Department of Human Services
Families First Online Policy Manual
DHS Client Rep and Child Care Specialists Responsibilities
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will complete the child care eligibility in the child care eligibility and case management system.
· DHS client reps will determine eligibility for Families First Child Care.
· DHS client reps will determine eligibility for Transitional Child Care when the client is eligible for TCC at the time of the Families First case closure, or if the client contacts prior to the end of the month following the month of closure.
· DHS child care specialists will determine eligibility for Families First Transitional Child Care when the client does not receive TCC at the time of, or by the end of the month following, the FF closure effective date.
· DHS client reps may need to determine child care eligibility during the application period if the individual is serving a 5-day compliance period at the time of approval, or later during the period of eligibility. It is critical that eligibility be determined as soon as the need is identified, so that child care arrangements can be made within two weeks.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will determine the caretaker’s child care needs, including the number of hours of care and whether care is needed on week-ends or nights, based on the individual’s activities.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will refer to the Monthly Income and Fee Table to show the participant the income levels that are required to qualify for TCC.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists calculate the TCC parent co-payment fee, which the participant pays directly to the provider. Participants receiving Transitional Child Care are responsible for contributing a portion of their income to pay for their child care. The parent co-payment fee is based on a percentage of the participant’s gross monthly income. DHS assumes no responsibility for any charges by a provider that are over and above the established state rates for that type of care.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will provide counseling on parental choice for the type of care appropriate for the family’s needs; the importance of choosing quality child care; and on the parent’s responsibility for monitoring the children’s care.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will provide local resource and referral services for locating a provider near the family home or work site.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will complete a child care certificate for each child deemed eligible.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will explain to the parent/caretaker that the child care payments do not begin until the provider receives a child care certificate. Families First/TCC participants should not place their children in child care before receiving a child care certificate from the client rep/child care specialist. If child care arrangements are made before the child care certificate is approved, problems can occur in reimbursing the provider and may impact the participant.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists must contact the participant when the child care provider reports that a child has ten or more absences from child care. An unusually high number of absences may indicate that the individual is not participating in his/her Families First/TCC activity or there may be other problems that impact the AU’s Families First/TCC eligibility or affect the individual’s ability to comply with the Families First PRP.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will provide limited mediation between the participant and provider to resolve care problems.
· DHS client reps will determine continued eligibility for Families First Child Care every twelve (12) months. The client rep is responsible for terminating Families First when a need no longer exists or the AU is closed.
· The child care specialist will conduct a review of continued qualification for all TCC, ARCO, TPACC, and DCS cases at least every six (6) months. The child care specialist is responsible for terminating TCC, ARCO, TPACC, and DCS child care eligibility when a need no longer exists or the AU no longer meets the qualification requirements.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will send a written notice to the caretaker when Families First child care hours are reduced or terminated, to explain the change. This notice should be sent as soon as possible after the client rep/child care specialist becomes aware that the child care will change and before the hours are reduced or terminated. The client rep/child care specialist must also include the sheet that explains the individual’s rights and responsibilities with the notice.
· DHS client reps will discuss the child care policies regarding the 30-hour TCC work and/or education/training requirement with Families First participants when they report changes that may close the Families First case. Participants will need to be aware of what to expect with TCC. Child care specialists will discuss these policies with clients who apply for TCC later in their 18-month eligibility period. It is important that the client rep/child care specialist discuss with the participant that TCC is a benefit provided to help the participant prepare for self-sufficiency.
· DHS client reps/child care specialists will determine good cause for issues that may result in a termination or reduction in child care. A good cause determination is necessary when:
- The caretaker does not provide requested information
- The caretaker does not cooperate with child support collection.
· DHS client reps and child care specialists will give child care providers a written 10-day day termination/change notice when a child care case is to be terminated or a parent co-pay fee changed. Bulletin 30, FA-11-19