Trained county staff dedicated to the field of
aging help ensure the safety and well-being of elders
and dependent adults.
Staff investigate allegations of abuse and neglect,
assess client needs, and provide short-term case
management and bridging to other services. County adult and
aging departments also educate the community about elder
abuse prevention and identification, as well as how communities
can support a person’s right to dignity, self-determination and
to live in the least restrictive environment possible.
The CalFresh program provides monthly benefits to assist
low-income households with purchasing food and is one of the most
critical poverty-fighting programs in communities. Known
federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or
SNAP, it is open to eligible legal noncitizens between the ages
of 18 and 65. In California, nearly 2.5 million households
receive CalFresh assistance to supplement their budgets.
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.
County human service agencies work with the community to
ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth through
the programs of Child Welfare Services, Foster Care and Adoption.
County staff provide protective and supportive services in
the belief that children and their families deserve stable
nurturing homes and a supportive environment.
County human services fiscal staff provide essential financial,
administrative, planning, program, and policy support to their
local agency. They develop and monitor the agency’s budget
and are responsible for payment and revenue claiming services for
The In-Home Supportive Services program, IHSS,
assists low-income older adults and people with disabilities
with in-home care in order to help them remain safely
and independently in their homes. IHSS is considered an
alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing homes or board
and care facilities. IHSS services may includes domestic services
such as housework, meal preparation and laundry, personal care
services and accompaniment to medical appointments. More than
467,000 individuals use the IHSS program to remain safely in
Information technology projects are an integral part of
the work county human services staff do to serve
clients and all Californians. Well-designed technology allows
human services professionals to focus on serving their customers’
needs. Counties have pioneered many advances, such as the use of
imaging systems and mobile technologies, to better support the
work of their staff.
County human service agencies administer the Medi-Cal
program on behalf of the state, offering free or low-cost
health coverage for California residents, including low-income
children, pregnant women, families and low-income
adults who meet eligibility requirements. The Medi-Cal
program is California’s version of the federal Medicaid
program. Nearly one in three Californians receive Medi-Cal
health care coverage.