256.736 Employment and training programs.
Subdivision 1. Repealed, 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 78 subd 1
Subd. 1a. Definitions. As used in this section and section 256.7365, the following words have the meanings given them:
(a) "AFDC" means aid to families with dependent children.
(b) "AFDC-UP" or "two-parent family" means that group of AFDC clients who are eligible for assistance by reason of unemployment as defined by the commissioner under section 256.12, subdivision 14.
(c) "Caretaker" means a parent or eligible adult, including a pregnant woman, who is part of the assistance unit that has applied for or is receiving AFDC.
(d) "Case manager" means the county agency's employment and training service provider who provides the services identified in sections 256.736 to 256.739 according to subdivision 12.
(e) "Employment and training services" means programs, activities, and services related to job training, job placement, and job creation, including job service programs, job training partnership act programs, wage subsidies, remedial and secondary education programs, post-secondary education programs excluding education leading to a post-baccalaureate degree and vocational education programs, job search, counseling, case management, community work experience programs, displaced homemaker programs, self-employment programs, grant diversion, employment experience programs, youth employment programs, community investment programs, refugee employment and training programs, and counseling and support activities necessary to stabilize the caretaker or the family.
(f) "Employment and training service provider" means a public, private, or nonprofit agency certified by the commissioner of economic security to deliver employment and training services under section 268.0122, subdivision 3, and section 268.871, subdivision 1.
(g) "Minor parent" means a person who is under age 18 who is either the birth parent of a minor child or children in the assistance unit and who is under the age of 18 or is eligible for AFDC as a pregnant woman.
(h) "Targeted groups" or "targeted caretakers" means recipients of AFDC or AFDC-UP designated as priorities for employment and training services under subdivision 16.
(i) "Suitable employment" means employment which:
(1) is within the recipient's physical and mental capacity;
(2) meets health and safety standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the department of economic security;
(3) pays hourly gross earnings which are not less than the federal or state minimum wage for that type of employment, whichever is applicable;
(4) does not result in a net loss of income. Employment results in a net loss of income when the income remaining after subtracting necessary work-related expenses from the family's gross income, which includes cash assistance, is less than the cash assistance the family was receiving at the time the offer of employment was made. For purposes of this definition, "work expenses" means the amount withheld or paid for; state and federal income taxes; social security withholding taxes; mandatory retirement fund deductions; dependent care costs; transportation costs to and from work at the amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for personal car mileage; costs of work uniforms, union dues, and medical insurance premiums; costs of tools and equipment used on the job; $1 per work day for the costs of meals eaten during employment; public liability insurance required by an employer when an automobile is used in employment and the cost is not reimbursed by the employer; and the amount paid by an employee from personal funds for business costs which are not reimbursed by the employer;
(5) offers a job vacancy which is not the result of a strike, lockout, or other bona fide labor dispute;
(6) requires a round trip commuting time from the recipient's residence of less than two hours by available transportation, exclusive of the time to transport children to and from child care;
(7) does not require the recipient to leave children under age 12 unattended in order to work, or if child care is required, such care is available; and
(8) does not discriminate at the job site on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, religion, or place of national origin.
(j) "Support services" means programs, activities, and services intended to stabilize families and individuals or provide assistance for family needs related to employment or participation in employment and training services, including child care, transportation, housing assistance, personal and family counseling, crisis intervention services, peer support groups, chemical dependency counseling and treatment, money management assistance, and parenting skill courses.
Subd. 1b. Repealed, 1990 c 568 art 4 s 85
Subd. 2. Repealed, 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 78 subd 1
Subd. 2a. Repealed, 1990 c 568 art 4 s 85
Subd. 3. Registration. (a) To the extent permissible under federal law, every caretaker or child is required to register for employment and training services, as a condition of receiving AFDC, unless the caretaker or child is:
(1) a child who is under age 16, a child age 16 or 17 who is attending elementary or secondary school or a secondary level vocational or technical school full time;
(2) ill, incapacitated, or age 60 or older;
(3) a person for whom participation in an employment and training service would require a round trip commuting time by available transportation of more than two hours;
(4) a person whose presence in the home is required because of illness or incapacity of another member of the household;
(5) a caretaker or other caretaker relative of a child under the age of three who personally provides full-time care for the child. In AFDC-UP cases, only one parent or other relative may qualify for this exemption;
(6) a caretaker or other caretaker relative personally providing care for a child under six years of age, except that when child care is arranged for or provided, the caretaker or caretaker relative may be required to register and participate in employment and training services up to a maximum of 20 hours per week. In AFDC-UP cases, only one parent or other relative may qualify for this exemption;
(7) a pregnant woman, if it has been medically verified that the child is expected to be born within the next six months;
(8) employed at least 30 hours per week; or
(9) an individual added to an assistance unit as an essential person under section 256.74, subdivision 1, who does not meet the definition of a "caretaker" as defined in subdivision 1a, paragraph (c).
(b) To the extent permissible by federal law, applicants for benefits under the AFDC program are registered for employment and training services by signing the application form. Applicants must be informed that they are registering for employment and training services by signing the form. Persons receiving benefits on or after July 1, 1987, shall register for employment and training services to the extent permissible by federal law. The caretaker has a right to a fair hearing under section 256.045 with respect to the appropriateness of the registration.
Subd. 3a. Participation. (a) Participation in employment and training services under this section is limited to the following recipients:
(1) caretakers who are required to participate in a job search under subdivision 14;
(2) custodial parents who are subject to the school attendance or case management participation requirements under subdivision 3b; and
(3) after the county agency assures the availability of employment and training services for recipients identified under clauses (1) and (2), and to the extent of available resources, any other AFDC recipient.
