Iowa's Limited Benefit Plan. C. Experiences on the LBP


This section describes two distinct aspects of survey respondents' experience after they entered the LBP: (1) efforts they made to comply with PROMISE JOBS requirements and (2) well-being visits by local public health officials.

1. Efforts to Comply with PROMISE JOBS

The LBP in effect at the time of this survey provided clients who entered the LBP prior to signing an FIA with two opportunities to reconsider and begin complying with PROMISE JOBS requirements after entering the LBP: (1) during the first 45 days of the LBP and (2) during the fifth and six months of the LBP. As shown in Table VI.6, roughly two-thirds of survey respondents did not attempt to work with PROMISE JOBS after entering the LBP. The other one-third of respondents who reported that they tried to work with PROMISE JOBS after entering the LBP were asked about the outcome of that effort. Forty-four percent of the respondents who had contacted PROMISE JOBS reported that they were told to "wait out the LBP." One respondent said: "I called my worker and she told me to get a job. She couldn't help me." Another respondent said, "My worker told me to call back in six months," presumably referring to the end of the FIP ineligibility period. Other common outcomes were the scheduling of an appointment with PROMISE JOBS (37 percent) and being told to attend required PROMISE JOBS activities (24 percent).

2. Well-Being Visits

One component of the LBP is a "well-being" visit. These visits are conducted by registered nurses or social workers in local public health agencies through a contractual agreement involving those agencies, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and DHS. The purpose of the visit is to inquire about the status of children, to ask parents whether they require information regarding their rights and responsibilities, and to provide referrals to community agencies. Attempts are made to contact all LBP families to conduct a well-being visit in the family's home or by telephone in the fifth month of the LBP and again in the seventh month, if the family is still on the LBP. Despite the intent to visit all families, internal DHS analysis indicates that visits are completed for only approximately 40 percent of families.(5) Reasons for this low completion rate include inability to contact the families and refusal of the (voluntary) visit by contacted families.(6)

Table VI.6

LBP Survey respondents were asked about the well-being visits. Fifty-four percent reported that a well-being visit was conducted either in their home or by telephone (Table VI.7). Most of those who were visited reported that the nurse or social worker spoke only to the respondent during the visit (78 percent). In terms of the content of the visit, 34 percent of those who were visited reported that the nurse inquired about the children, and 31 percent reported that they were given information regarding their rights and responsibilities. The average length of a well-being visit was approximately 15 minutes.