A Study of Work Participation and Full Engagement Strategies. Comprehensive Assessments


In programs where some TANF recipients are not required to participate in work activities, initial assessments often are used to identify those who meet established exemption criteria. In contrast, programs that aim to engage all recipients in work or work-related activities use initial assessments to examine recipients' capacity to work and identify any special needs. When case managers have the option to place recipients in a broad range of program activities, assessments play a critical role in identifying the most appropriate activities. For recipients who do not succeed in traditional job search programs, in-depth assessments may help case managers determine whether more specialized services might be beneficial. All the study sites have formal assessment processes in place and use these processes for several purposes: (1) to identify immediate service needs, (2) to determine the recipients' employability and employment goals, and (3) to identify specialized service needs. Sites then use these results to develop individualized service plans.

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