
- Parenting and Organizational Skills
- How to Build Self-Esteem/Self-Confidence
- Budgeting and Financial Management
F. Coordination of Barrier Reduction Services
The Provider will contact the referring FCRC to request an immediate staffing when a client requires services to remove or reduce barriers to employment. The staffing may be conducted face-to-face or via telephone, and may or may not include the client. If it is determined that the client could benefit from barrier reduction services, the client will be removed from the contractor.
When the client is removed from the contractor, coordination/monitoring of services will be the responsibility of the FCRC caseworker.
- The Provider will be notified of the decision to remove or not to remove the client from the contractor via Form 2151A (Change/Progress Report Form).
G. Reporting Changes and/or Progress
Providers are required to report changes and/or progress to the FCRC on the Change Report Form through the WVS.
- The Provider will electronically submit the Change Report through WVS. The weekly Attendance & Activity (A&A) report will contain documentation of assigned hours and activities and the number of hours actually completed for each activity.
- The Provider must notify the FCRC, via the RSP Attendance and Activity Report, when a client obtains employment, refuses an offer of employment, increases hours of employment, receives an increase in salary, or reports other changes in circumstances to the Provider which are to be reported in the WVS on the Change Report Form.
H. Supportive Services
When indicated on Exhibit B, the Provider agrees to pay all eligible supportive services including temporary child care to clients participating in the provider's employment and training activities. If the client is eligible for supportive services, the provider must provide and/or arrange for the supportive services within 10 calendar days of the client's request or the determination of need.
Supportive service payments may be authorized for the following services:
- Mandatory Fees
- Books and Supplies
- Child care
- Miscellaneous Expenses
1. Authorization of Supportive Services
- The Provider will authorize supportive service payments by check, money order, or cash to the client or service provider. All issuances must be clearly documented in each client's case file.
- The Department will not authorize payment to the Provider for issuing supportive services without a Referral Form 2151 or 2151C.
- If the client is referred by Form 2151 or 2151C and is subsequently determined to be ineligible, the Department will be liable for reimbursement of supportive service payments for that client for the month of referral.
- The Provider must maintain receipts signed and dated by the client to verify issuance of each supportive service payment. Documentation of each issuance must include a date, the amount, purpose and period covered. The Provider will maintain monthly accounting for all monies disbursed.
- The Provider will designate supervisory level staff to review and approve supportive services requested when "supervisory approval" is required. A copy of the approval document must be retained in the client's case file.
- The current rates are subject to change. Providers will receive written notification of any supportive service payment policy and/or rate change.
2. Overview of Eligible Supportive Services
- a. Transportation (See ATTACHMENT I - Transportation for Details)
- Transportation expenses are authorized as an advance payment for travel necessary to get to and from approved activities.
- Transportation is paid at the most reasonable and economical rate.
- In urban areas where public transportation is available, the amount of the actual fare for each trip or the cost of a monthly pass is authorized.
- Outside of urban areas where public transportation is not available and/or the client has to use a privately owned vehicle or pay someone to provide transportation to and from approved activities, special payment amounts are authorized.
- Allow transportation expenses for employed clients who have not yet received their first paycheck.
- The Department has provisions for paying other transportation expenses related to employment, such as automobile liability insurance, repairs, relocation expenses, etc.
- The Provider is required to assess and establish need for each individual client. (See ATTACHMENT I - Transportation for details.)
- b. Mandatory Fees
- Mandatory fees are those required for a client to participate in an approved education/training activity. Prior approval is needed by the Administrator and FCRC before engaging in education/vocational activities. The maximum per year is $300.
- Includes payments for mandatory fees such as application, registration, activity, laboratory, graduation and testing fees (such as to obtain a GED certificate or to take a state board examination).
- Tuition payments are not considered mandatory fees and are not payable under this provision.
- Prior to authorizing issuances in excess of $200, approval must be obtained from the DHS Provider Manager.
- c. Books and Supplies
- Payments, up to a total maximum of $300 per 12-month period, may be authorized for books, supplies and equipment if the items are required for participation in an approved educational/training program. Use the facility's published list of required items to determine items to be approved for payment.
