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Title XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Chapter 208

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  208.325.  Self-sufficiency program, targeted households — assessments — self-sufficiency pacts, contents, incentives for participation, review by director, term of pact — training for case managers — sanctions for failure to comply with pact provisions, review — evaluation of program — rules — waiver from federal law. — 1.  Beginning October 1, 1994, the department of social services shall enroll AFDC recipients in the self-sufficiency program established by this section.  The department may target AFDC households which meet at least one of the following criteria:

  (1)  Received AFDC benefits in at least eighteen out of the last thirty-six months; or

  (2)  Are parents under twenty-four years of age without a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate and have a limited work history; or

  (3)  Whose youngest child is sixteen years of age, or older; or

  (4)  Are currently eligible to receive benefits pursuant to section 208.041, an assistance program for unemployed married parents.

  2.  The department shall, subject to appropriation, enroll in self-sufficiency pacts by July 1, 1996, the following AFDC households:

  (1)  Not fewer than fifteen percent of AFDC households who are required to participate in the FUTURES program under sections 208.405 and 208.410, and who are currently participating in the FUTURES program;

  (2)  Not fewer than five percent of AFDC households who are required to participate in the FUTURES program under sections 208.405 and 208.410, but who are currently not participating in the FUTURES program; and

  (3)  By October 1, 1997, not fewer than twenty-five percent of aid to families with dependent children recipients, excluding recipients who meet the following criteria and are exempt from mandatory participation in the family self-sufficiency program:

  (a)  Disabled individuals who meet the criteria for coverage under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, P.L. 101-336, and are assessed as lacking the capacity to engage in full-time or part-time subsidized employment;

  (b)  Parents who are exclusively responsible for the full-time care of disabled children; and

  (c)  Other families excluded from mandatory participation in FUTURES by federal guidelines.

  3.  Upon enrollment in the family self-sufficiency program, a household shall receive an initial assessment of the family's educational, child care, employment, medical and other supportive needs.  There shall also be assessment of the recipient's skills, education and work experience and a review of other relevant circumstances.  Each assessment shall be completed in consultation with the recipient and, if appropriate, each child whose needs are being assessed.

  4.  Family assessments shall be used to complete a family self-sufficiency pact in negotiation with the family.  The family self-sufficiency pact shall identify a specific point in time, no longer than twenty-four months after the family enrolls in the self-sufficiency pact, when the family's primary self-sufficiency pact shall conclude.  The self-sufficiency pact is subject to reassessment and may be extended for up to an additional twenty-four months, but the maximum term of any self-sufficiency pact shall not exceed a total of forty-eight months.  Family self-sufficiency pacts should be completed and entered into within three months of the initial assessment.

  5.  The family support division shall complete family self-sufficiency pact assessments and/or may contract with other agencies for this purpose, subject to appropriation.

  6.  Family self-sufficiency assessments shall be used to develop a family self-sufficiency pact after a meeting.  The meeting participants shall include:

  (1)  A representative of the family support division, who may be a case manager or other specially designated, trained and qualified person authorized to negotiate the family self-sufficiency pact and follow-up with the family and responsible state agencies to ensure that the self-sufficiency pact is reviewed at least annually and, if necessary, revised as further assessments, experience, circumstances and resources require;

  (2)  The recipient and, if appropriate, another family member, assessment personnel or an individual interested in the family's welfare.

  7.  The family self-sufficiency pact shall:

  (1)  Be in writing and establish mutual state and family member obligations as part of a plan containing goals, objectives and timelines tailored to the needs of the family and leading to self-sufficiency;

  (2)  Identify available support services such as subsidized child care, medical services and transportation benefits during a transition period, to help ensure that the family will be less likely to return to public assistance.

  8.  The family self-sufficiency pact shall include a parent and child development plan to develop the skills and knowledge of adults in their role as parents to their children and partners of their spouses.  Such plan shall include school participation records.  The department of social services shall, in cooperation with the department of health and senior services, the department of mental health, and the "Parents as Teachers" program in the department of elementary and secondary education, develop or make available existing programs to be presented to persons enrolled in a family self-sufficiency pact.

