MAYVILLE - The Welfare-to-Work program in Chautauqua County is making progress.
Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County public health director, provided an update on the assistance program to members of the Human Services Committee on Wednesday.
"We really have done an excellent job in the last year or so, since we got a new director of temporary assistance," Schuyler said. "Since she has come on board, we have been focusing on how we can increase our participation numbers."
According to Schuyler, when someone applies for assistance, one of the first things that is discussed is employment. There are state and federal standards that must be followed in order to allow someone assistance.
"If someone comes in and applies for any of the benefit programs, there's this little checklist," Schuyler said. "If there are any of these red flags, then they send it over to be investigated. And, you don't open that case unless you're sure that there's no fraud going on the front end."
Then, each month, Schuyler provides a report to the Human Services Committee, regarding employment work sites, how many openings there are, how many applications and denials there are. This year, the county has avoided nearly $6 million in losses over last year, because of the checklist in the beginning of the process.
"We really are doing a better job at that front-end detection. It's much easier to try to keep people from getting on assistance who shouldn't be on the front end than it is on the back end," Schulyer said. "Our real main goal here is to really help the people that need the help. That's where our focus is."