The targeted assistance program (TAP) provides employment and employability services to refugees for the first five years from their entry date. The policies and procedures outlined in this rule apply to county agencies that receive a TAP allocation pursuant to rule 5101:9-6-16.1 of the Administrative Code.
(A) Who is eligible for TAP?
(1) A refugee for whom less than five years have passed since their entry date and who reside in a county receiving TAP funds. If the county agency uses TAP funds for citizenship and naturalization services, there is no time limit for these services.
(a) A refugee does not have to apply for or receive cash assistance to be eligible for TAP.
(b) Resources and income of the refugee are not considered when determining eligibility for TAP.
(c) A refugee receiving Ohio works first (OWF) is eligible to participate in TAP services that are not available as part of the OWF program in the county in which they reside.
(d) A refugee participating in a matching grant program through a resettlement agency is eligible to participate in TAP services that are not included in the resettlement agency's matching grant program. TAP services as described in paragraph (D) of this rule cannot be provided to matching grant participants.
(2) A refugee who is sixteen years of age or older and who is not a full-time student in elementary or secondary school, may receive services as described in paragraphs (C) and (D) of this rule if the services are intended to:
(a) Lead to part-time or temporary employment while the person is a student;
(b) Lead to full-time employment upon completion of schooling.
(3) A refugee child with an interim assistance letter from the department of health and human services, office of refugee resettlement (ORR), may receive services for up to ninety days after the individual's entry date.
(B) What criteria must employment, employment services, and employability services meet?
(1) Employment or employability services may be provided by the county agency or a provider. A provider must agree to notify the county whenever a refugee fails or refuses to participate in required services or fails to accept an offer of employment.
(2) Services must be refugee-specific and designed to meet individual refugee needs and lead to self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. Vocational or jobs skills training, on the job training, or English language training may be standardized and need not be specific to the refugee population.
(3) Services must be provided to the maximum extent feasible:
(a) In a manner that is culturally and linguistically compatible with a refugee's language and cultural background; and
(b) Include the use of bilingual/bi-cultural women on service agency staff to ensure adequate service access by refugee women.
(4) All assignments must be within the scope of the individual's employability plan, as described in paragraph (E) of this rule.
(5) All services and employment must be related to the capability of the individual to perform the tasks on a regular basis.
(6) The total daily commuting time to and from home to the service or employment site must not normally exceed two hours, not including the transporting of a child to and from a child care facility.
(8) The service or work site to which the individual is assigned must not be in violation of applicable federal, state, or local health and safety standards.
(9) An assignment shall not be discriminatory based on age, sex, race, creed, color, or national origin.
(10) Appropriate work may be temporary, permanent, full-time, part-time, or seasonal work if such work meets the other standards of this rule.
(11) The wage must meet or exceed the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.
(12) The daily hours of work and the weekly hours of work shall not exceed those customary to the occupation.
(13) No individual may be required to accept employment if:
(a) The position is vacant due to a strike, lockout, or other bona fide labor dispute; or
(b) The individual would be required to work for an employer contrary to the conditions of existing membership in the union governing that occupation. However, employment not governed by the rules of a union in which the refugee is a member may be deemed appropriate.
(14) The quality of training must meet the local employer's requirements so that the individual is in a competitive position in the local labor market.
(C) What employment and employability services may be provided? (1) Employment services including:
(a) Development of a family self-sufficiency plan for each assistance group;
(b) Development of an employability plan for each RSSP participant;
(c) World of work and job orientation;
(d) Job clubs;
(e) Job workshops;
(f) Job development;
(g) Referral to job opportunities;
(h) Job search; and
(i) Job placement and follow-up.
(2) Employability services including:
(a) Employment-related case management services, including referral to services and the tracking of a refugee's participation in services.
(b) English language training, with an emphasis on English as it relates to obtaining and retaining a job. The training must be provided concurrent with employment or other employment related services.
(i) To avoid interference with employment, English language training must be provided outside normal working hours to the fullest extent possible.
(ii) English language testing must be conducted to determine if the refugee is able to benefit from an available English language training program.
(a) Refugees who test at a level above the available level of English language training are exempt from further participation in English language training.
(b) Refugees who test at a level below the available level of English language training must participate in English language training.
(D) What additional services are allowed with TAP?
(1) A county that receives a TAP allocation may arrange for refugees to participate in additional services as outlined in the individual employability plan. Services must be designed to lead to the earliest possible employment and may include the following employability services:
(a) Employability assessment services including aptitude and skills testing.
(b) On the job training, when such training is provided at the employment site and is expected to result in full-time, permanent, unsubsidized employment with the employer who is providing the training.
(c) Vocational training that meets the following requirements:
(i) The training does not exceed one year;
(ii) The training is appropriate to the needs of the local labor market and is of sufficient quality to meet the requirements of local employers; and
(iii) The training is provided to the fullest extent possible outside normal working hours to avoid interference with employment.
