Since 1989, welfare recipients in Iowa have been required to participate in the PROMISE JOBS (Promoting Independence and Self-Sufficiency Through Employment, Job Opportunities, and Basic Skills) program. PROMISE JOBS implements the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program in Iowa, as mandated by the federal Family Support Act of 1988. It is designed to increase the availability of employment and training opportunities for welfare recipients. The requirement for welfare recipients to participate in PROMISE JOBS has been strengthened under FIP; fewer welfare recipients are now exempt from the participation requirement, and the consequences of unauthorized nonparticipation are more immediate and severe than under the former AFDC program.
Generally, all adult participants in FIP are required to participate in PROMISE JOBS. Exemptions from this requirement are granted for five classes of FIP clients:
- A person who is the parent or relative of a child under six months of age and who personally provides care for that child (no more than one such exemption per case)(2)
- A person who is working 30 or more hours per week in unsubsidized employment at the time of the initial determination of PROMISE JOBS exemption status
- A person who is under age 16 and not a parent
- A person who is disabled according to the Americans with Disabilities Act and is consequently unable to participate in PROMISE JOBS
- A person who is age 16 to 19, is not a parent, and attends school full time
Given these exemptions, the expectation is that FIP clients who are mandatory participants in PROMISE JOBS have the time and ability to benefit from the employment and training services provided.