- d. Child Care (See ATTACHMENT II - Child Care for Details)
- The Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency provides ongoing child care services. Refer the client to the CCR&R using the Child Care Application (Form 3455) with the Responsibility and Services Plan (Form 4003).
- A temporary child care need can be provided by the Provider when needed for employment or as a one-time temporary need for no more than 30 days. Payment must be authorized in accordance with the rates established by the Department. When it is necessary for the Provider to issue funds for child care, the Provider Manager's signature is required.
- Child care must be provided through a legitimate care arrangement; i.e., the Provider must be at least 18 years of age, etc.
- Child care may be provided for children under age 13 or children age 13 or older who need the care because of a physical or psychological condition or court ordered supervision.
- Payment for child care must be authorized in the child care provider's name and mailed to the provider's address. As applicable, clients are responsible for making child care co-payments.
- If the client is newly employed, the Provider as a supportive service may issue the co-payment during the first 30-day period on the job. The client must request payment.
- The Provider may not authorize child care payments to himself or herself. In these situations, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency will authorize payments.
- Under special circumstances, payment may be made for child care costs over the stated maximums to ensure that an employed client keeps the job. (Contact the DHS Provider Manager for approval.)
- Payment will not be made for services provided more than seven calendar days prior to receipt of the application for child care payments.
e. Miscellaneous/Other Related Expenses
To assist clients in meeting the requirement of employment and other guidelines, expenses for items such as uniforms, tools, license, etc., may be authorized with supervisory approval.
- Special clothing such as uniforms or outsized clothing needed for the client to meet a dress code for an activity or employment ($600 in 12 months).
- Required tools not provided by the employer ($600 in 12 months).
- DCFS Licensing - Items or services purchased to assist the client in meeting Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child care licensing requirements - (maximum $900 in any 12 months). These include but are not limited to:
- fire extinguisher
- smoke alarm
- first aid kit
- installation of telephone
- Expenses required for starting up a micro enterprise approved as a self-employment activity, which is likely to generate income. Supervisory approval is required.
- Other required items related to the specific job (maximum $900 in any 12 months). Supervisory approval is required.
- Payment may not be issued to buy firearms, to pay bail bonds, or to pay traffic tickets.
- Required Physical and Medical Services - When the client requires a physical examination, drug testing, or other medical services, the FCRC caseworker will assist the client in arranging to receive these services.
- Background Checks - Authorization for conviction background checks may be provided for clients if the employer or Work Experience/Work First sponsor requires the same checks for regular employees for the same type of job or work experience to be done by the client.
- The usual charge for a background check is $12. Payment for the fee cannot exceed $20 without prior approval by the DHS Provider Manager
- Canceled Cases (Supportive Services During Retention) During the appropriate job retention period, the Provider may authorize supportive services for those clients who were assigned to the Provider at the time of the cancellation if:
- the case was canceled due to employment;
- the request is made within the first three fiscal months after the client last received cash benefits; and,
- the case is receiving a medical extension or has been swapped to Family Health Plans (formerly MANG).
- f. Cash and Time Limitations on Expenses
- Total payments for expenses with time and cash limits for one (1) client cannot exceed $1,200 in any 12-month period without the approval of the DHS Provider Manager.
- Obtain one (1) estimate for the purchase or repair of items listed in this section. If the estimate is over $100, obtain a second estimate. For items $100 or less, an informal estimate may be used (TV, newspaper or radio ads). Authorize the least expensive item(s).
- The Provider must justify expenses that exceed the $1,200 limitation in writing. A memorandum is forwarded to the DHS Provider Manager requesting an exception to policy. The DHS Provider Manager will provide a written disposition. A copy must be retained in the client's case file.
3. Supportive Services Issued by Department TANF Staff Only
- Job Search Allowance
- A flat $20 per month Job Search Allowance is paid to help meet the cost of completing 20 employer contacts each calendar month. The allowance covers transportation, job search, postage stamps, telephone calls, copying resumes, etc.
- Work Activity Allowance
- A flat $20 per month Work Activity Allowance is paid for clients who are required to participate in Work First, Work Experience/Community Service.
- The allowance covers such items as nylons, hair cuts, shaving supplies, etc.
- Clients who are not engaged in Work First, Work Experience/Community Service are not eligible for the Work Activity Allowance.
