GoodWorks!

Q&A Issue V July 15, 2002
The following questions are categorized according to the topics in the GoodWorks! Guidelines (September 2001), 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 (Laws/Workforce Investment Act/Workforce Development Questions and Answers), in the near future. Questions and answers are grouped by the following categories: Introduction to GoodWorks!/General Information Assessment Referrals (including Staffings) Services (including Support Services) Follow-up Automated Systems and Reporting

Introduction to GoodWorks!/General Information
1. Under the current GoodWorks! contract, is 15,000 customers still the maximum to be served? If so, how will we know if we have reached that point?
Due to state budget cuts for state fiscal year 2002, the GDOL/DHR contract was adjusted from $30 million to $25 million. The maximum number of TANF applicants, recipients and noncustodial parents to be served was adjusted accordingly from 15,000 to 11,000. DHR state staff monitor contract service levels and will notify local staff as appropriate. Keep in mind that the GDOL/DHR contract is just one of many possible sources of funding for TANF workforce services for local communities to tap if maximum service levels are met. Additional potential fund sources include WtW, HOPE, Pell, WIA, Wagner-Peyser, and other contracts, etc., based on eligibility requirements.

2. What role and responsibilities do our Workforce Investment Act (WIA) partners have in GoodWorks!? No one in our area seems to know.
Section IV of the GoodWorks! Guidelines lists some services provided by WIA and other agencies, but local partners must shape the GoodWorks! strategy to serve customers in the area. In order to do so, all partners must come to the table and determine who can do what for which customers in what circumstances.

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WIA is a potential resource for filling gaps in workforce services. Service gaps and actual services will vary among communities. For example: • • • • WIA might supplement a customer’s needs that exceed TANF support service maximums WIA funds may be used to help develop post-placement career advancement activities WIA may be the contractual provider of intensive services, including follow-up services WIA staff may conduct a particular in-depth assessment not available at some GDOL career centers

If you’re not having any luck understanding the role of WIA in your area’s local GoodWorks! strategy, please contact the Workforce Development Division (WDD) field representative or GoodWorks! support staff for your area for additional assistance. WDD and GoodWorks! contacts are included in Attachment 1 to the GoodWorks! Q&A Issue IV. (See page 20 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines.)

Assessment
3. For how long is an assessment good? If a customer had an assessment two years ago is this sufficient for enrollment into GoodWorks!?
There is no set timeframe for how a long an assessment is good. Local policy should provide the flexibility to use your professional judgement to make the determination on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a customer was assessed by GDOL/Rehabilitation Services or DTAE two years ago and his/her current situation has not changed significantly, another assessment may not be needed. However, if the customer’s situation has changed significantly, e.g., onset of medical/emotional problems or substance abuse, deteriorating health, etc., additional assessment may be warranted. Before making a referral for assessment that you’re unsure is appropriate, we suggest you conduct a staffing or at least contact the partner to which you are considering referring to get their take on the particular customer and situation. This “up-front” step may save you, the customer and partners time and frustration in the long run. This may also be an issue for partners to consider in local implementation planning.

Referrals
4. Why does DFCS refer customers to partners and not GDOL?
There is a wide array of services in Georgia to help TANF applicants, recipients and noncustodial parents move toward employment and self-sufficiency. Partners and services include GDOL; GDOL Rehabilitation Services; Adult Literacy; New Connections to Work; Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse; Community Action Agencies; Fatherhood Initiative; TANF services; Workforce Investment Act services; the faith community and other community based organizations; HOPE grants; Pell grants; etc. DFCS refers customers to different partners depending on general guidelines in the contract and individual customer needs.

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DFCS refers TANF applicants who are job-ready with not obvious barriers to GDOL for job search. TANF recipients, regardless of length of TANF assistance, may also be referred to GDOL if the customer is ready for job search activities or employment. In many areas, customers needing intensive services are also referred through GDOL career centers to private contractors (or sometimes through WIA local areas). If the referral process in your area is unclear or doesn’t make sense to you, please contact your management for additional information. (See the Assessment and Referral sections of the GoodWorks! Guidelines.)

5. What happens to customers referred directly from DFCS to intensive services providers? If we never see the customer, how do we track her or him?
DFCS must refer customers to GDOL via the Georgia Workforce System (GWS), not to intensive services providers directly. If referrals are not made through GWS, tracking of customers will be a problem. Additionally, intensive services providers will have problems when they try to bill for services if customers have not been registered properly through GWS. The key is in getting the customer to the appropriate service in a timely manner to address identified service needs. We encourage creativity and flexibility in achieving this goal on behalf of customers served. Please contact your GoodWorks! facilitator or TANF consultant to discuss this situation.

