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Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.38 :.
Welfare-to-Work Case Management

Effective Date:  April 1, 2015

Published Date:  March 23, 2015

Published By:    E109

Summary:

The purpose of this handbook is to inform Workforce and Benefits Administration staff about changes in upfront ongoing Case Management in Welfare-to-Work (WTW). This handbook will outline the requirements and process of conducting case management with a participant.

 

I. General:

Effective October 20, 2014, the Workforce and Benefit Administration of the Alameda County Social Services has procured the services of Career Service Centers (Service Providers) for its WTW upfront activities. All participants will be assigned to Employment Counselors (ECs) that will provide case management including those that are referred to the CEC Service Provider (SP).

Case Management is where the EC will foster a healthy and positive working relationship with the participant in order to meet established participation requirements and move the participant to self-sufficiency within time limits.

An EC will monitor and manage the WTW case ensuring that a participant makes progress with his/her WTW2 Plan and meets minimum hours of required participation.

One-On-One Orientation

On occasion, the EC may conduct a One-on-One Orientation.  The following are examples when an EC may conduct a One-on-One orientation:

  • Case is pulled for WPR review and the client has to complete orientation to move to the next appropriate WTW activity.
  • Participant calls and states that they can only come in on a certain day or time due to their work schedule.

Note: Participants who are employed with sufficient hours to meet the minimum hours of participation are required to sign a WTW2 Plan.

Case Management will include the following:

  • Providing high quality services to participants;
  • Developing a positive and productive working relationship with participants;
  • Promoting the “Work First” approach to WTW program;
  • Encouraging and motivating participants to strive for self-sufficiency;
  • Monitoring progress on a monthly basis and amending a participant’s WTW2 Plan as circumstances change;
  • Ensuring that participant meets weekly participation hours;
    • One-parent families with a child under six years old: 20 hours per week
    • One-parent families with no child under six years old: 30 hours per week
    • Two-parent families: 35 hours per week
  • Evaluating and addressing possible barriers to a participant’s employability and self-sufficiency;
  • Authorizing requested supportive services as needed to participate in the WTW program; and
  • Referring participant to internal services and/or community based resources as needed.

Employment Services Case Management Check List form 42-126 has been created as a tool to ensure all components of Case Management related to Employment Services - are completed. The EC can use this tool as a guide anytime they are managing a case.

 

II. Components of Case Management

Newly Assigned WTW Case

When a new case is assigned, the EC will review the incoming case for acceptability. CalWIN system needs to be reviewed to make sure that the following are current and updated correctly:

  • Alerts;
  • Activity statuses;
  • Case comments;
  • All APR and ASM CalWIN screens as applicable;
  • Supportive services (child care, transportation, ancillary, referrals to external agencies) authorized for current month;
  • WTW2 Plan entered as applicable; and
  All documents related to case imaged. Refer to Generic Processes Handbook 50-5.4e and Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.39—Transferring and Rejecting Cases in Welfare-to-Work

 

Monitoring

The SP will be responsible for entering attendance, case comments and all relevant entries in CalWIN when they conduct ORE, six-week of Job Club/Job Search and ASM.  Internal staff (i.e. CDS') in collaboration with the staff of the Service Provider will do an Appraisal.  The SP and CDSs are responsible to enter the appropriate CalWIN entries for the Appraisal and/or Assessment.  Refer to WTW Overall Handbook 42-7.0 for detailed information.

It is the responsibility of the EC to monitor participant’s activities and attendance hours to ensure that the participant is currently meeting the 20/30/35 WTW required hours of participation and making satisfactory progress. After an activity has been scheduled, the status and attendance need to be tracked monthly. Ongoing supportive services payments should be issued and child care authorized, as necessary. This monitoring is especially important for our Work Participation Rate (WPR). Whenever an activity status is changed, the EC will need to review and determine if the participant is meeting the required hours. If they are not meeting the 20/30/35 required weekly hours of participation, the EC will need to determine the next step, i.e. schedule appropriate activity, amend WTW2 Plan, refer to WTW Evaluators, initiate non-compliance, and/or sanction.