- Dental Services
- Authorization for dental services, not covered under the MediPlan card, can be provided when the client needs the service to get or keep a job or to take part in a work and training activity. Approved services include repair or replacement of noticeably missing or malformed teeth and other dental procedures that remove barriers to employment.
- Routine services covered by the MediPlan Card include: routine office visits, preventive services, cleaning, fluoride treatment, cosmetic dental services, orthodontia, partial dentures and full dentures for cosmetic reasons.
- Non-Cooperation (TANF Job Placement)
- Providers are responsible for re-enforcing the client's responsibility to complete required activities and assigned hours as a condition of eligibility for welfare benefits by initiating outreach within 2 days of non-compliance with requirements, and reconciliation action within 2 days of the customer's failure to respond to outreach efforts.
- 2. Reconciliation Process
The purpose of the reconciliation process is to provide the client the opportunity to:
- Resolve concerns with a client about activities in their Responsibility and Services Plan (Form 4003).
- Address reasons for failure to comply with requirements;
- Make sure the client is aware of requirements, and issues that are resulting in non-compliance;
- Determine if a client has good cause for not complying with activities; and,
- To allow the client the opportunity to perform the required activities without facing sanction.
- 3. Reconciliation Meeting
- The Provider is responsible for holding a reconciliation meeting with the client within 5 calendar days of the act of non-cooperation, or, of the client's request for a reconciliation meeting.
- Conduct the meeting immediately if the client is in the Provider's office when a dispute arises or when it becomes known that there is a problem with the client's compliance with requirements.
- The meeting may be completed by telephone if the client is not in the Provider's office. Both parties must agree to this arrangement.
- If the client is not in the office, and telephone reconciliation is inappropriate or not agreed to by both parties, mail Form 2846 (Reconciliation Appointment Notice) to schedule the meeting. Allow five (5) workdays for mail delivery when it is necessary to schedule the meeting via mail.
- During the meeting, the client must be given the opportunity to explain the reason for failing to complete the required activities and hours. If the client shows "good cause" for non-compliance and this is the first instance of non-compliance, do not request sanction or SWAP action. Review required hours and activities with the client and give the client another opportunity to comply with requirements.
- 4. Good Cause Reasons
- Good cause reasons include, but are not limited to the following:
- Lack of day care for an incapacitated person living in the same home;
- Lack of adequate child care for a child under age 13;
- Death in the family;
- Illness or incapacity of the client or family member;
- Required court appearance;
- Temporarily confined to jail;
- Severe weather;
- Lack of support services causing a major barrier to participation;
- Failure of staff to correctly forward information to other staff;
- A conflict in the client's appointment schedule;
- A scheduled job interview;
- The client lacks reading and/or writing skills;
- The client does not understand written or oral communications due to language barriers or mental or physical disability;
- The client should be in a different activity, in rehabilitation services, or in SSI Advocacy;
- Client did not receive a mailed notice, including notices advising the client of program requirements;
- The client is homeless;
- Work place violations are present as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor; or
- Other reasons that prevent compliance and are outside the client's control.
- 5. Client Shows for Reconciliation Meeting and Good Cause Exists
- If the client appears for the reconciliation meeting, discuss the issue(s) with the client (or their representative) and attempt to come to an agreement.
- If the client had good cause for not complying with requirements, the Provider will give the client another chance to comply and will not recommend sanction action.
- The Provider must review requirements with the client and document the discussion in the client's case file.
- The Provider will report the reconciliation meeting and outcomes on the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report.
- 6. Client Shows for Reconciliation Meeting and Good Cause DOES NOT Exist
If the client appears for the Reconciliation Meeting and Good Cause does not exist, the Provider and the client will attempt to agree on an action the client can perform to show compliance with requirements and complete the Reconciliation Agreement (Form 2846A).
7. Reconciliation Agreement
- The Reconciliation Agreement (Form 2846A) contains the action the client must take to show compliance with requirements and the time frame for completing the action.
- If the client is not able to comply with requirements during the meeting:
- The Provider is responsible for setting a time frame for the client to complete the required action. The established time frame is not to exceed 14 calendar days.
- All persons taking part in the reconciliation process must sign Form 2846A (Reconciliation Agreement).