6. If DFCS has a customer in an unpaid work experience activity, should the customer be referred to GoodWorks!? Should the customer remain in their current activity? Should they be in the activity of GoodWorks! solely?
Since each customer’s situation is unique, a staffing with all appropriate partners will determine the best service combinations for individual customers. Short-term unpaid work experience can be of value for some customers as long as the activity helps the customer move toward employment. Periodic evaluation of the customer’s progress is critical. (See question 16 in the February 22, 2002 GoodWorks! Q&A.)

7. Can DFCS refer TANF customers who are working a few hours or in other type of activity to GoodWorks!?
Yes, if a staffing determines that the customer can benefit from GoodWorks! services, DFCS can make a referral, although a referral for intensive services would generally not be appropriate. (See above question and question 16 in the February 22, 2002 GoodWorks! Q&A.)

8. What strategy or intervention should be implemented among partners when a customer who did not comply with GoodWorks! later reapplies for TANF?
Since each customer’s situation is unique, there is no single strategy that will work with all customers who have not experienced positive outcomes. A staffing should be conducted to determine the best course of action for the particular customer. Some factors you may want to consider are why the customer failed to participate successfully in GoodWorks! previously; whether there are underlying barriers to participation that were previously undetected (e.g., substance abuse, domestic violence, etc.); whether the customer can benefit from another GoodWorks! activity or the services of a partner, etc.

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9. It was stated that we (DFCS) should try to have staff (local TANF or childcare staff, or the TANF consultant) participate in staffings of non-TANF GoodWorks! customers, i.e., customers whose TANF cases have been cancelled due to GoodWorks! participation/wages. Is this a mandatory expectation? I don’t think it’s realistic to expect anyone at DFCS to have the time to do this since staff have so many other responsibilities.
Think about it this way…if DFCS is unable to make the time to participate in staffings for former TANF customers when they're needed, the person may end up back on TANF and take up a whole lot more staff time in the long run! For example, if a GoodWorks! contractor calls a staffing because a barrier to participation has surfaced (e.g., difficulties with childcare arrangements, Medicaid coverage, child support or transportation), it would seem critical to have someone from DFCS involved to help ensure that the problem doesn’t hinder the customer’s chances of success. Additionally, if the customer is receiving child welfare services, it would be helpful to all parties to support the customer and each other in working to assist the family. Keep in mind that staffings may involve face-to-face meetings, teleconferencing, fax, e-mail/Gomail or Instant Messaging contact, or any other method of communication that works for your area and that not every partner needs to be involved in every staffing. We encourage your local workforce system to develop creative ways to help TANF customers achieve employment success and prevent a return to the TANF rolls. (See question 10 in the December 7, 2001 GoodWorks! Q&A.)

10. Why isn’t GDOL included in partner/contractor staffings?
Staffings should include all partners (and often the customer) who have an interest in the customer’s service plan. If GDOL is currently providing services, GDOL should be included in staffings. Additionally, GDOL should be included in staffings if it is anticipated they’ll be providing services in the future, for example, to plan ahead for unsubsidized employment for a customer currently in an intensive services activity.

11. Is there a certain number of partners that need to be present at staffings?
No, as noted above, a staffing is merely a formal or informal means of communication about a particular customer. Who is involved and the best forum for the staffing depend on why the staffing is being called and what needs to be accomplished. (See question 10 in the December 7, 2001 GoodWorks! Q&A.)

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Services
12. What are intensive services and who provides them?
Pages 5 and 6 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines and the solicitation for GoodWorks! intensive and subsidized work services dated October 31, 2001 (visit www.dol.state.ga.us) provide a framework for intensive services. Critical components include nontraditional recruitment, work evaluation, work adjustment, individualized job coaching and job retention/career advancement. Since local areas have great flexibility to design intensive services that meet the needs of the community, actual intensive services will vary among communities. Providers of GoodWorks! intensive services vary among communities, including community based organizations, for-profit service providers, and WIA/WtW administrative entities. In some areas, a single service provider delivers all intensive services, while in other areas, different contractors provide “pieces” of the intensive services strategy. Intensive services providers contract with GDOL to provide specific services to customers with multiple barriers in a specific area, in accordance with the local GoodWorks! strategy.

