1. WHAT IS EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (ES)?
Employment Services is the Employment Program of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKs). If you are a CalWORKs recipient and able- bodied, you must participate in ES activities to continue to receive cash aid. The Goal of ES is to help you get the best job you can as soon as possible, and to keep that job!
2. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE REFERRED TO EMPLOYMENT SERVICES?
To be referred and participate in Employment Services is important because the law now limits the amount of time you can receive CalWORKs and requires that, while you are receiving cash aid, you must be either working or taking part in ES activities every week. See weekly participation hour requirements listed in #6.
3. INTRODUCTION TO WELFARE REFORM AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
- The Federal Government has set its requirements for Welfare Reform:
- The new assistance program is called TANF, which means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- TANF is temporary.
- Every state will have its own plan for TANF.
- California’s Program is called CalWORKS (CW).
4. WHAT ARE THE TIME LIMITS?
- You can only receive cash aid in California for a total lifetime limit of 60 months;
- ES services are provided to you throughout your 60 months of cash aid if eligible.
5. THE COUNTY WILL DECIDE IF YOU MUST PARTICIPATE IN EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
If you are a California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) recipient, and you are not exempt, you must take part in ES.
IF YOU ARE A MANDATORY PARTICIPANT, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO:
- Keep appointments made by YOUR ES case manager
- Not quit your job or lower your earnings
- Attend and take part in your ES assignment
- Make satisfactory progress in your ES assignment and provide proof of your progress when required
6. EMPLOYMENT SERVICES PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS
CalWORKs Hourly Participation Requirements
Assistance Unit (AU) Type
Average Weekly Hourly Requirement
Single-parent or optional stepparent
30 hours (or 20 hours if caring for a child under 6)
Two parents, one disabled
30 hours (or 20 hours if caring for child under 6)
Two parents, one ineligible
30 hours (or 20 hours if caring for child under 6)
*Note: Includes 2-parent (2P) AUs with one parent exempt for reasons other than disability and 2P AUs with one parent sanctioned, and 2P AUs with one parent timed out of aid.
- You will be assigned each week Employment Services (ES) activities for the required 20/30/35 weekly hours, depending on your family type. See #6.
- If you get a job and are not working for your required weekly hours (20/30/35), you will be asked to add other ES activities to make sure you are meeting your weekly participation requirements.
- A volunteer is someone who is exempt from participating in ES and does not have to participate in ES at this time, but wants to get a job and become self-sufficient
- Based on your circumstances, your case worker will determine if you qualify for any exemptions and will request you to provide supporting documentation
When you start working, you may be eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC is a tax credit for low income working families.
When you get a full-time job, Employment Services will help you keep that job and, if you want, we will work with you to get a better job.
In addition, CalWORKs requires you to: Support yourself and your family and take personal responsibility for yourself and your children by:
- Making sure your children have all their childhood immunizations
- Making sure your children go to school every day
- Maintaining a drug free home
7. EMPLOYMENT SERVICES ACTIVITIES
As soon as your application for cash aid has been granted, you will be scheduled for an ES Intake and Appraisal appointment. You are required to come to your ES appointments.
During your Appraisal, your Employment Case Manager will look over the following areas:
- Your Work History and Education,
- Your Need for Supportive Services, and
- Other information to help you to develop your ES plan
There are many paths open to ES participants. Your path may not involve every activity in ES because a lot depends on your education and job history. The purpose of Employment Services is to HELP YOU PREPARE FOR WORK AND FIND A JOB so that you can support yourself and your family.
A roadblock to success in getting a job and becoming self-sufficient is Substance Abuse. Earlier we talked about your Personal Responsibility to yourselves and your families. One of those responsibilities is maintaining a drug free home and this is a major part of CalWORKs and San Diego County’s ES Program.
At the Appraisal, you will be given a Simple Screening Instrument for Substance Abuse. This is an initial test or an indicator. You will talk to someone about the test results. Taking the test and being referred to someone who is an expert in this field does not mean you have a Substance Abuse Problem.
Also a Learning Disability screening tool is available to each participant to identify learning disability or other co-existing conditions (i.e substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and other disabilities) and the need for related services.
EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS
Do you know that employers can receive federal or state tax credits when they hire ES participants? Your ES Employment Case Manager will tell you how these tax credits can help you get a job.
ES gets many calls from employers who have job openings, and want to hire Employment Services participants.
8. EMPLOYMENT SERVICES EMPLOYMENT
To complete your enrollment in ES, you will need to complete the following forms:
- Personal Responsibility Agreement
- The Participant Profile, which is used to help match Employment Services participants to certain jobs based on work experience, skills, and abilities
Each participant will receive an Employment Services Handbook which explains your Responsibilities and Rights while you are a participant in the Employment Services Program. Make sure you read all parts of the handbook so that you understand the program.
If you have any questions, please ask us to explain.
Employment Services is the program that will give you the tools you need to become self- sufficient through employment.
It will be your choice on how well you do. You now have Choices and Responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is that you will attend and participate in your Employment Services assignment. If you don't do what you agree to do, there are consequences and you can lose your cash aid.
9. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE?
If for any reason, you do not do what Employment Services requires, the following steps will be taken:
- You have the chance to explain why you did not meet ES requirements. The county will decide if you had a good reason.
- Your family’s cash aid will be lowered if:
- You fail or refuse to meet ES requirements without a good reason, and
- You do not resolve the problem by signing and completing a plan to do what you are required.
If your family is a two-parent family getting cash aid, there are special rules for financial sanctions.
When a parent who must participate in ES does not participate and causes a financial sanction, both parents will lose their cash aid.
- The parent who did not cause the sanction can keep his or her cash aid if he or she takes part in ES, is exempt, or has good cause for not participating.
- If you are sanctioned, your family’s cash aid will be lowered until you do what ES requires.
- If you are sanctioned, you may cure your sanction at any time, regardless of the number of times you have been sanctioned.
- You may contact an ES office and request to cure your sanction without having to wait a minimum sanction period.
If you do not agree with the county’s decisions regarding your ES requirements, you have the right to a State Hearing or Formal Grievance.
10. SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
When you are enrolled in Employment Services, you are eligible for assistance with Employment Services related support services, such as transportation, child care, and other expenses.
Immediately following your ES Intake Appraisal, you will begin your participation in CalWORKs Employment Services Activities for your required hours (20/30/35) per week.
You have the freedom to choose your own child care provider. If you are unable to find a child care provider, help is available by calling:
- YMCA Childcare Resource Service at 1-800-481-2151
When you call, you will be given phone numbers for licensed child centers and family day care homes. This is a referral service only. You will need to discuss your child care plans when you meet with your Employment Case Manager.
NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE.
IF YOU WAIT, IT WILL BE TOO LATE.