(b) Participants who are eligible and enroll in the STRIDE program under one of the categories of this subdivision are required to cooperate with the assessment and employability plan development and to meet the terms of their employability plan. Failure to comply, without good cause, shall result in the imposition of sanctions as specified in subdivision 4, clause (6).
Subd. 3b. Mandatory assessment and school attendance for certain custodial parents. This subdivision applies to the extent permitted under federal law and regulation.
(a) Definitions. The definitions in this paragraph apply to this subdivision.
(1) "Custodial parent" means a recipient of AFDC who is the natural or adoptive parent of a child living with the custodial parent.
(2) "School" means:
(i) an educational program which leads to a high school diploma. The program or coursework may be, but is not limited to, a program under the post-secondary enrollment options of section 123.3514, a regular or alternative program of an elementary or secondary school, a technical college, or a college;
(ii) coursework for a general educational development (GED) diploma of not less than six hours of classroom instruction per week; or
(iii) any other post-secondary educational program that is approved by the public school or the county agency.
(b) Assessment and plan; requirement; content. The county agency must examine the educational level of each custodial parent under the age of 20 to determine if the recipient has completed a high school education or its equivalent. If the custodial parent has not completed a high school education or its equivalent and is not exempt from the requirement to attend school under paragraph (c), the county agency must complete an individual assessment for the custodial parent. The assessment must be performed as soon as possible but within 60 days of determining AFDC eligibility for the custodial parent. The assessment must provide an initial examination of the custodial parent's educational progress and needs, literacy level, child care and supportive service needs, family circumstances, skills, and work experience. In the case of a custodial parent under the age of 18, the assessment must also consider the results of the early and periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment (EPSDT) screening, if available, and the effect of a child's development and educational needs on the parent's ability to participate in the program. The county agency must advise the parent that the parent's first goal must be to complete an appropriate educational option if one is identified for the parent through the assessment and, in consultation with educational agencies, must review the various school completion options with the parent and assist the parent in selecting the most appropriate option.
(c) Responsibility for assessment and plan. For custodial parents who are under age 18, the assessment and the employability plan must be completed by the county social services agency, as specified in section 257.33. For custodial parents who are age 18 or 19, the assessment and employability plan must be completed by the case manager. The social services agency or the case manager shall consult with representatives of educational agencies required to assist in developing educational plans under section 126.235.
(d) Education determined to be appropriate. If the case manager or county social services agency identifies an appropriate educational option, it must develop an employability plan in consultation with the custodial parent which reflects the assessment. The plan must specify that participation in an educational activity is required, what school or educational program is most appropriate, the services that will be provided, the activities the parent will take part in including child care and supportive services, the consequences to the custodial parent for failing to participate or comply with the specified requirements, and the right to appeal any adverse action. The employability plan must, to the extent possible, reflect the preferences of the participant.
(e) Education determined to be not appropriate. If the case manager determines that there is no appropriate educational option for a custodial parent who is age 18 or 19, the case manager shall indicate the reasons for the determination. The case manager shall then notify the county agency which must refer the custodial parent to the project STRIDE program for completion of an employability plan and mandatory participation in employment and training services. If the custodial parent fails to participate or cooperate with employment and training services and does not have good cause for the failure, the county agency shall apply the sanctions listed in subdivision 4, beginning with the first payment month after issuance of notice. If the county social services agency determines that school attendance is not appropriate for a custodial parent under age 18, the county agency shall refer the custodial parent to social services for services as provided in section 257.33.
(f) School attendance required. Notwithstanding subdivision 3, a custodial parent must attend school if all of the following apply:
(1) the custodial parent is less than 20 years of age;
(2) transportation services needed to enable the custodial parent to attend school are available;
(3) licensed or legal nonlicensed child care services needed to enable the custodial parent to attend school are available;
(4) the custodial parent has not already received a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
(5) the custodial parent is not exempt because the custodial parent:
(i) is ill or incapacitated seriously enough to prevent attendance at school;
(ii) is needed in the home because of the illness or incapacity of another member of the household; this includes a custodial parent of a child who is younger than six weeks of age;
(iii) works 30 or more hours a week; or
(iv) is pregnant if it has been medically verified that the child's birth is expected within the next six months.
(g) Enrollment and attendance. The custodial parent must be enrolled in school and meeting the school's attendance requirements. If enrolled, the custodial parent is considered to be attending when the school is not in regular session, including during holiday and summer breaks.
(h) Good cause for not attending school. The county agency shall not impose the sanctions in subdivision 4 if it determines that a custodial parent has good cause for not being enrolled or for not meeting the school's attendance requirements. The county agency shall determine whether good cause for not attending or not enrolling in school exists, according to this paragraph:
(1) Good cause exists when the county agency has verified that the only available school program requires round trip commuting time from the custodial parent's residence of more than two hours by available means of transportation, excluding the time necessary to transport children to and from child care.
(2) Good cause exists when the custodial parent has indicated a desire to attend school, but the public school system is not providing for the education and alternative programs are not available.