Monitoring can be accomplished through several means within the CalWIN system and Social Services Integrated Reporting System (SSIRS).

  • Review of alerts for the specified case will inform EC of any pending actions needed, barrier reviews, when an individual has been discontinued from assistance and if the individual has a new exemption. The Alert subsystem provides timely indicators as to actions that are pending or need to be taken;
  • Universal Engagement is another tool that can be used to track progress of vocational education;
  • ES 108 Case Listing Report lists all cases in EC caseloads. EC uses this report to monitor, review case statuses, and annotate actions taken; and
  • ES109 Action Required Report lists all cases in a caseload that require an update. EC uses this report to update cases and take actions in five (5) main categories.
    • Cases discontinued;
    • Cases with no current activity;
    • Cases approaching or at 20 day Good Cause period;
    • Case with no current activity update; and
    • Cases with past overdue non-compliance.

Case Dictation

Case dictation is an essential part of case management. Documenting and recording case activity is important to ensure that the reason(s) behind any action taken on a case are clear and concise. This is of most importance when cases are transferred or when an EC is out on vacation or extended absences. Extended absences can leave gaping holes of information if case comments are not current. The EC should dictate each participant contact. Case dictation is entered into CalWIN Case Comments under WTW program. Case dictation must include at minimum the following:

  • Date of contact;
  • Type of contact (face-to-face or telephone);
  • Purpose of contact;
  • Results of contact;
  • Forms completed (when appropriate); and
  • Documents received.

Example:

On 01/15/2009 Ms. Smith called to report an address and telephone number change.  Ms. Smith is now living at 123 Hickory Lane, Oakland, CA 94544 and her new telephone number is (510) 123-4567.  I indicated that I would make sure the necessary changes were made to her case record. I provided the information to Eligibility Technician to make appropriate changes to reflect new information.

Exempt Volunteers

The EC will assess and develop a WTW 2 Plan when Orientation has been completed and an exempt individual wishes to participate.

Amending a WTW2 Plan

An amended WTW2 Plan is completed when a participant begins any new activity other than indicated in the original plan, when a concurrent activity is being added to an existing activity, or when there is any change within the existing activity. For example, a change in participation hours, locations, activity start time, exempt participant wants to become an exempt volunteer or an exempt individual becomes mandatory. When amending a WTW2 Plan the EC must meet with participant to review, discuss, and sign an amended WTW2 Plan. A copy of the completed and signed amended WTW2 Plan must be given to the participant. The Maintain Employment Services window, Plan tab in CalWIN must be used to create or amended WTW2. Refer to
CalWIN How To #302—Amend a Welfare-To-Work Plan.

Example:

Two months ago a participant signed a WTW2 Plan, which indicates that he/she is attending an approved vocational training program for 24 hours a week and is concurrently in an approved internship program for 8 hours a week, total 32 hours of weekly participation. Today, the participant notifies EC that he/she has dropped out of the vocational training program and does not intend to continue. In this instance since there is already a WTW2 Plan in place, the EC would meet with the participant and reappraise for appropriate activity and amend the WTW2 Plan.

 

When amending a WTW2 Plan the participants must be informed of the following grace periods:

  • The participant has 3- working days after amendments to the plan to request changes to the WTW2 Plan; and
  • The participant has 30- calendar days from the beginning of the initial training or education activity to request a change or reassignment to another activity.

Below are some examples of situations when a plan must be amended:

  • Participants that are no longer employed full-time. Participants who have completed their Self-Initiated Program (SIP) or are no longer attending school, and not employed full-time.

Exemption

When an individual is exempted from WTW, the EC will do the following:

  1. Verify Exempt status and reason are correct on the Maintain Employment Services Participation window;
  2. Refer the participant to the appropriate internal provider if the exemption is related to permanent disability.
    • If the participant is permanently disabled, refer them to the SSI advocacy unit.
    • If the participant is needed to care for a disabled spouse or child, refer them to IHSS.
  3. Ensure CalWORKs 48-month clock has stopped ticking if appropriate;
  4. Enter Case Comments indicating length of exemption; and
  5. Monitor exemptions for review and expiration dates.

