State Budget Priorities

Overview

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

Family Stability Fund Budget Memo

On behalf of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, California Alliance of Caregivers, Children NOW, California State Association of Counties, County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), we respectfully urge the Human Services Budget Subcommittees to provide $43.2 million State General Fund (SGF) to maintain critical supports to resource family caregivers, and the children and youth in their care.

Budget Priority

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Cash-Out Reversal Budget Memo

The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) strongly supports the reversal of the SSI Cash-out that was enacted as part of the 2018-19 budget to provide CalFresh benefits to individuals who were previously ineligible for the program due to receipt of SSI benefits. This momentous change will increase the food and economic security of an estimated 370,000 Californians.

Budget Priority

Family Urgent Response System for Foster Youth and Caregivers Budget Memo

CWDA and a coalition of organizations request support of the Family Urgent Response System, a $15 million State General Fund (SGF) budget proposal in 2019-20 and $30 million SGF ongoing, to support foster youth and their caregivers and strengthen their relationships.

Budget Priority

Disaster CalFresh Automation Budget Memo

The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) requests consideration and support for funding to automate Disaster CalFresh eligibility determinations and add related forms and notices and required state reports in the CalACES systems, which will ultimately become the CalSAWS system that will be used by all counties, as part of the 2019-20 budget.

Budget Priority

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.

Budget Priority

Resource Family Approval and CANS Assessments Budget Memo

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) oppose the proposed cut to county child welfare agencies for the implementation of the state-mandated Resource Family Approval (RFA) process.  We urge you to restore $24.4 million State General Fund (SGF) so that county child welfare agencies may continue to expeditiously approve resource families to care for children and youth in the foster care system due to abuse, neglect and exploitation. We also urge consideration of budget or trailer bill language related to the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment.

Budget Priority

Bringing Families Home Budget Memo

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) and Housing California request support to provide a one-time appropriation of $25 million General Fund (GF) for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 to continue and expand the existing Bringing Families Home (BFH) Program, which provides critical housing-related supports to child-welfare involved homeless families and those at risk of homelessness in support of family reunification and family maintenance efforts.  

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Adult Protective Services Training Program Budget Memo

The California State Association of Public Administrators/Guardians/Conservators (CAPAPGPC), California Commission on Aging, California Elder Justice Coalition, and County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) request support for $5.75 General Fund (GF) over three years to continue support of a training program and infrastructure to enable counties to meet local needs to protect and serve this vulnerable elderly and dependent adult population.

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CalWORKs Earned Income Disregard Budget Memo

CWDA requests support for strengthening the Earned Income Disregard (EID) for the CalWORKs program. The EID is the amount subtracted from a CalWORKs recipient’s income to determine eligibility for assistance and, once on the program, monthly grant amounts.  By allowing certain types of income to be excluded from grant calculations, the EID is intended to facilitate and encourage paid employment. However, the EID has not been changed since the CalWORKs program was created in 1997.

Download the full CalWORKs EID budget memo – February 21, 2019

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Extended Foster Care Program Budget Memo

The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children NOW, County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, respectfully request support for a $50 million General Fund (GF) investment to support transition-aged foster youth and young adults participating in the Extended Foster Care (EFC) Program.

Budget Priority

2019-20 State Budget Update #2
January 2019

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.

Download CWDA 2019-20 State Budget Memo #2

Budget Priority

2019-20 State Budget Update
January 2019

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.

Download the CWDA 2019-20 Budget Update

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.