GoodWORKS!

Q&A Issue I October 31, 2001
The following questions are categorized according to the topics in the GoodWORKS! Guidelines distributed at the GoodWORKS! orientation sessions, with the addition of an Automated Systems and Reporting topic. This Q&A will also be available at GDOL’s homepage, www.dol.state.ga.us (Workforce Investment Act/Workforce Development Questions and Answers), in the near future.

Introduction to GoodWORKS!
1. When will GoodWORKS! start? What is the projected date for full implementation? GoodWORKS! has already started! Over 2,000 local workforce staff from various partner agencies attended one of 22 GoodWORKS! sessions conducted across the state September 19th and 20th. Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and Fatherhood Initiative staff were able to begin screening Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) applicants and recipients and making formal referrals to Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) under the new agreement effective October 1st . GDOL has enhanced the automated Georgia’s Workforce System (GWS) to support referrals, and many career centers and local workforce area staff were trained on the new features the week of September 24th. Regional DFCS coordinators were also trained on making automated referrals, with the understanding that they would in turn train select county DFCS staff. Keep in mind, however, that local partners must collaborate to shape the GoodWORKS! service delivery strategy at the local level to ensure customers get the services they need in the best way possible. The contract and GoodWORKS! Guidelines provide a framework, but there are many decisions that need to be made locally over time. Development of the GoodWORKS! service strategy to move TANF recipients toward employment and selfsufficiency will be an ongoing process. 2. What does the term “GoodWORKS!” mean? This past year, GoodWORKS! has referred to Georgia’s overall strategy to provide intensive services to long-term TANF recipients. Areas across the state used the Richmond/Burke pilot model as a framework, modifying their systems to meet the needs of their specific customers.

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Under the new agreement between GDOL and DHR, the term GoodWORKS! has a much broader meaning, as it refers to a service strategy for TANF applicants, recipients and noncustodial parents (NCPs) in need of workforce development services referred to GDOL. The “old” GoodWORKS! services you are familiar with are now called “intensive” services under the new agreement, i.e., services for customers with the greatest needs. Quite simply, GoodWORKS! was expanded so more TANF and non-custodial parent customers needing a range of services could be reached. GoodWORKS! is a service strategy that is but a part of Georgia’s larger workforce development system to provide services to job-seeker and employer customers. (See page 4 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 3. We participate in GoodWORKS!, DRS/DFCS agreement, WIA, WtW, Family Connections, DRS/DOL/DTAE Collaborative, One Stops, etc. Are all these the same thing? You have mentioned but some of the many service delivery resources in Georgia’s workforce system. Each is an effort to ensure that when any customer appears for workforce services, you are ready, willing, and able to offer appropriate workforce services that satisfy the customer. This requires a comprehensive system that ties together all relevant programs, services, organizations, agreements, funding, staff and other resources. The names aren’t what are important – it’s how you meet the needs of your customers. When you and your local partners make your planning and service delivery strategies more efficient and effective (e.g., joint meetings, common resource mapping, shared training), please share your ideas with us. 4. What is the funding level for the GoodWORKS! contract, and will the funds cover the needs of customers? The GDOL/DHR contract for $30 million is intended to serve up to 15,000 TANF customers and non-custodial parents. When this level of service is achieved, keep in mind that this is but one of many sources of possible funding to provide workforce services. You need to continue to rely on other funding sources for particular services, such as WIA, WtW, HOPE, Pell, Wagner-Peyser, etc. 5. Will additional staff be hired, and/or will job roles/responsibilities be re -defined or redirected? GDOL and DHR leadership are committed to providing quality services to TANF applicants, recipients, and non-custodial parents as outlined in the contract summary in the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.

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Many government agencies have had to do more with less in recent years, which means we have all worked harder to do the best we can to ensure our customers receive quality services. We anticipate some funds will be dedicated to increased staff or contract services (the specifics are being finalized), but staffing may not reach the optimal level. Local partners will need to look at roles and responsibilities across offices and systems in order to reduce duplication of effort, fill in gaps in services, and ensure the overall best possible use of staff resources and customer flow. 6. How do Fatherhood Program customers fit into this program? Does GoodWORKS! include non-custodial mothers? Non-custodial parents who are eligible for Welfare-to-Work or Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services, including those who are unemployed, underemployed, are participating in the Fatherhood Initiative, or have pending child support enforcement actions, can receive a range of GoodWORKS! services. (Please note that subsidized employment and subsidized work experience options are for TANF recipients only under the GoodWORKS! contract.) Although the majority of Fatherhood Initiative customers are fathers, non-custodial mothers can participate. Local partners should meet and figure out how referrals, assessment, services and follow-up will be done for Fatherhood Program customers. GoodWORKS! serves non-custodial parents, whether they are fathers or mothers. (See pages 13 and 21 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.)

