CalWORKs Outcomes and Accountability, Restoration of Funding and Budget Methodology

Budget Priority

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.

County human services departments provide a broad spectrum of welfare-to-work services and supports for low-income parents through the CalWORKs program.  These services include not only job search and employment placement assistance, but also crisis resolution, mental health treatment, housing, child care, and educational opportunities, among others. Unfortunately, the only measure of “success” in CalWORKs is the deeply-flawed federal work participation rate, which looks merely at whether an individual was present in a specified activity for the required number of hours each month.  This measure tells us nothing about true measures of success – poor families finding and keeping living wage work, obtaining the education and training they need to be competitive in the labor market, children who are thriving, and county operations that facilitate effective, efficient welfare-to-work service delivery. 



How Poverty Changes the Brain - The early results out of a Boston nonprofit are positive. | The Atlantic | April 19, 2017