  9.  A family enrolled in a family self-sufficiency pact may own or possess property as described in subdivision (6) of subsection 2 of section 208.010 with a value of five thousand dollars instead of the one thousand dollars as set forth in subdivision (6) of subsection 2 of section 208.010.

  10.  A family receiving AFDC may own one automobile, which shall not be subject to property value limitations provided in section 208.010.

  11.  Subject to appropriations and necessary waivers, the department of social services may disregard from one-half to two-thirds of a recipient's gross earned income for job-related and other expenses necessary for a family to make the transition to self-sufficiency.

  12.  A recipient may request a review by the director of the family support division, or the director's designee, of the family self-sufficiency pact or any of its provisions that the recipient objects to because it is inappropriate.  After receiving an informal review, a recipient who is still aggrieved may appeal the results of that review under the procedures in section 208.080.

  13.  The term of the family self-sufficiency pact may only be extended due to circumstances creating barriers to self-sufficiency and the family self-sufficiency pact may be updated and adjusted to identify and address the removal of these barriers to self-sufficiency.

  14.  Where the capacity of services does not meet the demand for the services, limited services may be substituted and the pact completion date extended until the necessary services become available for the participant.  The pact shall be modified appropriately if the services are not delivered as a result of waiting lists or other delays.

  15.  The family support division shall establish a training program for self-sufficiency pact case managers which shall include but not be limited to:

  (1)  Knowledge of public and private programs available to assist recipients to achieve self-sufficiency;

  (2)  Skills in facilitating recipient access to public and private programs; and

  (3)  Skills in motivating and in observing, listening and communicating.

  16.  The family support division shall ensure that families enrolled in the family self-sufficiency program make full use of the federal earned income tax credit.

  17.  Failure to comply with any of the provisions of a self-sufficiency pact developed pursuant to this section shall result in a recalculation of the AFDC cash grant for the household without considering the needs of the caretaker recipient.

  18.  If a suspension of caretaker benefits is imposed, the recipient shall have the right to a review by the director of the family support division or the director's designee.

  19.  After completing the family self-sufficiency program, should a recipient who has previously received thirty-six months of aid to families with dependent children benefits again become eligible for aid to families with dependent children benefits, the cash grant amount shall be calculated without considering the needs of caretaker recipients.  The limitations of this subsection shall not apply to any applicant who starts a self-sufficiency pact on or before July 1, 1997, or to any applicant who has become disabled or is receiving or has received unemployment benefits since completion of a self-sufficiency program.

  20.  There shall be conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the family self-sufficiency program contained in the provisions of this act and the job opportunities and basic skills training program ("JOBS" or "FUTURES" ) as authorized by the provisions of sections 208.400 to 208.425.  The evaluation shall be conducted by a competitively chosen independent and impartial contractor selected by the commissioner of the office of administration.  The evaluation shall be based on specific, measurable data relating to those who participate successfully and unsuccessfully in these programs and a control group, factors which contributed to such success or failures, the structure of such programs and other areas.  The evaluation shall include recommendations on whether such programs should be continued and suggested improvements in such programs.  The first such evaluation shall be completed and reported to the governor and the general assembly by September 1, 1997.  Future evaluations shall be completed every three years thereafter.  In addition, in 1997, and every three years thereafter, the oversight division of the committee on legislative research shall complete an evaluation on general relief, child care and development block grants and social services block grants.

  21.  The director of the department of social services may promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to section 660.017, and chapter 536 governing the use of family self-sufficiency pacts in this program and in other programs, including programs for noncustodial parents of children receiving assistance.

  22.  The director of the department of social services shall apply to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services for all waivers of requirements under federal law necessary to implement the provisions of this section with full federal participation.  The provisions of this section shall be implemented, subject to appropriation, as waivers necessary to ensure continued federal participation are received.

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(L. 1994 H.B. 1547 & 961 § 1, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2014 ----

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