Providing Mental Health Services to TANF Recipients: Program Design Choices and Implementation Challenges in Four States. Training/Consulting for Employment Case Managers


Except in Florida, mental health counselors in the study states provide consultation and training for employment case managers in how to identify and manage clients with mental health conditions. The types of consultation vary by local office, but mainly include the following:

  • In-Service Training. Mental health counselors in some offices provide in-service training to new and experienced workers in how to identify clients with mental health conditions and in how to handle difficult behaviors.
  • Case Staffings. Mental health counselors are often included in case staffings for clients who are about to be sanctioned or who are nearing the end of their time limit. Employment case managers with whom we talked indicated that they often rely on the expertise of the mental health counselors to make recommendations for how to handle cases and to identify resources in the community to which a client may be referred.
  • Recommendations for Employment Plans. Mental health counselors frequently provide initial and ongoing recommendations to employment case managers about the types and volume of activities to include in clients' employment plans. Recommendations are based on client assessments completed by mental health counselors.
  • Individual Consultation with Employment Case Managers on Difficult Cases. Employment case managers often consult with a mental health counselor when faced with a difficult case, such as a client with a personality disorder. Mental health counselors tell case managers about certain behaviors they can expect to see with certain conditions and about ways to handle these behaviors.

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