Montana. Family Assistance Division.

FAIM newsletter (Volume 1995 VOL 2 NO 4) online

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of central office staff and field staff. They will be known as "Conversion Consultants." All Conversion
Consultants met the week of October 23 for a training session. During this time, the final development
of the New Directions training took place. The training centered around the FAIM role play video. Lots
of time was built in for practice to allow staff to become accustomed to the new approach.

New Directions training will be mandatory for all county staff. Overall, there will be 15 weeks of New
Directions training between December 1995 and December 1996. The first training session is scheduled
for December 4 - 8 in Helena.

500 Medidd Recipients

ID Participate In First Plastic Card

Technology Pflot

Marilyn Carlin
Chief, External Systems Bureau
Operations & Technology Division

Lewis & Clark County is slated to host Montana's first Plastic Card Technology Pilot. Approximately 500
Medicaid Passport recipients will begin using the state's new plastic smart card in lieu of the current
paper ID card beginning January 1, 1996. They will participate in an 18-month pilot project designed to
test the feasibility, both technically and functionally, of using smart cards.

Montana is one of only a handful of states that have opted to use smart card technology for welfare
benefit delivery. A smart card is a credit card-sized plastic card with a computer chip embedded in it.
The chip holds information in electronic form that can be easily, securely and accurately accessed to
verify eligibility and provide information required for Medicaid claims processing.

Four physician's groups and St. Peter's Hospital will be equipped with card readers which will be used
to activate the cards. The cards will contain all of the information that is currently printed on the paper
ID card. Information from the card will be downloaded to a file which can in tum be used to populate
certain fields on the Medicaid claim form. The provider will not have to manually enter the information
thus saving a few key strokes and preventing data input errors.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services will host an open house on November 17 and 18
in the rotunda of the Capitol Building. The purpose of the open house is to provide an educational forum
for recipients who will be participating in the pilot. They will leam more about the card including how,
when, and where to use it. Photographs for the cards will also be taken at this time.

Future plans include adding functionality to the card. While the pilot will start out as a fairly basic test
run of chip technology, once underway, the potential for expanded capability exists. For example, the
card could be used to track immunizations, record allergies and patient care histories. Eventually,
information relevant to other programs, such as AFDC and Food Stamps, will be added to the card.

For more information about plastic card technology or the open house, please contact me at (406) 444-

Susan Ramsey
Project Manager, Child Support Enforcement Division

A contract was recently awarded to Express Personnel Services to provide temporary workers for the
Department of Public Health and Human Services. This contractor will be providing these workers
throughout the state. The contract was implemented on October 10, 1995 and is effective through June
30, 1996 and is renewable for up to a total of seven years. This contract will be utilized by the entire
department for temporary clerical and legal transcription needs.


The Request for Proposal (RFP) for this project contained unique language. The RFP encouraged the
proposers to hire FAIM participants and points were awarded during the evaluation process based on
the plans submitted by the proposers.

Express Personnel Services is committed to hiring FAIM participants and is in the process of
implementing the FAIM hiring procedures. Monthly reports will be submitted to DPHHS and a written
report will be presented at the end of the contract period.

Peter Blouke, Director of DPHHS, supports the hiring of FAIM participants in department contracts when

If you have questions on the FAIM language in this RFP, contact Susan Ramsey, CSED Project
Manager, at 444-0924. If you would like to utilize this contract, contact Norine Joyce, DPHHS
Management Analyst, at 444-4631. Norine will be tracking this contract for the department and has
fomnulated a procedure to follow. Please contact her before calling Express Personnel Services. If you
would like to refer FAIM participants to Express Personnel Services, contact Lynne Johnson, Manager,
at 442-7501.

Statewidt Advisory tonii

Sherri Brandewie
Welfare Reform Specialist

Finalization of the FAIM project is well
underway. Local communities, through the
establishment of Community Advisory
Councils (CACs), are developing community
operating plans (COPs) which will address
local issues and develop options for various
community-related elements of the project.

