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Caseworker guidelines and FAQ'S.

Our mission is to help the neediest of the needy: those who by receiving our services would be given an enabling, life changing step forward that they have no other way of obtaining. The individuals also need to be motivated to continue to make positive steps forward to independence. We must be good stewards of the resources we are given. To insure this, we look to you, our partner organization, to vet each request and filter them based on our relationship with the client.

Please use the following requirements to determine if your client is eligible to benefit from our services.

Qualifying clients:

As mentioned above we are looking to help the neediest of the needy: those who by receiving our services would be given an enabling, life changing step forward that they have no other way of obtaining. The individuals need to be doing everything they can to get out of their current situation and back on their feet. They need to be motivated to continue to make positive steps forward to independence.  

  • Are currently receiving assistance towards achieving independence.
  • Are actively trying to achieve independence.
  • Have a valid driver’s license, tabs and insurance.
  • Have no other options available.
  • This service would be life changing, enabling them to make the next step in achieving independence.
  • Can afford the title transfer fee if applicable and have funds set aside for it.

Services we provide:

  • Tires
  • Brakes.
  • Shocks/struts.
  • Ball joints.
  • Radiators.
  • Thermostats.
  • Hoses.
  • Fuel pumps.
  • Sway bar links
  • Battery replacement.
  • Alternator/starter replacement.
  • Power steering pumps.
  • Window regulators.
  • Lights.

Services we do not provide:

  • Body work.
  • Major engine or transmission work.
  • Luxury items (radios, heated seats, etc.) .
  • Windshield replacement or repair.
  • Pay for work done by other shops.
  • Alignments.
  • Exhaust work.
  • Cosmetic repairs.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Loaner vehicles.
  • Emergency repair or towing service.
  • Axle/Differential repair.

Client and caseworker expectations:

  • The caseworker is the communication channel between the client and Fix It Forward Ministry.
    - The client should be informed they are not to contact Fix It Forward directly
    - All communication should flow through the caseworker
  • Typical turnaround time from a request being accepted to being scheduled is 6-8 weeks.
    - We do not provide updates on status in the queue
  • The referral forms are to be completely filled out. (This includes VIN number, Impact statement etc.).
    - Vehicle information is critical to us being able to repair the vehicle
    - The impact statement should be complete and meaningful
  • Our goal is to make the vehicle safe and reliable. We will inspect the vehicle once we schedule it and prioritize and choose what repairs we will complete based on our assessment of safety and reliability.
    - We choose what gets repaired
    - We cannot fix everything
    - We prioritize our repairs based on safety, reliability, allotted work time, and parts availability
  • We do not warranty the cars we donate or work on.
    - We will work with the individual in most cases if an issue arises but the need to then go through the repair request process
    - They are not to contact us directly or just stop by Fix It Forward Ministry
    - We limit the number of times we will work on a vehicle
    - The intent is to help them get on their feet so they can manage going forward
  • The client should not stop by Fix It Forward unless we have contacted them about the repair or donation and scheduled a time.
  • We target one safe working vehicle per family.
  • We do not provide donated vehicles to families with an existing vehicle (including car, truck or motorcycle) – If they feel the vehicle is beyond repair, we will need to validate this ourselves.

Failure to uphold the expectations of the partnership will result in the suspension of all requests until the issues can be resolved.

Submitting a request:

  • Fill out the proper form.
    - Incomplete forms will not be processed
    - Vehicle issue descriptions must be as precise as possible – see below for specific examples
  • Email the form to [email protected].
    - The email title must contain: the clients name, request type, and the date 
    - If the email is not titled correctly it will not get processed
    - Example: Jane Doe – repair request – 2/12/2018
    - If you can’t share the client’s name due to confidentiality, use an alias (The request requires a name but be aware an alias will complicate the process and communication)
  • The email must contain:
    - The proper form as an attachment
    - Optional: any relevant shop repair quotes

Once we review a request:

  • We will email you confirmation if the request was accepted and placed on the waiting list or if we have declined the request.
  • We may email you with any additional questions.
  • You (the case manager) are our primary contact channel to the client.
  • Clients may NOT contact us directly.
    - It will not help them receive services
    - it is against our policies
    - It will consume our limited resources
    - It will delay requests being completed

Repair request specifics:

  • Before submitting the request:
    - Verify it is their vehicle (title to them) no exceptions
    - Complete the request form in its entirety
    - Check the FAQ for questions related to the issue (Providing this information up front reduces churn and delays)
  • If accepted the average wait is 6-8 weeks.
  • Once the request has come up in the list, we will contact the caseworker to schedule a time for the repair. The caseworker is responsible for communicating the scheduled repair time with client.
  • Any future issues would require a new request.