Sanction

EC is responsible for the following when an individual has been sanctioned from WTW.

  1. Verify WTW sanction is imposed correctly;
  2. Make sure the registration status is Sanction in the Maintain Employment Services Participation window;
  3. Review activity participant is sanctioned in to make sure the status is End-Unsatisfactory Participation in the Maintain Status window in CalWIN;
  4. Review other activities to ensure that they have been end dated;
  5. Ensure that supportive services have ended and notification sent to individual;
  6. Enter Case Comments; and
  7. Contact client on a monthly bases to determine if the participant’s circumstances have changed and the benefits of participating (i.e. CalWIN shows earnings, barrier that may need to be addressed).

Closed Files Bank

A case will close when the following occurs:

  • The CalWORKs cash aid has been closed;
  • The participant has exhausted his/her CalWORKs 48-month Time On Aid;
  • The participant has been removed from CalWORKs cash aid for other reasons.

EC is responsible for the following when a case or individual has been in discontinued for more than 30 days:

  1. Verify discontinued status in CalWIN Inquiry subsystem;
  2. Review activities to ensure that they have been end dated;
  3. Ensure that supportive services have ended and notification sent to individual;
  4. Enter Case Comments concerning the closing of the ES with reason leading to closure of case;
  5. Verify individual’s case status is “Closed” on the Maintain Participant Registration Status window in CalWIN; and
  6. Complete form 50-20e annotating case is to be routed to closed files and submit to EC Supervisor.

Employment Counselor (EC) Supervisor:

EC Supervisor is responsible for the following when form 50-20e is received form the EC:

  1. Perform case review ensuring all screens in CalWIN Employment Services subsystem have been updated appropriately and case comments are complete;
  2. Check eligibility status to ensure the case status is not active;
  3. Change case status to “Closed” on the Registration tab, if necessary.
  4. Forward form 50-20e to Clerk II for routing to closed files bank number.

Clerk II:

Clerk II is responsible for the following when form 50-20e has been approved and forwarded by EC Supervisor:

  1. Receive form 50-20e and route case to closed files bank number; and
    • Closed Bank
      • Hayward P999
      • Eastmont V999
      • North Oakland N999
  2. Complete Case Comments.

Note: Two-Parent Cases where the second parent is participating in program will remain with EC of record.

To Good Cause/Deferral Bank:

Important:
Cases in which participants require Good Cause/Deferral from WTW participation for any duration of time will remain with EC of record. Refer to
Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.2—Exemptions and Good Cause Reasons for WTW.

 

III. Case Management Process

Employment Counselor (EC):

EC shall complete the following actions for assigned cases in his/her caseload:

  1. Review newly assigned cases for acceptability according to the process described in the Generic Processes Handbook 50-5.4e and Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.39—Transferring and Rejecting Cases in Welfare-to-Work;
  2. Review and monitor attendance/progress reports on a monthly basis;
  3. Update activity status in the Maintain Status History window;
  4. End date and verify terminated activities.
  5. Make contact with participant no less than once a month and document contact in Case Comments;
  6. Calculate and annotate total hours of participation, excused/unexcused attendance hours on attendance reports and/or pay stubs and enter into in monthly attendance screens in CalWIN;
  7. Authorize, Issue, Deny, or Discontinue supportive services as needed;
  8. Review Time on Aid (TOA);
  9. Make sure the WTW2 Plan is being followed and the required weekly participation hours are being met;
  10. Review concurrent scheduled activities of participant so that they will not interfere with each other;
  11. Review case to ensure SB 1041 24-month rule and new hours of participation has been provided for each participant (At Orientation effective 1/1/13, or SB 1041 appointment if a WTW 2 pla is on file);
  12. Create or amend WTW2 Plan as needed;
  13. Schedule participant to activities within WTW2 Plan in CalWIN system;
  14. Initiate Noncompliance through Sanction process as needed and notify ET of record using form 42-6;
  15. Discuss future plans and goals with participant;
  16. Provide/Initiate referrals for participant when requested;
    • Domestic Violence
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Abuse
    • Learning Disability Screening
    • SSI Advocacy
    • Child care
    • IHSS
    • Family Stabilization
  17. Send necessary Notice of Actions to participant;
  18. Delete unnecessary Notice of Actions in CalWIN system;
  19. Submit documents in designated box to image into WEBfiles;
  20. Resolve CalWIN Alerts;
  21. Update other CalWIN windows when relevant to the participant’s WTW situation;
  22. Review/Update second parent registration status as necessary; and
  23. Conduct WPR advance reviews for WPR on randomly selected cases by the State. Refer to CalWORKs—Welfare to Work Handbook 42-7.24—Alameda County Work Participation Rate Advance Reviews and Reporting Process.

