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1 CalWORKs California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids September 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CalWORKs California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids September 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CalWORKs California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids September 2009

2 2

3 3 A Little History

4 4 Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Federal/State Relationship Federal/State Relationship Entitlement Program Entitlement Program “No Limits” “No Limits”

5 Federal Welfare Reform  Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) ­ Federal/State Relationship Change ­ Block Grant Funding ­ Time-Limited Aid ­ Flexibility ­ Reauthorization

6 6 CalWORKs CalWORKs is a major component of California’s implementation of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), the federal welfare reform effort authorized by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in CalWORKs is a major component of California’s implementation of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), the federal welfare reform effort authorized by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in CalWORKs was enacted by state legislation (Assembly Bill 1542) and became effective in California January 1, CalWORKs was enacted by state legislation (Assembly Bill 1542) and became effective in California January 1, 1998.

7 7 Principles of CalWORKs Welfare is temporary in times of crisis – time limited cash aid. Welfare is temporary in times of crisis – time limited cash aid. Personal responsibility/accountability is encouraged and rewarded – assisting families to achieve self-sufficiency. Personal responsibility/accountability is encouraged and rewarded – assisting families to achieve self-sufficiency. “Work first” attitude is fostered through strict work requirements – minimum hourly participation requirements. “Work first” attitude is fostered through strict work requirements – minimum hourly participation requirements. Counties have flexibility to meet recipients’ needs for services. Counties have flexibility to meet recipients’ needs for services. Requirement for new and expanded partnerships. Requirement for new and expanded partnerships.

8 8 CalWORKs Caseload and Funding  Total caseload = 534,043  Total Budget = $7.2 billion

9 9 CalWORKs Eligibility... – Caretaker Relatedness – Child must be deprived of parental care or support due to: Death Death Incapacity Incapacity Absence Absence Unemployment Unemployment

10 10 Other Eligibility Factors − Property − Income − Minor Parent Requirements − WTW requirements − Time Limits

11 11 Personal Responsibility and Accountability Immunizations Immunizations School attendance School attendance Child support Child support

12 12 CalWORKs Grants... Grant Levels Grant Levels – Two Grant Structures Region 1 & 2 Region 1--Higher cost of living (coastal counties) Region 1--Higher cost of living (coastal counties) Region 2--Lower cost of living Region 2--Lower cost of living − Exempt/Non-Exempt Maximum Aid Payment (MAP )

13 13 Special Needs Pregnancy Pregnancy Homeless assistance Homeless assistance

14 14 60-Month Time Limits Adult parents are eligible for 60 months of cash aid. Adult parents are eligible for 60 months of cash aid. “ Clock Stoppers”--exemptions that stop month(s) of aid from counting toward the 60-month time limit. “ Clock Stoppers”--exemptions that stop month(s) of aid from counting toward the 60-month time limit. “Time Extenders”--exceptions that can result in a recipient’s remaining on aid beyond the 60-month time limit. “Time Extenders”--exceptions that can result in a recipient’s remaining on aid beyond the 60-month time limit.

15 15 CalWORKs Time Limit Exemptions “Clock Stoppers” Eligible for, participating in, or exempt from Cal- Learn program. Eligible for, participating in, or exempt from Cal- Learn program. Living in Indian Country Living in Indian Country Advanced Age Advanced Age Disabled Disabled Aid reimbursed by child support Aid reimbursed by child support Grant amount $10 or less Grant amount $10 or less Employed and receiving only supportive services Employed and receiving only supportive services Caretaking responsibilities for: Caretaking responsibilities for: – Ill or incapacitated person – Dependent child of the court or child at risk of placement in foster care Unaided Unaided Domestic Abuse (Good Cause) Domestic Abuse (Good Cause)

16 16 CalWORKs Time Limit Exceptions--”Time Limit Extenders” Advanced Age Advanced Age Caretaking responsibilities Caretaking responsibilities Disabled--receiving SDI, TDI, IHSS or SSP benefits and the disability impairs ability to work/participate Disabled--receiving SDI, TDI, IHSS or SSP benefits and the disability impairs ability to work/participate Unable to maintain employment or participate Unable to maintain employment or participate Unaided Unaided Domestic Abuse (Good Cause) Domestic Abuse (Good Cause)

17 17 Safety Net Eligible children continue to get cash aid after their parents have exhausted their 60-month time limit. Eligible children continue to get cash aid after their parents have exhausted their 60-month time limit. “Timed-out” adults are not eligible for General Assistance until the youngest child on aid is 18. “Timed-out” adults are not eligible for General Assistance until the youngest child on aid is 18.

