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

Effective Date:  June 2008

Published Date:  June 23, 2010

Published By:  D121

Summary:

The purpose of this handbook is to inform Employment Services staff of the implementation of the redesigned model for 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 June 2008, in an effort to better serve our employable participants, the Employment Services Department (ESD) implemented a new redesigned model for the CalWORKs/WTW Ongoing Case Management component.

Ongoing Case Management is the component where the Employment Counselor (EC) continues to foster a healthy and positive working relationship with the participant in order to meet established state/federal participation rates and move the participant to self-sufficiency as specified in the individual’s Welfare-to-Work (WTW2) Plan within time limits. This will happen after the completion of Orientation (ORE)/Appraisal (APR), Job Club (JCL)/Job Search, and Assessment (ASM); however, there are some instances where the case will go from ORE/APR to Ongoing Case Management. Listed below are some examples of cases, but not limited to:

  • An individual who is employed in unsubsidized employment with sufficient hours to meet the minimum required hours of participation, does not want to participate in additional WTW activities, and is only requesting necessary supportive services;
  • An individual who is determined to be in an approved Self- Initiated Program (SIP) and meeting the minimum required participation of 32 hours per week; and,
  • An individual who is receiving Family Reunification(FR)/AB429 services.

An EC in the Ongoing Case Management Unit 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.

Note: Participants who are employed with sufficient hours to meet the minimum hours of participation and do not wish to participate in additional WTW activities are not required to sign a WTW2 Plan. These participants will be routed to an EC in an Ongoing Case Management Unit after the completion of ORE/APR and/or JCL/Job Search.

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 Employment Services;
  • 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: 32 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 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

It is the responsibility of the EC to monitor participant’s activities and attendance hours to ensure that the participant is currently meeting the 32/35 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 32/35 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 four (4) main categories.
    • Cases discontinued;
    • Cases with no current activity;
    • Cases approaching or at 20 day Good Cause period; and
    • Case with no current activity update.

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. Eligibility Technician responded back on 01/15/2009 indicating address and telephone number had been changed for Ms. Smith.

Amending a WTW2 Plan

An amended WTW2 Plan is completed when a participant begins any new activity, when a concurrent activity is being added to an existing activity, or when there is any change within the existing activity (i.e., a change in participation hours, locations, activity start time, or exempt participant wants to become an exempt volunteer.) When amending a WTW2 Plan the EC must meet with participant to review, discuss, and sign an amended WTW2 Plan if one is already in place. 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 updated to reflect that the WTW2 has been amended. 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 three (3) working days after amendments to the plan to request changes to the WTW2 Plan; and
  • The participant has thirty (30) calendar days from the beginning of the initial training or education activity to request a change or reassignment to another activity.

III. Transferring Cases

To Upfront Activities

Listed below are some examples of cases that would be transferred to an upfront activity from an Ongoing Case Management Unit, but not limited to:

  • Participants that are no longer employed full-time and have not signed a WTW2 Plan will be referred and scheduled to ASM.
  • Participants who have completed their Self-Initiated Program (SIP) or are no longer attending SIP, not employed full-time, and never attended ASM will be referred and scheduled to ASM.
  • Participants that are no longer employed full-time and have a signed WTW 2 Plan, but never attended Job Club will be referred and scheduled to Supervised Job Search.

Note: No participants will be referred from Ongoing Case Management to JCL/Job Search.

Employment Counselor (EC) in an Ongoing Case Management Unit:

EC is responsible for the completion the following actions when transferring a case to an upfront activity:

  1. Appropriately end date and/or update all applicable activities in the CalWIN system;
  2. Meet with participant to review, discuss, and sign an amended WTW2 Plan if there was already a WTW2 in place. A copy must be given to the participant;
  3. Schedule participant into the appropriate upfront activity;
    • If the activity is part of an amended WTW2 Plan, activity should be scheduled within amended WTW2 Plan in CalWIN.
  4. Ensure all supportive services are in place for upfront activity;
  5. Check and resolve Alerts in CalWIN;
  6. Enter Case Comment in CalWIN;
  7. Review Client Correspondence in CalWIN;
  8. Make a copy of appointment letter to attach to form 50-20e;
    • For exempt volunteer students, attach school verification to form 50-20e.
  9. Send or give participant appointment letter;
  10. Complete form 50-20e annotating the case’s information and desired destination;
  11. Forward relevant documents to be imaged into WEBfiles; and
  12. Submit form 50-20e to EC Supervisor for approval.

 

Employment Counselor (EC) Supervisor:

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

  1. Review form 50-20e for correct case destination;
  2. Perform case review ensuring all screen in CalWIN have been updated appropriately;
  3. If any errors are found, note the error on form 50-20e and return to the EC for corrections and resubmission; and
  4. If approved, complete section II of form 50-20e and forward to clerk II.

