Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program
Mar 30, 2015
This report provides initial findings from the evaluation of the Senate Bill 1041 reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program, with implementation informed by an All-County Survey, state-level interviews, and interviews and focus groups in six focal counties, plus initial insights on participant outcomes explored with state administrative data and nationally representative data from the Current Population Survey.
Findings Regarding the Initial Policy Implementation and Outcomes
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The California Budget Act of 2012, through trailer Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 is achieving its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.
Following the background and study design report, this first evaluation report provides initial findings from the process study based on the first wave of an online All-County Survey (ACS) and qualitative data from state-level interviews and interviews and focus groups conducted in six focal counties. Findings from the status and tracking studies are based on analysis of state administrative data. Initial insights on participant outcomes in terms of welfare use and employment are explored with state administrative data and nationally representative data from the Current Population Survey. Future reports will be based on further qualitative and quantitative data collection, including a second wave of the ACS, additional interviews and focus groups in the focal counties, both state- and county-level administrative data, and the first wave of the California Socioeconomic Survey.
Sources of Data and Methods
State-Level Perspectives on Initial Implementation of SB 1041
Initial Implementation of SB 1041 at the County Level: Results from the ACS
A Six-County Perspective on Initial Implementation of SB 1041
Initial Descriptive Analyses for Status and Tracking Studies
Initial Descriptive Analyses for the Impact Study
Conclusions and Policy Implications
Understanding How the CalWORKs Program Functions
Additional Documentation for Primary Data Collection
Additional Documentation for Administrative Data
Additional Results for Chapter Four ACS Analyses
Additional Documentation for Chapter Six Status and Tracking Studies Analyses
Additional Documentation for Chapter Seven Impact Study Analyses
The research described in this report was prepared for the California Department of Social Services and conducted jointly in RAND Education and RAND Labor and Population.
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