13. Before a customer is enrolled in intensive services, must a drug screen and criminal background check be on file?
DFCS has agreed to accept responsibility for obtaining drug screens and criminal background checks for customers who are accepted for enrollment in intensive services, at the point it is determined that placement will be made at a site that requires all volunteers and/or employees to have a drug screen and criminal background check prior to placement. Each intensive services provider must work with local DFCS offices to determine how these services will be obtained. Some areas may choose to continue to follow the procedures that were in place last year and invoice the local DFCS offices for these expenses. Others may choose to make arrangements for drug screens and criminal background checks to be completed and submitted to the intensive services provider prior to the customer reporting to the worksite.

14. I am a Personal Advisor with intensive Case Management Services. I serve eight counties and the referral process seems to be different in each one. Will there be a systematic process in place that will ensure that each customer has a drug screen and criminal background check done prior to referral?
As noted in the preceding question, local partners need to develop a process(es) for obtaining drug screens and criminal background checks that works best for your areas. We encourage you to be involved in the planning.

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15. Does GDOL have a role in intensive services other than to determine who is appropriate for three, six and nine month follow-up case staffings?
Yes. A wide range of GDOL career center services is listed on pages 19 and 21 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines, in addition to follow-up/retention services. GDOL has a critical role in working with partners to help move customers receiving intensive services toward unsubsidized employment, by determining the particular services to best meet the needs of each individual customer. Services might include workshops, help preparing a resume, career exploration, assessment, job development and placement, etc.

16. I thought that our GoodWorks! intensive services provider was supposed to know what customers are doing on a daily basis. This is not happening in our area.
Intensive services customers have a personal advisor who works with them from start to finish, helping the customer through each activity. Ideally, the personal advisor knows what each customer is doing on a daily basis, but in reality this is not always possible (e.g., when a personal advisor covers a large geographic area). In most areas, partners have jointly developed ways to communicate important information about customers promptly. If this issue is a problem in your area, we suggest you share your suggestions for improving the situation with your GoodWorks! collaborative partners.

17. Why does our intensive services provider put customers in work activities during nontraditional hours when they know childcare is a barrier?
Childcare during nontraditional hours is not necessarily problematic for all GoodWorks! customers. For example, some customers have reliable care through a parent or other relative, neighbor or friend. Some communities have childcare centers that provide extended care during nontraditional hours. Or, some licensed providers may specialize in care during nontraditional hours. The Child Care Resource and Referral agency serving your area would be a good place to start to find out what’s available. You can contact the 14 Child Care Resource and Referral agencies through the Georgia Child Care Council’s website at www.ganet.org/gccc/randr/. If nontraditional care is not available in your area, you might want to explore the need and possibility of developing such resources with community partners. However, if childcare during nontraditional hours is a problem that cannot be overcome for a particular customer, work activities during nontraditional hours would probably not be appropriate. We encourage a staffing to discuss your concerns and suggestions with your GoodWorks! partners.

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18. Our GoodWorks! customers sometimes have a need for immediate or “short notice” support services. Are such services available? For example, a customer is scheduled for a workshop and shows up with her child because her provider is sick, or with her sick child because her childcare center won’t take sick children. Is immediate childcare available? Or, an employer calls and wants to see a customer as soon as possible. Are transportation services available?
While standard support payment systems are not generally responsive to “short notice” needs, there are many avenues to pursue. For example, you might use “drop-in” services at a nearby childcare center and/or hospital (i.e., sick childcare). Or you might have senior volunteers who can make themselves available for childcare on short notice, or you might offer onsite childcare. If these services are not currently offered, work toward community interest in developing them. Some agencies have obtained “short notice” funds from community groups or the faith community. Others have a customer “emergency” fund for bus tokens or cab fare created by voluntary contributions of break room change from employees. If there are service gaps in your area, we encourage you to work with your local workforce partners to develop creative strategies for meeting the needs of customers.

19. Can customers whose TANF cases are closed continue to receive services through GoodWorks!?
Yes. The purpose of GoodWorks! is to help move TANF applicants, recipients and noncustodial parents toward unsubsidized employment and self-sufficiency, and “save” TANF months in the process. It will be quite common, therefore, for TANF customers to continue receiving GoodWorks! services after their TANF benefits have been discontinued.

20. Can we serve customers in GoodWorks! who have exhausted, i.e., are no longer eligible for, TANF benefits?
Per the DHR/GDOL GoodWorks! contract, DFCS determines eligibility for GoodWorks! by referring TANF applicants, recipients and noncustodial parents for services to GDOL. If the customer is referred before exhausting TANF benefits, GoodWorks! services may continue as long as they are needed. A referral cannot, however, be made by DFCS if the individual is not a TANF applicant, recipient or noncustodial parent. After customers have exhausted their TANF benefits, local DFCS agencies continue to be a source of information and services by directing customers to other resources in the community. In this situation, individuals may also be eligible for WIA, GDOL career center or other partner services.

