Those providing service through this initiative should use the following principles in the development of their programs:

  • Refugee Social services will, wherever possible, have a family focus and should be designed to enhance family self-sufficiency through early employment and cultural adaptation;
  • Program design will insure proactive client outreach and follow-up;
  • Program design will accommodate the special needs of clients including those requirements imposed by the Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program;
  • Where appropriate, program design will prevent duplication of services through formalized coordination and interagency cooperation;
  • Program design and appropriate staffing will reflect the ethnic diversity of refugee clients and will be culturally and linguistically responsive to the proposed client population;
  • Program design will be based on measurable performance standards, which will enable objective reporting, monitoring, and requisites for continued purchase of service during the contract period.

Provider must assume that other programs will responsibly perform the Reception and Placement process administered by the Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for Refugee Programs. Voluntary Agency (VOLAG) resettlement programs are responsible for a range of services for a period of up to 90 days, and not less than 30 days, including health screening referral, and if at all possible, job placement.

Activities such as recruitment, orientation and training of sponsors, as well as fund-raising, are appropriate to Reception and Placement, and are not allowable under this initiative.

Refugees resettled through the voluntary agency Matching Grant program may not receive employment services under this initiative during months two through six in the United States. Match Grant refugees are eligible for other services in this initiative provided that those services are not also being funded by the Matching Grant program. Successful applicants are required to provide a list of enrolled match grant clients to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