(i) Failure to comply. The case manager and social services agency shall establish ongoing contact with appropriate school staff to monitor problems that custodial parents may have in pursuing their educational plan and shall jointly seek solutions to prevent parents from failing to complete education. If the school notifies the county agency that the custodial parent is not enrolled or is not meeting the school's attendance requirements, or appears to be facing barriers to completing education, the information must be conveyed to the case manager for a custodial parent age 18 or 19, or to the social services agency for a custodial parent under age 18. The case manager or social services agency shall reassess the appropriateness of school attendance as specified in paragraph (f). If after consultation, school attendance is still appropriate and the case manager or social services agency determines that the custodial parent has failed to enroll or is not meeting the school's attendance requirements and the custodial parent does not have good cause, the case manager or social services agency shall inform the custodial parent's financial worker who shall apply the sanctions listed in subdivision 4 beginning with the first payment month after issuance of notice.
(k) Social services. When a custodial parent under the age of 18 has failed to attend school, is not exempt, and does not have good cause, the county agency shall refer the custodial parent to the social services agency for services, as provided in section 257.33.
(l) Verification. No less often than quarterly, the financial worker must verify that the custodial parent is meeting the requirements of this subdivision. Notwithstanding section 13.32, subdivision 3, when the county agency notifies the school that a custodial parent is subject to this subdivision, the school must furnish verification of school enrollment, attendance, and progress to the county agency. The county agency must not impose the sanctions in paragraph (i) if the school fails to cooperate in providing verification of the minor parent's education, attendance, or progress.
Subd. 3c. Minor parents not living with relatives. (a) This subdivision applies to a minor parent who is not living with a parent or other adult relative and who is not living in a group or foster home licensed by the commissioner.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the meanings given them:
(1) "Minor parent" means an applicant for or recipient of AFDC who is under age 18, and who is the natural or adoptive parent of a child living with the minor parent.
(2) "Other adult relative" means a person who qualifies to be an eligible relative caretaker for AFDC, as specified in federal regulations.
(c) The agency shall determine, for each minor parent who applies for or receives AFDC, whether this section applies. For a minor parent to whom this section applies, the county agency shall refer the minor parent to its social services unit within 30 days of the date the application for assistance is approved for development of a social service plan as required in section 257.33. The agency shall notify the minor parent of the referral to social services and that cooperation in developing and participating in a social service plan is required in order for AFDC eligibility to continue.
(d) In addition to meeting the requirements of section 257.33, the social service plan may, based upon the social service unit's evaluation of the minor caretaker's needs and parenting abilities, and the health, safety, and parenting needs of the minor caretaker's child, require the minor caretaker to live in a group or foster home or participate in available programs which teach skills in parenting or independent living.
(e) If the minor parent fails to cooperate in developing or participating in the social service plan, the social services unit shall notify the income maintenance unit of the county agency, which shall then notify the minor parent of the determination and of the sanctions in subdivision 4 that will be applied.
Subd. 4. Conditions of certification. The commissioner of human services shall:
(1) in consultation with the commissioner of children, families, and learning, arrange for or provide any caretaker or child who participates in employment and training services pursuant to this section with child-care services, transportation, and other necessary family services;
(2) provide that in determining a recipient's needs the additional expenses attributable to participation in a program are taken into account in grant determination to the extent permitted by federal regulation;
(3) provide that the county board shall impose the sanctions in clause (4) when the county board:
(a) determines that a custodial parent under the age of 16 who is required to attend school under subdivision 3b has, without good cause, failed to attend school; or
(b) determines that subdivision 3c applies to a minor parent and the minor parent has, without good cause, failed to cooperate with development of a social service plan or to participate in execution of the plan, to live in a group or foster home, or to participate in a program that teaches skills in parenting and independent living;
(4) to the extent permissible by federal law, impose the following sanctions for a recipient's failure to participate in the requirements of subdivision 3b or 3c:
(a) for the first failure, 50 percent of the grant provided to the family for the month following the failure shall be made in the form of protective or vendor payments;
(b) for the second and subsequent failures, the entire grant provided to the family must be made in the form of protective or vendor payments. Assistance provided to the family must be in the form of protective or vendor payments until the recipient complies with the requirement; and
(c) when protective payments are required, the county agency may continue payments to the caretaker if a protective payee cannot reasonably be found;
(5) provide that the county board shall impose the sanctions in clause (6) when the county board:
(a) determines that a caretaker or child required to participate in employment and training services has been found by the employment and training service provider to have failed without good cause to participate in appropriate employment and training services, to comply with the recipient's employability development plan, or to have failed without good cause to accept, through the job search program described in subdivision 14, or the provisions of an employability development plan if the caretaker is a custodial parent age 18 or 19 and subject to the requirements of subdivision 3b, a bona fide offer of public or other employment;
(b) determines that a custodial parent aged 16 to 19 who is required to attend school under subdivision 3b has, without good cause, failed to enroll or attend school; or
(c) determines that a caretaker has, without good cause, failed to attend orientation;
(6) to the extent required by federal law, impose the following sanctions for a recipient's failure to participate in required employment and training services, to comply with the recipient's employability development plan, to accept a bona fide offer of public or other employment, to enroll or attend school under subdivision 3b, or to attend orientation:
(a) for the first failure, the needs of the noncompliant individual shall not be taken into account in making the grant determination, until the individual complies with the requirements;
(b) for the second failure, the needs of the noncompliant individual shall not be taken into account in making the grant determination until the individual complies with the requirement or for three consecutive months, whichever is longer;
(c) for subsequent failures, the needs of the noncompliant individual shall not be taken into account in making the grant determination until the individual complies with the requirement or for six consecutive months, whichever is longer;
(d) aid with respect to a dependent child who has been sanctioned under this paragraph shall be continued for the parent or parents of the child if the child is the only child receiving aid in the family, the child continues to meet the conditions of section 256.73, and the family is otherwise eligible for aid;
(e) if the noncompliant individual is a parent or other relative caretaker, payments of aid for any dependent child in the family must be made in the form of protective or vendor payments. When protective payments are required, the county agency may continue payments to the caretaker if a protective payee cannot reasonably be found. When protective payments are imposed on a two-parent family, cash payments may continue to the caretaker in the assistance unit who remains eligible for AFDC, subject to paragraph (g);
(f) if, after removing a caretaker's needs from the grant, only dependent children remain eligible for AFDC, the standard of assistance shall be computed using the special children standard;
(g) if the noncompliant individual is a parent in a two-parent family and the other parent is not participating in an approved employment and training service, the needs of both parents must not be taken into account in making the grant determination; and
(7) request approval from the secretary of health and human services to use vendor payment sanctions for persons listed in paragraph (5), clause (b). If approval is granted, the commissioner must begin using vendor payment sanctions as soon as changes to the state plan are approved.