Assessment
7. Under GoodWORKS!, how will staff address the cost of living, high cost of childcare and transportation problems that complicate work plans? These are not new concerns, but GoodWORKS! emphasizes increased communication and joint staffings of all partners in order to help customers achieve successful employment outcomes. Local staff from partner agencies must meet to strategize and explore the full support offered through DFCS, DHR transportation, WIA, community action agencies and the other partners. 8. Some partners take several months to complete assessments. How can we help customers while we wait for results? This challenge has implications for both workforce systems and individual customers. First, assess your local system and process to determine if/how the wait time can be reduced, e.g., by reducing customer no-shows, avoiding duplication by using test results that are already available, requesting support from other agencies, or completing the assessments and having a staffing before providing related services.

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Second, regular contact should be maintained with the customer to coordinate any needed services during the interim. If lengthy delays continue to be problematic, consult with your supervisor, TANF consultant or state office for assistance.

Referrals
9. I understand GoodWORKS! referrals are now based on need and not number of months. Does this mean all job-ready customers will be referred to GDOL? What exactly does job-ready mean? DFCS will use the Work Readiness Assessment tool in the GoodWORKS! Guidelines to determine whether TANF applicants are job-ready. When making a job readiness determination, many factors are considered, including prior education, training, work history, family issues, physical ability, and barriers to employment, including transportation. “Job ready” or “work ready” generally means that no obvious barriers to employment or other work activities have been identified. If job ready, the customer will be assigned by DFCS to applicant job search and referred to GDOL for assessment and job placement. Please note that applicant job search can be waived for any individuals who are not likely to obtain employment as a result of a short-term job search. TANF recipients, regardless of the number of months on TANF, will be referred to GDOL at some point if they are determined by DTAE or GDOL Rehabilitation Services to be ready for placement in subsidized or unsubsidized work activities. TANF recipients with multiple barriers to employment, regardless of the number of months on TANF, may also be referred to GDOL at some point for intensive services (e.g., a personal advisor, work evaluation, work adjustment, individualized job coaching). Since assessment is a continuous process of both formal and informal review, reevaluation and referral for services, all partners will be assessing customers at some point in time - and will be sharing results with all other partners. (See pages 10-14 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 10. Which TANF applicants will be served in GoodWORKS! - all or some? Will job-ready TANF applicants start job search on their own or will they begin this process after meeting with GDOL? How long is initial job search and how will transportation and childcare issues be covered for applicants? A total of 15,000 customers will be served under the GoodWORKS! contract. DFCS will determine which applicants they wish to formally refer to GDOL for workforce services under the terms of the contract.

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The process for DFCS applicant job search has not changed. When DFCS initially screens a TANF applicant and determines he/she is job-ready (no obvious barrier to employment), the customer is enrolled in applicant job search activities and may be referred to GDOL for assessment and placement services. The applicant job search begins with the TANF interview, and may last up to six weeks (period to be determined by the county DFCS office). Prior to the referral, DFCS will ensure that transportation, childcare and other support service needs are met. If an applicant has no resources for transportation to complete a job search, he/she will likely have no resources for transportation to get to and from work and will need help working this out before being considered job ready. For most areas, the referral to GDOL has been a standard requirement for years, although the particulars of the customer’s job search, e.g., whether non-GDOL provider plays a role in additional job search assistance, length of job search, etc., may vary locally. Partners will need to assess their applicant flow to ensure the process is the most productive it can be for customers. (See page 13 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 11. When should DFCS staff begin making online referrals?
st The new referral feature of Georgia’s Workforce System (GWS) was functional October 1 . However, it will likely take some DFCS offices a short period of time to get set up to enter referrals. Local partners need to work together to ensure referrals are tracked during the transition period until they are entered into the system.

12. When DFCS refers a customer to GDOL, who determines the services a customer will receive such as GoodWORKS!, WtW or WIA? Should we continue our separate paper Welfare-to-Work referral process? DFCS will refer a customer to GDOL for services, not for a particular program or fund source. GDOL and/or the local area in consultation with partner staff, will determine what services make sense for the customer and how they can be funded. Since the GWS referral process is in place, there is no need to continue a paper WtW referral process. Keep in mind that many customers will often be registered for multiple services with multiple partners and multiple fund sources simultaneously. 13. What are the consequences for customers who do not comply with their work plan? How many no-shows is a customer allowed before GDOL can discontinue/close their TANF case? When DFCS becomes aware that a TANF customer is not complying with his/her work plan, a conciliation appointment is promptly scheduled within 14 days so the worker and customer can discuss the failure to comply. The customer is given an opportunity to explain why they didn’t meet the requirements of their plan - and good cause, support services needs, and program requirements are reviewed.

