WIA TITLE I-B PROGRAM MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Memorandum #04-05

To: All WIA Title I-B Youth Program Subrecipients

Subject: Supportive Services

Effective Date: April 1, 2005

A.    BACKGROUND

The term "supportive service(s)" means a service or services which are necessary to enable an individual who cannot pay for such service or services to participate in the Youth Program under Title I-B of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Supportive services are intended to be one-time or time limited services and do not include the acquisition, improvement, or retention of personal assets (e.g., automobiles or homes). Supportive services may be provided to a participant during program registration and during the 12 month follow-up period after exit. Supportive service obligations and expenditures are to be tracked separately and are subject to the additional policies below.

B.    GENERAL POLICY

It is the policy of the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council that a subrecipient may elect to provide supportive services to a given youth from the point of registration through the 12 month follow up period to remove barriers to participation in program activities designed to result in the attainment of DOL recognized skills and other measurable objectives.

Supportive services must be necessary for a given participant consistent with her/hisObjective Assessment and Individual Service Strategy and be beyond her/his ability to pay. Supportive services are not entitlements and shall be approved by the subrecipient for a given participant on the basis of documented financial assessment, individual circumstances, the absence of other resources, and funding limits.

Such supportive services may only be provided in the form of non-monetary goods or services procured from a vendor and reimbursements shall be for actual, documented costs.

Each subrecipient must have written internal eligibility determination and payment procedures that describe the method for documenting need and the absence of such services through non-WIA resources. Procedures must also define the frequency and amount of payments and steps to assure that supportive services are available to all participants equitably provided they are eligible for such services based on the procedures established. Eligibility for and receipt of supportive services must be maintained by the subrecipient in the participant's file. Payment records must also be maintained in the subrecipient's fiscal records.

C.    POLICIES FOR THE PROVISION OF SPECIFIC SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

  1.   Child/Dependent Care

Child/dependent care may be provided to a participant's child or parent while the participant is engaged in training or employment consistent with her/his Individual Service Strategyincluding transportation time. Priority will be given to single heads of household. Reimbursement will not be made for such care if the participant has an unemployed spouse at home. The participant must be the custodial parent or guardian of the child/dependent for who such services are required. Child/dependent care services shall be paid to a licensed vendor unless the vendor is providing services in the participant's home. Exceptions can be made if it is clearly demonstrated that such care is not readily available due to the child's/parent's age or special needs or in instances when there is no appropriate care available in the area. Such exceptions are intended as a temporary measure to allow the participant to engage in program activities until acceptable care can be found. The payment shall be based upon actual costs while the participant is participating in and traveling to or from approved activities, as documented in attendance records, at rates which are not greater than current DSHS reimbursement rates. In instances where an hourly rate is being paid, the amount paid is not to exceed the maximum daily rate.

  2.   Transportation

Assistance may include bus tokens/passes, van pool expenses, ferry costs, or other public travel assistance determined reasonable and necessary for a given participant to participate in training and/or obtain and retain employment.

In instances where public transportation is not available or not feasible, assistance may be provided in the form of gas vouchers and/or car repairs when a private vehicle is used as the primary source of transportation to training or work.

If the repair of an existing vehicle addresses a significant barrier to training and/or employment, and such assistance will alleviate the barrier, then such assistance may be granted. To provide gas vouchers or pay for repair, the following conditions must be met. The participant must:

  • have a current Washington State Driver's License,
  • have valid insurance, and
  • be the registered owner of the vehicle involved.

If the participant is a youth under the age of 18 and not the registered owner of the vehicle, the subrecipient must obtain documentation identifying the vehicle's registered owner and providing reasonable assurance that the vehicle will be available to the participant for the intended purpose if repaired.

Car insurance is limited to a one-time only payment for a one month period and when all conditions in this section apply.

  3.   Medical, Dental, and Counseling Expenses

Consistent DOL Training and Employment Guidance Letter 3-04 and findings from DOL 's Young Offender Demonstration Grant programs that the provision of necessary medical and counseling expenses improves participant outcomes, assistance for medical and dental services not covered by other insurance policies or by state labor and industries is allowed. Professional counseling may also be provided to a participant under comprehensive guidance and counseling [see §664.410(10)], one of the "10 elements" of the WIA TItle I-B Youth Program, to address legal, financial, and mental health, and other personal needs as well as outpatient treatment for substance abuse. Standard fees charged for medical records and reports are also allowable.

