Welfare-to-Work employment programs face continuous challenges and opportunities for helping clients achieve employment and self-sufficiency. This weeklong boot camp provides employment services and welfare-to-work staff with knowledge, skills, tools, best practices and resources to advance their professional development and to successfully serve agencies, programs and clients in achieving greater outcomes.

The boot camp is comprised of the following sessions:

Day 1: Introduction to the Welfare to Work (WTW) Program
Day 2: Navigating the OCAT
Day 3: WTW Time Clocks and Activities
Day 4: Supportive Services and Non-Compliance
Day 5: Client Retention, Job Readiness, and Case Management

Day 1: Introduction to the Welfare to Work (WTW) Program

Participants will learn how the program became what it is today, along with common acronyms and terminology, and get a feel for the WTW client experience. The major learning goal for day one is to build a foundation for the remaining days.

Topics include:

  • History of WTW
  • WTW program overview
  • WTW exemptions and requirements
  • Service referrals: learning disabilities, behavioral health, alcohol and drugs, or domestic violence
  • Appraisal overview and requirements

Day 2: Navigating the OCAT

Day two will focus on mastering the soft skills applied during the OCAT appraisal. The OCAT system can be cold, intrusive and accusatory if the case manager reads each question as is and doesn’t use Helping Professional skills. At the end of the day, participants will have applied practice with critical thinking on which direction the client should pursue their WTW path.

Topics include:

  • Brief overview of OCAT navigation
  • Solution-focused strategies
  • Helping authority continuum
  • Motivational interviewing and coaching
  • Barrier identification
  • SMART goals

Day 3: WTW Time Clocks and Activities

Participants will learn the difference between core and non-core activities, how to maximize the time used on the 24MTC, and how to personalize the activities based on the clients’ needs. The main objective for day three is to learn how to create meaningful WTW plans.

Topics include:

  • Core and non-core activities
  • Hourly requirements
  • Assessments and WTW plans
  • 24-month time clock overview

Day 4: Supportive Services and Non-Compliance

Participants will learn what services are available to help move clients to meaningful employment, as well as the process to follow if clients do not complete requirements from beginning to end.

Topics include:

  • Supportive services
  • Good cause/exemption criteria
  • Non-compliance process
  • Cause determinations and compliance plans
  • Sanction cures

Day 5: Client Retention, Job Readiness, and Case Management

Participants will review the week’s main points through two fun and competitive activities, as well as sharing best practices with workers from other counties. The day will conclude with a graduation ceremony and reading of the participant’s purpose statements.

Topics include:

  • Client retention in the WTW program
  • Marketing job readiness and addressing barriers to participation
  • Time management in WTW
  • Effective documentation
  • Best practices forum
  • Boot camp wrap-up
Course Code
503139