Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Welfare-to-Work Program: Findings Regarding the Initial Policy Implementation and Outcomes
Nov 2, 2016
This report provides updated findings from the evaluation of the Senate Bill (SB) 1041 reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program, with ongoing implementation informed by an All-County Survey, state-level interviews, and interviews and focus groups in six focal counties, plus further insights on participant outcomes examined with state administrative data.
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.
This second evaluation report extends the analyses in the initial evaluation report through updated findings from the process study based on the second wave of the All-County Survey and qualitative data from interviews with county welfare office staff, focus groups with caseworkers, and interviews with CalWORKs Welfare-to-Work (WTW) clients conducted in the six focal counties. Findings from the status, tracking, and impact studies are based on updated and extended analysis of state administrative data. Findings from the first wave of the California Socioeconomic Survey, which will eventually contribute to the impact study, are featured as well.
This evaluation report should be relevant for stakeholders in the public and private sectors interested in the CalWORKs program and in the TANF program more generally.
Sources of Data and Methods
State-Level Perspectives on the Ongoing Implementation of SB 1041
The Ongoing Implementation of SB 1041 at the County Level: Results from the 2016 ACS
A Six-County Perspective on the Ongoing Implementation of SB 1041
Updated Descriptive Analyses for Status and Tracking Studies
Updated 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