Like a client-centered employment plan, regular and frequent contact between TANF recipients and case managers is another part of individualized case planning that is used to motivate recipients to participate in program activities. When their workload allows it, case managers talk regularly with recipients, by telephone or in person, to discuss eligibility changes, review progress toward employment goals, help them access work supports, and address personal and family challenges that interfere with participation in work or work-related activities. They celebrate recipients' successes and take a tough love approach to nonparticipation.
In four of the seven study sites--El Paso County, Oswego County, Riverside County, and Wisconsin--case managers are required to contact TANF recipients on their caseloads monthly. This is more feasible in sites like Wisconsin and El Paso County because case managers there have relatively small caseload, ranging from a low of 40 to 80 recipients in Wisconsin to 70 to 90 work-ready recipients in El Paso County (Table III.3). Other sites--Franklin and Montgomery counties, for example--require contact at least every six months. Case managers there have less flexibility in case planning and typically carry a caseload of 250 to 350 families, including anywhere from 30 to 75 TANF families. However, some case managers meet more frequently with TANF recipients who have complex service needs or who are not participating in program activities.
|El Paso County,CO||Franklin County, OH||Montgomery County, OH||Oswego County, NY||Riverside County, CA||Utah||Wisconsin|
|Structure of Case Management||In-house (hard-to-employ)
Goodwill Industries (work-ready)
|Generic case manager (combined caseload)||Generic case manager (combined caseload)||Specialized case manager||Phase I (job search)
Phase II (employed)
|Generic case manager (combined caseload)||Generic case manager|
|Average TANF Caseload (per case manager)||100-125 cases
70-90 cases (Goodwill)
|300-350 cases (30-50 TANF )||250 cases
|80-100 cases||100-110 cases (phase I)
|Required frequency of Client Contact||90 days (in-house)
|6 months||6 months||Monthly contact with Pathways
As needed with case manager
|Monthly||90 days (monthly in some offices)||Monthly|