The Department of Public Health and Human
Services (DPHHS) recently completed
soliciting nominations for membership to a
State Advisory Council (SAC), whose charge
will be to provide guidance and oversight for
certain activities, including COPs operating
plans, implemented under FAIM.

The major responsibilities of the SAC include establishing guidelines for acceptable COPs, reviewing
each plan, and recommending to CACs ways to improve programs, services, or effectiveness of
activities. The SAC will also ensure the COPs will comply with union requirements.

Other major responsibilities of the SAC are oversight of the development and implementation of
programs and activities set out in the COPs, coordinating cooperation among local resource providers,
neighboring CACs, as well as other state agencies, and making final recommendations regarding COPs

Quarteriy reports will identify and share any enterprising or exceptional solutions outlined in other COPs.
Annual reports will identify and advise the FAIM Team, in coordination with the COPs, of employment,
training, and other community resource needs.

The final composition of the Statewide Advisory Council membership will be established by Dr. Peter
Blouke, Director of DPHHS, in consultation vwth Governor Marc Racicot. Membership will consist of one
representative from each of the following areas: office of human services County Director, family


services, housing, FAIM participants, HRDC, County Commissioner, education, Department of ,
Commerce, Department of Labor, tribal (Fort Belknap), child care, union, religion, health, private ^
industry, legislative, and low income advocacy. Family Assistance Division (FAD) will provide technical
assistance regarding state and federal requirements.

Members are expected to attend four to six meetings per year and serve as an active member of council
committees if necessary. SAC members will have the pleasure of contributing directly to the process
of making the FAIM project a successful partnership among service providers, private industry, state
agencies, local communities, and FAIM participants.

Region i

Linda Nybakken

In February, Valley and Phillips counties officially become FAIM pilot counties. The 41-member
Community Resources Task Force and other committees have been diligently working on pre-FAIM
activities. Future FAIM Coordinators June Cornell, Rosie Bednarczyk, Pat Hallet, Gay Anderson, and
Sue Henderson serve on the task force and as members of the four committees mentioned below. Mary
Lou Remington, JOBS Coordinator, serves as a consultant to all the committees.

The Resources Committee has been working on a resource directory, in addition to developing additional

The Supportive Service Committee has decided to conduct a drive to attain coupons for specific
donated/needed supportive services.

The Community Resources Committee has identified the perimeters for community worksites for AWEP
and the Community Services Program (CSP).

The Public Relations Committee will work on disseminating posters and informational material to the

In September, our offices and the Glasgow Job Service co-hosted an employer luncheon. Jon Meredith
and Linda Snedigar from FAD Central Office were guest speakers. Mary Lou Remington encouraged
employer involvement in FAIM in her speech, "Cooperative Investing." (Please refer to Mary Lou's article
in this newsletter for more information).

As a small mral county, we identified the six-month phase-in as a major obstacle to FAIM start-up. We
intend to offer some "larger group" classes and activities to develop job readiness. Therefore, we'll need
to postpone our start date until June or July to best utilize our dollars.

In preparation for FAIM, our staff feels a combination of excitement and dread. We're excited about the
positive changes FAIM offers participants. However, the ever-changing political winds which threaten
the reduction of money for training and supportive services concern us. We ask, "Can we continue to
do more and more with less and less?"


mm u

Dartene Miller and George Shanley

Pondera, Teton, Toole, and Glacier counties have been approved for an Americorps grant. Terry Button,
the JOBS operator in Glacier County, wrote the grant. She will be the Americorps volunteer supervisor.
We have hired Katrina Wagner as our Americorp volunteer. She will be based in Glacier County, but
will travel to the other three counties. In addition to her Americorp duties, Katrina will identify resources
in these communities as well as help establish the Community Service Advisory Councils and community
work sites in each area. In preparation for her new position, she attended training sessions in Lewistown
sponsored by Americorps in September.