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21. If a GoodWorks! customer has been terminated from GoodWorks!, but due to a change in circumstances wishes to participate at a later date, can we still serve him/her in GoodWorks! Do we need a new referral from DFCS?
Yes, the customer can still be served in GoodWorks! A new referral would be needed.

22. What support services do GDOL career centers provide for GoodWorks! customers? Transportation? Childcare? Other?
GDOL career centers do not provide support services. As specified in the GDOL/DHR GoodWorks! contract and Section IV of the GoodWorks! Guidelines, a wide range of support services can be provided through TANF, including childcare, transportation and various work support payments. This includes support services for TANF applicants, TANF recipients, and customers subsequently terminated from TANF due to GoodWorks! participation. Additionally, depending on the customer’s situation, other partners may provide or supplement services when a need is identified that cannot be met either partially or fully through TANF support services. For example, a customer’s childcare arrangement may exceed the maximum TANF can provide. In this situation, WIA, WtW, the intensive services provider or other partners may be able to contribute. Partners need to work together to meet the unique support needs of each customer to maximize successful participation. (See page 29 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines.)

23. Define “economically eligible” to receive childcare or other support services.
All GoodWorks! customers, by their TANF-related eligibility, are economically eligible to receive the full range of TANF support services identified in the GoodWorks! Guidelines. Depending on a customer’s unique needs, additional support services may be provided by other partners in your area. (See the preceding question.) If this is the case, eligibility (including economic eligibility thresholds) would be defined by the respective funding stream that is utilized, e.g., WtW. There might be situations where a customer loses eligibility for support services due to income. For example, a customer gets a job with a high salary, or receives a promotion and substantial raise after six months. In this situation, it’s possible that economic eligibility for a particular funding stream would be exceeded.

24. Why does our intensive services provider pay for transportation for customers to pick up their paychecks?
This is a question you’ll need to ask the provider. Often, the payment process is designed so customers aren’t burdened by having to make a special trip to pick up paychecks. Other times, these costs are covered by the TANF transportation payments made by DFCS. In the situation you describe, it could be the provider feels that not paying for customers to pick up their paychecks would be a hardship that might hinder continued participation.

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25. Currently, our technical college requires us (DFCS) to refer a minimum of 10 customers to their programs, e.g., life skills, certificate or diploma programs, etc., and they cancel the classes if we do not meet the minimum number of referrals. Why are they allowed to cancel the classes? Can something be done about this?
Costs for instruction, equipment, space, and materials are incurred when training and workshops are conducted. In order for services to be cost effective, DTAE asks that a minimum of ten customers be referred for a class. Classes conducted for fewer than ten participants are not cost effective and therefore, are not the best way to utilize funding provided for the services purchased in the DHR/DTAE contract. TANF customers can also be enrolled in regular training classes and diploma programs available at your area technical school. Staff from DFCS and DTAE must work closely together to plan for the services needed in your DTAE service delivery area. Advance planning of workshops and training sessions should allow adequate time for customer recruitment. When sessions are placed on the calendar well in advance, recruiting customers to meet the minimum enrollment requirement should be less of a problem. Also, many county DFCS offices work together to transport customers across county lines to fill the enrollment for these sessions. Two smaller counties can work together to recruit customers for a workshop or training session that is desired when each county has fewer than ten customers to refer. A quarterly NCTW planning calendar to be shared with all counties within the service area is recommended.

26. Will GoodWorks! activities delay participants from leaving TANF?
No, GoodWorks! activities will not delay participants from leaving TANF – if anything, the opposite will happen. Services and activities provided under the GoodWorks! contract are designed to assist TANF customers in obtaining employment and ending dependency on TANF cash assistance. Since GoodWorks! intensive services activities provide a paid wage and usually result in TANF ineligibility, TANF benefits will often be terminated sooner (i.e., TANF months will be saved).

27. We know that income received as wages for participation in GoodWorks! intensive services is budgeted as income for a TANF customer, often resulting in ineligibility for TANF cash assistance. What happens to the person at this point, especially relative to support services?
The TANF/Employment Services worker closes the TANF cash assistance case, provides the support services available when a TANF customer obtains employment, i.e., TANF to Work Support Payment (TWSP), enters participation hours for the last month of TANF eligibility and closes the employment services case.