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When a customer is determined to have good cause for failing to keep an appointment, no penalty is imposed and DFCS requests that the customer be given another appointment. If the customer does not have good cause, but states she i now willing to meet the requirement, s DFCS will request that another appointment be scheduled. Every effort is made to ensure a customer’s satisfactory compliance with the terms of the their work plan, but if a customer fails or refuses to meet work requirements, such as missing two appointments without good cause, a sanction is imposed. (See page 16 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) If these procedures are not being followed in your area, please discuss the situation with your DFCS partners or contact a county DFCS supervisor to research the specific customer/case you are working with. Even though DFCS has a structured conciliation process, all partners need to make sure they go the extra mile to help customers understand procedures and expectations so they can achieve successful outcomes. For example, we need to make sure customers can read and understand notices, understand the benefits of services (not just negative consequences), are offered services and activities that meet their needs, and have an overall positive experience with the local workforce system. 14. Does a customer have the right to refuse GDOL services and not be sanctioned by DFCS? If participation in GoodWORKS! activities is included in the customer’s personal work plan and good cause for not participating has not been established, participation is required. At any point a customer refuses GDOL services, GDOL needs to contact DFCS so the DFCS conciliation process described in question #13 can be initiated. 15. Can the five-day time limit for GDOL to report no-show of a customer be shortened? The contract requires GDOL to notify DFCS as soon as possible, but no later than five days after the date a customer has failed to report for a scheduled appointment or activity. Many staff plan to e -mail or call the same day. We suggest you talk with local partners to see if this is possible in your area. (See page 15 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 16. When would GDOL staff refer a customer back to DFCS? First of all, please keep in mind that “refer back” generally does not mean physically sending the customer back to another partner. It means GDOL will contact DFCS when a barrier to employment is identified. DFCS will be responsible for coordinating the services needed to address the barrier and deciding whether additional staff need to be involved. This should be a seamless process for the customer with great emphasis on customer choice and satisfaction. Whether or not the customer can continue to participate in GoodWORKS! activities while receiving services for barrier intervention will be decided by the partners at this time. (See page 15 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.)

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17. Which TANF customers should we refer to GDOL Rehabilitation Services? The GDOL Rehabilitation Services-DHR contract purchases assessments for customers who are claiming a disability or who have received TANF for 30+ months. TANF recipients who state that they have a disability may be referred when they have received one month of TANF cash assistance. TANF recipients who have received TANF for 30+ months and are either not involved in a work activity or are not progressing in their activity may be referred for assessment. (See page 22 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 18. When a TANF applicant’s initial screening shows the applicant needs GDOL Rehabilitation Services prior to applicant job search, is the application pended until after the assessment? Has the actual GDOL Rehabilitation Services assessment changed? The TANF application should be processed as soon as possible. When TANF has been approved, the TANF recipient should be referred to GDOL Rehabilitation Services for assessment. No further work plan development or work requirements are appropriate until the results of the assessment are obtained from GDOL Rehabilitation Services. The GDOL Rehabilitation Services assessment has not changed. Once the assessment is completed, DFCS will review the findings to determine the next step. If the customer is determined by GDOL Rehabilitation Services to be eligible for rehabilitation services, partners should complete a staffing to discuss work plan development reflecting the recommendations made by GDOL Rehabilitation Services. In some cases, the customer may need to access medical services related to the disability prior to beginning work activities. Or, GDOL Rehabilitation Services may recommend that an application for SSI be filed with the Social Security Administration due to the severity of the disability. In approximately 40% of the referrals to GDOL Rehabilitation Services, the customer is found ineligible for rehabilitation services. GDOL Rehabilitation Services will refer these customers back to DFCS with extensive recommendations for services, identification of possible limitations, etc. 19. Will a staffing be conducted for each and every GoodWORKS! referral to GDOL by DFCS? How many days are allowed from time of referral to staffing? The referral and staffing process should be developed locally. In most cases, where a customer is receiving multiple services and needs a variety of services from GoodWORKS!, it makes sense for partners to communicate and agree on a service approach. If the customer is an applicant with very strong skills, a staffing may not be critical. Again, the process should be agreed upon locally so everyone knows how to assist customers and work with partner staff. (See page 15 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.)

