6.2 Pre-Intake Orientation

6.2.1 Purpose of the Pre-Intake Orientation

Group sessions provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the program, to ask questions and to gain information from others in the group. Where group sessions are not available, or participants are unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances (such as a conflict with work schedules), orientation packages are provided to participants as an alternative.
Participants who are not prepared for the intake interview may be asked to re-schedule their appointment to allow them time to adequately prepare. Where participants were excused from a pre-intake orientation session, they will be referred to the next available session to assist them to prepare for the intake interview.
The pre-intake orientation provides the participant with the opportunity to:
  1. decide whether applying to the program is appropriate;
  2. approach other resources that may be appropriate;
  3. review and clarify participant obligations;
  4. review application documents; and
  5. prepare for the intake interview.
For more information concerning the pre-intake orientation in Winnipeg, see sections 6.16.1 to 6.16.3.

6.2.2 Who Should Attend the Pre-Intake Orientation

Initial application

All single-parent and general assistance participants applying for EIA are required to attend a pre-intake orientation, where orientations are available, and to complete the Employment History and Personal Job Plan (see section 6.3.1). Where there are two adults in a potential GA applicant's household, both adults are usually expected to attend a pre-intake orientation.
If applicants have full-time employment and cannot attend a pre-intake orientation due to a conflict with their work schedule, they are not required to attend. Other reasons for which applicants may be excused from attending a pre-intake orientation include the same types of extenuating circumstances that could result in a deferral of employment expectations.
For more on deferring employment expectations, see section 6.5.3.
When an applicant's immediate need is met prior to attendance at a pre-intake orientation (see section 6.1.7), the applicant is required to attend a pre-intake orientation before receiving further assistance.

Case category changes

When an adult who is not an EIA participant joins a single-parent household resulting in a case category change to GA, both adults are required to attend a pre-intake orientation, followed by a new intake appointment to reassess the household's financial eligibility and service needs (see sections 6.1.4, 6.1.5 and 6.16.7).

File transfers from outside Winnipeg

When participants receiving assistance from EIA offices outside Winnipeg move to Winnipeg, they are required to attend a pre-intake orientation in Winnipeg. This is because much of the information provided at a pre-intake orientation is specific to the local community. Information unique to Winnipeg is provided at pre-intake orientations in Winnipeg on many topics, including job leads, job search techniques, EIA's application and case management process, and other financial and community resources participants transferring from EIA offices outside Winnipeg must also attend an intake appointment to have their service needs assessed and a FEMS code assigned (see section 6.16.7).

Re-enrolment after case closure

When former participants reapply after case closure and a new adult has joined their household, if the new case category is GA, both adults are required to attend a pre-intake orientation. A new intake is also required to reassess the household's financial eligibility and service needs (see sections 6.1.4, 6.1.5 and 6.16.7).
When former participants reapply after the case has been closed for longer than 6 months, attendance at another pre-intake orientation, followed by an intake appointment to reassess the applicant's financial eligibility and service needs, is required.

Care and caution indicator

When a prior contact check reveals that a potential re-applicant may require care and caution on the basis of past behaviour, they will not be invited to attend a pre-intake orientation. An intake appointment will be scheduled, following the care and caution protocol for the centralized intake office.

6.2.3 Information Provided at the Pre-Intake Orientation Session

Pre-intake orientations are customized to meet the information needs of different groupings of potential applicants. Potential single-parent and general assistance (GA) applicants with children attend different pre-intake orientations than childless GA applicants.
Topics covered at the pre-intake orientation session include:
  • Overview of Employment and Income Assistance:
    • explanation of the last resort nature of the program
    • explanation of other potential resources
    • explanation of eligibility criteria
    • review of program expectations such as reporting income, seeking maintenance and/or child support, and accessing all other financial resources.
  • Explanation of employment expectations:
    • requirement to seek self-sufficiency
    • assistance available from staff
    • required reporting
    • sanctions
    • job-searching in the context of the local labour market.
  • Discussion of other possible resources or sources of financial support:
    • income support (e.g. EI, CPP, Rent Assist, MCB, 55 PLUS, NCB)
    • employment search (Human Resources Centres, employment readiness courses and programs).
    • resources to assist in pursuing maintenance (such as the Child Support Office, maintenance enforcement, legal aid).
  • Explanation of application process:
    • requirement to complete the "Employment History and Personal Job Plan" form
    • documents and information to bring to the intake appointment (documents, information)
    • questions the worker will ask.
  • Discussion:
    • worker's card, or name and phone number, given to each potential applicant
    • how to make an intake appointment.
Printed information on most of these topics is available in the orientation package.
See section 6.16.2 for "Information Provided at Pre-Intake Orientations in Winnipeg."

6.2.4 The Pre-Intake Orientation Package

The pre-intake orientation package contains basic fact sheets about EIA. It also contains an "Employment History and Personal Job Plan" form which the potential applicant is expected to consider thoughtfully and to complete prior to the intake appointment.
The pre-intake orientation package is given to all potential applicants who attend a pre-intake orientation session. Participants who are required to attend the pre-intake orientation but cannot do so because of their remote location or extenuating circumstances are also provided with an orientation package.

6.2.5 Content of Information and Application Package

The pre-intake orientation package contains basic fact sheets about EIA, a copy of the EIA application form and material to complete action plans for finding employment.

6.2.6 The EIA Application Form, Including the Personal Job Plan

For all potential applicants attending a pre-intake orientation, including single parents with children under six years old, the EIA application form includes:

  • questions regarding the identity of all household members;
  • questions regarding current and previous shelter arrangements;
  • questions regarding the assets, debts and income of all household members;
  • the education, training and employment history of all adult applicants;
  • the marketable skills of all adult applicants;
  • a personal job plan to be completed by all adult applicants;
  • some optional information that might assist EIA in meeting the applicant's service needs;
  • a declaration regarding the accuracy and completeness of the information provided by the applicant; and
  • the applicant's consent to the collection, use and disclosure of any personal information needed to determine or verify household members' eligibility for EIA.
Potential applicants are advised to complete the entire application form, including the personal job plan, to the best of their ability before scheduling an intake appointment. This will ensure that applicants are well prepared for their intake appointments and do not experience needless delays in the assessment of their eligibility.

6.2.7 Tasks Assigned at Pre-Intake Orientations

In addition to completing the EIA application form, potential applicants may be asked to complete certain tasks before scheduling an intake appointment. Such tasks could include:

  • assembling any documents necessary to establish EIA eligibility, including appropriate identification to verify the identity of all household members for whom assistance is sought (see section 6.4.10);
  • if a potential general assistance applicant is childless, that he or she has not unreasonably terminated or refused a job (see section 6.5.4);
  • how the applicant's employment and other service needs can best be met (see section 6.16.7).
  • If the applicant is eligible for EIA, his or her immediate needs will be met. If the pre-intake orientation facilitator assigned one or more tasks at the pre-intake orientation, the participant must complete these tasks before receiving further assistance.
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