Supports For Working Families
The majority of adults who leave welfare are often found to be employed in the months after they disconnect from public assistance. Many "welfare leavers" take advantage of popular social programs such as Medicaid, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and school breakfast programs. Other programs are not as well utilized or communicated to those attempting to become self-sufficient. The purpose of this article is to focus on a few programs in New Jersey that are not so commonly known.
Transitional Child Care (TCC) provides a subsidy for the twenty-four months following a TANF case closing. Parents should contact their Case Manager so a referral can be sent to the child care agency in their county. Note: even if a case is closed for reasons other than employment, a parent may be eligible for TCC, if current employed.
Supplemental Work Support (SWS) provides a $200 per month benefit for up to two years to a family that voluntarily withdraws from TANF. The application for SWS must be made prior to the case closing due to employment earnings. To qualify a household must meet the following conditions: 1) working twenty hours or more per week for the past four months, 2) have been on cash assistance for at least six months, 3) still receiving a partial grant prior to case closing. The $200 a month benefit does not count against the five year time limit. In fact, it "stops the clock."
The Career Advancement Voucher Program (CAVP) allows individuals to obtain additional training or education after welfare. Requirements include: maintaining their current employment, have been working for at least the past four months. A person interested in work-related classes may receive a voucher up to $4000. The benefit is only available within the two years after TANF closing date. For a referral, contact a Work First New Jersey Case Manager.
Additional programs and benefits are available to working families. For information on these and other programs - SNAP, LIHEAP, USF, EITC and the "Get A Job, Get A Ride" program - download the attached documents. The Support for Working Families brochure was published in hard-copy earlier this year by the NJ Division of Family Development. The Post-TANF Support Services That You Need to Know About! flyer was produced in partnership with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
This is the second in a series of articles and documents to be issued pertaining to welfare and workforce development.
Work First New Jersey Handbook
Twenty years ago "welfare as we know it" was fundamentally changed with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. New requirements and responsibilities are now a standard rule, along with the availability of a number of supportive services. Yet, after two decades, information is not be readily disseminated so welfare clients can make informed decisions in their efforts to become self-sufficient.
Every applicant for cash assistance is given a handbook which gives an overview of the program, available support services, as well as information on time limits, income disregards, work activities, deferrals and sanctions.
The handbook also details the many programs that individuals and families may receive both while receiving assistance and for the two year period following case closing. A number of these programs are under-utilized. They include: Supplemental Work Support (SWS), Career Advancement Voucher Program (CAVP), Transitional Child Care (TCC) and transportation services.
This is the first in a series of articles and documents to be issued pertaining to welfare and workforce development.
Montclair Affordable Housing Nonprofit Seeks Executive Director
A Montclair, New Jersey nonprofit, HOMECorp, is currently conducting a search for a new Executive Director. It is an ecumenical, community-based non-profit organization formed in 1988 by concerned residents and religious institutions to improve and develop permanent affordable housing in Montclair. Their mission is to create and maintain housing that preserves economic diversity and ignites community revitalization while fostering financial empowerment.
Prospective applicants for the position must submit an application by September 30, 2016. See the job description and application requirements here.
For further information contact Marion Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OFA Peer TA - A Resource For Welfare Administrators and Social Workers
For a number of years both the New Jersey Community Resources website and blog has highlighted a number of resources for social work professionals. The purpose of today's article is to bring to the attention of social workers and county welfare agency personnel and their partners in community agencies a website operated on behalf of the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The goal of OFA Peer Technical Assistance Network is to establish linkages among TANF agencies and their partners serving TANF and low-income families on the state, county and local levels. The OFA Peer TA website acts to disseminate information, facilitate a dialogue among organizations serving TANF and low-income families and helping organizations learn about innovative programs and the latest research around effective strategies to successfully support TANF and low-income families on a path to self-sufficiency.
Each week OFA Peer TA distributes a newsletter to its subscribers, informing them of new developments, programs, position papers and sponsoring webinars. If you wish to subscribe, visit their newsletter sign up page. You should find their newsletter and website helpful.
Below is a sampling of just a few articles appearing in their newsletter or website within the past few months. They include:
- GetMyFuture.org , a recently launched U.S. Department of Labor website that helps youth plan their careers
- Assessing and Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities - describes different approaches to disability-related needs assessment used by some TANF programs
- Life After Welfare: Disconnected Leavers Who Reconnect - a "disconnected leaver" is a defined as a TANF client whose case is closed and is not in the workforce
- Poor, Unemployed, and Not on Welfare: The Prevalence of "Disconnected Families" by State - a research brief published by childtrends.org
- Who is Poor in the United States? - a June, 2016 report issued by The Brookings Institution
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Final Rule - final federal regulation of the law signed July 22, 2014
- Online Services for Key Low-Income Benefit Programs: What States Provide Online With Respect to SNAP, TANF, Child Care Assistance, Medicaid, CHIP and General Assistance - listing updated July, 2016 and published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- TANF Work Participation Rates, Fiscal Year 2014 - indicates fewer states failed the work requirement in FY2014 than in FY2013
For readers interested in New Jersey welfare statistics, the Division of Family Development still maintains a monthly report titled, DFD Current Program Statistics, previously mentioned in a 2010 blog article.
For further information, please email Michael Swayze at email@example.com.