- File a copy of the agreement in the client's file and include clear notes of any additional information or instructions given to the client for meeting the terms of the agreement.
- Give the client a copy of the signed Reconciliation Agreement.
- Set a control to follow-up no later than the deadline established for the client to complete agreed to actions/activities.
- If the client is able to comply with requirements during the meeting:
- If the client is able to comply with requirements at the meeting and no additional action is needed, do not complete the Reconciliation Agreement (Form 2846A).
- Write up the meeting in the client's case file.
- Notify the FCRC caseworker of the action via the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report.
- If the client later fails or refuses to complete required actions, request a sanction for the original act of non-compliance via the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report. The Provider will continue outreach efforts with the client during the sanction period. Outreach efforts include all actions taken by the Provider to engage clients and get them to fully comply with all assigned activities and hours. Efforts include counseling, reviewing requirements and ways to avoid future negative actions, staffings with FCRC staff, telephone contacts, home visits, mailed notices, etc.
- 8. If Client Does Not Appear for the Reconciliation Meeting
- If the client does not appear for the reconciliation meeting without good cause:
- The Provider will notify the FCRC of the client's failure or refusal to comply with requirements via the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report. Indicate the request for sanction action in the applicable section of the report form.
- The Provider must retain a copy of Form 2846 (Reconciliation Appointment Notice) in the client's case file.
- As RSP Attendance and Activity reports are electronically submitted to the DHS database, the Provider will be responsible for retaining documentation of reconciliation attempts and make them available to the FCRC as necessary for audits, reviews, case management activities, etc.
- 9. Mediation
- If the client and the Provider cannot reach an agreement during the Reconciliation Meeting, an impartial person may act as mediator. A mediator is used when the Provider and the client cannot agree on what the client must do to show compliance or the client's "good cause" reason is disputed.
- The impartial person can be a supervisor or other staff person who has not had a direct role in the client's case management.
- Schedule a separate meeting with the mediator if the mediator is unavailable at the time of the reconciliation meeting.
- Give or send the client another Reconciliation Appointment Notice (Form 2846) as written notification of the scheduled meeting with the mediator.
- If the client does not appear for the meeting with the mediator without good cause, recommend sanction for failure to comply via the weekly attendance and activity report.
- Write up the reconciliation meeting and decision in the case record/file. Change the client's RSP/Service Plan, if necessary.
- 10. Non-Cooperation (Work Experience/Work First)
- These procedures apply to Work First Providers and clients only.
- To meet compliance requirements, clients must complete assigned Work Experience hours, and any supplemental activities as instructed by the Work First Provider.
- All activities must be completed on a monthly basis.
- If all activities and assigned hours in core and non-core activities are not completed, the client is not in compliance with requirements.
- When the client does not fully cooperate with all requirements of the program, the Provider must take the following steps:
- Contact the client using Form 4125 (First Notice Regarding Non-Cooperation with Work First/Work Experience).
- If the client responds to the notice, determine if "Good Cause" exists.
- If "Good Cause" for failure to cooperate is established, no further action is needed. The client is to proceed with the instructions contained in the Responsibility and Services Plan.
- If "Good Cause" is not established, the Provider will discuss cooperation requirements with the client, remind the client of actions required to fully cooperate, and advise the client of the consequences of further failure to comply with requirements.
- The Provider will monitor the client's cooperation for the next 30 days. If the client demonstrates cooperation, no further action is taken based on the initial failure to cooperate.
- If the client fails to cooperate during the first 30-day period, the Provider will again contact the client to determine the reason for failure to cooperate.
- If the client appears for the meeting to discuss non-cooperation and agrees to cooperate, the Provider will not request SWAP action. The client will be advised of the consequences of non-cooperation and instructed to return to the assigned activity.
- If the client cooperates during the first 30-day monitoring period, but fails to cooperate during the second 30-day period, or subsequent to that time, the Provider will refer the case back to the FCRC via the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report, requesting a SWAP action to medical assistance only.
- Document the client's failure to cooperate in the client's file. Include the dates of the two attempts to contact the client.
- 5. If the client fails to appear for the meeting to discuss non-cooperation, the Provider will send a Form 4126 "Second Notice Regarding Non-Cooperation with Work First/Work Experience".
