The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is pleased to announce, Kansas was one of only 12 states in the nation to meet the federal work participation rate for both overall and two-parent families, according to a recently-released report from the Office of the Administration of Children and Families. The participation rate measures how many adults are actively working toward preparing and searching for work. These activities include short-term vocational training, job searching and readiness training, high school or GED education and employment.
“We are committed to helping Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients develop the skills they need to achieve self-reliance,” DCF Secretary Philly Gilmore said.
According to the Office of Family Assistance, the U.S. Department of Human Services (HHS) issues TANF state work participation rates, which measure how well states engage families receiving assistance in certain work activities during a fiscal year. A state must meet either an overall (or “all families”) and a two-parent work participation rate or face a potential financial penalty.
This morning, in Topeka, two TANF clients graduated from an employment services program funded by DCF. The agency’s contracted partner, Partners 4 Success (P4S), offers an intensive six-week career training program, with a 200-hour all-encompassing career training curriculum to equip individuals with the tools and knowledge they need to be competitive in the job market. The course provides assistance with mastering the necessary skills to get a job, such as resume building, interview skills and attaining a professional wardrobe. Instruction also includes time management skills.
Aaron Castellon, a P4S graduate receiving TANF assistance, joined the program to gain the skills necessary to provide a better life for his three daughters.
“Going through P4S was the best decision of my life. I feel so much more motivated and focused on what I want to achieve in my life, which is to get a good-paying job so I can support my family and strive for greatness,” Castellon said.
Kimberly Daughtry, the Topeka-area P4S instructor, sets up a structured classroom environment and rigorous curriculum, with the same expectations her students’ future employers will have for them. She understands this ultimately sets her students up for success when they enter the workforce.
“The curriculum is ultimately life changing for these individuals,” Daugherty said. “It’s not always easy, but we refuse to give up on these students. We are committed to seeing them change for the better.”
From left to right: P4S graduates Mi’Eshia Thomas, Aaron Castellon, Chelsey Moncrief, Alicia Franks