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The Employment Services program changed October 1, 1997 with the implementation of WELFARE REFORM; the official name is the Virginia Independence Program (V.I.P.). The work component of welfare reform is called Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare, or V.I.E.W. The VIEW Program limits recipients of T.A.N.F. (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) benefits to twenty-four (24) month intervals of sequential participation and non-participation for a total of sixty (60) months, and requires that all able bodied recipients who do not meet an exemption participate in this program. The basic premise of V.I.E.W. is that all public assistance recipients must work in exchange for their benefits.

V.I.E.W. Team

It is the job of the V.I.E.W. case manager to do a complete assessment of the participant, do an activity plan which includes short-term and long-term goals, allow a 30-day job search period and if unsubsidized employment is not found, assign the participant to subsidized employment, on the job training or work experience. Education and training are allowed in conjunction with work activity. Many of these participants receive Day Care and Transportation services as part of their service plan. When a T.A.N.F. case is closed due to the client being employed the recipients may also receive Transitional Medicaid, Transitional Transportation and Transitional Daycare up to one year.

There was a grant awarded to People Inc. in 1998 to help in providing transportation to V.I.E.W. clients who find employment. The grant assisted in purchasing used vehicles through People Inc. with no interest loans. There were 12 vehicles purchased by clients in Buchanan County in 1998. This grant was extended for the year of 1999.

There have been work-sites developed at all of the schools in Buchanan County and many other non-profit organizations. At this time we have placed 34 people at these work-sites. With the high unemployment rate in the county, it will continue to be a difficult task placing all clients in the work force.

At the present time we have 151 active V.I.E.W. cases, 40 have entered full-time employment, 24 have entered part-time employment, and 34 are working for their benefits throughout the county in community work-sites.

There are a total of 427 T.A.N.F. cases and we expect to have a total of 250 in the V.I.E.W. program.

There was a one million dollar grant awarded to Southwest Virginia involving eight coal field locations, the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise and the City of Norton. This grant was awarded to Southwest Virginia due to the high unemployment rate, to better assist V.I.E.W. clients in becoming better prepared to enter the job market. All V.I.E.W. clients will be required to undergo a uniform Full-Battery Assessment.

Also the money was directed toward developing a job marketing program, establishing a Neighborhood Technology Network site, establishing two (2) Training and Employment for Careers (T.E.C.) Centers, expanding the existing transportation program (cars), to provide vehicle ownership for working T.A.N.F. clients. The Full Assessment was started February 1, 1999.

Work continues on the other areas of the planned programs.

Foster Care Adoption Child Protective Services Adult Protective Services
S.N.A.P. T.A.N.F. V.I.E.W. Medicaid Services
Buchanan County
Department of Social Services
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