Welcome to the WorkFirst Handbook***********************
Recent Updates and Memos for Staff
WorkFirst has Six Main Performance Goals
- Reduce the TANF caseload
- Increase the number of participants in unsubsidized jobs.
- Increase the percentage of participants with earnings.
- Increase the earnings of participants.
- Reduce TANF returns.
- Increase child support collections.
Participant Flow Chart
There are various stages a participant might go through to become independent of TANF. The process begins with an application for TANF cash aid and ends with a successful exit from the TANF program using job retention and wage and skill progression strategies for lasting gains. The interim steps include activities (like job search) and processes (like evaluation and helping the participant develop an IRP) that will help them meet their goals.
Not every participant goes through every stage. Our experience shows that people can find jobs and independence at any step in the process. This handbook has information about every stage in the program.
WorkFirst Partner Roles
The WorkFirst program mandates a new level of coordination between state agencies, tribal governments, and other key local area partners. Each WorkFirst partner has an important role to play and areas of expertise to contribute in helping participants achieve self-sufficiency.
You can find a link to a list of key WorkFirst partners and a description of the role they each play in the title of this section.
Local Area Planning
The WorkFirst program also instituted a formal process to coordinate between the state agencies and other WorkFirst partners. This process is called local area planning.
Washington State has been divided into local area planning groups. WorkFirst partners within each local area are held jointly accountable to work together and meet local area WorkFirst performance goals and targets. Each area's progress is measured and reported on a monthly basis.
We have included a link to the local area planning web page in the title of this section. If you visit this site you will find more information about local area planning groups and the monthly reports on their progress in meeting major WorkFirst targets and goals.
About the Handbook
The handbook was written by staff in the WorkFirst Divisions in the Employment Security Department and the Economic Services Administration of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Others contributing to the contents of this handbook include:
- The State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
- The Department of Commerce
- Workforce Development Councils
- Tribal Governments and other partners
|Handbook chapters include.|
|Tools||The tools we use to process cases (such as Individual Responsibility Plans and eJAS screening/evaluation)|
|Supports||The supports we provide to participants (such as child care and support services)|
|Setting the Stage||How we introduce participants to the WorkFirst program|
|Job Search||Services to help people find jobs|
|The Pathways||Alternative routes for special populations (like WtW) to employment|
|Resolving Issues||Working with issues that interfere with one's ability to work (like family violence)|
|Work Activities||Work activities that help a participant prepare for work (like community jobs)|
|Education & Training||Education and training available to participants|
|Employment||Services and requirements for employed participants|
|Post-Employment Services||Job retention and wage and skill progression resources, services, and strategies|
Using the WorkFirst HandBook
Each section of the WorkFirst HandBook will have:
- On the left, a colored banner with legal references, key principles and/or examples.
- In the center, the body of text. Special requirements or activities will be noted in a colored box.
- On the right, a linked table of contents.
This page contains desk aids that may be useful for you. You are encouraged to print the desk aids for convenient use at your desk. This information will be updated as policy and procedures change.
- Core and Non-Core Activity Chart
- Stacking Activities Chart
- Work Experience / Community Service Calculator
- eJAS Component Code list
- Training Options Matrix
- Tuition Assistance From Community & Technical colleges
- IT and Healthcare
- WorkFirst HWHD Verification Form
- WorkFirst Basic Education Student Attendance Report (used by SBCTC staff)
- WorkFirst Opportunities brochure DSHS 22-1125 [PDF]
- Employment Hours Coding Desk Aid
- WorkFirst Orientation PowerPoint
- WorkFirst Orientation Script