Subd. 4a. Notice, conciliation, and right of appeal. If the employment and training service provider determines that the caretaker has failed or refused, without good cause, to cooperate or accept employment, the employment and training service provider shall issue to the caretaker a written notice of its determination of noncooperation or refusal to accept employment. The notice must include a detailed explanation of the reason for the determination and must specify the consequences for failure or refusal to cooperate or accept employment, the actions which the employment and training service provider believes are necessary for the caretaker to comply with the employment and training program, and the right to request, within ten days of the date the notice was mailed or hand delivered, a conciliation conference. The employment and training service provider or the county agency must conduct a conciliation conference within five days of a timely request. If the dispute between the employment and training service provider and the caretaker is not resolved in the conciliation conference or a request for a conciliation conference is not made within the required time, the employment and training service provider shall notify the county board of a caretaker's failure without good cause to cooperate or accept employment. Unless the county agency has evidence to the contrary, the county agency shall implement the sanction provisions of subdivision 4. Any determination, action, or inaction on the part of the county board relating to a caretaker's participation under this section is subject to the notice and hearing procedures in section 256.045, and Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 205.10.
Subd. 5. Extension of employment and training opportunities. The commissioner of human services shall cooperate with the commissioner of economic security and the commissioner of trade and economic development to extend the availability of training and employment opportunities on a statewide basis and to assist local employment advisory groups convened under this subdivision. The county welfare agency may convene an employment advisory group which shall include but not be limited to representatives from the local chamber of commerce, from major area employers, from private and public collective bargaining units who shall be represented by their exclusive representatives, from secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in the community, and from job services offices operated by the commissioner of economic security under chapter 268. The county welfare agency shall work with the local employment advisory group to maximize the job opportunities for welfare clients. In a county where a private industry council has been established, the county welfare agency may work with the council to maximize job opportunities in lieu of or in addition to convening an employment advisory group.
Subd. 6. Protection from garnishment. Earnings of a caretaker while participating in full or part-time employment or training shall be protected from garnishment. This protection shall extend for a period of six months from the date of termination of a caretaker's grant of assistance.
Subd. 7. Rulemaking. The commissioner of human services, in cooperation with the commissioner of economic security, may adopt rules necessary to qualify for any federal funds available under this section and to carry out this section.
Subd. 8. Repealed, 1990 c 568 art 4 s 85
Subd. 9. Changes in state plan and rules; waivers. The commissioner of human services shall make changes in the state plan and rules or seek any waivers or demonstration authority necessary to minimize barriers to participation in the employment and training services or to employment. Changes must be sought in at least the following areas: allowances, child care, work expenses, the amount and duration of earnings incentives, medical care coverage, limitations on the hours of employment, and administrative standards and procedures. The commissioner shall implement each change as soon as possible. Before implementing any demonstration project or a program that is a result of a waiver, the conditions under section 256.01, subdivision 1, clause (12), must be met, and the chair of the senate family services committee and the chair of the house of representatives health and human services committee must be notified.
