Job & Family Services Ohio Works First
Ohio Works First Directory
August 28, 1997


Ohio Works First (OWF) Letter No. 2




TO: County Departments of Human Services


FROM: Arnold R. Tompkins, Director




This Ohio Works First Letter Number Two is the second in a newly introduced letter series on issues related to the Ohio Works First (OWF) program. Counties should keep and retain this Ohio Works First Letter.


The major goal of Ohio Works First is to help participants transition from welfare dependancy toward personal responsibility, employment and self-sufficiency. House Bill 408 created specific requirements for OWF participants. One of the requirements is that all adult and minor head of household members of an OWF Assistance Group (AG) sign a Self-Sufficiency Contract (SSC). The SSC shall set forth the rights and responsibilities of the assistance group as applicants for and participants in Ohio Works First, including their work responsibilities. If any member of an OWF AG fails or refuses, without good cause, to sign the contract they are ineligible. If they do not comply in full with any of its provisions (including work assignments), the entire OWF AG shall be sanctioned by the CDHS using the three-tiered sanction process. The CDHS shall establish standards for the determination of good cause.


Each SSC shall include, based on appraisals and assessments, the OWF AG's plan for self-sufficiency and personal responsibility through unsubsidized employment within OWF time limits. The work plan part of the contract shall thoroughly document all Work, Developmental and Alternative activities to which each adult or minor head of household in the OWF AG has been assigned.


Beginning October 1, 1997 every county is required to adopt and use a Self-Sufficiency Contract for every Ohio Works First Assistance Group. Every county shall work with each adult or minor head of household participant to prepare a plan for them to reach self-sufficiency. The SSC and work plan together, when signed by all adult or minor head of household members of the OWF AG become a binding agreement of mutual rights and responsibilities between CDHS and the OWF AG.




OWF Letter No. 2


Page 2



ODHS has prepared the enclosed model Self-Sufficiency Contract (which incorporates the contract's Self-Sufficiency Plan) for use or modification by counties. However, in keeping with the principle of giving counties maximum flexibility in designing and implementing programs, counties can also design their own self-sufficiency contracts to best fit the needs of their community that meets the requirements of Section 5107.14. Each county has two options:


1. Adopt the State model Self-Sufficiency Contract as written.


2. Design their own Self-Sufficiency Contract (counties may use any part of the State model when designing their own contract).


The Self-Sufficiency Contract is a binding contract between the CDHS and the OWF participant. As with any contract, ODHS strongly recommends that the CDHS seek the advice and approval of the county prosecutor before the chosen contract format is finalized since it will likely be the basis for state hearing decisions.


Examples of Michigan's and Indiana's Self-Sufficiency Contracts have been included in this packet to assist counties in developing their own model.


Each county must submit a copy of their chosen Self-Sufficiency Contract to ODHS no later than September 30, 1997. Please submit a copy of the Self-Sufficiency Contract to be used in your county to Robert Haas at the following address:

Ohio Department of Human Services

30 East Broad Street, 31st Floor

Columbus, Ohio 43266-0423

phone: (614) 644-6937

fax: (614) 644-2984



A disk copy of the Self-Sufficiency Contract is available upon request or counties may download a copy off the ODHS Website at https://jfs.ohio.gov/.






c: Child Support Enforcement Agencies


Public Children Services Agencies


County Commissioners


District Directors