(d) Skills recertification services to help refugees qualify to practice their professions in the United States. The training may consist of full-time attendance in a college or professional training program under the following conditions:
(i) The refugee is employed;
(ii) The training is part of the refugee's individual employability plan;
(iii) The training does not exceed one year in duration, including any time enrolled in such program in the United States prior to the refugee's application for assistance; and
(iv) The training is specifically intended to assist the refugee in becoming certified in their profession and if the training is completed, it can realistically be expected to result in such certification.
(e) Child care when necessary for participation in employment or employability services or for the acceptance or retention of employment.
(f) Transportation, including driver's education, when necessary for participation in an employment or employability service or for the acceptance or retention or employment.
(g) Translation and interpreter services when necessary in connection with employment or participation in an employment service or employability service.
(h) Assistance in obtaining employment authorization documents.
(2) Other services may be provided to refugees with prior approval of the state refugee coordinator.
(E) What is the family self-sufficiency plan (FSSP) and the individual employability plan (IEP)?
(1) The FSSP outlines the plan for an assistance group to become self-sufficient through the employment of one or more assistance group members. An FSSP must be completed for each assistance group receiving TAP services.
(2) An IEP documents a refugee's participation in TAP and must:
(a) Be developed as part of an FSSP, where applicable, for each TAP participant;
(b) Have a definite employment goal leading to the earliest possible employment, attainable in the shortest time period consistent with the employability of the refugee in relation to job openings in the area;
(c) Not discourage or delay looking for employment or accepting offers of employment; and
(d) Be completed in collaboration with the refugee and must be developed for each refugee receiving TAP services and may be modified to reflect changed services or employment conditions.
(F) Who develops the FSSP and IEP?
The FSSP and IEP may be developed by the county agency, the resettlement agency or a provider. If a plan is completed by an entity other than the county agency, the county agency may accept the plan if it determines that the plan is appropriate for the refugee and meets the requirements of this rule.
(G) What are the county agency responsibilities?
(a) Afford all refugees an opportunity to apply for TAP. Refugees applying for or in receipt of refugee cash assistance (RCA) or refugee medical assistance do not need to complete a separate application for TAP;
(b) Determine eligibility for TAP within thirty days of the application date;
(c) Complete a family self-sufficiency plan for each assistance group; and
(d) Provide or arrange for employment and employability services for refugees in the following priority:
(i) Cash assistance recipients, particularly long-term recipients.
(ii) Unemployed refugees who are not receiving cash assistance.
(iii) Employed refugees in need of services to retain employment or to attain economic independence.
(2) TAP case records must contain documentation of an individual's refugee status in accordance with paragraph (B)(10) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code, including copies of both sides of the status documentation.
(3) Verification of the authenticity of documents provided by the individual through the automated systematic alien verification for entitlements (SAVE) system, as described in rule 5101:1-1-50 of the Administrative Code, applies to applicants for TAP.
(4) Eligibility redetermination for TAP must be completed at least once every twelve months or more frequently if needed.
(a) Information regarding changes in TAP status may come from the refugee, the resettlement agency, or a provider.
(b) If a refugee begins working and is no longer eligible for RCA, mandatory TAP participation stops. The refugee may become a voluntary participant in TAP.
(c) If the county agency receives employment information that is questionable, the county shall request verification.
(6) A refugee applying for or in receipt of TAP has all the hearing and notice requirements as described in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code. Except when services continue as a result of a timely hearing request, services must be terminated effective the end of the last month of the time-limited eligibility period as described in paragraphs (A)(1) and (A)(3) of this rule.
(7) Each county receiving a TAP allocation must provide a plan to the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) by September first of each year. The plan must:
(a) Describe the goals of the TAP program related to refugee employment in the county and plans to reach and monitor achievement of these goals;
(b) Describe how the county coordinates cash and medical assistance with TAP services to promote employability and economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible;
(c) Describe how the county ensures that language training and employment services are made available to all refugees, including efforts to encourage registration for employment services;
(d) Explain how TAP allocations will be used and how services are selected and monitored;
(e) Ensure services are provided to refugees following the priority described in paragraph (G)(1)(d) of this rule;
(f) Designate a county agency staff person responsible for the coordination of TAP services to refugees in the county;
(g) Designate an individual to provide timely and accurate reports to ODJFS;
(i) Compliance with all state and federal statutes and regulations while in receipt of a TAP allocation.
(ii) Services and benefits to refugees are coordinated and not duplicated within the county.
(iii) Communication and collaboration occurs among refugee resettlement agencies, social service agencies, health providers, and public agencies serving refugees.
(iv) The TAP allocation is used for employment and employability services designed to assist refugees in obtaining jobs with on one year of becoming enrolled in services. The goal is for refugees to achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency.
Replaces: 5101:1-2- 40.2, 5101:1-2- 40.3, 5101:1-2- 40.4, 5101:1-2- 40.5
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 06/01/2020
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.02, 5101.49
Rule Amplifies: 5101.02, 5101.49
Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/83 , 9/1/84 (Emer), 11/17/84, 1/15/89 (Emer.), 4/1/89 (Emer.), 10/1/89(Emer), 11/17/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 10/1/90 (Emer.), 7/1/05, 9/1/10