Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
Wisconsin Works (W-2) Manual
W-2Wisconsin Works agencies must provide services that are strengths-based, family-centered and consistent with the W-2 applicant’s or participant’s interests and goals. Agencies must work cooperatively with applicants and participants to identify needed resources and to assign appropriate activities. The goal is to build on the strengths and skills of parents and families. The W-2 agency must provide all services in a culturally and linguistically competent manner and be accessible for qualified refugees, former refugees and others with limited English proficiency.
W-2 policies are guided by the consistent application of the following Basic Assumptions:
1. Work is the best way for parents to support their families. Getting a job is the first step in the process of achieving economic stability. W-2 assists parents with preparing for, finding and maintaining consistent employment. W-2 also works with parents who are unable to work due to a disability by assisting these parents with navigating the SSISupplemental Security Income and SSDISocial Security Disability Insurance application process.
2. Family income should improve when parents work. W-2’s goal is to have parents get the best possible job. W-2 also helps parents access work supports (e.g. EITCEarned Income Tax Credit, FSFoodShare, BCBadgerCare, CSChild Support and Wisconsin Shares Child Care) that will support keeping them employed.
3. Consistent work is essential for parents to achieve economic stability. W-2 commits to working with parents before and after they find a job. W-2 supports job retention and advancement in a variety of ways because individual progress toward independence and prosperity is a process. W-2 connects interested parents to needed education and training either before or after gaining employment, in order to help them move forward to better employment.
4. W-2 participants are parents as well as job seekers. Working parents have multiple family and work obligations. W-2 works with parents to identify strategies to enable them to balance work and family. W-2 also assists parents who are connected to other programs or supports integrate those activities with the family’s service plans.
5. Eligible parents must be willing to participate in exchange for W-2 benefits. Parents across the state have access to individualized quality services. Parents, for their part, must participate to the best of their abilities.
6. Families benefit from participating in W-2. W-2 assists parents with identifying their goals and locating needed resources. During each interaction, W-2 works to ensure parents understand their choices and the resulting consequences. This approach empowers parents to make informed decisions that strengthen their family. W-2 works with both custodial parents in a two-parent household and extends services to noncustodial parents when appropriate.
7. W-2 matches the needs of working parents with the needs of local employers. W-2 agencies operate cooperatively within the larger community. W-2 objectives are best achieved by understanding the needs of local employers and matching that need with the skills and interests of W-2 participants.
page last updated in Release # 11-02
Release Date: 04/07/11
Effective Date: 04/07/11