Subd. 10. County duties. (a) To the extent of available state appropriations, county boards shall:
(1) refer all mandatory and eligible volunteer caretakers permitted to participate under subdivision 3a to an employment and training service provider for participation in employment and training services;
(2) identify to the employment and training service provider the target group of which the referred caretaker is a member, if any, and whether the person's participation is mandatory or voluntary;
(3) provide caretakers with an orientation which meets the requirements in subdivisions 10a and 10b;
(4) work with the employment and training service provider to encourage participation in employment and training services;
(5) work with the employment and training service provider to collect data as required by the commissioner;
(6) to the extent permissible under federal law, require all caretakers coming into the AFDC program to attend orientation;
(7) encourage caretakers to develop a plan to obtain self-sufficiency;
(8) notify the commissioner of the caretakers who participate in employment and training services;
(9) inform appropriate caretakers of opportunities available through the head start program and encourage caretakers to have their children screened for enrollment in the program where appropriate;
(10) provide transportation assistance using available funds to caretakers who participate in employment and training programs;
(11) ensure that the required services of orientation, services to custodial parents under the age of 20 who have not completed high school or an equivalent program, job search, educational activities, and work experience for two-parent families are made available to appropriate caretakers under this section, and that services are provided to volunteer caretakers to the extent resources permit;
(12) explain in its local service unit plan under section 268.88 how it will ensure that caretakers determined to be in need of social services are provided with such social services. The plan must specify how the case manager and the county social service workers will ensure delivery of needed services;
(13) to the extent allowed by federal laws and regulations, provide a job search program as defined in subdivision 14, a community work experience program as defined in section 256.737, grant diversion as defined in section 256.739, and on-the-job training as defined in section 256.738. A county may also provide another work and training program approved by the commissioner and the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Planning and approval for employment and training services listed in this clause must be obtained through submission of the local service unit plan as specified under section 268.88. A county is not required to provide a community work experience program if the county agency is successful in placing at least 60 percent of the monthly average of all caretakers who are subject to the job search requirements of subdivision 14 in grant diversion or on-the-job training program;
(14) prior to participation, provide an assessment of each AFDC recipient who is required or volunteers to participate in an approved employment and training service. The assessment must include an evaluation of the participant's (i) educational, child care, and other supportive service needs; (ii) skills and prior work experience; and (iii) ability to secure and retain a job which, when wages are added to child support, will support the participant's family. The assessment must also include a review of the results of the early and periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment (EPSDT) screening and preschool screening under chapter 123, if available; the participant's family circumstances; and, in the case of a custodial parent under the age of 18, a review of the effect of a child's development and educational needs on the parent's ability to participate in the program;
(15) develop an employability development plan for each recipient for whom an assessment is required under clause (14) which:
(i) reflects the assessment required by clause (14);
(ii) takes into consideration the recipient's physical capacity, skills, experience, health and safety, family responsibilities, place of residence, proficiency, child care and other supportive service needs;
(iii) is based on available resources and local employment opportunities;
(iv) specifies the services to be provided by the employment and training service provider;
(v) specifies the activities the recipient will participate in, including the worksite to which the caretaker will be assigned, if the caretaker is subject to the requirements of section 256.737, subdivision 2;
(vi) specifies necessary supportive services such as child care;
(vii) reflects the effort to arrange mandatory activities so that the activities do not interfere with access to available English as a second language classes and to the extent possible, reflects the preferences of the participant;
(viii) includes a written agreement between the county agency and the caretaker that outlines a reasonable schedule for completing the plan, including specific completion deadlines, and confirms that
(A) there is a market for full-time employees with this education or training where the caretaker will or is willing to reside upon completion of the program;
(B) the average wage level for employees with this education or training is greater than the caretaker can earn without this education or training;
(C) the caretaker has the academic ability to successfully complete the program; and
(D) there is a reasonable expectation that the caretaker will complete the training program based on such factors as the caretaker's previous education, training, work history, current motivation, and changes in previous circumstances; and
(ix) specifies the recipient's long-term employment goal which shall lead to self-sufficiency. Caretakers shall be counseled to set realistic attainable goals, taking into account the long-term needs of the caretaker and the caretaker's family;
(16) provide written notification to and obtain the written concurrence of the appropriate exclusive bargaining representatives with respect to job duties covered under collective bargaining agreements and assure that no work assignment under this section or sections 256.737, 256.738, and 256.739, or the Minnesota parent's fair share mandatory community work experience program results in: (i) termination, layoff, or reduction of the work hours of an employee for the purpose of hiring an individual under this section or sections 256.737, 256.738, and 256.739; (ii) the hiring of an individual if any other person is on layoff from the same or a substantially equivalent job; (iii) any infringement of the promotional opportunities of any currently employed individual; (iv) the impairment of existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements; or (v) except for on-the-job training under section 256.738, a participant filling an established unfilled position vacancy. If an exclusive bargaining representative and a county or public service employer disagree regarding whether job duties are covered under a collective bargaining agreement, the exclusive bargaining representative or the county or public service employer may petition the bureau of mediation services, and the bureau shall determine if the job duties are covered by a collective bargaining agreement;
(17) assess each caretaker in a two-parent family who is under age 25, has not completed high school or a high school equivalency program, and who would otherwise be required to participate in a work experience placement under section 256.737 to determine if an appropriate secondary education option is available for the caretaker. If an appropriate secondary education option is determined to be available for the caretaker, the caretaker must, in lieu of participating in work experience, enroll in and meet the educational program's participation and attendance requirements. "Secondary education" for this paragraph means high school education or education designed to prepare a person to qualify for a high school equivalency certificate, basic and remedial education, and English as a second language education. A caretaker required to participate in secondary education who, without good cause, fails to participate shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision 4a and the sanction provisions of subdivision 4, clause (6). For purposes of this clause, "good cause" means the inability to obtain licensed or legal nonlicensed child care services needed to enable the caretaker to attend, inability to obtain transportation needed to attend, illness or incapacity of the caretaker or another member of the household which requires the caretaker to be present in the home, or being employed for more than 30 hours per week; and
(18) provide counseling and other personal follow-up support as needed for up to six months after the participant loses AFDC eligibility to assist the person to maintain employment or to secure new employment.
(b) Funds available under this subdivision may not be used to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
(c) A county board may provide other employment and training services that it considers necessary to help caretakers obtain self-sufficiency.
(d) Notwithstanding section 256G.07, when a target caretaker relocates to another county to implement the provisions of the caretaker's written employability development plan approved by the county human service agency, or its employment and training service provider, the county that approved the plan is responsible for the costs of services required to carry out the plan. The county agency's responsibility for the costs ends when all plan obligations have been met, when the caretaker loses AFDC eligibility for at least 30 days, or when approval of the plan is withdrawn for a reason stated in the plan, whichever occurs first. Responsibility for the costs of child care must be determined under chapter 119B. A county human service agency may pay for the costs of child care and other services required in an approved employability development plan when the nontarget caretaker relocates to another county or when a target caretaker again becomes eligible for AFDC after having been ineligible for at least 30 days.
