CAPCIL provides update on new work
Drug testing debated
Send a link to a friend
[December 16, 2016]
- On Tuesday, December 13, the Logan County Board's
Executive/Personnel Committee held their monthly meeting. This was
the first session of the new fiscal year. The committee heard an
update from Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois' Katie
Alexander on the Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI), a
program the county is helping to fund.
Alexander said there are 20 people registered for the first SWFI
classes that start January 3. Those registered have to meet certain
criteria to qualify for the program.
Alexander handed out a list of the criteria for people entering the
program. She said those who "express interest" in the program are
asked to "provide 90 days of income" to show they meet "200% of the
Federal poverty guidelines." They also "complete the qualification
survey, and sign the Client Management Agreement," then "complete
the Comprehensive Assessment with their Family Service Worker."
Alexander said a "Self-Sufficiency Matrix" tracks their progress on
a scale between "in crisis" and "thriving." The qualification survey
asks those interested in the program questions about their
employment situation, level of education, housing and financial
situations, health status, and how their bills get paid. A final
question is, "How much time during the week are you willing to
commit to changing your life?"
Alexander asked for some feedback from the board about additional
Committee Vice Chairman Kevin Bateman asked about testing the
participants for substance abuse or usage. He said it was a concern
he had voiced when the county was voting on whether to give the
Alexander said they do not do drug testing, but individuals are
asked about substance abuse in the comprehensive assessment.
Community Action can help refer them to services before they get
involved in a program. Alexander said she realizes some could lie,
but people often admit to the problem.
Bateman said he just does not want to spend money to help someone
who continues to abuse drugs and "wrecks chances of changing their
life." He would like wording in their agreements saying participants
may be subject to random drug testing if substance use is suspected.
The participants would have to sign an agreement saying they
understand they may be tested for drugs.
Committee member Bob Sanders said those who are using drugs may not
sign the agreement.
Bateman said those not using drugs would be likely to sign an
agreement with no problem, but those using drugs may argue about it.
[to top of second column]
Board Chairman Chuck Ruben said he does not want to "micromanage" the program
just because the county gave them some funding. He said drug and alcohol abuse
are often caused by poor self-perception and if they can get into programs then
get a job and see the advantages, that could turn them around. Ruben said he
knows people who occasionally use recreational drugs and still function.
Alexander said her experience has been that those using drugs do not make it
very far through the classes offered.
Bateman said most employers will not hire someone without doing a drug test. To
get the job, they must pass the drug test. He said if someone starts missing
classes and drug use is suspected, a signed agreement would allow for drug
testing when there is a concern.
Sanders said he does not want someone who is using drugs to take up a spot in
Bateman said he is concerned about recreational drug use who do not think their
use is a "big deal." He said getting permission for drug testing is his main
suggestion. Bateman said testing positive does not have to mean someone would be
automatically kicked out of the program.
Alexander said she would look into this suggestion since she knows many of the
people going into trades will be subject to drug testing. For more information
on the program, go to