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Welfare-to-Work

Parents and Children

CalWORKs Welfare to Work Program

Current welfare rules ensure that individuals who work are better off financially than if they do not work. California's Welfare to Work (WTW) program is designed to assist welfare recipients to obtain or prepare for employment. The welfare to work program serves all 58 counties in the state and is operated locally by each county welfare department or its contractors:

  • All welfare to work participants receive an orientation to the program and an appraisal of their education and employment background.
  • Initially, most individuals receive job search services (assistance in finding a job).

Additional employment-related services are provided based on an individual's education and work history. Individuals may be assigned to:

  • Unpaid work experience/preparation.
  • Vocational training placements.
  • Adult education or community college programs.

In addition, program participants may be eligible for help with child care , transportation, and work-related or training-related expenses. Moreover, participants who find a job and are no longer eligible for welfare may continue to receive help with medical care and child care expenses.

For Whom

Recipients of CalWORKs are eligible for services:

  • Unless exempt, applicants/recipients of CalWORKs are required to participate in welfare to work activities as a condition of receiving aid.
  • CalWORKs recipients who are not required to participate in welfare to work activities may volunteer to take part in the program.
  • Adults in one-parent families must spend at least 30 hours per week in welfare to work activities. The minimum participation requirement for two-parent families is 35 hours per week. After receiving aid for up to a maximum of 24 months, non-exempt adults must work in unsubsidized employment or participate in community services activities for the minimum number of hours listed above.
  • After recipients find work, a variety of services are available for up to 12 months to assist them to retain their employment and become fully self-sufficient.
  • Implementing legislation and regulations have provided expanded flexibility to counties to tailor their welfare to work programs to meet the needs of their clients and the local labor market conditions.

Where To Get Help

Contact the local county welfare department listed under the County Government section of the telephone book to find the nearest welfare to work office.

Other Programs and Services

The county welfare department can provide information on other programs that may help CalWORKs recipients find jobs, such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Welfare-to-Work Grant Program and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program. WOTC provides an incentive (tax credit) to employers who hire welfare recipients.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Unless exempt, all CalWORKS recipients are required to participate in WTW services as a condition of eligibility.
  • Recipients receive job search & employment-related services.
  • Offices are located in all 58 California counties.