Subd. 10a. Orientation. (a) Each county agency must provide an orientation to all caretakers within its jurisdiction in the time limits described in this paragraph:
(1) within 60 days of being determined eligible for AFDC for caretakers who are permitted to volunteer for services under subdivision 3a; or
(2) within 30 days of being determined eligible for AFDC for caretakers who are required to participate in services under subdivision 3a.
(b) Caretakers are required to attend an in-person orientation if the caretaker is a member of one of the groups listed in subdivision 3a, paragraph (a), unless the caretaker is exempt from registration under subdivision 3 and the caretaker's exemption basis will not expire within 60 days of being determined eligible for AFDC, or the caretaker is enrolled at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher learning and the in-person orientation cannot be scheduled at a time that does not interfere with the caretaker's school or training schedule. The county agency shall require attendance at orientation of caretakers described in subdivision 3a, paragraph (b) or (c), if the commissioner determines that the groups are eligible for participation in employment and training services.
(c) The orientation must consist of a presentation that informs caretakers of:
(1) the identity, location, and phone numbers of employment and training and support services available in the county;
(2) the types and locations of child care services available through the county agency that are accessible to enable a caretaker to participate in educational programs or employment and training services;
(3) the child care resource and referral program designated by the commissioner providing education and assistance to select child care services and a referral to the child care resource and referral when assistance is requested;
(4) the obligations of the county agency and service providers under contract to the county agency;
(5) the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of participants;
(6) the grounds for exemption from mandatory employment and training services or educational requirements;
(7) the consequences for failure to participate in mandatory services or requirements, including the requirement that volunteer participants comply with their employability development plan;
(8) the method of entering educational programs or employment and training services available through the county;
(9) the availability and the benefits of the early and periodic, screening, diagnosis and treatment (EPSDT) program and preschool screening under chapter 123;
(10) their eligibility for transition year child care assistance when they lose eligibility for AFDC due to their earnings;
(11) their eligibility for extended medical assistance when they lose eligibility for AFDC due to their earnings;
(12) the availability of the federal earned income tax credits and the state working family tax credits; and
(13) the availability and benefits of the Head Start program.
(d) All orientation programs should provide information to caretakers on parenting, nutrition, household management, food preparation, and other subjects relevant to promoting family integration and self-sufficiency and provide detailed information on community resources available for training sessions on these topics.
(e) Orientation must encourage recipients to view AFDC as a temporary program providing grants and services to individuals who set goals and develop strategies for supporting their families without AFDC assistance. The content of the orientation must not imply that a recipient's eligibility for AFDC is time limited. Orientation may be provided through audio-visual methods, but the caretaker must be given an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with staff of the county agency or the entity providing the orientation, and an opportunity to express the desire to participate in educational programs and employment and training services offered through the county agency.
(f) County agencies shall not require caretakers to attend orientation for more than three hours during any period of 12 continuous months. The county agency shall also arrange for or provide needed transportation and child care to enable caretakers to attend.
The county or, under contract, the county's employment and training service provider shall mail written orientation materials containing the information specified in paragraph (c), clauses (1) to (3) and (8) to (13), to each caretaker exempt from attending an in-person orientation or who has good cause for failure to attend after at least two dates for their orientation have been scheduled. The county or the county's employment and training service provider shall follow up with a phone call or in writing within two weeks after mailing the material.
(g) Persons required to attend orientation must be informed of the penalties for failure to attend orientation, support services to enable the person to attend, what constitutes good cause for failure to attend, and rights to appeal. Persons required to attend orientation must be offered a choice of at least two dates for their first scheduled orientation. No person may be sanctioned for failure to attend orientation until after a second failure to attend.
(h) Good cause for failure to attend an in-person orientation exists when a caretaker cannot attend because of:
(1) temporary illness or injury of the caretaker or of a member of the caretaker's family that prevents the caretaker from attending an orientation during the hours when the orientation is offered;
(2) a judicial proceeding that requires the caretaker's presence in court during the hours when orientation is scheduled; or
(3) a nonmedical emergency that prevents the caretaker from attending an orientation during the hours when orientation is offered. "Emergency" for the purposes of this paragraph means a sudden, unexpected occurrence or situation of a serious or urgent nature that requires immediate action.
(i) Caretakers must receive a second orientation only when:
(1) there has been a 30-day break in AFDC eligibility; and
(2) the caretaker has not attended an orientation within the previous 12-month period, excluding the month of reapplication for AFDC.
Subd. 10b. Repealed, 1996 c 465 art 3 s 45
Subd. 11. Repealed, 1996 c 465 art 3 s 45
Subd. 12. Employment and training service provision. (a) Counties may directly employ case managers to provide the employment and training services in this section if the county is certified as an employment and training service provider under section 268.0122, or may contract for services with a certified employment and training service provider. Uncertified counties and contracting agencies may provide services only if they demonstrate the ability to coordinate employment, training, education, and support services. The commissioner of economic security shall determine whether or not an uncertified county or agency has demonstrated such ability.
(b) Counties that employ case managers must ensure that the case managers have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the variety of tasks described in this section. Counties that contract with another agency for services must specify in the contract the skills and knowledge needed by the case managers. At a minimum, case managers must:
(1) have a thorough knowledge of training, education, and employment opportunities;
(2) have training or experience in understanding the needs of AFDC clients and their families; and
(3) be able to formulate creative individualized employability development plans.
