WIOA Title I-A & I-B Policy & Procedure Manual
Ch. 8) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

8.6 Supportive Services



8.6.3 Providing Supportive Services

Effective date: October 10, 2018

8.6.3.1 Identifying Supportive Service Needs

As part of the initial assessment, career planners must work with individuals to identify their supportive service needs.1 The career planner

  1. gathers information from the individual to help the individual recognize barriers that could hinder his/her successful participation in career services or training activities
  • AND
  1. helps the individual connect with available resources to address the barriers.

Career planners are expected to check in with participants about supportive service needs throughout their program participation. This will help ensure that all barriers to successful participation are identified and appropriately addressed, and that services are discontinued when they are no longer needed.

8.6.3.2 When to Provide

Local WDBs may provide information and referral supportive services at any time.

Local WDBs may provide program-funded supportive services through the Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs when:

  • participants are or will be engaged in career or training services;2
  • they need the supportive services to participate in career or training services;3
  • AND
  • it can be demonstrated that they cannot access the supportive services, within the time frame needed, through other WIOA titles, federal or state public assistance programs, or job center partners in the local WDA.4
    Example: A participant needs help with transportation to a class starting next week. A community organization provides funding for transportation but will not have funds available for this purpose until next semester. Since the service is not available by next week, which is the time frame needed, WIOA can fund supportive services for transportation for this participant.

Note: Participants in follow-up may not receive any program-funded supportive services.5

Career planners may provide a program-funded supportive service only if the service is connected to the individual's participation in a career or training service. The program-funded supportive service must end when the career or training service ends. For example, a participant receives financial assistance for child care while attending training. The participant cannot continue to receive the child care assistance after the training ends, unless the participant needs child care to participate in another career or training service identified in his/her employment plan. Supportive services alone cannot extend an individual's program participation.6

Career planners can provide a program-funded supportive service for a career or training service that has not yet started, if the participant needs the supportive service in order to start the career or training service. For example, a participant plans to start an OJT and will need a pair of steel toe boots for the training. The boots are an allowable supportive service.

A participant may receive supportive services to support career or training services funded by WIOA or by non-WIOA sources, if the service 1) can be funded by WIOA, 2) is included in the participant's employment plan, and 3) is added to the ASSET Manage Services screen.

Examples of providing supportive services funded by WIOA to support career or training services not funded by WIOA:

  • A participant in a registered apprenticeship may receive supportive services,7 even if the sponsor is paying the full costs of the apprenticeship, when the following conditions are met:
    • the participant meets WIOA's eligibility requirements for training; and
    • the training being supported is eligible for WIOA Title I-B funding. (That is, the classroom training must be on the ETPL; the OJT employer must be eligible to receive OJT funding).
  • The career planner must include the training in the participant's employment plan and add it as a service in ASSET.
  • A participant receiving résumé and job search assistance through an outplacement agency funded by a former employer may receive supportive services such as transportation or child care assistance to help him/her participate in the services provided by the outplacement agency.



Employment Plan

Effective date: October 10, 2018

An employment plan identifies a participant's employment goals, appropriate achievement objectives (i.e., action steps) and combination of services that will help the individual achieve his/her employment goals. (WIOA sec. 134(c)(2)(A)(xii)(II); 20 CFR § 680.170)



Public Assistance

Effective date: August 20, 2018

Revised date: September 1, 2020

"Public Assistance" means federal, state, or local government cash payments where eligibility is determined by a needs or income test.

WIOA Sec. 3(50)

As WIOA does not define "cash payments," DWD-DET used definitions provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to define "cash payments" as cash or a cash equivalent, such as a debit card or check, that can be spent however the recipient choses, and is not restricted to a specific purpose like groceries or childcare.

U.S. Census Bureau (https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/ 2013/acs/acsbr11-12.pdf); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-8-part-g-chapter-10)