18 18 CalWORKs Focus on Families CalLearn: services for CalWORKs pregnant and parenting teens to help them stay in school and get a high school diploma or equivalent. CalLearn: services for CalWORKs pregnant and parenting teens to help them stay in school and get a high school diploma or equivalent. Family Planning Project: family planning services information material for CalWORKs clients. Family Planning Project: family planning services information material for CalWORKs clients.

19 19 CalWORKs Family Reunification Program Established May 2002 Established May 2002 Eligibility: Eligibility: – CalWORKs recipient families whose children are removed from the home and determined to need CalWORKs services for family reunification Up to 180 days of services, with exceptions Up to 180 days of services, with exceptions No CalWORKs cash aid or cash-linked MediCal: eligible for Food Stamps No CalWORKs cash aid or cash-linked MediCal: eligible for Food Stamps

20 20 Meeting the Challenge Eligibility’s role in supporting work efforts Eligibility’s role in supporting work efforts

21 21 Welfare-To-Work Federal reauthorization and reforms Federal reauthorization and reforms California’s challenge to meet federal WPR California’s challenge to meet federal WPR requirements requirements CalWORKs WTW participation requirements CalWORKs WTW participation requirements Services to remove barriers to employment Services to remove barriers to employment

22 Welfare Reform TANF Reauthorization TANF Reauthorization − In the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 Signed by the President February 8, 2006 Signed by the President February 8, 2006 – Federal Interim Final Rule Published June 29, 2006 (effective October 1, 2006) Published June 29, 2006 (effective October 1, 2006) – Final TANF Rule Published February 5 th, 2008 (effective October 1, 2008) Published February 5 th, 2008 (effective October 1, 2008) Governor’s Budget (AB 1808) Governor’s Budget (AB 1808) – Effective July 12, 2006

23 23 Major Impacts of TANF Reauthorization Recalibration of the caseload reduction credit Recalibration of the caseload reduction credit Newly identified work eligible individuals Newly identified work eligible individuals Work activities defined Work activities defined Work verification plan requirement Work verification plan requirement

24 24 Work Participation Rate Those participating the required number of hours Those required to participate All-families = 50% All-families = 50% Two-parent = 90% Two-parent = 90%

25 25 Caseload Reduction Credit and Work Participation Rate Caseload Reduction Credit (CRC) base year changed from 1995 to 2005 Caseload Reduction Credit (CRC) base year changed from 1995 to 2005 Projected All Families CRC for Federal Fiscal Year %

26 26 Actual WPR for FFY 2007 with New Populations Actual All Families WPR: 22.3% 50%

27 27 Who is work eligible? Adult (or minor child head-of-household) receiving assistance under TANF or SSP Adult (or minor child head-of-household) receiving assistance under TANF or SSP Non-recipient parent living with a child receiving assistance (child-only recipients) Non-recipient parent living with a child receiving assistance (child-only recipients) Work-eligible individuals that are in Separate State Programs funded with state Maintenance of Effort dollars (two-parent recipients) Work-eligible individuals that are in Separate State Programs funded with state Maintenance of Effort dollars (two-parent recipients)

28 28 Effect on WPR Denominator Cases in WPR Denominator "Work Eligible Individuals" Based on 2007 Caseload Data Denominator Prior to DRA 164,500

29 29 The Challenge: Balance between CalWORKs and TANF CalWORKs is designed to provide flexibility to counties to meet the unique needs of their diverse populations CalWORKs is designed to provide flexibility to counties to meet the unique needs of their diverse populations – Participation requirements are different, more flexible in CalWORKs than TANF Required hours of participation vary from TANF Required hours of participation vary from TANF Activity time limits vary from TANF Activity time limits vary from TANF Exemptions/Disregards vary from TANF Exemptions/Disregards vary from TANF

