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Supporting Work: How State Policy Decisions Can Support Employment and Working Ohioans

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We know that one of the biggest factors that move Ohioans up and out of poverty is a job, but a job doesn’t always mean a living. Ohio’s public policies have the potential to create good jobs, increase opportunity for all Ohioans, and make Ohio’s economy stronger.

Speakers discussed how state policy decisions and budget proposals can potentially influence Ohio’s employment and direct care workforce. They covered programs in place to support working Ohioans – including person-centered work programs, the direct care workforce, and work supports – and how you can advocate for working Ohioans in the Senate.

Speakers included:
* Joel Potts, Executive Director, Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association
* Beth Kowalczyk, Chief Policy Officer, Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging
* Wendy Patton, Senior Project Director, Policy Matters Ohio

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Supporting Work: How State Policy Decisions Can Support Employment and Working Ohioans

  1. 1. Supporting Work How State Policy Decisions Can Support Employment and Working Ohioans
  2. 2. a statewide coalition of over 475 organizations working together to promote health and human service budget and policy solutions so that all Ohioans live better lives. Advocates for Ohio’s Future is…
  3. 3. Bill Sundermeyer State Director Advocates for Ohio’s Future Gail Clendenin Communications Director Advocates for Ohio’s Future
  4. 4. Wendy Patton Senior Project Director Policy Matters Ohio Beth Kowalczyk Chief Policy Officer Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging (o4a) Joel Potts Executive Director Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (JFSDA)
  5. 5.  Median income in Ohio has declined 13% to $46,873  50% of households in Ohio have an income $46k or less
  6. 6. Franklin County Family Budget Vs. Median Income
  7. 7. Jackson County Family Budget Vs. Median Income
  8. 8. AOF OVERALL POLICY OBJECTIVES AOF believes all Ohioans should have the opportunity to participate in the economy, afford the basics, and pursue higher quality of life Work should allow workers to lift themselves out of poverty, but not all jobs mean a living Health & human services can play a critical role in supporting Ohioans
  9. 9. WORK-RELATED POLICY OPPORTUNITIES Person-Centered Case Management Direct Service Workforce Programs that support working Ohioans
  10. 10. PERSON-CENTERED CASE MANAGEMENT Joel Potts, Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association
  11. 11. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM  1930’s – Social Security Act  Income Maintenance  Stay at home  Development of income-qualifying programs
  12. 12. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM  1960’s – “War on Poverty”  Strengthened safety net  Significantly expanded safety net programs – including Medicaid and food stamps
  13. 13. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM  1980’s – State Innovation encouraged through waivers  Shift to focus on work  Expansion of work and training programs  New focus on job placement
  14. 14. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM 1990’s – State Block Grants/TANF  Employment becomes a clear goal  Family stability goals (2-parents, marriage, reduce out-of-wedlock births) become more prominent  Job retention emerges as a key strategy  Flexible funding through TANF allows for investments for job retention
  15. 15. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM 1990’s – State Block Grants/TANF – Cont.  Broader focus on low-income families, recognizing that work supports for non-welfare families are key prevention tools and further support for the strengthening of families and workforce/economic development  Allowed greater efforts and investments in prevention strategies
  16. 16. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM  2015 and Beyond – Comprehensive Case Management and Employment  Job placement, job retention, and job advancement achieve equal importance  Welfare reform makes a stronger link to child welfare services, recognizing the value of early childhood interventions in preventing later us of public resources, including but not limited to welfare, and recognizing that independence from welfare cannot be truly achieved without addressing family issues – including behavioral health, domestic violence, education, and other significant barriers to full employment
  17. 17. THE EVOLUTION OF WELFARE REFORM  2015 and Beyond – Cont.  Strategies to reduce public assistance dependency for all means-tested programs  Shift from serving primarily “welfare-eligible” families to “low-income” families  Tie public assistance benefits to work supports and economic development  Focus on young adults and youth aging our of foster care
  18. 18. PERSON-CENTERED CASE MANAGEMENT - OUTLINE Who would be eligible for the program? Who would administer the program? What services would be provided? What performance measures would be used? What is the role for TANF/WIOA administering agencies?
  19. 19. BUILDING ON EXISTING STRUCTURES  This is not a new concept  Successful TANF models throughout 1990’s and early 2000’s  Consolidation of TANF and WIOA programs already occurs in 63 counties  Blending of TANF and WIOA funding in place in the majority of Ohio counties
  20. 20. LESSONS LEARNED AND MOVING FORWARD  Computer infrastructure and sharing of information a must  It’s going to be expensive  Success will take time and require a long-term commitment  Must not “cream” the system  Reform cannot start or finish at JFS doors  Requires a strong, comprehensive, upfront assessment  Must build community infrastructure to support comprehensive needs of the client
  21. 21. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE Beth Kowalczyk, Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging
  22. 22. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: PROBLEM Rebalancing High turnover in workforce Quality of care
  23. 23. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: PROBLEM  Shortage of workers  Need will only increase