  1. Employment
    A comprehensive array of Employment services aimed at addressing the needs of refugee households receiving TANF or Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), as well as non-public assistance refugee households resident 0-36 months. Priority will be given to serving all TANF/RCA clients.
    1. Early Employment - Services for all newly arrived refugees who are resident 0-18 months regardless of PA status and for TANF recipients post 18 months. Transportation assistance is limited to contracted Early Employment providers and must be made available to their RCA clients actively seeking employment. Transportation Assistance cannot exceed 3 months or 3 monthly passes and is intended primarily for RCA clients seeking employment. The first recourse for TANF clients must remain the transportation resources available through Public Aid.
    2. Long Term Employment - Services are available to refugees resident 19-36 months not on Public Assistance.
  2. Cultural Adjustment
    In addition to refugee family needs for economic stability, new arrivals need assistance in adapting to their new surroundings as well as life in the United States. Under this initiative, priority will be given to serving all TANF/RCA clients.. Services include:
    1. Initial Case Management - Services are for refugees resident 0-12 months regardless of Public Aid status. These services are supplemental to Reception & Placement. Bilingual bicultural Case Management staff is desirable. While ICM services are delinked from employment services, ICM staff may assist employment staff with Translation and Interpretation as needed.
    2. Medical Case Management - Services are for refugees resident 0-24 months regardless of Public Aid status and focus on clients who demonstrate an inability to access mainstream health services on their own. Eligible refugees will have been diagnosed with a severe medical condition(s) requiring frequent hospitalization and ongoing care. Medical Case Management provides the ability to extend more intensive case management.
  3. English Language Training
    Newly arrived refugees require English Language Instruction across multiple levels. Some refugees arrive with a solid understanding and practical experience of English, while others may be illiterate in their native language. ELT should be made available either by the provider or in conjunction with other Refugee Social Service providers. In locations where the number of newly arrived employable adults does not justify the creation of a refugee-specific ELT program, the agency may refer refugees to mainstream resources.
    1. Employment ELT - Services are for refugees resident 0-12 months. Instruction is to be employment focused and geared toward individuals actively seeking work in concert with the agency. A minimum of 20 hours/week instruction is required, not including homework.
    2. Life Skills ELT - Services are for refugees resident 0-18 months. Instruction will focus on life skills geared toward non-working spouses and elderly. Classes may be on or offsite. Evening and weekend classes will be based on demonstrated need and collaboration among agencies is encouraged.
  4. Mental Health
    Serious mental health problems impede refugees' efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency and social self-reliance. Funds are available for projects that prioritize bilingual/bicultural clinical service to clients. Priority attention must be given to refugees whose mental health needs create a danger to themselves or others and/or are a barrier to economic self-sufficiency.
  5. Capacity Building for Mutual Aid Associations
    Over the 30+ years of refugee resettlement, Mutual Aid Associations have been key players in providing services. Some MAAs, with ongoing support, have thrived and joined the ranks of mainstream providers. While these small and typically newly formed organizations possess key knowledge and bring a greater cultural understanding to the table, they may lack the skills and experience necessary to raise funds, extend services to community members or the administrative skills to meet funder's requests for documentation and/or outcomes. As such, limited funding is available for capacity building at these organizations.
  6. Goals and Performance Standards
    1. Early Employment Service
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD A: The number of unduplicated clients receiving Early Employment Services on a quarterly and annual basis will at least equal the agency's projections.
      2. PERFORMANCE STANDARD B: On a quarterly basis, the number of unduplicated entered employments for TANF/RCA recipients will at least equal the agency's projection. Annually, the agency will place 55% of the unduplicated TANF/RCA clients served in Early Employment.
      3. PERFORMANCE STANDARD C: On a quarterly basis, the number of unduplicated entered employments for non-PA recipients will at least equal the agency's projection. Annually, the agency will place 65% of the unduplicated non-PA clients served in Early Employment.
      4. PERFORMANCE STANDARD D: On a quarterly and annual basis, the number of TANF/RCA unduplicated full-time entered employments with health benefits will be equal to 70% of the total unduplicated entered employments for those populations.
      5. PERFORMANCE STANDARD E: On a quarterly basis, the number of 90-day job retentions will at least equal the agency's projection. Annually, 75% of the unduplicated clients entering employment will still be employed 90 days after placement.
      6. PERFORMANCE STANDARD F: On a quarterly and annual basis, 85% of all unduplicated placements will be full-time.
    2. Initial Case Management
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD K: The number of unduplicated clients receiving Initial Case Management Services on a quarterly and annual basis will at least equal the agency's projections.
    3. Medical Case Management
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD L: The number of unduplicated clients receiving MCM services on a quarterly and annual basis will at least equal the agency's projections.
      2. PERFORMANCE STANDARD M: On a quarterly basis, the number of clients reporting improvement in their ability for self care will at least equal an agency's projection.
    4. Long Term Orientation
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD N: The number of unduplicated clients receiving Advanced Orientation and Counseling Services on a quarterly and annual basis will at least equal the agency's projections.
    5. Behavioral Support Services
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD O: The number of unduplicated clients receiving BSS on a quarterly and annual basis will at least equal the agency's projections.
      2. PERFORMANCE STANDARD P: On a quarterly basis, the number of unduplicated newly enrolled clients will at least equal an agency's projection.
    6. Employment ELT
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD Q: The number of unduplicated clients on a quarterly and annual basis receiving Employment English Language Training will at least equal the agency's projections.
      2. PERFORMANCE STANDARD R: Annually, 65 % of the clients served in Employment English Language Training will successfully complete a level demonstrated via improved test scores or early exited for employment.
    7. Life Skills ELT
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD S: The number of unduplicated clients on a quarterly and annual basis receiving Like Skills ELT services will at least equal the agency's projections.
    8. Intensive Mental Health Services
      1. PERFORMANCE STANDARD U: On a quarterly and annual basis the agency will serve at least the number of clients projected
  7. Record Keeping And Reporting Requirements
    1. Performance Standards and Application
      Successful applicants will be responsible for monthly submission of complete and accurate client-based service data using the JFMC on-line database. Agencies should make provision for internal data quality management controls as incomplete data will not be attributed to the quarterly and/or annual outcomes. Agencies should anticipate at a minimum yearly on-site monitoring and data verification.
      Performance standard review will result in the following:
      1. 85% or more of a standard achieved: No action.
      2. Failure to meet a standard or standards by more than 15% but less than 25% in a particular quarter: Agency will be notified in writing.
      3. Agencies failing to meet a service standard(s) by more than 25% in a particular quarter must submit a corrective action plan addressing that deficiency to JFMC/IDHS within 14 working days of notification. Plan must be implemented within specified time period. Contracts are subject to cancellation if the provider fails to implement corrective action or if after implementing corrective action fails to achieve minimum requirements in two or more successive quarters.
    2. Reporting to Illinois Department of Human Services
      Agencies, through their caseworkers, are responsible for reporting to IDHS, using the appropriate IDHS forms, entered employments and instances of non-cooperation for all public aid clients. Entered employments must be reported within two (2) working days of employment, along with specification of the date of the first paycheck. Similarly, agencies must report to IDHS within 48 hours: when a TANF program participant is accepted into the program; refusals of an offer of employment; or unsuccessful completions of the reconciliation process.
    3. Program Data and Reporting
      The accuracy and completeness of records remains essential. Contracting agencies must maintain record-keeping systems that are organized in such a way that a logical progression from service delivery to reimbursement may be ascertained. It must be possible to aggregate all reports submitted and trace the data back to source documents. Source documents might include intake/assessment forms, casework notes, client attendance records, worker time sheets, or other documents. Contractors will be asked to report individual and/or aggregate data on a regular basis.
      Providers (except for those under the MAA Capacity Building) must be prepared to enter all required data and program tracking into a computerized Access database which will be hosted on JFMC servers. Agencies will have access to their own data as well as the capability to run a variety of reports and to track progress against performance standards. Agencies will not be allowed to utilize alternate tracking or data entry platforms for reports required under these initiatives.
      Case notes will serve as verification of on-going services provided to the client. The services can include both personal contact and phone contact. It is necessary that all case notes must be in chronological, narrative form detailing all services provided. Correspondence to the client that indicates a proactive service delivery model must also be included.