Vehicle donation request specifics:

  • Before applying for a vehicle donation.
    - Verify they do not have another vehicle in their family (Our goal is one working car per family)
    - Verify the funds for title transfer, tabs, insurance, and taxes are set aside and ready
    - Complete the request form in its entirety
  • If accepted the average wait is 6-8 weeks.
  • Once we have a vehicle for them, we will contact you (the caseworker) to validate they are:
    - Still a good candidate
    - Have not already procured a vehicle
    - Have the funds to complete the transfer process
    - Can have the transfer process completed in a week
  • Do not pick up the title until it can be transferred.
    - The transfer process can be completed within a week
  • At this point you can have the client or assist them in picking up the title and transferring it to their name.
  • Before they get the vehicle and keys, we need the client to return with proof of:
    - Insurance
    - Tabs
    - Title transfer
  • If there are any issue with the vehicle:
    - A repair request needs to be submitted
    - They are not to just stop in with the vehicle or contact Fix It Forward directly
    - We understand these are user vehicles and can have issues, but we do not offer a warranty (We do want to try to assist them as they work toward independence but do limit it)

Vehicle issues description:

  • To best serve our clients, we need as much information as possible on vehicle issues.
  • Please use the following examples to help you fill out your request form.


Brakes are bad.


  • The brakes squeal when stopping.
  • The brakes grind when stopping .
  • When the brake pedal is pressed the vehicle does not stop .
  • The brake pedal feels very soft and spongy.
  • There is a puddle of brake fluid under the car .
  • There is brake fluid all over the tire.


Car has no heat.


  • The heater fan does not run at any speed. 
  • The heater fan runs but squeals very loud.
  • The floor has heat but the defrost does not have heat.
  • There is no heat, but the heater fan runs and blows air.


The front end is bad.


  • The steering wheel shakes back and forth at highway speeds.
  • The steering wheel shakes when braking.
  • There is a hum that gets louder the faster the car goes.
  • When the steering wheel is turned there is slop before the wheels turn.


The car is dead/The car won't start.


  • When the key is turned, no lights come on. 
  • The headlights are dim and there is just a click when the key is turned.
  • When the key is turned there is just a click .
  • The car cranks over but does not start .
  • The car sputters but will not stay running.


Power steering is bad.


  • The car squeals when turning.
  • There is power steering fluid under the car and the fluid is low .
  • The power steering fluid is at the proper level but it’s hard to turn the wheel.


The tires are bad.


  • The tires are down to the wear bars and the size is 235/65-16.
  • Below is a picture of the wear bars and the tire side wall to see the tire size.

Final steps before receiving a donated vehicle:

Here is a list of what we need from you to complete once you received the title from us. We hope that you can get all this done in a timely manner which helps you get into your vehicle sooner. We do not know what the DMV charge to register a vehicle, but you can try calling them to get a rough estimate, so you have a better idea of the cost before going in.

1. Get insurance on the vehicle we are donating to you and must be in your name. Minnesota requires proof of insurance on the vehicle that you are registering. So do this first before going to the DMV. Make sure you get a printed copy of the insurance.

2. Have the vehicle register/titled in your name at the DMV in the state you live in and licensed in. We are donating the vehicle to you so that’s why it needs to be in your name. In ND you will get license plates, tabs for the plates and a new printed title for the vehicle. In MN you will also get plates, tabs and a document showing the vehicle in titled in your name and the new title will be mailed to you later.

3. Once you have all the above done, you or your caseworker can call or email to setup a time to pick up your vehicle. Bring in all the documents, title/registration, and insurance so we can take copies of all of them. If you are planning to pick up the title and going to the DMV the same day, just let us know that and we can have the vehicle ready that day. If you can’t make it, call to let us know so we can put the vehIcle back in the fenced in area.  If you plan on going to the DMV on a different day after picking up the title, call to arrange a time for pick up. If you just show up without us being notified, there is a good chance we won’t be here or ready to help you. If we are, it might take a half hour or more to do our final inspection before giving you the vehicle. The Service advisors for the auto care shop will not be able to help you, they don’t have the time or knowledge of what’s going on per client and will have to come back after setting up a appointment with one of us! Contact information is above and leave a voicemail if one on answers.