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Employment and Training Administration - Workforce Professionals - What's New in Workforce Investment

  • HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on "Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation" for TANF Recipients

    HHS/ACF has proposed a data collection in support of the Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation. The proposed information collection activity will consist of:

    (1 ) Baseline data collection: Collection of baseline data from TANF recipients at the time of enrollment in the study;

    (2) Implementation study site visits: Conducting site visits for the purpose of documenting the program context, program organization and staffing, the components JSA services, and other relevant aspects of the TANF program. During the visits, site teams will interview key administrators and line staff using a semi-structured interview guide; and

    (3) A JSA staff survey. This on-line survey, administered to TANF supervisory and line staff involved in JSA activities, will be used as part of the implementation study to systematically document program operations and the type of JSA services provided across the study sites.

    The respondents include JSA program staff and individuals enrolled in the JSA study.

    The August 21 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background. HHS/ACF notes:

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: OIRA_SUBMISSION@OMB.EOP.GOV, Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for, Children and Families.

    Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L`Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address:

  • Department of Education Seeks Comments on Title II and Title IV of WIOA; Sets Forth Questions Related to Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation; Establishes August 29 as Closing Date for Input

    A joint blog post from OCTAE and OSERS

    The U.S. Department of Education`s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) invite you to submit comments and recommendations to help us implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22. This new law seeks to maximize opportunities for youth and adults, with and without disabilities, to succeed in postsecondary education and in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs in the 21st century economy. Specifically, we seek your comments to assist us as we begin the process of implementing the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that were made by Title IV of WIOA and of the new version of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), in Title II of WIOA.

    Your input can help us identify issues and concerns that we need to address in order to fulfill the expectations of WIOA, particularly as we develop draft regulations for public comment. While OSERS and OCTAE encourage you to respond to the specific questions that are set out below, we also encourage you to identify other issues that you believe are significant, and to provide your recommendations on how we should address them.

    Please submit comments below by Friday, August 29, 2014. Submitting comments is voluntary and subject to ED blog comment policies.

    The webpage notes:

    OSERS is particularly interested in comments on any or all of the following questions:

    1. What should OSERS consider in developing regulation or guidance for implementing performance measures in section 116 of WIOA with regard to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services program?

    2. In light of the new provisions in the Rehabilitation Act regarding competitive integrated employment in high-demand fields, what revisions should be made, if any, to the regulations related to the definition of employment outcome?

    3. What should OSERS consider in developing regulation or guidance related to transition services for students with disabilities, particularly the new provisions in section 113 of the Rehabilitation Act related to pre-employment transition services and transition services to groups in section 103(b) of the Rehabilitation Act?

    4. Section 109 of the Rehabilitation Act made significant changes regarding the provision of services to employers, including the requirement for performance measures related to the effectiveness of services to employers. How can OSERS best implement these new provisions?

    5. Subtitle G of WIOA made significant changes to the Rehabilitation Act related to supported employment. What should be considered in regulation or guidance on the new requirements specifically related to the provision of supported employment to youth with most significant disabilities?

    OCTAE is particularly interested in comments on any or all of the following questions:

  • HHS/ACF Announces Release of the "ACF Confidentiality Toolkit" Designed to Promote Information Sharing to Improve Service with Fidelity to Confidentiality Laws and Requirements

    An Administration for Children and Families (ACF) August 19 blog posts notes:

    The "ACF Confidentiality Toolkit" is a document that we`ve been working on for several years. Its goal is to help state and local efforts to understand how and when it is appropriate to share information about a family or individual, in order to provide more effective services, in ways consistent with confidentiality laws and requirements... This is the latest product of the ACF Interoperability Initiative designed to support improved integration across human service programs and the systems that support them. We hope the ACF Confidentiality Toolkit will help state and local efforts by:

    Providing examples of how confidentiality requirements can be addressed and met in a manner fully consistent with governing laws and underlying policies

    Including sample Memoranda of Understandings and data sharing agreements

    Providing helpful guidance to states and localities

    The Toolkit preface was authored by ACF`s Acting Secretary Mark Greenberg:

    We`re very pleased to be issuing the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Confidentiality Toolkit, a product of ACF`s Interoperability Initiative.

    For decades, human services agencies have been seeking to identify ways to promote coordination and collaboration across the work of human services and other related entities in order to provide more effective services to children, families, and individuals with multiple needs.

    In recent years, advances in technology have provided new opportunities to support these efforts. "Interoperability"- national effort of technological and programmatic coordination - has the potential to provide for major steps forward in promoting information sharing and coordination across systems. For that reason, we created the ACF Interoperability Initiative Project; a collection of collaborative, interdisciplinary information technology projects designed to promote horizontal integration, facilitate shared services, and improve the landscape of systems supporting human services programs, including their coordination and integration with health programs.

    As states are developing Health Insurance Exchanges and new eligibility systems for Medicaid, there is an opportunity for Human Services programs to utilize components and services provided by these new systems. But having new systems alone isn`t a panacea. Systems need data. And, the ability to share information across systems will be crucial to the success of these efforts.

    At the same time, improved information sharing is not simply a technological challenge. Individual programs often have statutorily-established confidentiality requirements to protect the privacy, and dignity, of individuals and families in need of assistance or services. The confidentiality provisions serve important public purposes. In some cases, e.g., domestic violence programs, confidentiality provisions may literally be life-saving. In other cases, they are grounded in the recognition that a family in need of a particular service should not be compelled to share highly personal and private information across a full range of government agencies as a condition of receiving help.

    While confidentiality provisions play a vital public purpose, it is also the case that too often the complexities resulting from multiple varying confidentiality provisions can be a significant impediment to state and local efforts to improve service coordination. This can occur because it is sometimes unclear whether a particular provision is federal, state, or local; whether it is a requirement or just a long-standing practice; whether there are exceptions; and if confidentiality can be waived through consent, how that consent can be effectuated.

    With publication of this, our ACF Confidentiality Toolkit, we hope to support state and local efforts by bringing greater clarity to the rules governing confidentiality in ACF and certain related programs, by providing examples of how confidentiality requirements can be addressed and met in a manner fully consistent with governing laws and underlying policies; by including sample Memoranda of Understandings and data sharing agreements; and by providing guidance that we hope can be helpful in efforts to move forward in states and localities.

    We recognize that we are not addressing all programs and every potential issue, but we hope that this Confidentiality Toolkit will be helpful in state and local efforts, and we welcome your comments and suggestions for additional guidance and actions by ACF and other federal partners that can further support these efforts.

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