 

Clerk II:

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

  1. Review form 50-20e and route case to appropriate EC or upfront unit using the information provided in the appointment letter.

Important: If the actions are not completed correctly the case will be rejected back to the EC in the Ongoing Case Management Unit within 10 working days from the date the case was received in an Upfront Unit. If needed, a Program Manager may extend the timeframe on a case-by-case basis. When EC Supervisor cannot reach an agreement on whether a case should be rejected or not, a Program Manager will consult with the EC Supervisors and resolve any disagreements. Refer to Generic Processes Handbook 50-5.4e and Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.39—Transferring and Rejecting Cases in Welfare-to-Work.

To Exemption Bank

Employment Counselor (EC) in an Ongoing Case Management Unit:

EC is responsible for the following when an individual has been exempted from WTW for more than 30 days:

  1. Verify Exempt status and reason are correct on the Maintain Employment Services Participation window;
  2. Ensure CalWORKs 60-month clock has stopped ticking if appropriate;
  3. Enter Case Comments indicating length of exemption; and
  4. Complete form 50-20e annotating case is to be routed to exemption bank and submit to EC Supervisor.

Note: The following will remain with the EC of record in an Ongoing Case Management unit:

  • Cases with exemptions lasting 30 days or less;
  • Two-parent cases, first parent is participating in program while the second parent is exempt; and
  • Exempt Volunteer cases. Refer to Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.32--Exempt Volunteers in the Welfare-to-Work Program.

 

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; and
  2. Forward form 50-20e to Clerk II for routing to either exemption bank or temporary exemption 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 exemption bank number;
    • Exemption Bank
      • Hayward          PC61
      • Eastmont         VC61
      • North Oakland  NC61
    • Temporary Exemption Bank
      • Hayward          PTEX
      • Eastmont         VTEX
      • North Oakland  NTEX
  2. Complete Case Comments; and
  3. Monitor exemptions for review and expiration dates.

 

To Sanction Bank

Employment Counselor (EC) in an Ongoing Case Management Unit:

EC is responsible for the following when an individual has been sanctioned from WTW for more than 30 days:

  1. Verify sanction is imposed;
  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. Complete form 50-20e annotating case is to be routed to sanction bank 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 individual program status is not active; and
  3. Forward form 50-20e to Clerk II for routing to sanction 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 sanction bank number; and
    • Sanction Bank
      • Hayward          PSAN
      • Eastmont         VSAN
      • North Oakland  NSAN
  2. Complete Case Comments.

 

To 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 60-month Time On Aid;
  • The participant has been removed from CalWORKs cash aid due to a sanction; and/or
    • Sanctioned cases are not to be routed to closed bank.
    • Sanctioned cases are routed to the sanction bank.
  • The participant has been removed from CalWORKs cash aid for other reasons.

Employment Counselor (EC) in an Ongoing Case Management Unit:

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 for cases with the following statuses; and
    • Sanction
    • Curing Sanction
    • Post-Aid Services
  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 in Ongoing Case Management unit. Refer to Welfare-to-Work Handbook 42-7.2—Exemptions and Good Cause Reasons for WTW.

IV. Ongoing 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 forward to Data Input Clerk.
  7. Authorize, Issue, Deny, or Discontinue supportive services as needed;
  8. Review Time on Aid (TOA);
  9. Review and 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. Amend WTW2 Plan as needed;
  12. Schedule participant to activities within WTW2 Plan in CalWIN system;
  13. Initiate Noncompliance through Sanction process as needed and notify ET of record using form 42-6;
  14. Discuss future plans and goals with participant;
  15. Provide/Initiate referrals for participant when requested;
    • Domestic Violence
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Abuse
    • Learning Disability Screening
    • SSI Advocacy
    • Child care
    • WTW Evaluators
  16. Send necessary Notice of Actions to participant;
  17. Delete unnecessary Notice of Actions in CalWIN system;
  18. Submit documents in designated box to image into WEBfiles;
  19. Resolve CalWIN Alerts;
  20. Update other CalWIN windows when relevant to the participant’s WTW situation;
  21. Review/Update second parent registration status as necessary; and
  22. 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 prior to transferring case out of unit.

  • 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.

Note: Cases may not be transferred until participant completes a compliance plan or is sanctioned whichever occurs first.

Data Input Clerk (DIC):


DIC shall complete the following when receiving Attendance and Progress forms from EC:

  1. Input attendance in CalWIN system weekly/monthly as requested by EC;
  2. Enter Case Comment indicating attendance has been entered; and
  3. Submit attendance forms and documents in designated box to image into WEBfiles.

 

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/engageable 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:

  1. Route case to appropriate location as specified on form 50-20e; and
  2. 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

 

Yolanda Baldovinos, Director
Social Services Agency