• • •

The Cascade County Welfare Refomn Advisory Council met mid-October. The main agenda item was
the identification of organizations, businesses (both private and public), and govemmental agencies that
could benefit from placement of Community Services Program (CSP) participants. FAlM's major change
in philosophy, vs. the old GRA Community Work Program, results in the inclusion of "volunteer"
situations in the placement scenario.

The next issue the council will address is child care. The council believes this will be the "major area
of concern" when FAIM is implemented. A requirement of FAIM, as directed through the waiver protocol,
is the mandatory availability of child care for any FAIM component agreed to in the Family Investment
Agreement (FIA). If we "require" the participant to participate (sanctionable performance), we have to
ensure the availability of child care to allow the client to participate. We are currently experiencing a
shortage of "certified" child care in the Great Falls area, so we foresee a shortage when FAIM is initiated
- unless we take the preparatory steps necessary to "discover" new and innovative child care
arrangements now.

One situation already discussed is "co-op" child care. However, this arrangement presents a lot of
obstacles that need to be resolved before implementation and acceptance by state day care authorities.


Lynn Rosenberg

The Fergus County combination is preparing for welfare reform in several ways. The Eligibility
Specialists are going through different sections of the FAIM Workbook each month. They are taking
quizzes and having alot of discussion at monthly meetings to become more knowledgeable about FAIM.
They are also trying to change the way they do business in the office with the participants. This group
feels that if they start preparing themselves and their participants now, the implementation process will
be much smoother.

Some counties in Region III are changing the physical appearance of their offices and waiting rooms.
It has been a fun process for them— they've started to realize by looking at all of the posters and
"offerings" on their walls how they have helped create the dependency participants have on our current
welfare system.

The Fergus County combination formed its Community Advisory Council some months ago. They feel
they have a good working group that will have alot to offer locally. A more detailed report will follow in
the next issue of the FAIM newsletter.



Juanita Mallo, Mary Kay McGinnis, Jim Fay

Park County Job Service Manager, A! Maurillo, and Park County JOBS Operator, Rie Margraves, have
offered to conduct several workshops for the staffs of Park, Broadwater, and Meagher Counties in
preparation for future FAIM Coordinator duties.

They will be giving skills and ability tests. The Eligibility Technicians will be taking each test,
then Al and Rie will be helping them score the tests and instructing them how to evaluate the scoring.
Al thought this would be an advantage to the Coordinators, as they could explain the testing procedures
to participants. When FAIM Coordinators get the results from agencies that will test participants, they
will be able to interpret the effect the score may have on the participant's ability to seek work or to make
career decisions.

I feel that I am indeed blessed with the team spirit that exists in Park County, and the community's
commitment to welfare reform.

• • •

Two exciting community resource activities are taking place in preparation for FAIM in Butte/Silver Bow.
First, the local Job Service is helping develop a lab in the Human Services Office where a FAIM
participant can use video and software resources to prepare a resume and develop job search leads.
The Job Service is also planning to offer regular sessions for job seekers where they could develop
leads and learn more about using Job Service resources.

Secondly, Express Services, (a temporary employment service), has shown an interest in developing
a relationship with the local Office of Human Services to assess vocational ability and interest of
participants who are seeking employment. These participants could receive skill development in areas
where there are local job shortages, if their aptitudes indicated a potential existed. Later, they would be
placed in jobs where Express Services had a contract. This service would be provided at no cost to the
job seeker.

• • •

Beaverhead County is involved with child care, community services, and encouraging businesses to use
AWEP sites. The staff is currently updating its Community Resource Handbook, which provides detailed
information on most area human services. The handbook is funded through a consortium of local
agencies, including Job Service, JOBS, Norwest Bank, and the Women's Resource Center.

• • •

Jefferson County is planning to coordinate community resources with the JOBS Case Managers in
preparation for FAIM.



