Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0275.045.00 Community Service Program

IM-37 June 17, 2011

The Community Service Program is a structured volunteer activity for Temporary Assistance (TA) recipients designed to improve employability when s/he is not otherwise able to obtain and maintain suitable employment. The Community Service Program creates an employer/employee relationship to improve the employability and to help the recipient gain soft skills needed to be successful in the workforce.  This activity can be used to supplement another activity (other than AWEP/CWEP) if the recipient is not meeting the required hours in that activity and additional soft skills are needed.

The Community Service Program is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Only employers subject to the FLSA are allowed to participate as a Community Service Program employer site.  The employer knows when they are governed by FLSA and are required to mark the box on the “Community Service Program Worksite Agreement” to acknowledge this requirement.  The Community Service Program is also subject to the FLSA calculation.  The maximum monthly hours (FLSA calculation) the recipient may perform is calculated by the MWA System.  The employee may work flexible hours or make up hours at the discretion of the employer within the federal month to meet the monthly hour requirement. Refer to Appendix Q – Definitions regarding the FLSA calculation.

This volunteer work activity serves a useful community purpose in fields such as:

  • Health
  • Welfare
  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Social Services
  • Environmental Protection
  • Public Facilities
  • Urban & Rural Development & Redevelopment
  • Recreation

This work activity includes positions with the intent to improve soft skills, such as:

  • Reporting to work on time
  • Calling-in when unable to work
  • Staying on task
  • Following instructions
  • Maintaining proper appearance
  • Exhibiting proper hygiene
  • Using appropriate language
  • Asking for clarification when needed
  • Being polite
  • Communicating disagreements
  • Getting along with peers and supervisors
  • Other skills identified as barriers to ongoing employment

Volunteer work is performed on-site and under the supervision of public or non-profit organizations, and may take into account the prior training, experience and skills of the TA recipient.  Providers of employment and training services, non-profit partner organizations, and other state agencies such as social services, education, conservation, economic development, and public safety are eligible to take part as employers for the program.

Countable hours for the Community Service Program include:

  • Assessments to determine if the TA recipient is able to pursue or obtain a specific employment opportunity including:
    • Assessments performed by case managers to determine past employment, medical, drug history, etc. that affect the ability to obtain the position
    • Vocational Rehabilitation assessment to determine the ability to obtain the position
    • Employer required tests such as typing, physical, psychological, aptitude, personality, and drug tests
  • Reassess at a minimum of every 90 days to determine the recipient’s suitability for other activities. Conduct assessment with the TA recipient and review the ‘MWA Assessment’ form.