AB 429 CalWORKs and Child Welfare Mutual Benefits, Improved Outcomes
Poverty and Child Welfare • “Poverty is the most frequently and persistently noted risk factor for child abuse.” – American Association of Family Practioners • “The CalWORKs model is the only welfare approach proven by research to result in long-lasting improvements in family earnings, poverty reduction, and child wellbeing, including better performance in school with fewer behavioral problems for children. In addition, the CalWORKs model has been shown to produce a dramatic increase in the proportion of parents in two-parent recipient families who stayed married” - CWDA
Collaboration • AB429 is the only statutory basis for collaboration between Child Welfare and CalWORKs The purposes of the TANF program as described in section 401 of the Social Security Act are as follows: • provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; • end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; • prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and • encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
AB 429Chapter 111, Statutes of 2001 • Created statutory changes to Human Services Programs. • W&I Code 11203: • “The parent or parents shall be considered living with the needy child or needy children for a period of up to 180 consecutive days of the needy child's or children's absence from the family assistance unit and the parent or parents shall be eligible for services under this chapter including services funded under Sections 15204.2 and 15204.8” (which include work activities and support services).
AB 429 Background • Author: Assembly member Dion L. Aroner • Democrat (Berkeley) • 14th Assembly District • Elected 1996 • Served 3 consecutive terms
AB 429 Timeline • On June 22nd, 2001, AB 429 was approved by the legislature’s Budget Conference Committee. • A 2/3 vote from the Senate and Assembly was needed in order to move to the Governor’s desk. • On July 26th, 2001, the bill was signed into law. • On July 31st, 2001, the bill was chaptered as the Omnibus Fiscal Year 2001/2002 Social Services budget trailer bill.
AB 429 is considered an “Omnibus Bill” “Omnibus”: (Adj.) pertaining to, including, or dealing with numerous objects or items at once “Bill”: proposed new law or amendment to existing law AB 429 Background • Effected Agencies include: • The State Department of Aging • The State Department of Health and Human Services Agency Data Center • The State Department of Rehabilitation • The State Department of Alcohol and Drug programs • The State Employment Development Department • The State Department of Social Services • The State Department of Child Support Services • The State Department of Community Services and Development • The State Franchise Tax Board • The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
CalWORKs Eligibility:Allows for 180 days of eligibility of CalWORKs Employment Services for parents when a child has been removed from the home and placed in out-of-home care while the family was receiving CalWORKs. CAPI/CFAP (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants/California Food Assistance Program):Repeals the sunsets on eligibility for CAPI and CFAP benefits for immigrants who meet certain provisions and criteria. Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System:Requires that the Bureau of State Audits submit (by 1/1/03) an audit of the Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System, addressing certain areas. Program Changes Due to AB 429(include, but limited, to the following): • Special Circumstances Program: This program, which covers the special needs of the aged, blind and disabled in emergencies, is reformed and expanded. • (1) include CAPI, IHSS and SSI recipients among potential beneficiaries; • (2) specify its availability for "unmet shelter needs," and increasing amounts for items of need; • (3) eliminate the requirement that a recipient be a victim of a "catastrophe" before being eligible; • (4) repeal the separate $300 resource limit and conform the income and resource rules to the main programs; and, • (5) allow counties to transfer funds for implementation from administrative allocation to benefits, given expected administrative savings. • CalWORKs Time Limits:Provides that all counties retain records and provide information sufficient to permit the tracking of CalWORKs time limits.
AB 429 & TANF ECF (Temporary Assistance for Need Families Emergency Contingency Fund) • 3 areas of funding: Short Term Non-Recurrent Benefits, Basic Assistance, and Subsidized Employment. • Tehama County plans on implementing many programs, in which AB 429 families may be eligible. These include, but are not limited to: • Food and rental assistance for families to assist parents to be prepared for the return of the child(ren), or to prevent homelessness • Dental and vision services for adults if it is a barrier to employment or self sufficiency • Expansion of a current Tehama County “Back to School Backpack Project” • Holiday Assistance Program (to include food baskets, gift cards, etc.) • Personal Hygiene/Care Packages • Expansion of Subsidized Employment Program
TEHAMA LINKAGES COMMITMENT • TLC • Vision: Self-sufficient families and safe children in a responsible and caring community. • Goal: To coordinate services between CalWORKs and Child Welfare in Tehama county to help families achieve self-sufficiency and ensure child safety and well being. • Guiding Principles: • We believe services must be strength based, family-centered, and tailored to individual needs. • 2. We believe services must be accessible, comprehensive, and delivered in the least intrusive way possible. • 3. We believe services must be coordinated across systems in a smooth and seamless practice. • 4. We believe services must protect the rights of families, must be culturally sensitive, and are delivered in a respectful and caring manner. • 5. We believe that parents want to be self-sufficient and to have a safe home for their children. Our job is to provide families with the tools, resources, and opportunities to achieve these goals. • 6. We believe that families are on a journey, which includes awareness that there is a different and better way of life, a desire for this new way of life, and a belief that this way of life is achievable. • 7. We believe that the door to services must remain open so families can flourish when they are ready.
