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The Annual Government Monitoring

EARN_logo

Saint Benedict Education Center operates the EARN (Employment Advancement and Retention Network) program, a state-contracted program funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). It is designed to provide training, skill development, and employment opportunities to participants who are currently on TANF.  Each year the government conducts an audit of the program.

According to Stephanie Krauza, MA, Program Director, the purpose of this annual review is basically two-fold.  It verifies that SBEC is following the EARN program guidelines provided by the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Employment Programs.  It also considers technical support and assistance that may be available to enhance program implementation.

Typically, the monitor reviews files to verify that all required reports are kept current, complete, and accurate.  Do the “performance reports” indicate that we are getting people jobs?  Are “benchmarks” being effectively set and used to follow a participant’s achievement of goals?  Are case managers assisting them to find training opportunities that provide credentialing, enabling their clients to move along a career path with more stable, higher paying jobs?

In addition to examining files the two-day monitoring process often includes interviews with some staff and participants.  A tour of the facilities may be taken.  An exit interview with the administration concludes this in-person phase of the process, at which time the monitor presents a summary of their observations.  This offers everyone present an opportunity for clarification and comment, as needed.

Upon returning to Harrisburg the monitor prepares and submits a written report to the DHS.  When it is accepted the agency receives a copy to read and respond.  

This process is welcome since it provides an avenue for SBEC to receive suggestions to enhance programming while informing the DHS of the demands and challenges of those we serve.

Government monitoring offers an opportunity for self-examination and growth.  It also creates a forum to offer government agencies constructive suggestions for a more realistic response to the daily needs of clients. 

In many ways, these days require that much of our life be lived with uncertainty and tentativeness.  Yet, there does need to be some stability and clear expectations amid this.  The staff of SBEC embrace the constant juggling of both elements of this pandemic reality.  The process of a government audit assists in this challenge.

The pictures below highlight some of the work being done at SBEC as part of the EARN program.

 

Intense case management--Cheryl, CM
Intense case management--Cheryl, CM
Work preparation--Wayne, Don, Taha, Mary Lou, Readiness Specialists
Work preparation--Wayne, Don, Taha, Mary Lou, Readiness Specialists
Job placement--Candan, Employment Specialist
Job placement--Candan, Employment Specialist
Effective use of government funds--Shari, bookkeeper
Effective use of government funds--Shari, bookkeeper
Regular opportunities for staff learnings--Ebony, CM
Regular opportunities for staff learnings--Ebony, CM
Serving multiple counties--Case Managers Kristin in Venango & Deb in Clarion Counties
Serving multiple counties--Case Managers Kristin in Venango & Deb in Clarion Counties