  4.   Clothing

Work clothing including uniforms required by employers may be purchased if necessary for a participant to obtain and/or retain employment.

  5.   Emergency Services

   Housing

Rental payments may be paid to a participant's landlord for one month when such payment is needed to prevent homelessness. Payment may not include late fees. Such housing assistance is intended as a temporary, one-time measure. In the case of shelter for a participant who is homeless, up to two months' rent may be paid if required by the landlord to secure housing. In instances when housing assistance is provided, there must be a reasonable expectation that the assistance will resolve the situation; for example, if rent is paid for one month, there must be a reasonable expectation that the participant will obtain the resources to pay rent for the following months.

   Other Emergency Services

Other emergency services include payments for overdue electric, home heating fuel, and water bills; telecommunication costs; food; and/or payment for temporary shelter.

In instances where an overdue electric, home heating fuel, and/or water bill is being paid, it must be documented that the participant has contacted the local Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) energy assistance provider and found eligible for services but unable to receive services due to a lack of program funds.

Telecommunication costs are subject to the following restrictions.

  • It must be documented in the participant file that Community Voice Mail was explored as an option that has proven infeasible along with the reason.
  • If supportive services are used for a cellular telephone, it must be documented in the participant file that this is the participant's only means of telecommunication. In such instances, only base costs may be paid.
  • No internet costs may be paid.

Each emergency situation must be evaluated on an individual basis and shall include an evaluation of alternative resources such as food bank services. In instances when other emergency services are provided, such assistance must be to address a non-reoccurring emergency or there must be a reasonable expectation that the assistance will resolve the situation for the foreseeable future.

  6.   Certification, Screening and Testing

Union initiation; employment-related fees including but not limited to testing fees, drug screening, background checks; food handlers permits, Washington State Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards, security clearance, first aide/CPR certification, or finger printing; commercial and business licenses; and/or other fees if required by law and/or not paid for by employer to accept or maintain employment or participate in a WIA activity. Union dues are only paid for the first month of employment: additional months require an exception for approval.

  7.   Events/Activities

The cost of goods and services related to participation in scheduled events and/or activities is allowed and includes entry fees, transportation, meals, and other travel expenses associated with field trips, group meetings, and other activities which enhance participants' basic (academic); team building, leadership, citizenship, other work readiness; and/or occupational skills. Transportation and other related fees shall be reimbursed at or below the rate established for staff travel by the subrecipient.

  8.   Food

In non-emergent situations, a participant may receive supportive services to meet nutritional needs when it is documented that the participant's schedule does not allow for meals between scheduled activities.

  9.   Safety Gear/Tools/Books/Supplies/Equipment

Boots, helmets, gloves, safety vests, eye protection, other safety gear required by OSHA/WISHA standards, and tools required for participation in training or to succeed in employment are allowed. Participants may receive assistance for the purchase of tools, books, supplies, and equipment related to training or necessary for accepting an employment offer. A given tool or piece of equipment may only be purchased once.

The need for any supportive service must be documented on the participant's Individual Service Strategy and in case notes as must all efforts to obtain the needed services from a non-WIA source.

D.    Additional Limitations

The maximum amount that may be spent on any one participant in a given program year is $1,000.

Supportive services may not be used to pay for the purchase, improvement, or maintenance of any asset (e.g. car payments or mortgage payments); to pay taxes; to pay past due fees, penalties, interest or other such expenses; to pay child support payments in arrears or otherwise; to pay for parking or moving violation tickets; to pay for bail or restitution; to settle an insurance claim; or to pay for consumer debt. Computer hardware and software are considered assets.

E.    REQUEST FOR EXCEPTION

In exceptional circumstances, a request for exception to the above policies must be made to the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council in writing prior to issuance of the service for which exception is being requested.

F.    PROCEDURES

Any subrecipient electing to provide supportive services must document the participant's eligibility for and receipt of such service in the participant file and the subrecipient's fiscal system using the Supportive Services Request form provided in Attachment A. Additional supporting documentation must also be maintained in specific instances as described above. Supportive services payments are to be made by the subrecipient directly to a vendor for such services. In extraordinary circumstances, payment may be made directly to the participant with prior written approval from the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council, documentation of which is to be retained in the participant and fiscal files as is documentation of any approved exception.