YouthBuild staff are required to document both participant eligibility and all performance outcomes that occur during the participant’s time in the program and in the first 12 months after program exit.
Documentation and Security Reminders
All participant file information should be stored in a locked cabinet. It is highly suggested that the program should assign one person or position (Case Manager) to track and monitor files.
Key DOL documentation requirements should be noted and consistently reviewed by data staff and the Program Director with check-ins to the Federal Project Officer as needed.
Reminders for Eligibility with PY2015 and PY2016 DOL YouthBuild Grants
- YouthBuild eligibility has been modified to remove the sequential service strategy provision
Instead, the eligibility has been expanded to include not just a school dropout, but also, any individual who was a school dropout and has subsequently reenrolled.
- Participants are eligible for YouthBuild if they are:
o not less than age 16 and not more than age 24, on the date of enrollment;
o a member of a low-income family, a youth in foster care (including youth aging out of foster care), a youth offender, a youth who is an individual with a disability, a child of incarcerated parents, or a migrant youth; and
o a school dropout, or an individual who was a school dropout and has subsequently reenrolled.
- Exception for Individuals Not Meeting Income or Educational Need Requirements
o Not more than 25 percent of the participants in YouthBuild may be individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements but who:
o are basic skills deficient, despite attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent (including recognized certificates of attendance or similar documents for individuals with disabilities); or
o have been referred by a local secondary school for participation in a YouthBuild program leading to the attainment of a secondary school diploma.
Reminders for Referrals regarding Documentation and Guidance
o All referrals to other service providers are documented including follow-up responses (letters from other providers, copies of assessments from other providers, indication of no-shows for a referral, etc.)
Reminders for MIS Documentation and Guidance
- Management Information Systems (MIS) are not identical to case management systems--although they may support case management.
- MIS are designed to provide information for managing a program, not for coordinating services for participants.
- It is suggested that measures, certifications, placements and all other pertinent data completed by active students immediately be entered in the proper MIS field.
- It is suggested that the Program Director review reported data weekly against the participant’s file.
The process of documentation is an ongoing process. When in doubt, remember C.E.T., which stands for Collect, Enter, and Check. The staff collects the program and participant data. The Case Manager or MIS staff person enters the program/participant data in the MIS and the Program Manager checks the entered data for accuracy.
It’s advisable to review data outcomes at least twice a month to review how the DOL performance measures are being reported and to ensure that all reported outcomes can be backed up with supporting documentation. If there are concerns, you should work with your YouthBuild coach and the MIS Help Desk to resolve concerns or issues with data reporting and documentation.
Finally, review all relevant DOL Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGLs) and Training and Employment Notices (TENs) and ensure all program staff are aware of the required guidance and discuss any challenges your program may be experiencing with documentation with your Federal Project Officer.
If you missed our March 2017 webinar on Documentation Requirements and Key Guidance, you can access the recording here. This webinar reviewed existing guidance documents (TEGLs and TENs) that are particularly relevant and important for YouthBuild grantees, and highlighted the importance of required and allowable documentation for both participant eligibility and participant outcomes. Federal Project Officers presented on the findings they have encountered on monitoring visits and the ways grantees often get into trouble due to lack of documentation, as well as reviewing the potential negative outcomes that can result for an organization during close-out if sufficient documentation is not provided.