The California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is the California welfare implementation of the federal welfare-to-work Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families.
To qualify for eligibility, one must:
- have residency in California,
- be either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age,
- be a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident,
- have low or very low income, and
- be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed, or about to become unemployed.
In Los Angeles County, the county Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) administers CalWORKs. It has a caseload larger than any other jurisdiction except the States of California and New York and an annual budget of over $3 billion.
It was created by the Welfare-to-Work Act of 1997. It replaced the former Greater Avenues to Independence (GAIN) program, the California implementation of the federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program.
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