340:10-2-3. Employability planning
(a) Scope and applicability.The employability planning process begins at intake and continues as long as there are employment barriers or family circumstances that interfere with the participant obtaining and retaining employment.The worker and the participant initiate Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement. While completing Form 08TW002E, the participant provides information regarding his or her work history, education and training, employment interests, child care plan, and transportation and support services needs to help the worker develop an employability plan that addresses the participant's strengths and employment barriers. • 1
(1) Literacy screening is mandatory and must be included as a required Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work activity for participants who have not obtained a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate and demonstrate a lack of literacy skills. • 2
(2) The participant's identified employment barriers must be addressed on Form 08TW002E.In addition to literacy issues, barriers may include the inability to fluently speak English, learning disabilities, physical or mental health issues, domestic violence issues, lack of transportation, or substance abuse issues.
(b) Interest and ability assessments.Assessments are required to determine the participant's skills, abilities, and barriers per Section 261.11 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 C.F.R.§ 261.11).The worker includes completion of required interest and ability assessments as a required work activity on the participant's initial employability plan unless the client has a good cause reason not to participate in TANF Work activities. • 3
(1) The use of assessments provides the worker, participant, assessment specialist, and/or community partners with:
(A) an indication of learning disabilities and vision problems;
(B) a measurement of the participant's skills, abilities, interests, and aptitude;
(C) the participant's current academic achievement level; and
(D) meaningful information to create a valid employability plan.
(2) Participants referred for testing are informed how test results are used.Test scores are confidential but may be shared with community partners.To refer the participant for testing, the worker completes and sends Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information, to the community partner.Participants referred for formal assessments are eligible for participant allowances and child care.
(c) Employability planning.The worker and the participant use the information from the assessment and other relevant information to develop a plan for securing employment per 45C.F.R. § 261.12 and Section 230.52 of Title 56 of theOklahoma Statutes.
(1) The employability plan:
(A) is a part of the social services plan for the entire family and includes establishing short and long term goals, including specific occupational goals, activities, and services necessary to achieve the goals; • 4
(B) must be realistic and within the participant's ability to achieve;
(C) may include staffing with other community partners for assignment to specific work activities, collaboration with other agencies for services, such as job placement, training, and education, and the provision of social services;
(D) must identify specific needs and activities required to reach the occupational goal and estimated achievement dates; and
(E) may include more than one activity at a time based on the participant's specific needs and available hours. • 5
(2) The worker informs the participant that the employability plan is updated as necessary to account for situational changes.
(3) The worker reviews the employability plan with the participant:
(A) at least every six months;
(B) as changes are made to the employability plan; and
(C) at the completion of any work activity. • 6
(4) Employment plans for employed participants with income insufficient to close the TANF benefit must have a plan designed to upgrade employment. These plans must not interfere with current employment.
(d) Work activities.Participants are assigned to one or more activities and scheduled the required minimum number of hours. • 7 The participant signs Form 08TW002E, when a work activity is agreed upon and assigned.
(1) Assignments must be within the scope of the participant's employability plan. • 8
(2) The assignment must be related to the participant's capability to perform the task on a regular basis.
(3) The daily commuting time to and from home to the assigned education, employment, or training site is normally less than two hours.Commuting time does not include the time required to transport a child to and from a child care facility.When longer travel time is normal in the community, the round trip commuting time may not exceed the general community standards.
(4) When the participant needs child care in order to participate in work activities:
(A) the participant chooses the child care provider;
(B) child care must be available during the hours the participant is engaged in any work activity, plus any additional commuting time; and
(C) the participant completes a child care application and must meet child care eligibility rules per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:40 when subsidized child care is needed.
(5) Assignments that are discriminatory in terms of age, sex, race, color, national origin, disability, and in some cases religion or political beliefs are not permitted. • 9
(6) The assignment site must not be in violation of established and applicable health and safety standards.
(7) The worker does not refer a participant to a work activity unless supportive services necessary for participation are available.The cessation or withdrawal of such services constitutes good cause for refusal to participate.
(8) When the agreed upon employability plan requires hours in excess of the minimum requirement, the participant must participate the agreed upon number of hours.
1.(a) Workers utilize the results of approved screening tools for literacy or substance abuse.
(b) Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-2-1 and 340:10-2-6 for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work exception for a single custodial parent younger than 20 years of age who has not completed high school or obtained a high school equivalency certificate.Assessments are not required for minor payee participants as the local school district is responsible for assessing their educational and career needs.A TANF payee younger than 18 years of age, who completed a high school diploma or obtained high school equivalency certificate may be referred for assessments with parental consent.When the TANF payee becomes 18 years of age, parental consent is no longer required and assessment referrals can be made.
2.The worker updates the participant's reading level on Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) Eligibility Notebook Auth AT ASMT tab based on assessment results.
3.(a) Assessment tools may be obtained through the statewide assessment contract or a community partner.
(b) Required assessment tools include, but are not limited to:
(1) screening for learning disabilities and vision problems; and
(2) determining the participant's academic achievement level, career interests, aptitude, and values.
(c) When assessments are completed, the worker must update the FACS Eligibility Notebook Auth AT ASMT tab to track assessment results.The TANF tracking assessment components include, but are not limited to:
(1) substance abuse pre-screening;
(2) substance abuse subtle screening inventory (SASSI);
(3) addiction severity index (ASI);
(4) results of urinalysis (UA), if applicable;
(5) learning disability;
(6) academic achievement including reading, math, and language; and
(7) career interests, abilities, and values.
(d) When the client is not required to participate in a TANF Work activity due to good cause at certification, the only required assessment is the substance abuse screening process.All other assessments may be delayed until the client is able to participate in TANF Work.
4.Techniques useful in helping the participant identify a specific employment goal include joint discussion of individual strengths and exploration of all necessary qualifications, duties to be performed, working conditions, salary, benefits, and promotion opportunities.
5.The worker documents the action steps, the resources used, specific start dates, and anticipated ending dates on Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement, Section 7.Failure to specify these steps negates an adverse action taken against the participant.The employability plan may also include multiple activities the participant may engage in, at any one time.
6.The employability plan may be updated by entering new information on Form 08TW002E, Section 7.The worker and participant initial new information.
8.The worker considers the participant's assessment results, work history, skills, and abilities and addresses possible barriers to ensure the assigned work activities increase the participant's confidence and skills.The assigned work activities must also lead to attainable employment.For instance, when the participant has a felony conviction, the worker does not assign the participant to be trained in a field where the participant cannot obtain a job because of the felony.