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20. How will we at DFCS know the results of a TANF applicant’s job search with GDOL? At the end of the applicant job search period if the customer is not working, does GDOL just close the customer’s case and refer them back to DFCS so DFCS can refer them for a GDOL Rehabilitation Services or DTAE assessment? What does GDOL do while waiting for the results of the assessment? Local partners must decide how to best communicate whether a customer reported to GDOL and followed through on all job referrals prior to approval of TANF. Keep in mind that Georgia’s Workforce System (GWS) will be a valuable tool for tracking customer services. (See the Automated Systems and Reporting section that describes both customer inquiry and planned reports at the end of this Q&A.) The actual processing of TANF applications has not changed. If the designated period for job search has ended and the customer met applicant job search requirements, the TANF application should be approved. If at any point during the applicant job search period the customer obtains employment, proceed with taking appropriate action on the TANF application, i.e., denial or approval. If the application for TANF is approved, DFCS must notify GDOL of this change of status. DFCS will then refer the customer to the appropriate assessment provider. (It is important for customers to understand why the assessment will be conducted and what they should be doing in the meantime. In fact, customers should be informed up-front prior to the initial referral to GDOL and every step of the way what to expect and why.) While awaiting the assessment results, GDOL will continue to provide appropriate workforce services to the customer; however, the customer cannot be enrolled in any GoodWORKS! subsidized activities until the results of the assessment are known. Staffings should occur as assessment information is received to determine if the customer needs to participate in other activities prior to enrollment in GoodWORKS! activities, or whether the customer is ready to begin GoodWORKS!.

Services
21. We (DFCS) currently have a memorandum of understanding with another agency to conduct job readiness workshops and monitor job search activities for TANF applicants. Should we discontinue it? If you currently have a provider in place through an MOU, do not automatically terminate the services at this time. The referral to GDOL will be an added requirement and benefit for customers enrolled in applicant job search. Clients will also be required to follow-up on job referrals made by GDOL and accept suitable offers of employment. DFCS will retain the responsibility of monitoring to see that our clients meet applicant job search requirements.

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However, DFCS and partners will need to explore the local resources available to make sure MOU funds do not duplicate services available through other contracts. This is critical as we are all faced with budget limitations. 22. What is the role of personal advisors and where do they originate – DFCS or GDOL? What agency will employ the personal advisor? A customer with multiple barriers who needs intensive services is assigned a personal advisor to help develop an individualized service strategy to remove work-related barriers. The personal advisor stays with the customer from start to finish, assisting him or her through each activity. Under GoodWORKS! this past year, personal advisors have generally been employed through service providers using GoodWORKS! redirected TANF and WtW funds; have “reported to” or received functional supervision through a non-profit contractor or career center; and have been housed in a variety of agencies. (See page 6 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.) 23. GoodWORKS! services are presently being provided by private contracts. What happens to the current contracts, service providers and customers? GDOL is renegotiating contracts for each local area at this time. An RFP is being issued for other providers interested in providing GoodWORKS! services. 24. What is the status of DFCS’s two contracts with DTAE – the New Connections to Work and Adult Literacy contracts? Negotiations are currently in progress to renew both contracts with DTAE. currently available under the contracts are expected to continue. Services

25. The main barrier to rural TANF customers is transportation. How do we expect our clients to get back and forth to work activities? In the past few years, many local areas have combined various resources to create innovative solutions to transportation challenges, although transportation remains a serious barrier to employment in many areas. Some GoodWORKS! funds may be directed to DHR’s Regional Transportation initiative to enhance local transportation systems. Local areas are also encouraged to solicit grant funds, collaborate with employers, and explore other creative methods to enhance transportation. Early on in a customer’s participation, partners should work together to develop long-term solutions for individual customers, including unified transportation, car pooling, wheels-towork, accepting a job near home, moving near work, etc. Some areas work with technical colleges and vocational high schools for free or low cost car repairs.

