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ORIENTATION TO FINANCIAL SERVICES

ISSUE DATE: 09/2016

MFIP:
Counties must provide caregivers with an orientation to financial services, as noted below. Give caregivers written information that the caregiver must attend orientation unless he/she meets 1 of the following exemptions:

A single parent, or 1 parent in a 2-parent family, employed at least 35 hours per week.

OR

The 2nd parent in a 2-parent family, when the 2nd parent is employed at least 20 hours per week and the 1st parent is employed for at least 35 hours per week.

OR

Pregnant or parenting minor under the age of 20 who is not exempt from the educational requirement and is complying with that requirement.


The orientation may be a part of the intake process or it may be held at a separate time. If orientation is not on the same day as the caregiver’s intake appointment, you must provide or reimburse transportation and child care the caregiver needs to attend orientation. Orientation must be held within 30 days of approval of the case.

Any time an application/reapplication is filed for MFIP, the caregiver(s) must attend an orientation. Caregivers who do not receive MFIP are NOT required to attend orientation.


The orientation must inform caregivers of:

MFIP work incentives.

An explanation of the significant change policy. See 0008.06.15 (Removing or Recalculating Income).

Availability of the Earned Income Credit (EIC).

Minnesota Working Family Credit.

The types and locations of child care your agency makes available to help a caregiver participate in employment, pre-employment, and training or educational programs.

The child care resource and referral service that will help the caregiver choose child care services. See 0029.31 (Child Care Resource and Referral).

The rights and responsibilities of MFIP participants.

What will happen if they do not meet program requirements.

An explanation of the 60-month time limit on assistance (including that some periods of exemption and periods of non-cooperation with program requirements with or without good cause continue to count toward the 60 months) and the post 60-month time limit extension categories. See 0011.30 (60-Month Lifetime Limit), 0011.33 (MFIP Hardship Extensions).

Information about exemption from the 60-month time limit for victims of family violence. See 0011.30 (60-Month Lifetime Limit), 0028.15 (Employment Plan (EP)).

Information about shelters and programs for victims of family violence.

The Child & Teen Checkup Program. See the Minnesota Health Care Programs Eligibility Policy Manual for more information.

Eligibility for Transition Year Child Care when MFIP ends. See 0029.30 (Child Care Assistance).

Eligibility for Health Care programs. See the Minnesota Health Care Programs Eligibility Policy Manual.

The necessity to obtain immediate employment.

The requirement to comply with Employment Services.

Information about Employment Services Providers available and the option to choose an Employment Services Provider.

A description of the range of work and training activities that are allowable under MFIP to meet the individual needs of participants, which includes:

-

Unsubsidized employment.

-

Subsidized private or public sector employment, including Grant Diversion.

-

Work experience, including Community Work Experience Program (CWEP).

-

On-the-job training.

-

Job search and job club.

-

Job readiness assistance.

-

Job-related counseling and job coaching.

-

Job retention services.

-

Job skills training directly related to employment.

-

Pre-employment activities, based on availability and resources, such as volunteer work, literacy programs, citizenship and English as a second language classes, chemical dependency treatment, mental health services, displaced homemaker programs, parenting education, or other programs designed to help families reach their employment goals and enhance their ability to care for their children.

-

Community service programs.

-

Vocational educational training or educational programs that can reasonably be expected to lead to employment.

-

Apprenticeships and internships.

-

Satisfactory attendance in GED or adult diploma programs.

-

Satisfactory attendance in secondary school or Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes.

-

Bilingual employment and training services.

-

Providing child care services for another participant who is working in a community service program.

Give the caregiver a copy of Education and Training in MFIP (DHS-3366) (PDF), which explains the general parameters that govern education and training.

Notification that the county may NOT impose a sanction for failure to comply when the participant has good cause because of the unavailability of child care. See 0028.18 (Good Cause for Non-Compliance - MFIP/DWP). You must explain good cause, including:

-

The definition of terms used in determining the inability to obtain appropriate child care. See 0028.18.02 (MFIP Good Cause--Child Care).

-

That participants cannot be sanctioned if appropriate child care is not available.

-

Who will make the determination of child care availability.

-

That the inability to obtain child care does not extend time on assistance.

The caregiver’s option to request approval of an education and training plan according to the assessment requirements.

The availability of work study programs under the higher education systems.


Counties must work with clients to provide child care and transportation necessary to ensure a caregiver has every opportunity to attend orientation.

It is critical that participants leave the orientation knowing MFIP is a work-focused program and that they are prepared to enter the next phase of the Employment Services program.

The county and the Employment Services Provider may design the details of the orientation to suit the needs of their local area and participants. The orientation is the participant’s 1st exposure to MFIP Employment Services and should actively promote the value of early employment.

See 0028.30 (Sanctions for Failure to Comply - Cash) for information on sanctions for failure to attend orientation, and 0028.18 (Good Cause for Non-Compliance - MFIP/DWP) for information on good cause for failure to attend orientation.


DWP, SNAP, MSA, GA, GRH:

No provisions.

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