Lin Smith, Gearing Up Project

Active, two-way partnerships are emerging in Montana's implementation of
welfare reform. Counties are taking the lead in developing and
implementing FAIM program components by reaching out to local resource
agencies to create another level of partnership. Essentially, programs and
money will be managed at the community level to best use local resources
and "get the biggest bang for the buck," according to Carole Graham,
Director of the Missoula County Office of Human Services. Carole wants
to see the Missoula program "monitored for its results, not for exactly how
we did it."

To prepare for the May 1996 implementation of FAIM in Missoula
County, the necessity of separating the existing program parti-
cipants from those in the pilot projects requires some moving of
office walls. Unable to access county resources to accom-
modate her goal of having a professional-looking office in place
by May, Carole looked into other possible solutions.

Valarie Mace, Gearing Up graduate,
works on a remodeling project at the
Missoula OfBce of Human Services.
Photo by Lin Smith.

She heard from Laura Rose, Director of Gearing Up, about a county remodeling project done by JOBS
participants who were graduates of the non-traditional job training program for low-income women.
Carole then suggested a collaboration between Gearing Up and her own staff. Graduates of the three-
week Gearing Up training are assisting with the remodeling effort at the welfare office as a way of
gaining additional work-related experience useful in securing a job. The final step in the office renovation
will be a joint project between Gearing Up grads and the staff at the welfare office working together to
paint the walls. New partnerships on many different levels are the name of the game now.

Video Excitement

Ed ScheibI
Welfare Reform Specialist

In an attempt to convey the FAIM message to as wide an audience as possible, a variety of videos have
been or are being developed.

The first video, An Overview of Montana's Welfare Reform Project. "Families Achieving Independence
in Montana" (FAIM) . was released this summer. This video describes the philosophical cultural change
represented in the new approach to welfare, as well as a brief description of FAIM's components, which
include the Job Supplement Program, Pathways Program, and Community Services Program. The video
is an excellent medium for introducing individuals or groups unfamiliar with FAIM to Montana's welfare
project. Copies of this video are available in all county offices of human service and JOBS offices
throughout the state. Contact either office locally if you would like to see the tape.

In early September, Montana's FAIM Project— A Preview of a New Way of Doing Business, was
released. This video was developed specifically as a teaching tool for staff. It depicts the interaction
between the county office and the FAIM participant. The video spotlights the new approach in the
interview process and should not be viewed in terms of acting ability or the specific case scenario, but
rather as an example of a new philosophy and approach to welfare. Copies have been sent to all county
offices and JOBS offices. Please call your County Director or JOBS office if you wish to view it.


We are in the last stages of developing an orientation video, yet untitled, to be distributed to any and all
counties who choose to use it. The video will be much different than existing orientation videos, as it
aimed specifically toward helping participants understand the new FAIM philosophy and approach to
welfare. An orientation packet containing essential handouts for FAIM participants is also being
developed. Some of the material is of a generic nature and will apply to all counties. Specific county
information can also be added if there are local resources that might need identification.

Special thanks to the entire FAIM Team as well as Barb Post, Dee Sizeland, Mary Kay McGinnis, Bonnie
Schock, and Caren Brandenberg of the Orientation Task Force for all their input and effort in developing
this video.

Finally, posters identifying the three FAIM programs and the cultural change have been created by a very
talented artist, Kathy Cashell, an Eligibility Specialist in Butte. These posters will be used in Conversion
Consultant training and other training down the road. Other posters may also be created for duplication
and distribution in the future.

'Piofieefs In Welre Refoi*
11 Mk Confefence In Review

Sue Skinner
Welfare Reform Specialist

The Montana Eligibility Woricers Association (MEWA) held its annual conference in Great Falls October
3-5. All those who attended agreed the conference was an overwhelming success. The Cascade
County Office of Human Services did a wonderful job organizing this event.

