State Budget Priorities


State Budget Priorities

Each year, CWDA works with its Board of Directors and its committee members to set budget priorities that will improve the well-being of children, families and individuals served by the human services system and to align public policy with the needs of populations and communities across the state.

Click on the sections below to find an overview of our budget priorities, periodic budget updates and more specific information on budget priorities contained in budget memos and fact sheets.

Budget Priority Callie Freitag

Establish Home Safe: Homelessness Prevention for Vulnerable Seniors

CWDA is seeking $15 million State General Fund to establish Home Safe, a homelessness prevention and rapid re‑housing demonstration grant program for victims of elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect. This proposed one‑time augmentation would allow 15 participating counties to demonstrate over three years how providing short-term housing crisis intervention can help reduce the incidence and risk of homelessness among California’s older adults.


2017-18 Budget Updates

CWDA issues Budget Updates that include information about the Governor’s proposals, budget subcommittee actions, Budget Conference Committee actions, leadership negotiations, and Governor’s vetoes. 

Budget Priority

CalWORKs Single Allocation Cut:
A Direct Hit to Clients

The proposed $248 million cut to the CalWORKs Single Allocation comes on the heels of a current-year, $160 million cut. If adopted, this would mean a reduction of more than 20 percent over two years. Counties cannot sustain their programs at this level of funding. A new fact sheet from CWDA provides additional detail and examples from counties regarding the effects of staffing and services cuts on the families we serve.

CalWORKs Cut Impact Fact Sheet

Budget Priority

CWDA, SEIU California Urge CalWORKs Budget Restoration

CWDA and SEIU State Council have issued memos to the chairs and members of Assembly Budget Subcommittee 1 and Senate Budget Subcommittee 3, urging their restoration of a proposed $248 million cut from the CalWORKs Single Allocation, which funds eligibility activities, employment and supportive services, and child care to CalWORKs recipients. The cut proposed in the May Revision is $50 million higher than that included in the January budget and represents a 13.3 percent cut to the current year funding level.

Budget Priority

Oppose Ending CCI, County IHSS MOE & Shifting IHSS Collective Bargaining to Counties

CWDA and several other county associations, including CSAC, oppose dismantling the CCI, the county IHSS MOE, and shifting IHSS collective bargaining to counties as proposed by the Administration that would resul in more than $623 million in increased county costs above the amount that counties are dedicating to their current MOE obligations in 2017-18. The following letters outline our collective concerns.

Budget Priority

Child Care Eligibility For Abused, Neglected Children In Foster Care

CWDA is requesting support for a proposed statutory clarification related to the calculation of foster care grants for children receiving services through the subsidized child care system. This change is needed to ensure abused and neglected children receive appropriate child care and development services without delay.

Budget Priority

Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children

CWDA along with numerous child welfare organizations support the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for foster children, a $31 million budget proposal to increase access to early care and education services for abused and neglected children across the State. This program would help to immediately stabilize vulnerable children in the most appropriate placement, and provide them with a bridge to long-term, high quality early education programs.

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 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.

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

Fund Online CalWORKs Appraisal Tool Rebuild and Integration in SAWS

CWDA is requesting support for proposed trailer bill language and funding to integrate the Online CalWORKs Appraisal Tool (OCAT) as a service within the SAWS, which is the system of record for CalWORKs in California, as part of the 2017-18 budget. Currently, OCAT is a standalone system that requires county staff to do duplicate data entry, and the lack of integration with SAWS impedes outcome tracking.

Budget Priority

Psychotropic Medication Review – Support National Center for Youth Law Request

CWDA supports the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) request to establish a centralized psychotropic medication review for children in foster care. By leveraging a 75 percent federal match, this budget request would bring in $240,075 additional federal funds each year to ensure California’s foster children only receive psychotropic medications that are appropriate and medically necessary.

Budget Priority

Mental Health Children’s Crisis Services – Oppose Proposed Funding Reduction

CWDA opposes the proposed $17 million State General Fund reduction in the Governor’s budget for the development of a continuum of mental health crisis services for children and youth.

Budget Priority

Support Grants to Combat Human Trafficking

CWDA supports the request put forth by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) for $15 million in grant funding to local agencies to combat human trafficking.

Budget Priority

Support Public Health Nurses for Children in Foster Care

CWDA supports the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) request for additional public health nurses in the Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care. By leveraging a 75 percent federal match, this budget request would bring in an additional $11,534,651 additional federal funds to ensure foster children receive appropriate health and mental health care, and only receive psychotropic medications that are medically necessary.