Non-Compliance:

For participants who fail to make satisfactory progress and/or complete assigned WTW activity (ies) without good cause, the non-compliance process must be completed.

  • Refer to the following:
    1. CalWIN How To #202—Initiate the Non-Compliance Process.
    2. CalWIN How To #203—Record Cause Determination Outcome.
    3. CalWIN How To #204—Initiate a Sanction.
    4. CalWIN How To #206—Develop a Compliance Plan.
    5. CalWIN How To #206A—Complete a Compliance Plan and Resolve Non-Compliance.
    6. CalWIN How To #234—Cure, Remove, or Delete WTW Sanction.
    7. CalWIN How To #234A—Cure, Remove, or Delete WTW Sanction prior to December
      2005
      .

Employment Counselor Supervisor (EC Supervisor):

EC Supervisor shall do the following to ensure that workers are managing cases appropriately:

  1. Hold regularly scheduled conferences with ECs to discuss unengaged cases;
  2. Assist ECs in troubleshooting cases when needed;
  3. Complete four (4) supervisory case reviews per EC per month to ensure accuracy in case management and engagement of participants in WTW activities;
  4. Review form 50-20e for all cases being transferred out of unit to ensure correct destination; and
  5. Ensure ECs complete WPR advance reviews timely and correctly. Refer to CalWORKs—Welfare to Work Handbook 42-7.24—Alameda County Work Participation Rate Advance Reviews and Reporting Process.

Clerk II:


Clerk II shall do the following when form 50-20e is received:

  • Route case to appropriate location as specified on form 50-20e; and
  • Complete Case Comments.

Attachments:

  • Employment Services Case Management Check List form 42-126
  • CalWIN How To #202—Initiate the Non-Compliance Process
  • CalWIN How To #203—Record Cause Determination Outcome
  • CalWIN How To #204—Initiate a Sanction
  • CalWIN How To #206—Develop a Compliance Plan
  • CalWIN How To #206A—Complete a Compliance Plan and Resolve Non-Compliance
  • CalWIN How To #234—Cure, Remove, or Delete WTW Sanction
  • CalWIN How To #234A—Cure, Remove, or Delete WTW Sanction prior to December
    2005
  • CalWIN How To #302—Amend a Welfare-To-Work Plan

References:

EAS Manual: 42-701, Section 42-711, Section 42-712, Section 42-713, Section 42-714, and Section 42-116
CalWIN Best Practice Guide—Case Manager ET/EC guide, July 2009
Generic Processes Handbook 50-5.4e—Transferring and Rejecting Cases in the Employment Services Department
Employment Programs Newsletter 06-10—Closing Cases in Employment Services
Employment Program Newsletter 07-03—CalWIN Auto Close Feature

Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.2—Exemptions and Good Cause Reasons for WTW
Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.32—Exempt Volunteers in the Welfare-to-Work Program

Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.39—Transferring and Rejecting Cases in Welfare-to-Work.
CalWORKs Handbook 42-7.11 Cause Determination and Sanction in Welfare to Work
CalWORKs—Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.24--Alameda County Work Participation Advance Reviews & Reporting Process

Obsolete:

Employment Program Newsletter 08-13—Transferring Employment Cases from Ongoing Case Management to Upfront Activities

 




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