Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I learn to use OCAT?
In addition to the training you received, should you need more help, Click on the “Help” tab and you have access to the User Guide, which you also received in your training packet. For more help, contact the HelpDesk at OCAT@icf.com or 855-283-1644.
2. What are the Work Readiness Resources and how are they intended to be used with a client?
The Work Readiness Resources (WRR) are divided into section for Participants and Case Managers. The section for Participants has been created for clients to explore and learn about their interests, abilities, and skills. This section has three levels of activities, information, and links around career exploration for clients to progress on the road towards self-sufficiency. The three sections that progress from initial career exploration to understanding labor market information. In all three levels, clients can take advantage of the Takeaways, which are activities and fact sheets for them to use to take down information or learn about themselves. The case manager can assign the participant sections to go over at home and takeaways to do at home, as the WRR is not password protected, or the case manager can go over the sections with them in person.
3. What are the action plans that can be associated with the Recommendations? Do I have to make an action step for each recommendation?
An action plan is a specific action that you believe a client should take to comply with the recommendation in OCAT. If a recommendation is to refer an individual to a financial management class, for example, the Action Plan might be “Referred client to financial management class at X location on X date, ending on X date.
4. What if I decide a recommendation is not appropriate or relevant for a client? Can I delete or remove a recommendation from the Appraisal Summary?
You cannot delete a recommendation, as they are automatically generated by the tool. What you can do, however, is add an Action Plan stating that you do not believe this recommendation is relevant, and give the reasons. That will show up in the Appraisal Summary and will be part of the client’s record.
5. Where do I add information about referrals? What if I determine the client needs a referral for a category that does not have a recommendation in OCAT?
You may make a referral in the Action Plan. There is a check box when you are adding an Action Plan, and if you check it, you can make a referral.
6. What if two people (husband-wife) come in for an interview. Can I conduct one interview in OCAT for two people?
OCAT is designed to assess one individual at a time. You can link the two individuals together in OCAT so that as the case manager you know these people are together, but they should be assessed individually.
7. We already collect much of this demographic information as part of client in-take, can OCAT be pre-populated with this data so we don’t have to ask clients for it multiple times and case workers don’t have enter this information in different systems?
For now, OCAT is not able to pre-populate demographic data from other CA systems. Data integration is being studied by CDSS and will be a feature of future enhancements to OCAT. Case workers can reduce the burden on clients by entering demographic information before a client interview and verify this information during the interview.
8. What do the circles next to the Topic tabs mean?
The circles that you see indicate whether a section has been clicked on. If a circle is completely filled in, it means that you have at least clicked on each page; if it is half filled in, it means you have clicked on at least one page. It is meant to be a guide to tell you where in the tool you have been, as you may not want to complete the tool in order.
9. How do I transfer a case to another case worker?
Transfer is used when an interview needs to be transferred between individuals at a site or across sites. For example, if one person does Intake, and asks demographic questions, and another user conducts the in-depth appraisal, the case can be transferred between users using this functionality.
To Transfer a case, hit “Transfer” in the Interview List, then click on “Add Case Manager” and expand the selection to choose the Office of the individual to whom you are transferring the case. Once chosen, you will select the name of the case manager in the “Select a Case Manager” field, and click “Add Selected Case Manager.”
Once you have added the case manager to whom you want to transfer the case, click “Accept Changes” to complete the action. If you are transferring a case permanently, you can then remove yourself from the list, so that you no longer have access to the case. If the case will be going back and forth you do not have to remove yourself so that you will continue to have access to that individual.
OCAT users should speak to their county administrators to verify that they should be using this functionality.
10. What if I want to add information to the assessment but there is no question that directly addresses it?
In the upper right hand corner of every page there is a “Notes” button so that you can add any information that you feel is important that is not directly addressed by a question in the tool, or to add any thoughts that you have that are pertinent to the case.
11. As a case worker, can I over-ride my clients’ answer on an indicator question if I think they should answer the questions in that section anyway?
Yes. If the client says that they have no issues with housing, for example, but you know that they have moved several times in the past few months, you can override their answer by clicking “continue” on the right-hand side or clicking the next section manually. This will bring up the questions in that section so that you can ask them anyway, regardless of the answer given by the client.
12. How do I save my interview?
Interviews automatically save data every 15 minutes. Additionally, when you click “Exit” to leave an interview, the save functionality is triggered at that point as well.
13. How long does it take to do an appraisal?
What we have seen in the field is that it usually averages about 45 to 60 minutes. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes it takes a much shorter time. Caseworkers have indicated that 45 to 60 minutes for each interview has been sufficient time to interview each client.
14. How are the reports generated and calculated?
The reporting section of OCAT is pulling all the information from the tool in real-time and populating that part of the tool.
15. Where is the information being collected and saved?
All information is collected and saved on an encrypted server database to ensure security and confidentiality.
System Look and Feel
Printable Administration Guide
Contact Help Desk
If you are having problems with your OCAT user account, please contact one of your designated OCAT County Administrators to unlock your account, reset your password, or make other changes. For other assistance and questions about OCAT, email OCAT@icf.com or call 1-855-283-1644.