- If the client fails to appear for the second appointment, the Provider will refer the client back to the FCRC via the weekly RSP Attendance and Activity Report requesting a SWAP to medical assistance.
- Document on the report the client's failure to cooperate, including the dates of the two attempts to contact the client.
- The Provider must retain documentation of these actions and make them available to the Department upon request for reviews, audits, etc.
J. Job Retention Services
- The Provider will provide job retention services that minimally include the following activities:
- Training on Job Retention;
- Follow-up with the client to address retention issues after employment;
- Job Coaching and counseling; and
- Follow-up with the client's employer to address issues and act as a liaison with the employer for problems on the job.
- Job retention services will incorporate weekly contacts with the client and/or employer in the first 30 days of employment.
- When retention services extend beyond 30 days, contacts must occur two times per month during days 31-90 of employment. The provision of job retention services must be documented in the client's case file.
- A client who is placed in full time employment may remain in the Provider's program for job retention activities only.
- If a client is employed part time, the client may remain in the Provider's program and work with the Provider to upgrade employment.
- If the client who is placed in part time employment remains active with the Provider, the Provider must assign additional activities if necessary, to meet the countable hours as required.
K. Case Records
The Provider must maintain an individual case record on each client to document services provided, activities assigned, and supportive services issued.
- Documentation must include the assigned activities, and the actual number of hours completed per week. A hard copy of the actual documentation of attendance is to be retained in the Provider's case record.
- The case record must contain a copy of all relevant documents as applicable including, but not limited to:
- Referral Forms (Form 2151) in the WVS
- Responsibility and Services Plans (Form 4003) in the WVS
- RSP Weekly Attendance and Activity Reports (Form 4006) in the WVS
- Literacy/TABE Test Scores
- Change/Progress Report Forms (Form 2151A) in the WVS
- Employment and Training Client Lists (Form 4333)
- Employment and Training Staffings (Form 4334)
- Detailed Documentation of completed Job Contacts
- Case Management Meetings and Case Notes
- The client's record is to be maintained by the Provider in a confidential fashion and is to be protected from unauthorized disclosure. The Provider is also responsible for exercising due diligence to ensure that confidentiality is maintained at assigned work sites.
L. Work First/Work Experience/Community Service Employer Agreements
- The Provider is responsible for recruiting public and/or private employers to obtain Work First, Work Experience and Community Service positions and permanent unsubsidized employment positions for TANF clients.
- The Provider must visit all Work Experience sponsors in person prior to entering into an Agreement. If a Work First/Work Experience Agreement is already in place, a site visit must be made once a year and documented in writing. In addition, quarterly contact must be made, either in person or by phone, and documented in writing to ensure that employers/sponsors continue to meet all requirements of the Work Experience component as detailed herein. The Provider will make these reports available to the Provider Manager and Monitoring staff upon request.
- The Provider must have a completed Work First/Work Experience Agreement (Form 4484C) with each participating Work First/Work Experience employer/sponsor. TANF clients will not be assigned to work sites that do not have written Agreements.
- All agreements must be renewed at the beginning of each contract year.
- The Provider must provide a complete listing of Work Experience employers/sponsors to the Provider Manager upon execution of the Agreement. The listing must include employer/sponsor's name, address of all work locations, phone number, contact person and number of positions by type. The Provider will update the listing as necessary and ensure that update listings are sent to the Provider Manager within the calendar month of the change.
- The Provider will not initiate Agreements with for profit employers who dispatch clients to a variety of work sites daily.
- The Provider will ensure that for profit Work First and/or Work Experience employers have a ratio of at least three (3) regular employees for every one (1) client.
- The Provider will ensure that the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employer does not use TANF clients to:
- displace or partially displace current employees; or
- reduce the number of non-overtime or overtime work hours, wages, or employment benefits; or
- fill an established unfilled vacancy or a position that would otherwise be a promotional opportunity for current employees; or
- fill a position created by termination, layoff, a hiring freeze, or a reduction in the workforce; or
- perform work if there is a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute in which the employer is engaged.
- The Provider will ensure that the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employer does not assign TANF clients to perform job duties that are not within the reasonable scope of duties specified in the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service Agreement (Form 4484C).