Subd. 13. Repealed, 1996 c 465 art 3 s 45
Subd. 14. Job search. (a) Each county agency must establish and operate a job search program as provided under this section. Unless all caretakers in the household are exempt, one nonexempt caretaker in each two-parent AFDC household must be referred to and begin participation in the job search program within 30 days of being determined eligible for AFDC. If the assistance unit contains more than one nonexempt caretaker, the caretakers may determine which caretaker shall participate. The designation may be changed only once annually at the annual redetermination of eligibility. If no designation is made or if the caretakers cannot agree, the county agency shall designate the caretaker having earned the greater of the incomes, including in-kind income, during the 24-month period immediately preceding the month of application for AFDC benefits as the caretaker that must participate. When no designation is made or the caretakers cannot agree and neither caretaker had earnings or the earnings were identical for each caretaker, then the county agency shall designate the caretaker who must participate. A caretaker is exempt from job search participation if:
(1) the caretaker is exempt from registration under subdivision 3, except that the second caretaker cannot be exempt to provide child care or care to an ill or incapacitated household member if the first caretaker is sanctioned for failure to comply or is exempt under any other exemption category, provided the first caretaker is capable of providing the needed care; or
(2) the caretaker is under age 25, has not completed a high school diploma or an equivalent program, and is participating in a secondary education program as defined in subdivision 10, paragraph (a), clause (17), which is approved by the employment and training service provider in the employability development plan.
(b) The job search program must provide four consecutive weeks of job search activities for no less than 20 hours per week but not more than 32 hours per week. The employment and training service provider shall specify for each participating caretaker the number of weeks and hours of job search to be conducted and shall report to the county agency if the caretaker fails to cooperate with the job search requirement. A person for whom lack of proficiency in English, as determined by an appropriate evaluation, is a barrier to employment, can choose to attend an available intensive, functional work literacy program for a minimum of 20 hours in place of the 20 hours of job search activities. The caretaker's employability development plan must include the length of time needed in the program, specific outcomes, attendance requirements, completion dates, and employment goals as they pertain to the intensive literacy program.
(c) The job search program may provide services to caretakers who are not in two-parent families.
(d) After completion of job search requirements in this section, if the caretaker is not employed, nonexempt caretakers shall be placed in and must participate in and cooperate with the work experience program under section 256.737, the on-the-job training program under section 256.738, or the grant diversion program under section 256.739. Caretakers must be offered placement in a grant diversion or on-the-job training program, if either such employment is available, before being required to participate in a community work experience program under section 256.737. When a nonexempt caretaker fails to cooperate with the job search program, the work experience program, the on-the-job training program, or the community work experience program and is subject to the sanction provisions of subdivision 4, the second caretaker in the assistance unit, unless exempt, must also be removed from the grant unless that second caretaker has been referred to and has started participating in the job search program and subsequently in the work experience program, the on-the-job training program, or the community work experience program prior to the date the sanction begins for the first caretaker. The second caretaker is ineligible for AFDC until the first caretaker's sanction ends or the second caretaker cooperates with the requirements.
(e) The commissioner may require that, to the extent of available resources and provided the second caretaker is proficient in English, both caretakers in a two-parent AFDC family where all children are over age six and are not in kindergarten participate in job search and work experience. A caretaker shall be determined proficient in English if the county agency, or its employment and training service provider, determines that the person has sufficient English language capabilities to become suitably employed.
If, as of July 1, 1996, the second caretaker is enrolled in a post-secondary education or training program that is limited to one year and can reasonably be expected to lead to employment, the second caretaker is exempt from job search and work experience for a period of one year or until the caretaker stops attending the post-secondary program, whichever is shorter.
Subd. 15. Reporting. The commissioner of human services, in cooperation with the commissioner of economic security shall develop reporting requirements for county agencies and employment and training service providers according to section 256.01, subdivision 2, paragraph (17). Reporting requirements must, to the extent possible, use existing client tracking systems and must be within the limits of funds available. The requirements must include summary information necessary for state agencies and the legislature to evaluate the effectiveness of the services.
Subd. 16. Repealed, 1997 c 85 art 1 s 74
Subd. 17. Repealed, 1990 c 568 art 4 s 85
Subd. 18. Repealed, 1997 c 85 art 1 s 74
Subd. 19. Evaluation. In order to evaluate the services provided under this section, the commissioner may randomly assign no more than 2,500 families to a control group. Families assigned to the control group shall not participate in services under this section, except that families participating in services under this section at the time they are assigned to the control group may continue such participation. Recipients assigned to the control group who are included under subdivision 3a, paragraph (a), shall be guaranteed child care assistance under chapter 119B for an educational plan authorized by the county. Once assigned to the control group, a family must remain in that group for the duration of the evaluation period. The evaluation period shall coincide with the demonstration authorized in section 256.031, subdivision 3.
Subd. 20. Special provisions for persons participating in educational programs. The provisions of this subdivision are applicable to all STRIDE participants, including those subject to subdivision 3b and section 256.737.
(a) For recipients eligible to participate under subdivision 3b who are enrolled in a high school equivalency program on a full-time basis, there is no work requirement. Individuals who are enrolled part time in a high school equivalency program must take classroom instruction for at least six hours per week, meet the attendance and satisfactory progress requirements as defined by the employment and training service provider in consultation with the provider of the high school equivalency program, and concurrently work a monthly average of not less than 64 hours in employment paying at least minimum wage or in documented volunteer work. Hours spent assisting at a licensed day care center shall count toward the weekly hours needed to fulfill the employment or volunteer requirement. "Volunteer work" shall include attendance at parenting skill classes. Failure to comply, without good cause, with this requirement shall result in the imposition of sanctions as specified in subdivision 4, clause (6).
