CalWORKs 2.0 SAWS Automation Budget Memo
The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) requests consideration and support for funding to automate the CalWORKs 2.0 tools in the SAWS and make them available to CalWORKs participants via the SAWS online web portals, as part of the 2019-20 budget. Currently, the CalWORKs 2.0 tools are primarily paper based, and there is no way to store much of the information they capture in the SAWS, which is the system of record for the CalWORKs program. This lack of automation impedes outcome tracking.
Counties have been working to identify enhancements to the program that incorporate emerging research evidence on brain science, behavioral science, and how adults learn and build critical skills. Collectively, we have been calling this new approach “CalWORKs 2.0,” and we have engaged the state and legislative staff, as well as advocates who work with CalWORKs parents, to share our learning and incorporate their feedback.
CalWORKs 2.0’s success depends on a culture shift—away from compliance-oriented, directive case management and toward supportive and responsive interactions between the case manager and the customer. These interactions are focused on identifying, planning for, achieving, and revising goals.
Automation of the CalWORKs 2.0 tools in SAWS will make it easier for both CalWORKs participants and their county workers to use them, and thus encourage greater adoption of the tools. It will also allow the data they gather to be recorded in SAWS, where it can be used for future analysis and reporting.