  24. 24. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: WHO? Aging Developmental Disabilities Physical Disabilities Behavioral Health
  25. 25. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: PURPOSE Improve direct service workers’ pay, benefits, training, supervision, work environment and impact on people they support Better outcomes of care Improve employment opportunities
  26. 26. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: OUTCOMES Increased wages and benefits System reform – focus on outcomes Improved worker satisfaction and lower turnover rates
  27. 27. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE: STATUS OF STATE BUDGET 6% wage increase for direct service workers in Developmental Disabilities programs introduced by the Governor – removed by the House, being reconsidered by the Senate 10% rate increase for agency home care aide rates for Medicaid and Aging waivers in House version of budget
  28. 28. DIRECT SERVICE WORKFORCE Currently we are on hold for any new clients and do not have any PASSPORT clients that we are serving. After much analysis we have determined that we cannot continue to provide services through the PASSPORT program. The rate we are paying our caregivers has increased significantly over the past year in order to hire and retain quality individuals. Our other business costs have continued to increase and will again next year with the mandatory health insurance for employees….[T]he cost of doing business has surpassed the increases in reimbursement. -PASSPORT Home Care Provider
  29. 29. WORKING FAMILIES IN THE LOW-WAGE ECONOMY Wendy Patton, Policy Matters Ohio
  30. 30. “Public assistance” means “work supports” to workers and employers.
  31. 31. 75% OF THE LARGEST CATEGORIES OF JOBS IN OHIO LEAVE FAMILIES WITH KIDS IN POVERTY
  32. 32. THE COST OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY IS HIGHER THAN WAGES FOR MANY FAMILIES WITH KIDS.
  33. 33. WORK SUPPORTS = PUBLIC BENEFITS THAT HELP LOW-INCOME WORKERS STAY IN JOBS  Public Childcare Assistance – Helps parents work, employers have a stable workforce.
  34. 34. WORK SUPPORTS = PUBLIC BENEFITS THAT HELP LOW-INCOME WORKERS STAY IN JOBS  Public Childcare Assistance – Helps parents work, employers have a stable workforce.  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – Rewards work, helps families weather a rough patch like job loss or death in the family, that lowers family income.
  35. 35. WORK SUPPORTS = PUBLIC BENEFITS THAT HELP LOW-INCOME WORKERS STAY IN JOBS  Public Childcare Assistance – Helps parents work, employers have a stable workforce.  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – Rewards work, helps families weather a rough patch like job loss or death in the family, that lowers family income.  Health care (Medicaid)– Makes people healthier, less sick days, less crisis, and more productive.
  36. 36. WORK SUPPORTS = PUBLIC BENEFITS THAT HELP LOW-INCOME WORKERS STAY IN JOBS  Public Childcare Assistance – Helps parents work, employers have a stable workforce.  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – Rewards work, helps families weather a rough patch like job loss or death in the family, that lowers family income.  Health care (Medicaid)– Makes people healthier, less sick days, less crisis, and more productive.  Food stamps (SNAP) – Critical to health, productivity of workers and children.
  37. 37. WORK SUPPORT: PUBLIC CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE Major concern for employers – factor in stabilizing a low income work force.
  38. 38. WORK SUPPORT: PUBLIC CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE Major concern for employers – factor in stabilizing a low income work force. Ohio has the 2nd lowest initial eligibility for childcare assistance in the nation.
  39. 39. WORK SUPPORT: PUBLIC CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE Major concern for employers – factor in stabilizing a low income work force. Ohio has the 2nd lowest initial eligibility for childcare assistance in the nation. Rules are built for 9 to 5 jobs, but the low wage labor market doesn’t work that way.
  40. 40. WORK SUPPORT: PUBLIC CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE Major concern for employers – factor in stabilizing a low income work force. Ohio has the 2nd lowest initial eligibility for childcare assistance in the nation. Rules are built for 9 to 5 jobs, but the low wage labor market doesn’t work that way. Need higher eligibility, continuous eligibility.
  41. 41. WORK SUPPORT: EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
  42. 42. HEALTH CARE: A BASIC HUMAN NEED AND A WORK SUPPORT Prior to the Affordable Care Act, low income working adults had no access to care. This caused personal and societal economic crisis: for example, studies found Medical crisis was a leading cause of foreclosure. Medicaid expansion provides health care to low income working adults up to 138 percent of poverty, helping people manage chronic diseases before they become crisis
  43. 43. WORK SUPPORT: FOOD AID, FOOD STAMPS  Advocates for Ohio’s Future supports the Ohio Association of Foodbanks request for $20 million per year  Demand for emergency food assistance is up 40 percent across the state since 2010.  Food stamp cuts eliminated 258 million meals since the end of 2013 in spite of rising demand.  This request reflects an increase of $5.5 million per year and a mere 83¢ per person, per meal served by Ohio’s hunger relief network.  Nearly half of families using food aid are seniors or children.  Half of the households are working families. Adults without kids must work in order to get food aid.
  44. 44. THANK YOU! Wendy Patton wpatton@policymattersohio.org (614)-221-4505 www.policymattersohio.org
  45. 45. THE STATE BUDGET Bill Sundermeyer, Advocates for Ohio’s Future
  46. 46. UPDATE ON THE STATE BUDGET PROCESS  The Senate  Conference committee  Timeline
  47. 47. YOUR CALLS & EMAILS INFLUENCE POLICY Join AOF in upcoming days of action. Watch for “Act Now” emails & posts online.
  48. 48. Q&A Unmute by pressing *6 or using the microphone button on the top center of your screen. You can also ask a question by typing into the chat bar.
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