State of Washington Classified Job Specification
WORKFIRST PROGRAM SPECIALIST
As a case manager, provides direct client services to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)/WorkFirst clients on an on-going basis to promote and assist clients in removing barriers to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Provides financial eligibility services, develops Individual Responsibility Plans (IRP), and reviews, plans, monitors, and evaluates clients needs, activities, and progress. Refers clients to contractors, other agency services and community organizations for assessment or specialized services.
Positions are distinguished from the Public Benefits Specialist classes in that the majority of the work involves comprehensive case management of WorkFirst program activities for clients while balancing eligibility determinations for program services. Positions in this class are distinguished from the Community Service Office Social Service Specialists who provide formal in-depth physical and psychological assessments when clients are referred to them by the WorkFirst Program Specialist.
Provides professional case management and evaluates services for a broad range of individuals seeking WorkFirst assistance through the local community services office;
Conducts orientation for new and returning WorkFirst clients;
Determines each client’s eligibility and appropriateness for public assistance programs, including but not limited to Diversion Services through evaluation of current or potential income sources including child support, and other financial alternatives, employability, and ability and motivation to remain self-sufficient;
Screens clients for possible barriers such as: domestic violence, substance abuse, special assistance, needs family planning, etc.,
Develops, revises, monitors and updates client Individual Responsibility Plans which constitutes the basis for a client’s participation in WorkFirst and outlines the services and activities required for the client to move toward self-sufficiency;
Provides case management to TANF clients in their efforts to obtain employment, their success in achieving employment, and their efforts to improve their employment status;
Identifies, analyzes and discusses client’s circumstances and refers to community resources and WorkFirst contractors to remove barriers to employability;
Assesses the need, authorizes and facilitates appropriate support services;
Conducts interviews both in the office and by phone to determine eligibility for financial, medical and Basic Food programs. Determines accurate benefit amounts by calculating income and resources
Provides benefits following the guidelines of federal and state funding sources and federal immigration law;
Completes appropriate home-visits to address and resolve household issues and barriers, and engages clients into more meaningful participation to move them towards self-sufficiency;
Assesses effect of reported changes on continuing eligibility and process client change of circumstances;
Inputs and receives data on multiple automated systems (ACES, EJAS, SSPS, Internet, Support Enforcement Maintenance System [SEMS], Electronic and Benefits Transfer Program (EBT), maintains confidentiality of automated client data, Execute ACES “workarounds” or “processing alternatives” to support payment accuracy and data integrity;
Performs other work as required.
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge of: State and federal welfare and welfare reform laws; rules and regulations; interviewing techniques; employability assessments to include medical conditions, criminal justice issues, childcare requirements, housing, transportation, work history and labor market requirements; principles of individual and group behavior, social behavior, social and economic conditions, and their effects upon individuals; office procedures and practices.
Ability to: express ideas clearly; work cooperatively with staff, clients, and members of the community; make independent decisions in the referral of clients to internal/external resources to enhance their employability; practice tact, courtesy and discretion; convey interest and concern to clients requesting information or assistance with problems related to the various programs.
There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.
One year of experience as a Public Benefits Specialist 3 or equivalent experience determining eligibility for social or financial services programs.
Class Specification History
New Class: Effective 12-1-02.
Revised new class code: (formerly 34993) effective July 1, 2007.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics and typical work; adopted June 30, 2017; July 1, 2017.
Revised desirable qualifications effective January 8, 2020.
Revised distinguishing characteristics adopted 2/13/2020, effective 2/14/2020.