30 30 The Challenge: Balance between CalWORKs and TANF (Cont.) CDSS and others have worked hard to maintain the structure of the CalWORKs program CDSS and others have worked hard to maintain the structure of the CalWORKs program Goal: Find balance between maintaining the fundamentals of CalWORKs while meeting federal requirements and safeguarding the state from fiscal penalties Goal: Find balance between maintaining the fundamentals of CalWORKs while meeting federal requirements and safeguarding the state from fiscal penalties

31 31 Meeting the Challenge Maintain the participation level of those currently meeting the WPR requirements Maintain the participation level of those currently meeting the WPR requirements Increase participation for those partially participating Increase participation for those partially participating Fully engage those who are not participating Fully engage those who are not participating Re-engage sanctioned and noncompliant cases Re-engage sanctioned and noncompliant cases Strive for better data Strive for better data

32 32 AB 1808 Policy Required data master plan and data publishing Required data master plan and data publishing Required county peer reviews Required county peer reviews Ended durational sanctions Ended durational sanctions Clarified shared penalties Clarified shared penalties Required county plan addendum Required county plan addendum

33 Additional Ongoing Efforts Stakeholder Workgroups Stakeholder Workgroups - Fiscal Options, Programmatic Changes Reform Proposals Reform Proposals - Governor’s Budget, Legislative Proposals Technical Support to Counties Technical Support to Counties - Best Practices Website, Conferences 33

34 34 Typical CalWORKs Flow Orientation Orientation Appraisal Appraisal Job Search (4 weeks) Job Search (4 weeks) Assessment Assessment WTW Plan with assigned activities WTW Plan with assigned activities Exception to flow – Self-Initiated Programs (SIPs) – Full-timed employed (no WTW Plan)

35 35 Work Requirement Exemptions − Under age 16 − Age 16, 17, or 18 and attending school full time − Age 16 or 17 with a high school diploma (or equivalent) and enrolled/planning to enroll in postsecondary educational − 60 years of age or older − Disability − Nonparent relative caring for a dependent/ward of the court or child at risk of foster care placement − Caring for a disabled family member − Parents with very young children − Pregnancy that impairs ability to be regularly employed − Full-time VISTA volunteer

36 36 Welfare-to-Work Plan After assessment, able-bodied recipients must enter into a written WTW Plan. After assessment, able-bodied recipients must enter into a written WTW Plan. Exempt recipients who volunteer to participate must also have a WTW Plan. Exempt recipients who volunteer to participate must also have a WTW Plan. Plans include: Plans include: − Activities and services that will move the participant into employment and toward self-sufficiency − One or more core and/or non-core activities for the required minimum hours. No minimum hours for volunteers − Adult basic education, when necessary − Description of needed supportive services (transportation, child care, ancillary expenses) − School attendance requirements for children

37 37 Weekly Number of Hours of Required Participation 32 hrs. - Single-parent families35 hrs. - Two-parent Families. Hours can be shared between the parents. All families must participate a minimum of 20 hours of core activities – the balance can be spent in core or non- core activities Core and non core requirements to not apply to: - Exempt volunteers - Self-Initiated Programs - CalWORKs Family Reunification Parents (AB 429) CORE ACTIVITIESBLENDABLE NON-CORE ACTIVITIES Unsubsidized employment Adult basic education Subsidized private and public sector employmentJob skills training directly related to employment Work experienceEducation directly related to employment On-the-job training (OJT)Satisfactory progress in a secondary school Grant-based OJTMental health, substance abuse, domestic violence services Supported work or transitional employment Work study NON-BLENDABLE NON-CORE ACTIVITIES Self-employmentVocational education and training (post 12-months) 1 Community serviceOther activities to assist in obtaining employment 2 Vocational education and training (up to 12 months)Participation required by school to ensure child's attendance 2 Job search and job readiness assistanceNon-credited study time (county option) 2 1 If hours in this activity are in the WTW plan, then hours in any non-core activity cannot count towards the core requirement. 2 If hours in these activities are in the WTW plan, blendable non-core hours can count toward the core requirement.

38 38 Supportive Services Child Care Child Care – Three-phase system – Child care reimbursement rates are standardized with the California Department of Education (CDE). Transportation Transportation − Counties provide reimbursement for the least costly form of public transportation. − If public transportation not available, mileage reimbursement for individual to use vehicle. Ancillary Ancillary − Books, tools, clothing specifically required for the job, fees and other necessary costs (tuition is not considered an ancillary expense.)