Dr. Mary Tyler, Associate Professor of Special Education at East Texas State University, entertained the
crowd with her anecdotes about reducing stress and bringing more laughter into our lives. Memorable
quotes include, "If you are laughing, it is chemically impossible for stress to be present in your body,"
and my favorite, "If I can touch you, I can tolerate you."

Ronald Merrill, Deputy Director of Income Maintenance at the Department of Public Social Services in
Riverside County, Califomia, conducted break-out sessions for attendees. He provided some great
ideas about promoting work and creating jobs for AFDC recipients.

Ron also encouraged administration and staff to reduce error rates in eligibility determination, and to
place participants into employment. Both actions enhance accountability in office performance.
Riverside County has successfully proven that staff incentives and rewards for job placements and low
error rates result in millions of dollars in savings for the state and county.

The 24 break-out sessions were well-attended and received great reviews. The FAIM Team presented
four sessions incorporating the style of the game show "Jeopardy". The intent was to provide training
about FAIM-related issues. Those who attended seemed to learn and have fun at the same time.

Other popular sessions were self-defense training offered by Jerry Lem, and "Welfare to Work" by FAIM
Team Region III Field Rep Lynn Rosenberg. The FAIM Team has really benefitted by having Lynn as
a member.

The FAIM Project Team would like to thank all presenters on FAIM-related issues. Additionally, thanks
to the MEWA Conference Committee for making FAIM a priority at this wonderful event.


^^ Some Montana Mjsfc


Ed ScheibI
Welfare Reform Specialist


Anyone who has seen the FAIM role play video will notice some original music playing in the beginning
and closing of the tape. The title of the song is 'Montanans Working" and it is the product of Terryann
McCoy and her bnother, Bob Bock. Terry, an Eligibility Supervisor in Missoula, wrote the lyrics and Bob,
a Butte resident, composed the music.

The song is an upbeat number and I rate it a "10"; it has a great beat and it's easy to dance to! The
music will also be heard in the upcoming, soon-to-be-released orientation video and future video

Thanks a lot, Terry and Bob. The song is as follows:


Montanans working,
Montanans free
Montanans working,
For self-sufficiency.

Montanans working,
For life and liberty
Achieving independence,
What a victory!

See them working.
For their children's future
For independence.
And a new beginning.

And they won't stop.
They'll just keep on trying
With the help that
We are providing.

Montanans working,
Montanans free
Montanans working.
For self-sufficiency.

Montana people
So proud and strong,
Achieving independence
Thaf s where we belong.

And they won't stop.
They'll just keep on trying
Success of family
Is what we're providing.
Montanans working,
Montanans free
Montanans working,
For self-sufficiency.

Montanans working.
For life and liberty
Achieving independence
What a victory!

Lyrics: Terryann McCoy

Melody, Instrumental, Vocal: Robert Bock





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Desiree Seidlitz is in Mrs. Shelley Dempse/s fifth grade reading class at the Roy Swan Elementary
School in White Sulphur Springs. Mrs. Dempsey assigned her class of 22 students to write
persuasive letters to Montana's legislators after the class read about national welfare refomi in the
September 29 issue of Time Magazine for Kids. The class will be following the progress of welfare
reform in Montana and across the country for the rest of the school year.

Three students chose to write to Governor Racicot. They were: Keith O'Neill, Jonathan Novak, and
Desiree Seidlitz. All the letters were wonderful and we wish we had space to print each one. We
chose Desiree's letter to give our newsletter readers a sampling of the students' welfare reform

Desiree is 11 years-old and plans to be a veterinarian someday. She enjoys reading, playing
Nintendo, and spending time with her dog, T.P. ("Tired Puppy").

- Anastasia Burton


Regional Corrective Action Meetings


Region I

February 1-2, 1996

Miles City

Region II

December 15, 1995


Online LibraryMontana. Family Assistance DivisionFAIM newsletter (Volume 1995 VOL 2 NO 4) → online text (page 2 of 3)