CalWORKs

Overview

CalWORKs

The CalWORKs program – California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids - provides cash assistance to families with children who need help with housing, food, utilities or clothing, as well as welfare-to-work activities for adults, such as looking for a job, attending job training, or furthering their education. It is California’s version of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, program. In California, more than 530,000 families receive assistance through the CalWORKs program.

Budget Priority

CalWORKs Outcomes and Accountability, Restoration of Funding and Budget Methodology

CWDA is requesting support of CalWORKs by establishing a new outcomes and accountability review system to foster continuous quality improvement in the program, requiring the California Department of Social Services to develop recommendations for a new budgeting methodology for the CalWORKs Single Allocation, and retaining the state’s fiscal investment in CalWORKs.

Budget Priority

Support CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program

CWDA is requesting support to ensure that homeless families in California’s CalWORKs program can access safe, temporary housing. Homelessness is a critical barrier to self-sufficiency and to the health and well-being of children, families, and society. Specifically, CWDA is seeking to eliminate a requirement that days of homeless assistance must be taken consecutively, increase the daily per diem rate, and clarify eligibility for CalWORKs families impacted by the dependency system.

Budget Priority

Support CalWORKs Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

CWDA is requesting support for families in CalWORKs by allowing counties to offer mental health and substance abuse services to children in the program. CWDA is also requesting support to align statutory language on CalWORKs mental health services in the Welfare and Institutions Code with related statute on CalWORKs substance abuse services that permits county human services to contract with community-based providers for assessments when the county department is unable to do so.

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Items on display at Washington Street Productions.

Tehama County Creates Washington Street Productions
Provides Meaningful Work, Addresses Client Barriers, Increases Work Participation Rate

How do you provide CalWORKs clients meaningful work and job training in a small rural county where steady employment opportunities are scarce?

Create your own workplace. That’s just what the Tehama County Department of Social Services has done with its innovative Washington Street Productions, an employment program designed to provide immediate, meaningful subsidized work for clients, while addressing barriers and increasing job skill development, and also increase the work participation rate for welfare recipients.

Training

WIOA Cost-Sharing Webinar

This webinar focused on critical information that partners need to successfully negotiate Phase II of the WIOA MOU development process. An overview of the Phase II MOU requirements, content, and timeline was provided, with a focus on requirements for sharing infrastructure costs, the combined budget for applicable career services, and the optional sharing of other system costs.

Featured Content

CalWORKs Strategic Initiative – Working Toward Serving Families in a Holistic Way

CWDA has recently launched a two-year project called the CalWORKs Strategic Initiative to transform the CalWORKs program into a comprehensive program that better meets the needs of individual families and supports families in a more holistic way.

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CWDA Child Care Use Survey

Child care is an important service available to parents in the CalWORKs program. In summer of 2016, CWDA conducted a survey of more than 400 CalWORKs parents to better understand their child care arrangements. This follwing brief provides the results of that survey.

Child Care Utilization in the CalWORKs Program - June 22, 2016

General information

Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to CalWORKs Program

The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the CalWORKs program. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency.

Training

Work Participation Rate Best Practices Webinar

CWDA hosted a webinar in May 2015 designed to share best practices for improving a county’s Work Participation Rate.