As government changes, economic conditions and operational protocols have increased the demands on employees in state agencies working to provide assistance to those in need, it has become more important than ever that who evaluate the appropriate designation of welfare dollars are thoroughly trained in effective and efficient benefit disbursement. Accomplishing this requires being well versed in the current government human services programs and the associated requirements for eligibility of available programs, as well as being skilled in the less obvious and regulated necessities for a successfully run agency.
It is not uncommon to encounter diminished morale from staff as most feel their workload is heavy. As a result, supplemental and ongoing training has never before been more crucial for eligibility workers; the need the ‘right’ tools to overcome frustration, fatigue and burnout.
Tim Gard, CSP, CPAE – Sole Source Provider
Tim has the rare combination experience of having been an eligibility worker at a local office who met with applicants for food stamp assistance and interviewed and determined eligibility for these applicants first hand. He was later one of Montana’s first Eligibility Investigators, an investigative pioneer who investigated food stamp fraud and program abuse; in the office and during home visits and then took administrative or legal action. He assisted in writing the State investigator handbook and wrote the standards and procedures for field interviews and home visits still in use today. He was then invited by USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to lecture and consult with other states as those states added front-end investigation programs. In 1989 he was recruited to join FNS and became a management evaluation reviewer at the Mountain Plains Regional Office in Denver Colorado.
He is truly a rare individual who has determined eligibility directly with customers in direct services, investigated applicants and recipients for program abuse and then worked with states in the development of corrective action plans at the federal level. Since leaving federal service in 1984 he has become one of the most sought after speakers in the human services field. In addition to this in 2000 he was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional designation by the National Speakers Association. This CSP is the highest earned designation of the NSA, an achievement shared by less than 7 percent of NSA members worldwide. He has also been inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame.
Working harder is NOT the answer! The Interviewing With Style program teaches staff to adapt their style of interviewing within established guidelines while leaning into interoffice cooperative relationships to meet expectations and get the job done. Terms and titles may differ state to state, but the VALUE of this program will benefit agencies of all kinds, nationwide – Timelessly!