- The Provider will ensure that the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employer provides workplace skills training and supervision in accordance to the job descriptions specified in the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service Agreement (Form 4484C), for the duration of the assignment.
- The Provider will review the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service Worksheet (Form 4044) to ensure that the hours shown do not exceed the number of required hours.
- The number of required hours is calculated by adding the client's TANF grant and SNAP benefits together, and dividing the total by the higher of the State or Federal minimum wage amount.
- The Provider is to assure that the client is not assigned more than 40 hours per week, even it the number of hours on the worksheet (Form 4044) exceeds 40 hours per week.
- The worksheet (Form 4044) is completed by the FCRC caseworker and routed to the Provider at the time of initial referral and completion of RSP through the WVS, or when changes in benefits indicate the need for recalculating the required number of hours to be completed by the client.
- The Provider will contact the FCRC caseworker when errors are discovered on the worksheet. The client's hours are not to be reduced and/or altered by the Provider. If the Provider determines a need for a change, the FCRC caseworker is to be contacted. The Change Report in the WVS is to be used to communicate with the FCRC caseworker. The approval to make the change has to be received in writing.
- The Provider will monitor Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employers to assure that the client's required number of hours are not reduced or increased.
- The Provider is required to maintain accurate records of the client's activities, actual hours completed, and submit weekly attendance and activity reports to the DHS database by the close of business every Tuesday. Clients are expressly prohibited from delivering or maintaining their own attendance records.
- The Provider will ensure that all work assignments are completed within the calendar month.
- The Provider will ensure work performed by the client is safe, serves a useful purpose, and is completed only during the employer's established work hours.
- The Provider must complete the appropriate Workers' Compensation forms if a client is injured while on assignment. The forms listed must be completed within the specified time frame and submitted to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services' Division of Risk Management. These forms are available at the on-line link below: http://www2.illinois.gov/cms/Employees/benefits/rm/Pages/WorkersCompensation.aspx
- CMS 900-1 Workers' Compensation Employee's Notice of Injury
- CMS 900-2 Initial Workers' Compensation Medical Report
- CMS 900-3 Supervisor's Report of Injury or Illness
- CMS 900-4 Summary of Disability
- CMS 900-5 Information Release Authorization
- CMS 900-6 Workers' Compensation Witness Report
- CMS 900-7 Demands of the Job
- Medical bills or other pertinent information
- The Provider will ensure that the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employer/sponsor provides the client with a written reference upon satisfactory completion of the work assignment.
- The Provider will make quarterly visits to all Work First/Work Experience/Community Service employers/sponsors and maintain written reports of the visits. At a minimum, the reports will contain information on the work place and employer/sponsor requirements. The Provider will make these reports available to DHS Provider Managers and Monitoring staff upon request.
- If the client has a conflict with the employer/sponsor, the Provider will attempt to resolve the issue. If the Provider is not able to resolve the issue, the client will be assigned to a different employer. If the client gets involved in a conflict or dispute with the new employer/sponsor, the Provider will notify the FCRC staff of the non-cooperation.
The Provider and FCRC staff will conduct Staffings jointly, to review and discuss the status of clients assigned to the Provider, using the established staffing protocol and forms.
- Staffings are to be conducted on an "as needed" basis for Cook County and downstate offices; however, they must be held at least quarterly for Cook County to assure that records are reconciled and all clients are accounted for.
- The Department reserves the right to remove a client from a Provider's program when it is determined that the client is demonstrating insufficient progress or a pattern of non-compliance.
- If the Provider or FCRC has any problems or disputes about scheduling and/or conducting staffings, the Regional Employment and Training Liaison is to be contacted for a resolution.
N. Staffing Protocol
Upon execution of the Agreement, the FCRC staff and the Provider will establish a meeting schedule to be attended by staff from both entities.
- At least five (5) workdays prior to the meeting, the Provider will send the Employment and Training Client List (Form 4333) to the FCRC. The list will include the name and appropriate information for each client being served. The Provider will indicate each client's status, and identify the client(s) to be staffed.