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Eligibility for transportation and incidentals support services ends with closure of the employment services case. Program eligibility for childcare, Food Stamps and Medicaid is reviewed, and customers generally remain eligible for these services. Housing needs are also reviewed, as housing support in the form of rent freezes and Section 8 vouchers may be available via the local Housing Authority for some customers.
Although the customer no longer has a TANF/Employment Services worker who monitors participation in GoodWorks!, DFCS workers continue to provide other program assistance and should be available to GoodWorks! Staff to provide information and coordinate services for customers. (See Page 29 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines for a summary of TANF Support Services, including TWSP.)

Follow-up
28. What are the elements of follow-up for employed customers? What does GDOL do? What kind of contact is required? How frequent?
Follow-up services for unsubsidized employment (and subsidized employment and subsidized work experience), summarized in the GoodWorks! Guidelines, include the support, job retention, life skills, training and other services the workforce system can provide customers after they enter employment. Follow-up services keep GoodWorks! customers moving up the career ladder, not back on public assistance, by promoting retention, skill attainment, career advancement and self-sufficiency. Local focus groups of employed GoodWorks! customers and employers can suggest specific post-employment services that would be of value to them. Suggestions might include: • • • • • • • weekend or evening workshops on how to establish good credit parenting skills how to own a home life planning financial literacy customized short-term training to improve chances of promotion; bonuses for perfect attendance computer skills upgrade

These services might already be available from local partners or other community experts, or might be developed by blending partner resources. GDOL career centers or the contract provider making the employment placement will generally be responsible for follow-up. The type and frequency of contact will be determined to a great extent by the needs of the individual customer and employer. For unsubsidized employment, the GDOL/DHR contract requires customer retention/tracking for at least 30 days, three, six, and 12 months.

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You should always have something to offer customers when you contact them. A good question to ask is…how can we help you get a promotion? If GoodWorks! customers view follow-up staff as the primary post-employment “gatekeeper” for the workforce system, i.e., a knowledgeable person who can help in accessing the workforce system services they need to advance in their work, they’ll be making your follow-up contacts for you! Additional guidance and training was provided on follow-up services at the Placement and Retention Strategies Training in April 2002. (See pages 31-33 of the GoodWorks! Guidelines.)

Automated Systems and Reporting
29. What activity code should DFCS use in SUCCESS/Employment Services on the DFCS Personal Work Plan (PWP) for GoodWorks!?
This is a good question that is too complicated to detail in a Q&A format. In the near future, DFCS will provide training on the tracking of work participation to DFCS staff, but in the meantime, please contact your TANF Program Consultant for assistance.

30. How will GoodWorks! change DFCS SUCCESS reporting work plans?
Per DFCS, there will be no change in the completion of SUCCESS work plans. They will continue to be completed according to policy.

31. DFCS said they are now required to enter GoodWorks! referrals into their employment services system. They have asked us (GDOL) for our SSN or vendor number. What do we give them?
In this situation, GDOL does not need to provide anything. This question refers to a number that is used in the SUCCESS system on the Employment Services Referral Screen (ESRE). Numbers used on this screen are assigned by DFCS staff, not provided by GDOL or other partners. Some counties have assigned provider IDs for local GoodWorks! intensive services providers. This is the number that a DFCS case manager would use to enter information on SUCCESS.

32. We have some customers who have been receiving GoodWorks! services since prior to the conversion to GWS who are not enrolled in GWS. What do we do?
Please contact Management Information and Customer Support staff at (404) 656-3157 to make the appropriate changes in GWS. (See question 37 in the December 7, 2001 Q&A.)

33. Can DFCS enter information into the GWS system?
DFCS staff can enter the referral into GWS, but they do not enter any registration or service information.

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34. Who completes the registration eligibility verification screen – specifically TANF information?
The TANF worker refers the customer to a GDOL career center for the determination of the services needed. The career center is responsible for entering the customer intake, initial contact and registration information unless local partners have agreed upon other arrangements.

35. How do you enter forms 101 and 103 information in GWS?
The 101 and 103 forms are not used for GWS. They were used under the Job Training Partnership Act program and are not appropriate for Welfare-to-Work or GoodWorks!

36. Who enters the Customer Service Plan and entered employment? Can both DFCS and GDOL do this?
The Customer Service Plan is maintained by career center, WIA local area and/or intensive services contract provider staff. DFCS staff do not enter anything into GWS except the DFCS referral to GoodWorks!.

37. Should DFCS staff be keying information from the Work Readiness Assessment (491) into the GWS Customer Services Plan or providing assessment information to GDOL so they can key the information?
DFCS staff should provide the assessment information to GDOL for keying into GWS.

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