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CWDA 2023 Conference – Call for Presenters

The Call for Presenters for the CWDA 2023 Annual Conference on October 11-13 in Anaheim, CA is now open! 


CWDA Comments on DHCS CalBH CBC Proposal
Submitted January 13, 2023

DHCS has made strengthening California’s behavioral health system a top priority, particularly for individuals with the greatest needs. To help address ongoing gaps, DHCS intends to apply for a new Medicaid Section 1115 demonstration to expand access to and strengthen the continuum of mental health services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries living with SMI and SED.  The California Behavioral Health Community-Based Continuum (CalBH-CBC) Demonstration aims to amplify the state’s investments and further strengthen the continuum of care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #1 – Governor’s Proposed 2023-2024 Budget
Updates Issued In January 2023

Governor Newsom released his proposed 2023-24 budget this morning. The following budget update summarizes what we know so far about the proposals and issues of interest in the health and human services area. 

Press release Cathy Senderling-McDonald

As Storms and Budget Deficits Descend on California, the Safety Net Must be Protected

Sacramento, CA – The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) of California released the following statement from Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald today: 

“Today’s budget shows the Governor’s commitment to maintaining safety net programs that help our most vulnerable Californians in their times of greatest need. Many of these programs are operated at the local level by the county human services programs CWDA represents, and we applaud his commitment to upholding the principles and values on which he has built his Administration.


GASB 87 Recording – August Fiscal Committee Meeting

Recently released Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 87, Leases, outlines new requirements for lease accounting for governmental entities with significant impacts on financial statements.

The CDSS Fiscal Policy Bureau provided an overview of the impacts of GASB No. 87 to counties at the August CWDA Fiscal Committee meeting. This is a recording of that overview.

Budget Priority

CWDA Letters on Key Issues in 2021-22 Budget Discussions

The County Welfare Directors Association respectfully urges your support for funding included in the Joint Legislative State Budget Plans for implementation of two important CalFresh policy changes. 
Simplifications to Improve Program Access 

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #3 Legislature Reaches 2021-22 Budget Deal

Last night the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees each voted to approve a 2021-22 budget agreement reached earlier this week between the two houses. Because the Senate and Assembly are already in agreement and have adopted identical budget plans, there will be no Budget Conference Committee this year. The focus now turns to negotiations with the Governor to reach a three-party budget deal that can be voted on by the full Senate and Assembly by the required June 15th deadline for the Legislature to adopt a budget. 

Budget Priority

Human Services Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo #3

The May Revision includes a $68.3 million reduction, about 11 percent, to the Eligibility component of the Single Allocation in 2021-22. This is the funding that counties use to process applications for CalWORKs, redetermine eligibility, and provide case maintenance. This reduction is due both to revised caseload assumptions in the May Revision, and a more technical aspect of the budgeting methodology that shifts eligibility costs between CalWORKs and CalFresh.

Budget Priority

Medi-Cal and Health Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo #2

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) appreciates the collaboration and hard work of the Legislature and Administration throughout the budget process this year. Overall, the Administration’s proposed May Revision contains important investments in California’s low-income and vulnerable children and families.

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #2 May Revision 2021-22 Budget

Governor Newsom released his May Revision budget proposal this morning, for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The following budget update summarizes the proposals and issues included in the May Revision impacting the health and human services area based on what we know so far. As of this writing, the detailed budget backup information for the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) was not yet available. As a result, we do not know the specifics of many proposals, nor do we have precise caseload and county administration allocation information for the CDSS programs.

Budget Priority

Investment Opportunities and Funding Needs in Health and Human Services Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo # 1

CWDA requests $1.5 million in 2021-22, $150 million in 2022-23, and $178 million in 2023-24 and ongoing to increase the Applicant Earned Income Disregard (EID) from $90 to $600 effective June 2022, commensurate with changes approved to the Recipient EID in the 2019-20 Budget Act. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, redeterminations of eligibility for the CalWORKs program were suspended; when they resumed in late 2020, thousands of families were removed from the program because they failed to complete paperwork requirements.

Budget Priority

County Human Services Programs Have Essential Role in California’s Comeback
Governor’s Budget Invests in Services to Help Hardest-Hit Californians Recover After Devastation of Pandemic, Recession and Longstanding Inequity

Sacramento, CA – The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) released the following statement from Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald after Governor Newsom presented his revised FY 2021-22 budget proposal:

“Governor Newsom’s budget proposal meets this moment – as we emerge from a devastating pandemic and recession, amid a growing recognition that racism and inequity must be addressed meaningfully in our state and nationwide – with a tremendous set of investments aimed at improving the well-being of vulnerable Californians and families.

Budget Priority

CWDA Comments on Various Health and Human Services Budget Proposals

As part of the annual budget process, the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) typically comments or takes positions on budget proposals from the Administration or advocates that are of policy interest to our members or that have an effect on county operations. Because of the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the annual state budget hearing process, we have been unable to provide our feedback through public testimony as we usually would. Therefore, we are providing this feedback on several budget proposals in the adults policy area in writing here. 

Budget Priority

Coalition Letter on Family First Prevention Services Act

The organizations below respectfully request your support for an augmentation of $50 million General Fund (GF) in FY 2021-22, and $100 million on-going, to build locally driven services and supports for children, youth and families at risk of entering foster care. The goal of this effort is to keep families safely together and prevent the need for entries into the foster care system whenever possible.

Press release

County Leaders Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Organizations representing California’s county behavioral health, human services, public health, and public hospital systems today released a powerful, unified statement acknowledging the “historic and ongoing harms of systemic racism” and committing to address those harms through client and community-centered action and accountability.  They join local governments around California and the country, including the boards of supervisors in at least nine California counties, in declaring racism a public health crisis. 

Press release

CWDA Praises American Rescue Plan’s Landmark Investment in Reducing Child Poverty, Urges California to Direct State Allocation to Most Underserved Families

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) of California released the following statement from Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald today after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan:

Federal Update

CWDA Celebrates End of Cruel Public Charge Expansion

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) of California released the following statement from Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald today after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to rule on Trump-administration changes to the “public charge” rule that could be used to deny individuals entry to the United States and withhold the granting of lawful permanent residence (i.e., “green cards”) to beneficiaries of certain public programs.