AB 429 Services All Child Welfare Services cases are to be screened for possible AB 429 services when the children are removed from the home. To be eligible for AB 429 services, the family must meet all of the following conditions: • The child has been removed from the parent and placed in an out-of-home placement (care must be a temporary situation and a reunification plan is required). • The family was receiving CalWORKs cash aid when the child was removed. • The County has determined that CalWORKs services are needed for family reunification. A family can be considered a CalWORKs reunification case if some of the children are removed from the home and family income results in discontinuance of aid for financial reasons for family members remaining in the home. If needed, child care services are available.
How does a parent get AB 429 Services? • Ask parent if he/she is on cash aid. • If the social worker feels Welfare to Work services will be needed for family reunification, give the brochure to the parent when children are removed. If they have questions have them call their WTW worker. • Note: If the parent is not ready to talk about services, give them the brochure when they are more open. • If the parent is interested, give Lisa Matheson a memo (cc Janet Zapeta in Eligibility), including at least the parent’s name and social security number. • Schedule a case staffing and invite the eligibility worker and the employment and training worker. • Note: Services are available to participants who are on or off aid. • What does Employment Services have to offer? • Supportive service, child care, transportation assistance and ancillary services. • Case supervision, attendance monitoring. • Another person involved with the family. • Access to co-located drug and alcohol case managers, mental health therapists and a domestic violence victim’s advocate. • Employment related services to help participant find a job. • Less confusion for participants because our agency is communicating. • We will have copies of each other’s plans. Team splitting will be more difficult.
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE SERVICES • COMMUNICATION • CHANGING STAFFING • BUY IN • CONFLICTING SCHEDULES
Tehama County • We looked at over 50 linked cases and compared them to the general population • The first chart shows the distribution of cases by type linked vs general • The second chart shows the time to reunification again comparing linked and non linked cases
Specific Case • Single mother of 5, drug addiction, child neglect, unemployed • One child (youngest) placed in protective custody, four others left in the home • The CPS case plan is designed with the safety of the child and the rehabilitation of the parent in mind but Employment services has the systems and expertise in place to create a plan of economic independence • The support she really needed came from CalWORKs • Child Care • Cash to pay the bills and rent • Employment • Without the support of employment services she says “I never would have made it”. The strength and confidence she got from working helped her repair her damaged relationships • Now she is working and off of welfare altogether • Employment Services helped her with job retention services to ease her transition and ensure a stable economic future • As of 2yrs later….. No involvement with child welfare
Linkages The Linkages Program promotes cooperation between Child Welfare and CalWORKs The goal is to improve outcomes for both programs • Increased participation in CalWORKs activities • Better outcomes for Child Welfare • More reunifications • Less re-entry into foster care
Tehama County In Tehama County the Linkages program focuses on coordinated case planning Using reports which match data between ISAWS and CWS/CMS we ensure that all cases which have open cash aid and open reunification child welfare cases receive case plans which address both their reunification and their employment goals
Fiscal Benefits The Linkages program has fiscal impacts which can blend funding between child welfare and CalWORKs CWS Social Workers time study to CalWORKs PIN Codes CalWORKs can pay for services traditionally paid for by Child Welfare
Linked Cases Using Data from your eligibility system and CWS CMS you can build a detailed report which can be distributed to Social Workers and used to coordinate case plans. Supervisors can review these reports to ensure that services are being provided by the correct program $$$$
Fiscal Benefits • By having CPS Social Workers time study to CalWORKs codes 6201 and 6641 we shifted $43,000 in costs from the CWS allocation to CalWORKs in one year • Contracts which were paid previously by Child Welfare such as Parenting Classes can be supported by CalWORKs • Amounts to a consolidation of services
Braided Funding Here is an example of how much can be saved in just one case • Counseling – previously charged to code 144 in a linked case CalWORKs can pay • $10,207 • Gas Cards charged to code 146 in a linked case transportation can be reimbursed by CalWORKs • $533 This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Tehama County • Better outcomes • Fiscal benefits • Increased understanding of client needs • More cooperation between divisions
Q: Who is eligible to receive AB 429 Services? • A: Parents who are receiving cash aid at the time their children are placed in protective custody are eligible to continue to receive CalWORKs employment services and supportive services.
