• Carolyn Bledsoe

3 Key Factors to Consider when Providing Comprehensive Services

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

While support services can include the common needs of childcare, transportation, work tools, etc., the most critical need for support is on-going communication and follow up.


The target for successful workforce development programs today should be livable wage jobs.


Acquiring livable wage jobs for your participants gives your program great visibility, recognition in your community and cost-effective marketing strategies.



While this approach appears to be a noble idea, it must be embedded with the concept of “comprehensive services”. Comprehensive services are a continuum that addresses all aspects of a programs’ operations and processes to promote optimal outcomes involving job placement and job retention.

Three important factors to consider when providing comprehensive services:

1. All management and operational oversight should include comprehensive services as integral in their everyday operations and reflected in scopes of work and job descriptions.

Management and operational oversight sets the standard for your program and provides a guide for broad services. Broad services may include:

  • managing all community relationships, (community and technical colleges, chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, employers, etc.);

  • hiring and training new staff;

  • staying abreast of new funding opportunities;

  • ensuring performance goals are met;

  • providing technical assistance;

  • identifying high demand sectors and being open to new proven strategies.

Strong and effective leadership in an organization should flow throughout all levels and is easily measured.


2. Comprehensive Tracking captures a clear understanding of an enrollee’s skill and educational deficits.


Comprehensive tracking paints a vivid picture of the barriers many participants encounter. It lays the framework to provide the support services needed and it helps the case worker to structure an effective individual action plan.


A program should track services provided with both case notes and an internal management information system, (MIS). All services provided including dates, outcomes, achievements, expenditures and exits are critical for effective tracking. A good tracking system should provide a maintenance screen that shows program staff when critical measurements are missing.


A programs’ ability to capture this information is of great value when making presentations to community leaders needing real time information, funders who may have an interest in your program and community partners to display the success of your collaborative efforts. Unfortunately, this is where many programs are found to be out of compliance, due to their lack of being thorough.


3. Hiring experienced and knowledgeable case managers and job developers sets your program apart and are often your best marketing voice.


Having skilled staff become familiar with job development resources, as well as creative job search strategies, are foundational to a programs’ success. Job search can be daunting for program enrollees, so it is important that support mechanisms are addressed early on to ensure participants remain connected.


While support services can include the common needs of childcare, transportation, work tools, etc., the most critical need of support is on-going communication and follow up. A program’s ability to remain connected with its participants has the greatest chance of helping them achieve successful outcomes.


It has been determined that weekly follow up with participants is proven to be most effective throughout enrollment. The ongoing communication ensures participants remain on track and that clients feel comfortable in initiating contact when faced with challenges.


Because participants reveal their greatest barriers and often pains, it is important that case workers function in many roles to help their clients gain successful outcomes. The relationship many participants have with their case workers are often the only ones that provide the encouragement and motivation they need.


Comprehensive services provided through employment and training programs ensures successful outcomes and great achievement for both participants and programs. The strategy is an asset to communities and is always an attraction to funders!



Article Originally Posted at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/comprehensive-services-carolyn-bledsoe


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carolyn Bledsoe is a veteran in the workforce development sector. Her expertise expands to include agency and program workforce development issues and problem solving. She is CEO of NAC Consultants, specializing in the enhancement of workforce development structure and support for staff and program participants. Contact Ms. Bledsoe for a complimentary consultation to assist you in better managing to your outcomes for success.


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