Supportive Assistance to Individuals and Families (SAIF) was developed to create a safety net for those families and individuals who exhausted their five-year time limit on welfare (Work First New Jersey [WFNJ]) and do not meet the criteria for an exemption to the time limit. (Exemptions are given to people who are permanently disabled, sole caretakers of a disabled dependent, chronically unemployable, over age 60, or victims of family violence.)
The SAIF program, which began serving clients early in 2004, couples intensive case management with a continuation of the service package available to WFNJ recipients. This means that if the client continues to work or participate in a work activity, he or she may receive up to 24 months of cash benefits, plus services such as child care and transportation. If needed, other services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment may also be available. A case manager will keep in close contact with the client – through phone calls, visits to the office and even visits to the client’s worksite or home –to ensure that progress continues.