(b) Concurrent with participation in post-secondary education or training approved in an employability development plan under subdivision 10, paragraph (a), clause (15), the participant must work at a minimum the number of hours per month prescribed by this subdivision in employment paying at least minimum wage or in documented volunteer work for a public or nonprofit agency and agree to search for and accept any offer of suitable employment upon completion of the education or training. For individuals who are participating in an educational program under this paragraph on a full-time basis as determined by the institution, there is no work requirement. For individuals participating in an educational program on a part-time basis as determined by the institution, the number of hours that a participant must work shall be increased or decreased in inverse proportion to the number of credit hours being taken, with a maximum of eight hours weekly of work. Hours spent assisting at a licensed day care center shall count towards the weekly hours needed to fulfill the employment or volunteer requirement. "Volunteer work" shall include attendance at parenting skill classes.
HIST: 1969 c 567 s 1; 1969 c 750 s 1; 1973 c 254 s 3; 1974 c 498 s 1,2; 1977 c 430 s 15-18; 1980 c 509 s 100; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 9,10; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 252 s 9,10; 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 17-22; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 4-21; 1Sp1987 c 4 art 2 s 4; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 130-134; 1989 c 89 s 7; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 282 art 5 s 25-34; 1Sp1989 c 1 art 16 s 2; 1990 c 426 art 2 s 1; 1990 c 568 art 4 s 3-13,84; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 22; 1993 c 4 s 26,27; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 9-13; art 9 s 16; 1994 c 465 art 3 s 7; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1995 c 178 art 2 s 8-15; 1995 c 207 art 5 s 4,5; 1996 c 465 art 3 s 16-23; 1997 c 7 art 2 s 42; art 5 s 28; 1997 c 85 art 3 s 4
* NOTE: Subdivision 11 was also amended by Laws 1996, *chapter 412, article 4, section 25, to read as follows:
* "Subd. 11. Case management services. (a) The county *agency may, to the extent of available resources, enroll *targeted caretakers described in subdivision 16 in case *management services and for those enrolled shall:
* (1) Provide an assessment as described in subdivision 10, *paragraph (a), clause (14). As part of the assessment, the case *manager shall inform caretakers of the screenings available *through the early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment *(EPSDT) program under chapter 256B and preschool screening under *chapter 123, and encourage caretakers to have their children *screened. The case manager must work with the caretaker in *completing this task;
* (2) Develop an employability development plan as described *in subdivision 10, paragraph (a), clause (15). The case manager *must work with the caretaker in completing this task. For *caretakers who are not literate or who have not completed high *school, the first goal for the caretaker should be to complete *literacy training or a general equivalency diploma. Caretakers *who are literate and have completed high school shall be *counseled to set realistic attainable goals, taking into account *the long-term needs of both the caretaker and the caretaker's *family;
* (3) Coordinate services such as child care, transportation, *and education assistance necessary to enable the caretaker to *work toward the goals developed in clause (2). The case manager *shall refer caretakers to resource and referral services, if *available, and shall assist caretakers in securing appropriate *child care services. When a client needs child care services in *order to attend a Minnesota public or nonprofit college, *university or technical college, the case manager shall contact *the appropriate agency to reserve child care funds for the *client. A caretaker who needs child care services in order to *complete high school or a general equivalency diploma is *eligible for child care under sections 119B.01 to 119B.16;
* (4) Develop, execute, and monitor a contract between the *county agency and the caretaker. The contract must be based *upon the employability development plan described in subdivision *10, paragraph (a), clause (15), but must be a separate *document. It must include: (a) specific goals of the caretaker *including stated measurements of progress toward each goal, the *estimated length of participation in the program, and the number *of hours of participation per week; (b) educational, training, *and employment activities and support services provided by the *county agency, including child care; and (c) the participant's *obligations and the conditions under which the county will *withdraw the services provided;
* The contract must be signed and dated by the case manager *and participant and may include other terms as desired or needed *by either party. In all cases, however, the case manager must *assist the participant in reviewing and understanding the *contract and must ensure that the caretaker has set forth in the *contract realistic goals consistent with the ultimate goal of *self-sufficiency for the caretaker's family; and
* (5) Develop and refer caretakers to counseling or peer *group networks for emotional support while participating in *work, education, or training.
* (b) In addition to the duties in paragraph (a), for minor *parents and pregnant minors, the case manager shall:
* (1) Ensure that the contract developed under paragraph (a), *clause (4), considers all factors set forth in section 257.33, *subdivision 2;
* (2) Assess the housing and support systems needed by the *caretaker in order to provide the dependent children with *adequate parenting. The case manager shall encourage minor *parents and pregnant minors who are not living with friends or *relatives to live in a group home or foster care setting. If *minor parents and pregnant minors are unwilling to live in a *group home or foster care setting or if no group home or foster *care setting is available, the case manager shall assess their *need for training in parenting and independent living skills and *when appropriate shall refer them to available counseling *programs designed to teach needed skills; and
* (3) Inform minor parents or pregnant minors of, and assist *them in evaluating the appropriateness of, the graduation *incentives program under section 126.22, including *post-secondary enrollment options, and the employment-related *and community-based instruction programs.
* (c) A caretaker may request a conciliation conference to *attempt to resolve disputes regarding the contents of a contract *developed under this section or a housing and support systems *assessment conducted under this section. The caretaker may *request a hearing pursuant to section 256.045 to dispute the *contents of a contract or assessment developed under this *section. The caretaker need not request a conciliation *conference in order to request a hearing pursuant to section *256.045."
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes