Well I tried to reach a social worker by phone. Since our kids are already getting medical assistance, I wasn't sure if we had to file a whole new application or if I could just talk to the worker and get the ball rolling that way. After a week of phone calls, the worker never called back, so I decided to just go in and fill out the dumb application anyway.
Today I spent the entire morning in the assistance office because "appointments" are on a first come first serve basis. The actual meeting with the worker took no more than ten minutes, but I was told I needed to supply more paperwork and information before they could file anything for me. I have to meet with someone at the Workforce Development office on Tuesday the 18th to enroll in Promise Jobs.
Promise Jobs is actually a pretty good program, designed to eliminate lifetime welfare recipients. A person is only allowed to receive welfare money for 60 total months in their lifetime, and only if they participate in the Promise Jobs program. The program sets you up with a job counsellor, employment classes, resume preparation, etc. with the ultimate goal of you becoming self-sufficient and no longer relying on government assistance. Where you used to lose all welfare assistance as soon as you got a job, now they continue your assistance for a designated period, with a reduction in the amount based on only 40% of your income. If you make $500/week at your new job, they give you assistance as if you were only making $200.
Vic is still planning to tell them he wants to go to school, and we hope they offer some sort of schooling program that he can participate in. I'm not sure where I stand in all this, since they told me today that I would have to participate in the job-hunting process too. I was happy to know that the worker I spoke with today was intelligent, since he told me I may not have to get a job at all if we homeschool. He said, "You have every legal right to homeschool your kids, and you can't do that very well if you're working full time can you?" That little comment almost made up for the 3 hours I waited in the lobby.