39 39 Good Cause for Temporarily Not Participating in CalWORKs WTW Activities Lack of necessary supportive services Lack of necessary supportive services Child care not reasonably available during hours of training or employment Child care not reasonably available during hours of training or employment Other reasons, as defined by county, such as: Other reasons, as defined by county, such as: – Death in the family – Court appearance – Sick child Individuals who are excused from participation with good cause are subject to the 60-month time limits Individuals who are excused from participation with good cause are subject to the 60-month time limits

40 40 Noncompliance When determined noncompliant, within 20 days, the recipient can When determined noncompliant, within 20 days, the recipient can − Provide a good cause reason not participating − Agree to a compliance plan when no good cause exists With no good cause reason and no compliance plan, a financial sanction is imposed With no good cause reason and no compliance plan, a financial sanction is imposed − Noncompliant participant removed from assistance unit, resulting in a reduction in family’s cash grant

41 41 Noncompliance Noncompliance means a participant Noncompliance means a participant − Failed to sign a WTW Plan − Failed to participate in assigned activity − Failed to provide proof of satisfactory progress − Failed to accept or continue employment at same level of earnings

42 42 Learning Disabilities (LD) LD: A heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities LD: A heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities Enrollees screened no later than appraisal and at other specified times, such as in good cause determinations Enrollees screened no later than appraisal and at other specified times, such as in good cause determinations Recipients can waive right to LD screening Recipients can waive right to LD screening Referred to LD evaluation when screening shows potential LD Referred to LD evaluation when screening shows potential LD When evaluation shows LD, the WTW Plan will include accommodation based on evaluation When evaluation shows LD, the WTW Plan will include accommodation based on evaluation

43 43 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Mental health services include assessment, case management, treatment, and rehabilitation services Mental health services include assessment, case management, treatment, and rehabilitation services Substance abuse services include assessment, treatment, employment counseling, provision of community service jobs, or other appropriate services Substance abuse services include assessment, treatment, employment counseling, provision of community service jobs, or other appropriate services Counties must work with mental health and substance abuse treatment providers to establish linkages to treatment services Counties must work with mental health and substance abuse treatment providers to establish linkages to treatment services

44 44 Domestic Abuse Services The Federal Family Violence Option PRWORA of 1996 allows states to address domestic violence in state welfare plans under TANF by: PRWORA of 1996 allows states to address domestic violence in state welfare plans under TANF by: Confidentially screening applicants for domestic Confidentially screening applicants for domestic abuse abuse Providing referrals for counseling and supportive Providing referrals for counseling and supportive services services Granting good cause waivers Granting good cause waivers

45 45 Goals of CalWORKs Provisions for Domestic Abuse Victims are not placed at further risk or unfairly penalized by CalWORKs requirements Victims are not placed at further risk or unfairly penalized by CalWORKs requirements Program requirements do not encourage a victim to remain with the abuser Program requirements do not encourage a victim to remain with the abuser Participation in WTW activities is encouraged to enable clients to obtain employment and move safely toward self-sufficiency Participation in WTW activities is encouraged to enable clients to obtain employment and move safely toward self-sufficiency

46 46 Domestic Abuse Waivers A county may waive, on a case-by-case basis with good cause, any program requirement, including, but not limited to A county may waive, on a case-by-case basis with good cause, any program requirement, including, but not limited to  Time limits on receipt of aid  Work and education requirements  Paternity establishment  Child support cooperation requirements  Maximum family grant rule

47 47 Domestic Abuse Waivers (cont’d) Program requirements that cannot be waived Program requirements that cannot be waived  Deprivation  Assets  Income  Homeless assistance

48 48 Importance of Collaboration Between Child Welfare Services and CalWORKs 60 percent of Child Welfare Cases have history of welfare receipt 60 percent of Child Welfare Cases have history of welfare receipt Families receiving child welfare and CalWORKs services may be our most vulnerable families Families receiving child welfare and CalWORKs services may be our most vulnerable families Close collaboration can ensure program requirements do not conflict Close collaboration can ensure program requirements do not conflict Collaboration can remove barriers to allow families to become self-sufficient and help the state meet federal work participation requirements Collaboration can remove barriers to allow families to become self-sufficient and help the state meet federal work participation requirements

49 49 Questions and Answers...


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