I wrote in my last column about legislation pending in the Indiana Senate, which, if passed, would have eliminated Township Boards and drastically changed Township Government. I am happy to inform you this Legislation was voted down, and the vote was not along Party lines.
The vote seemed to reflect an understanding by lawmakers of the value of small local government and that government closest to the people is the best government. Of course, anything can happen as long as the legislature is in session, but this vote certainly goes a long way toward preserving our Township Government.
We continue here at Wayne Township to examine our programs and make sure we are offering the best possible service to our clients. I have written before about our Workfare program and the way it helps both our clients and our community. We recently made a change in that program that we believe will better assist our clients.
You may recall from my previous columns that all our clients, who are physically able, must work either at our office or a non-profit agency. The amount of time they work depends on how much Assistance they receive. If the client fails to perform the assigned work, he or she is not eligible for Township Assistance for six months.
Before the client starts his or her Workfare assignment, the client must attend what we call an orientation class. At this class, clients learn what is expected of them when they perform their Workfare. Under the supervision of our new Workfare Director, Roosevelt Johnson, we decided to expand the orientation class and provide clients with more information about our office, as well as more information about how they can move from assistance to independence.
Further, for clients receiving Township Assistance for longer than one month, we thought it was a waste of clients’ time to have them sit through the same orientation class every month. So, now we are requiring clients to attend orientation class only once, for which they will receive a Certificate of Completion. The Certificate is good for six months. If they need assistance again after six months, only then will they have to attend another orientation class.
The expanded orientation classes serve a much greater purpose than just providing clients with information. The classes are conducted in a very upbeat manner. They are meant to instill enthusiasm and confidence in our clients and help them believe that they can be a success.
The first speaker is Mr. Johnson. He outlines the requirements of Workfare and helps the clients fill out the necessary forms. He also speaks with them about the importance of doing well while performing Workfare. He tells them that some clients have done such a great job for the agencies where they worked that the agencies have offered them permanent jobs.
Roosevelt is a wonderful cheerleader for our clients and sets the stage for the other speakers. They include LeRoy Page, Director of Employment; SuzAnne Runge, Payee Director; Michael DePew, Director of Intake and Investigations, and last, but hopefully not least, me.
I talk to the clients about stretching their resources and doing the best they can with the funds they have. I also talk to them about the limited budget we have here at the Township and how we must stretch our resources too. Most importantly, I speak with the clients about maintaining a positive attitude and staying motivated to be the best they can be.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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