- If the client is being fully staffed, Employment and Training Staff (Form 4334) will be attached to the Employment and Training Client List (Form 4333). If the client is not being fully staffed, RSP Attendance and Activity Report (Form 4006) is attached to Form 4333.
O. Staffing (Full or Partial)
- Full Staffing - The following criteria will be used to identify clients that are required to be fully staffed:
- The client is not progressing at a satisfactory level. (May include clients still in the retention phase of new employment.)
- The client's counter is advanced - the clock is at 36 months or higher.
- The client is demonstrating other behaviors/actions that indicate potential problems in getting the client employed (i.e., poor participation, minimal engagement/enthusiasm, involved in a treatment program to address other barriers, etc.).
- During the staffing, the Provider and FCRC staff will discuss the case and complete other required actions:
- Discuss the client's progress and explore all resources available to the client.
- Discuss appropriateness of the client's current assignment and make revisions/changes if necessary.
- Explore the possibility of the existence of external factors affecting the client's performance (i.e., children, gangs, domestic violence, etc.).
- The Providers will also report any behavioral or attitudinal changes that might negatively impact the client's chances for obtaining employment.
- Verify the case status and client's eligibility to continue participation in the program.
- Discuss and resolve any discrepancies during the meeting.
- The Provider will complete Section A of Form 4334 (Employment and Training Staffing) to indicate the identity of the service provider.
- The Provider and FCRC staff will complete Section B of Form 4334, to indicate any employment and training related changes in the client's Responsibility and Services Plan.
- Staff will complete Section C of Form 4334 to indicate the case status.
- Both the FCRC representative and the Provider representative must sign the Employment and Training Staffing Form (4334) for clients who are fully staffed.
- The Provider will maintain a copy of Form 4334 and a copy is placed in the file maintained by the FCRC staff.
- If the full staffing results in the need to revise the client's Responsibility and Services Plan, a follow-up meeting will be scheduled to discuss progress made on the revised goals and objectives. This meeting may be scheduled by the FCRC, the Provider, or both, and may include other interested parties.
- Staffings are not limited to established schedules and are to be conducted whenever a situation that negatively impacts the client's employment opportunities arises. The FCRC staff or the Provider may initiate a Staffing.
- Client Not Fully Staffed. For clients who were not selected for full staffing, the Provider completes the RSP Attendance and Activity Report (Form 4006) indicating the actual hours and activities completed by the client.
P. Mediation (Concerns between the Provider and the FCRC)
The Regional Employment and Training Liaison and the DHS Provider Manager will act as mediators when the FCRC Administrator and the Provider are not able to resolve issues in a timely manner.
- The FCRC Administrator will notify the Regional Employment and Training Liaison within two (2) workdays if the Provider fails to adhere to the Quarterly staffing meeting schedule without notification, if there is an unresolved dispute about the client's plan or how the client is handled, or, of any issue that the FCRC Administrator identifies which will affect the terms of the Agreement.
- The Regional Employment and Training Liaison will arrange a meeting with the DHS Provider Manager within 5 calendar days to resolve issues/concerns. Urgent concerns will be handled immediately.
Q. Work First Benefits
Effective with the first month the case is in zero grant status, as verified by a computer printout, the Provider will initiate the Work First payment via the Work First Financial Assistance Link Payment Summary.
- The Provider will document their calculation of Work First benefits to be paid by the Department by listing the number of hours required for the client to achieve the Federal participation rate.
- The TANF cash benefit amount shown in item #1 on the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service Worksheet (Form 4044) is reduced for every hour not worked by the hourly reduction rate.
- The Department will authorize the amount listed on the Work First Financial Assistance Link Payment Summary.
- The Provider must maintain attendance records and eligibility documentation to support the payment amounts issued.
- As customers complete their Work First assignments and no later than the 5th of the month following the end of the activity month, the Provider will provide the Department with the Work First Financial Assistance Link Payment Summary to ensure that the proper payment is credited to the client's Link account.
- The Department will return the form to the Provider by e-mail indicating the date benefits will be available through the Link or via Invoice Voucher (C 13).
- Within 48 hours of receipt of the completed Work First Financial Assistance Link Payment Summary from the Department, the Provider will notify the Work First/Work Experience/Community Service client of the hours worked, benefits earned, and when funds will be accessible via the Link.