Q: Can AB429 Clients be discontinued for non-compliance? • A: No, AB 429 Clients are exempt from noncompliance sanctions. 42-721.131 A noncompliant individual shall remain eligible for CalWORKs activities and services until the expiration or termination of a voluntary placement agreement or the court terminates the reunification plan.
Q: Are AB429 Clients required to submit monthly or quarterly reports? • A: No, AB 429 Clients are not required to submit monthly or quarterly reports. 40-181.223(MR) In reunification cases, as defined in Section 80-301(r)(4), the parents are not required to submit a monthly eligibility report as long as the reunification plan remains in place.(QR) In reunification cases, as defined in Section 80-301(r)(4), the parents are not required to submit a quarterly eligibility report as long as the reunification plan remains in place.
Q: Are AB429 Clients subject to sanctions? • A: No, AB 429 clients are exempt from sanctions as long as services are determined to be a necessary part of a family reunification plan.42-711.512A county shall provide welfare-to-work activities and services to a reunification parent,including a sanctioned individual, pursuant to the temporary absence/familyreunification provisions of Section 82-812.68, and the county child welfare servicesagency determines that such services are necessary for family reunification.
Q: Is an assessment required before WTW services can begin? • A: No, an assessment is not required as long as the activities are provided as a component of a family reunification plan. 42-711.558An assessment, as described in Section 42-711.55, shall not be required for thosewelfare-to-work activities and services that are only provided as a component of areunification plan as defined in Section 80-301(r)(5), subject to the temporaryabsence/family reunification provisions of Section 82-812.68.(a) An assessment and a welfare-to-work plan as described in Sections 42-711.55and .6 respectively, are necessary for any welfare-to-work activities and servicesthat are provided separate and beyond those welfare-to-work activities andservices that are specified in a reunification plan.
Q: Is a signed WTW plan necessary for AB429 clients? • A: No, a signed CalWORKs plan is not necessary for services to begin. However, a signed plan must be obtained “as soon as administratively feasible”. The county may also use the reunification case plan if all the WTW activities are included.42-711.61After assessment, or a determination by the county child welfare services agency thatCalWORKs services are necessary for family reunification, any recipient of aid or reunification parent pursuant to Section 82-812.68 who is required or who volunteers to participate in welfareto-work activities shall enter into a written welfare-to-work plan with the CWD as soon as administratively feasible, but no later than the time frame specified in Section 42-711.62 for nonexempt individuals. However, the county may elect to utilize a reunification plan as defined inSection 80-301(r)(5) in lieu of the welfare-to-work plan when all of an individual’s welfare-towork activities and services are provided as a component of a reunification plan under the temporary absence/family reunification provisions of Section 82-812.68. If the county uses the family reunification (FR) plan in lieu of the welfare-to-work plan the county shall inform the individual, in writing, regarding his/her eligibility for CalWORKs family reunification services, and include a reference to the FR plan and the county child welfare service agency..611 The plan shall include the activities and services, to be provided pursuant to Section 42- 716, that will move the participant into employment and toward self-sufficiency..612 A copy of the complete, signed plan shall be provided to the participant.
Q: Are AB429 clients subject to termination or sanction for NON-Compliance? • A: No, non-compliant individuals remain eligible to services until the children are returned or the court terminates the reunification plan.42-721.13A reunification parent as defined in Section 80-301(r)(3) whose welfare-to-work activities and services are only included in a reunification plan..131 A noncompliant individual shall remain eligible for CalWORKs activities and services until the expiration or termination of a voluntary placement agreement or the court terminates the reunification plan.Add definitions from 80-301