Jan 1, 1999
The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is California's response to the welfare reforms Congress set in motion in 1996. The most visible features of this program are its emphasis on moving welfare recipients from reliance on government cash assistance to work and toward self-sufficiency; its use of time limits and participation requirements; its provision of certain services, such as child care and job search assistance, to make participation easier; and its devolution of program authority from the state to the county level. Here, the authors examine the first year of CalWORKs, focusing on the planning and implementation processes and the effects of the program to date. Four themes emerged that will be explored further in future reports: (1) Organizations have changed in response to the expanded mission of CalWORKs, despite limited time for planning. (2) Implementation is under way, but recipient compliance is low. (3) Counties currently have sufficient funds, but this may change. (4) Achieving earnings needed to achieve self-sufficiency before time limits expire is a challenge.
Historical Background and Context for Federal and California Welfare Reform Legislation
Planning for CalWORKs at the State and County Levels
Implementing CalWORKs: County Status in Moving Through the Welfare-To-Work Process
Implementing CalWORKs: Providing Support Services
Reorganization Status at the State and County Levels
Conclusions and Emerging Themes