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Others require customers to take car care courses to make sure they get the most out of the cars they own, especially since they’re often older models. Partners will also need to continue to work with their legislators and other community leaders to promote effective transportation systems to meet the needs of job seekers, employed persons, the elderly and persons with disabilities. If you’re out of ideas, talk with your regional or state staff so you can get connected to a local area that has made some headway. 26. How will partners be trained to understand TANF employment services policy, e.g., if a vehicle is not in the client’s care they can’t get vehicle repairs or three estimates are preferred for insurance? Currently, partners sometimes “sell” TANF support services to clients without understanding policy, causing problems for customers and staff. We encourage local partners to cross-train on a regular basis to get to know each other and ensure all levels of staff understand each other’s services, policies, organizations, limitations, etc. In addition to actual training sessions, you may want to consider work teams, joint staff meetings, “brown-bag” lunch sessions, newsletters, policy summaries, etc. The more partners get to know each other and each other’s services and policies, the better service customers will receive. To avoid confusion, partners should always consult with DFCS regarding suitable options prior to a discussion with the customer.

Follow-up Services
27. Who will provide follow-up services for customers who enter unsubsidized employment and become ineligible for TANF due to employment? What role will DFCS have? Do we ever talk to the employer and follow-up with them? For non-TANF customers, GDOL staff or its contractors w contact customers at least at 30 ill days and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months to determine if additional training, support, job search assistance or other services are needed. Partners will remain involved to provide assistance, such as food stamps, childcare, GED preparation, transportation, substance abuse services, housing or any other needs the customer may have. Employers will be contacted if they can benefit from assistance, but we will not pose an inconvenience for them. (See pages 31-33 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines.)

Automated Systems and Reporting
28. Page 14 of the GoodWORKS! Guidelines says the automated system will inform GDOL staff of referrals and when to expect customers referred. How will this happen? Will there be a screen for this?

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A DFCS-referred individual is automatically added to the career center log (transaction CI02), when referred by DFCS. A message is displayed indicating the referral date, “referred to” location, and referral status (open, referred back to DFCS, enrolled or closed). The same information is displayed in Georgia’s Workforce System (GWS) Customer Information Intake transaction. Screens are currently under development that will provide various listings of individuals referred to and from specific locations. “Report by” dates and date ranges and listings by referral status may also be specified. 29. How can a definite time and date for appointment be entered? The new automated referral feature of GWS was designed to allow maximum flexibility, by requiring only a “report by” date. Notification of specific dates and time is a process to be worked out locally. 30. Will the new GWS referral system take the place of running the Social Security Number cross-reference from DFCS? Yes. However, GDOL will continue to update records from the DFCS tape, in order to report on services to DFCS customers over and beyond those provided under the GoodWORKS! contract. 31. On the referral report, can you show the DFCS case manager for each referral, including e-mail, phone, employee ID? Yes. An enhancement has recently been made adding the DFCS case manager and phone number to the referral screen. A “notes” field where additional pertinent information can be entered has also been added. 32. Will there be system support, such as a common access system where DFCS and partners can share information? Will paper forms be developed? The Georgia Workforce System (GWS) maintained by GDOL was designed based upon a common intake and common database concept. Workforce partners can request access to the system for both inquiry into the database (to see what services are being provided to an individual) and for update of the system if they are providing workforce related services. This would not take the place of data entry into partners’ regular automated systems. To avoid double data entry, partners’ programming staff needs to link the legacy systems to GWS. GDOL is willing to work with any partners who wish to pursue this approach. GDOL does have a paper form to collect basic demographic information and will be providing a GoodWorks! registration form in the near future.

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33. What type of tracking and monitoring systems will be put into place to handle referrals made by DFCS? What other reports will be developed to handle the activities partners provide customers? The GDOL central office will generate monthly reports of “no shows” to DFCS. Reports will also be generated to show individuals referred back to DFCS. At the local level, partners need to communicate promptly when an individual doesn’t show u so appropriate action can p be taken. GDOL will produce reports required under the GDOL/DHR contract. Local WIA areas and/or GDOL career centers have the expertise to design and execute customized WebFOCUS reports, and local partners will most likely want to develop additional WebFOCUS reports to meet local needs. 34. What about the use of technology for case staffings and also to document information e.g., chat rooms, teleconferencing, forums, scanners, etc.? Also, what about the redesign of the state’s electronic delivery system - Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)? GWS contains a Customer Service Plan, assessment information, and counseling and case notes transactions. Partners with access to GWS can view this information. Chat rooms/forums have been used, with mixed results. Teleconferencing has also been used for customer and partner communication in some locations. We will monitor GTA’s redesign of the state’s electronic delivery system to see how it might be useful in sharing information. 35. When updates occur, what type of immediate communications will be generated to all partners involved? From an automated perspective, updates in GWS are all “real time” and partners with GWS access can view the Customer Service Plan, assessment information and case note transactions. Local partners should establish additional methods of communication regarding customer updates as appropriate to meet local needs.

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