By: San Joaquin County DCSS
Starting December 3, 2018, our referral program with WorkNet that was started by Cheryl Hicks, Teresa Lane and Brian Strong, has expanded to the courts.
With the cooperation of the court, the commissioner will be ordering those who are unemployed or under-employed to participate in the WorkNet program. Not everyone who is unemployed will need to be referred to WorkNet. We are looking for those people who have sporadic work history, no real job skills and/or they bounce between temporary jobs. If someone has a trade or skill and they are just currently laid off, they may not be the right fit for the program. Per WorkNet, a participant’s residence status is not required. If they fit the profile for being referred or ask about job services, then they should be referred either directly by a child support officer or by court order. This program is available to both parents receiving or paying support.
Here are some highlights from the court-ordered referral:
• Participants are told that this is a free training and job skills (interviewing, resume writings, etc.) program. If they qualify for full services, they will be given training in a trade or area that currently has a demand for workers. Upon completion of training, they will receive job placement services.
• During the period they are participating in the program, San Joaquin County DCSS agrees not to suspend their driver’s license.
• They will still be required to pay their child support order during the training period. Although, in many cases, unless they are receiving unemployment insurance benefits, their order will likely be zero.
• The participant is required to sign the release on the back of the referral so that San Joaquin County DCSS can exchange information with WorkNet. Please note that cases will be updated to reflect the authorization on the case overview page.
• Every WorkNet referral order will contain the following standard orders:
• Parents shall apply for WorkNet services within five business days. He/she shall actively participate in the program and cooperate with requirements of the WorkNet Program.
• Parent shall sign the Release of Information allowing WorkNet and DCSS to exchange information.
• Should the parent terminate services or fail to participate in the program as required by WorkNet and as ordered herein, San Joaquin County DCSS can advance any review hearings or place the matter back on the court’s calendar with 21 days written notice to the parties.
• Should parents terminate services or fail to participate in the program as required by WorkNet and as ordered herein, the terms and conditions of the Seek Work Orders shall become immediately effective.
• San Joaquin County DCSS shall release the parent’s driver’s license and shall suppress any submissions for suspension so long as the parent is complying with the terms of the order.
• Parents shall notify San Joaquin County DCSS within 48 hours of any change in employment, income, address and telephone number.
Court referrals will be tracked and any questions from WorkNet will come through Legal and be referred to the appropriate child support officer, when needed.
This is an exciting opportunity we have to partner with WorkNet and the Courts to help our customers find employment and meet their family obligations. Thank you to Cheryl, Teresa, and Brian for getting this ball rolling and to Gina Johnston for working tirelessly with the Court and WorkNet to bring it to fruition!